More people die during tornadoes in the Southeast than anywhere else in the country -- but according to a new University of Tennessee study, many people don't know the true risks.

Kelsey Ellis, a professor of climatology and meteorology at UT Knoxville, coauthored the study. She said misinformation about tornadoes can be deadly.

“There are many myths about tornado protection. Some of them are very ingrained in our communities and can endanger people,” Ellis said in a statement.

Ellis conducted a phone survey of 800 Tennesseans, asking about their responses to and knowledge of tornadoes. She found misconceptions across the state.

In multiple regions, people believed local geography would protect them from tornadoes. In East Tennessee, 90 percent of people surveyed believe they are somewhat protected by the Great Smoky Mountains. In West Tennessee, people said the Mississippi River would protect them.

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