Video of family’s reaction to tornado sparks conversation about reality versus social media

Mother shares moment she realises tornado is approaching her home (TikTok / @sashastiktok13)
Mother shares moment she realises tornado is approaching her home (TikTok / @sashastiktok13)

A viral video showing a woman’s terrified response to an approaching tornado, and her husband’s disbelief, has sparked a conversation about the issues with judging people based on what they post on social media.

Last weekend, Sasha Sverdrup, who goes by the username @sashastiktok13, and who lives in the Kentucky–Tennessee area, shared a TikTok of the moment that she witnessed a tornado heading towards her home.

In the clip, which has been viewed more than 47.9m times, Sverdrup captured the storm out the window from her home on Fort Campbell, an army installation located between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee, according to Newsweek, before screaming for her husband and children to get up and seek safety.

“S*** Alex, Alex, tornado, tornado!” the mother-of-four can be heard yelling in the shaky clip, which took place as the area was hit by multiple tornadoes. “Get up girls, get up girls! Hurry!”

In the caption, Sverdrup wrote: “Had the heart attack of my life tonight when I looked out the window and saw this.”

Another video shared to Sverdrup’s account sees the TikToker sharing additional details about the experience, with the mother explaining how she and her husband had received tornado warnings and had been watching from different parts of their home in the lead-up to her initial video.

@sashastiktok13

Had the heart attack of my life tonight when I looked out the window and saw this #tornado #weather #fyp

♬ original sound - Sasha

According to Sverdrup, who confirmed her family was safe, she was “freaking out” after seeing the storm, but her husband was unconcerned and questioned why she was “making everyone panic”.

“I was like: ‘There’s a tornado!’ And he was like: ‘No there’s not,’” Sverdrup continued, adding that her husband had been watching outside and hadn’t seen anything.

Sverdrup said her husband’s response made her question what she’d seen, as she recalled asking herself: “Did I really see that?”

However, Sverdrup then realised that she’d captured the footage on her phone, at which point she’d shown her husband and he acknowledged that the storm did indeed “look like a tornado”.

The viral videos documenting the family’s experience have since been met with an unexpected response, as viewers have used the videos to analyse the couple’s relationship, with some accusing Sverdrup’s husband of “gaslighting” her.

While the TikToker has turned the comments off under her videos, the claims have also circulated on Twitter, where one person wrote: “Imagine your husband gaslighting you in the middle of a tornado.”

Another person said: “Did you guys SEE that TikTok of the woman telling her family a tornado was coming and her husband was like: ‘There’s no tornado, stop scaring the kids’ ?????? I HATE MEN.”

“Not the **men** on TikTok gaslighting and trying to tell a woman that she faked footage of a tornado last night. Even her HUSBAND was gaslighting her while she was trying to get the entire family downstairs to safety,” someone else tweeted.

Sverdrup appears to have deleted additional videos from her TikTok, including one in which her husband reportedly apologised. However, according to Newsweek, she defended him at one point on the basis that she is “very weather paranoid” and her husband had already suggested “hunkering down” after they’d received the warning.

In a video posted by a TikTok user by the username @theycalluswild, who also recently shared a video of her reaction to receiving a tornado warning as a mother, she defended Sverdrup’s reaction to the storm before addressing those who had criticised the couple’s relationship.

@theycalluswild

Tornado update @sashastiktok13 #leavesashaalone #leavealexalone | donate to the victims through the link in my bio

♬ original sound - Katie

“Y’all f*** off. Leave people and their relationships alone unless they’re asking for help,” she said. “They were clearly in a stressful situation and, like I said before, they were doing their best.”

In response to the video, many praised the TikToker for addressing the situation, with one person writing: “Respect you for making this video. Love to see it! Moms supporting moms.”

“Thank you for sticking up for her,” another person wrote.

The Independent has contacted Sverdrup for comment.

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