back to top

This Teen Survived A Tornado That Destroyed His Home By Hugging A Toilet

The bathroom was the only room left standing when a tornado swept through Daniel Parks' home in Oklahoma. He survived without a scratch.

Posted on

On Monday, a huge tornado swept through their rural community, which is near the town of Sulphur and about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.


At least two people were killed as a result of several tornadoes that touched down in the state.

View this video on YouTube

And here's what it looked like on Tuesday after it was struck by an EF-3 tornado. Only one section of the home was left standing — some walls surrounding an interior bathroom.

"WE ARE ALL SAFE!" Angela Parks wrote on Facebook after the storm. "My house on the other hand is leveled. Nothing left."


Daniel, who has autism, had just returned from school when the storm hit, Angela Parks told BuzzFeed News.

Both she and her husband were still at work but Daniel's cousin managed to rush to the home just as the tornado was smashing through the area.

"They went to the bathroom and they say they basically just hugged the toilet," Parks said.

"Dan is very matter of fact but he told me, 'I heard the wind, I heard the glass, but I knew God was going to keep me safe.'"

Todd Lindley, a science and operations officer with the National Weather Service who met the family on Tuesday, told BuzzFeed News Daniel's actions were "absolutely right" for people without storm shelters or basements.

The weather service shared Daniel's photo on social media, where it soon went viral.

Daniel escaped the storm without a scratch, Angela Parks said. "When I saw the house, it was horrible, but I knew that he was safe," she said. "I'm glad I saw him before the house."

Angela Parks said the support her family has received from friends and the community has been "amazing," but she's most grateful that her family is all safe.

"I know that God protected Daniel," she said.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.