11/19/2013 02:54 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2013

Paying Attention In School Helped This 6-Year-Old Save His Family From A Deadly Tornado

Sometimes it takes a 6-year-old to absorb the obvious: A tornado siren means imminent danger.

Once the tornado warning sounded through Washington, Ill., Sunday, Brevin Hunter told his mother, Lisa, the family should head to the basement, the Chicago Tribune reports. But because the sky appeared calm, the parent hesitated. The boy would not relent, however, reminding his mom that he learned in school that a siren means to get somewhere safe -- pronto.

Finally, mom, Brevin and older brother Brody, toted a futon into the basement, the Tribune notes. The tornado arrived a few minutes later, flattening their home. Brevin told WGN he instructed his brother and mom how to crouch and cover as the tornado roared through.

The three spent the night at Crossroads Methodist Church, alive and thankful for a persistent little boy who listened in class. "There's no way I would have gone if he hadn't kept nagging me," the mother said in the Tribune article.

An EF-4 tornado walloped the city of Washington with winds of 170 mph to 190 mph, blowing away more than 400 homes and leaving at least one person dead, according to reports.

Brevin's tale emerged as one of the feel-good stories from the disaster. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn honored the boy for his heroism, WGN wrote. Well-deserved, we say.



Deadly Illinois Tornados