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View Diary: Paul Douglas' Sobering Read On Tornadoes (107 comments)

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  •  Having grown up in Iowa, (26+ / 0-)

    I have all the signs and precautions practically coded in my DNA.  My mom was particularly diligent that we should know what to look for if we were out and about.  I can remember scanning the horizon for the telltale clouds and beating feet home when they were sighted.  A hundred times or more, we took our radio and flashlights to the basement and nothing happened.  Well, not nothing, but no tornado.  

    Once, though, as we sat in the basement of our brand new home, my dad was cussing the contractors because there was water being driven in around the windows by the wind.  He changed his tune later as we found out that a tornado had blown out a heavy brick wall in the J. I. Case plant a couple blocks south of us.  As near as we could figure, the funnel went right over our house, lifting up to go over the hill.  Needless to say, the cussing quickly turned to praise for the solid construction of our house.  In all the years we lived there (and to this day) water has never again come in around the basement windows.  :-)

    I got sidetracked here.  What I started out to say is that when there are 1,000 people dead in a tornado, it could very well be in a place where people haven't been raised to be aware and respect the power of those clouds.  People who will never be affected by a hurricane know much more about them than they do about tornadoes, which can happen nearly anywhere.  

    Tornadoes don't last long, but we also have a much shorter warning time.  The winds can reach as much as 100 mph MORE than the severest hurricane, literally digging a trench in the ground and sucking up the biggest vehicles and houses.  How many times has a hurricane lifted up a railroad car or loaded semi and relocated it blocks or even miles away?  

    One thing I will never understand is why anyone would live in a mobile or slab home in a tornado-prone area.  It would be like living in an unreinforced brick building in an earthquake zone.  We can't prevent Nature from taking its course, but we can certainly mitigate damages and save lives by doing basic things.  I'm rambling, aren't I?  Sorry.... ;-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:37:13 PM PDT

    •  the simplest thing for newbies is: (8+ / 0-)

      If you're new to an area with tornados, get the weather radio and set it up, and then use it and regular broadcast radio and television to be aware of watches and warnings.

      Any time there's any kind of prediction of a severe storm, err on the side of caution.  If you don't understand what a warning means, ask someone, or put your safety plan into effect.

      Better to deal with the inconvenience of using a safety plan and having it turn out to be unnecessary that time, than to ignore the situation and get smooshed.  

      Over time you'll learn more about the local conditions, warnings, and so on.  But until you do, err on the side of caution.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:45:32 AM PDT

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    •  Because it's what I can afford. (12+ / 0-)
      One thing I will never understand is why anyone would live in a mobile or slab home in a tornado-prone area.
      Otherwise, I'd be living in my car.  However, I'm fortunate enough to live next door to my parents, and on multiple occasions every spring, I tuck the cat under my arm and go over to their house to wait out the weather.

      Anyone who lives in a less-than-sturdy dwelling should scout out a place to go during bad weather.  Just in case.

      "...you never quite know where you are with him. He's the sort of chap who follows you into a revolving door and comes out in front." ~Yes, Minister

      by Nicci August on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:17:15 AM PDT

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      •  I do understand. (3+ / 0-)

        I thought of that while I was writing.  It's too bad that, in a country so rich, everyone can't afford to live in a place that's at least relatively safe for the area in which they reside.  

        I'm glad to know that you have a safe place to go.  So many people don't.  I've driven by trailer parks that sustained high wind or tornado damage.  It's freakin' scary to see how those tin boxes fly apart!  They might as well be made a foil held together with paper clips.

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:24:32 AM PDT

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        •  I agree. It is terrifying. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckylizard, weatherdude

          A mobile home is no protection whatsoever, something that I've thought about quite a bit.  

          My previous residence was a second-story apartment, and there was no place provided for residents to gather.  I usually ended up going down to the laundry room, since at least it was on the ground floor.

          "...you never quite know where you are with him. He's the sort of chap who follows you into a revolving door and comes out in front." ~Yes, Minister

          by Nicci August on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:26:37 AM PDT

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          •  My apartment is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weatherdude, Nicci August

            half underground, so I don't really have to do much.  I get my wind-up lamp and radio.  If it's really bad, I go into the bathroom which is on an inside wall with no windows.  I feel pretty safe.  If something is going to damage this building enough to hurt me, I'd have been a goner anywhere.  :-)

            Be safe, Nicci!

            -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

            by luckylizard on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:39:16 AM PDT

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    •  We had sayings..."Green Sky, Could Die" sticks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude

      in my mind for some reason.

      We had nortado drills here in DM yesterday.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:17:21 PM PDT

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