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View Diary: Finally some good news, in the form common sense, from Tornado Alley. (75 comments)

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  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

    That's fine. I don't care about your view of my credibility.

    I don't think you've thought through the trade-offs very well or you'd understand why most emergency management personnel don't like public shelters (issues of when it opens, when it closes, what do you do when more people show up than the shelter can hold, having people driving around prior to the tornado, safety issues within the shelter, etc.) and why school districts aren't all that comfortable with opening up (the Edmond schools had $10-20,000 in costs to clean up and repair damaged property after people ended up in their schools in the Feb 2009 tornado). You might disagree with their conclusions, but their arguments should be considered. I will pass along to the forecasters your high opinion of their abilities.

    I will disagree with your statement that underground shelters are the only thing that is adequate to protect human lives from EF5 tornadoes. It is simply not true. Most of the people that were in houses that were rated F5 on May 3rd survived and, in the Monday tornado, no one died in the only structure that received EF5 damage.

    •  Really? Emergency Management Personnel prefer (0+ / 0-)

      to dig bloody and broken adults and children out of rubble? That's Rich! I will take that under advisement.

      People who could afford to build hardened houses. People who can afford shelters.

      However, When your child is at school, Parents should not encounter a locked down school with NO SHELTER with a Tornado Barreling down upon that facility.

      If Schools want to be accountable, then they need to have adequate shelters available for their students UNDERGROUND. Otherwise, all their tactics do is serve to create a convenient body count.

      NO Thanks. Not for my kids, and not for children of friends or even of other citizens I may never meet.

      If schools are going to insist on remaining open on days known in advance to produce extreme severe weather, and if they insist on lockdowns, then they should be required BY LAW to provide adequate shelters that can withstand EF5 Tornadoes

      End of story.

      •  Once more (0+ / 0-)

        No, they don't prefer that. I believe you're being deliberately obtuse. Emergency managers prefer to save lives. The question is what process leads to the most lives saved for whatever money is spent.

        I would suggest you speak to your city's local emergency manager about why emergency managers in general don't like public shelters. It's not because they want people to die, but because they have evaluated the options and believe the issues associated with public shelters don't necessarily decrease fatalities. As a starting point, read what the city of Moore says here. They don't go into all of the issues associated with public shelters (how do you make sure they're open when you need them to be and closed when you don't want access to them, do you allow pets). They'd have to weigh the costs and issues associated with underground vs. hardened shelters. On 3 May 1999, there was an indirect death when a man in a wheelchair was dropped taking him into an underground shelter that ended up being 3 miles from the path. Access is a significant issue.

        Not counting the Indian mission school in 1917, there have been a total of 13 people killed in schools in the entire state of Oklahoma's history. That's less than the number killed in mobile homes in the last 4 years in the state. If your goal is to reduce death tolls, as mine is, then the focus should start by encouraging shelter options where people die often, not where they rarely die. For the $400,000,000 proposed for school shelters, you could provide shelters for 100,000 homes. If that money isn't allocated by the state, who's going to pay for these required shelters? Should the Norman and Oklahoma City and Putnam City and Mid-Del school districts have all closed for the day on Monday, even though tornadoes during the school day are rare in Oklahoma (75% of all tornadoes within 100 miles of OKC are on the ground between 5 and 9 PM).

        There has been one F5/EF5 tornado that has killed someone at a school in Oklahoma history (Monday) and there were no deaths at the school with the EF5 damage.

        •  I am not being Obtuse. I am merely tired of (0+ / 0-)

          this attitude from outsiders.

          Who is going to pay?

          The same people who are paying now.

          We pay for everything. Why not save some lives while we pay this time, instead of paying in money, time, and loss of lives.

          It's doable. This never has to happen again.

          I believe you are the one being obtuse.

          This Never Has To Happen Again.

          •  OK (0+ / 0-)

            I support putting a shelter in new construction, just as Moore did when they they repaired Westmoore and rebuilt Kelly Elementary. People should do shelters in their homes when they build new or add on. The added cost is small when part of a big project. The analyses that I've seen strongly suggest that doing new construction simply for storm shelters at schools will result in fewer lives saved per dollar spent than many other things.

            I don't understand what you mean about "outsiders." I live in Oklahoma. A friend is a teacher at Plaza Towers. I had a long talk yesterday with another friend who was in shelter with her students at a school that was missed by 100 yards.

            •  I find your statements hard to believe given (0+ / 0-)

              the nature of your previous statements.

              The fact that some schools don't have shelters is the cause of someone's short sightedness.

              What's done is done. Now we get to remedy this. Sometimes when you cut corners, you don't just pay in lives.

              It's time to do what should have been done a long time ago. It will cost us.

              It's going to suck. But it has to be done. It is the responsible thing to do .

              Poorer school districts have shelters outside of that area, that completely blows my mind. And then I am just thankful that the people in those areas were able to sacrifice enough or find access to funds to do what every district and every school should do, should have done, years ago.

    •  And Further More--My High Opinion of Forecasters (0+ / 0-)

      Have you ever looked at the NOAA and NWS "discussions"? They know far in advance, what weather patterns to watch, and if you read these pages, you will too. This isn't encrypted or kept from regular citizens.
      Main Page: http://www.weather.gov/
      Click on OKC on the first mainpage interactive map and it brings up this next page: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/...  which shows active radar images and local watches. Right now the state appears to be in a Hazardous Weather Outlook--it's color coded beige.

      You can click on Hazardous Weather Outlook and it says:

      SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP...BUT SEVERE
      THUNDERSTORMS ARE UNLIKELY.

      So basically we can expect thunder, lightning, a little wind and rain, but no severe storms producing tornadoes, high winds, torrential rains or large hail.

      Under the discussion:
      THE ATMOSPHERE WILL BECOME MODERATELY UNSTABLE TODAY WHICH WILL
      SUPPORT SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TODAY AND TONIGHT.
      HOWEVER...UPPER LEVEL WINDS WILL BE UNFAVORABLE FOR ORGANIZED
      SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. THE AREAS MOST LIKELY TO SEE THUNDERSTORMS
      WILL BE PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN AND WESTERN OKLAHOMA...AND WESTERN
      NORTH TEXAS...NEAR SEVERAL WEAK SURFACE BOUNDARIES. A FEW STRONG
      STORMS MAY DEVELOP GIVEN THE MAGNITUDE OF INSTABILITY. THESE STORMS
      WILL POSE A THREAT OF SMALL HAIL AND GUSTY WINDS TO 40 MPH.
      OTHERWISE...MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL WILL ACCOMPANY MOST STORMS.

      My high opinion? Well I now know not to go an any long hikes in areas prone to flooding, and if I don't want hail dings in my car, don't leave it uncovered tonight.

      .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY...

      THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK...
      RELATIVELY LOW THUNDERSTORM CHANCES PERSIST EACH DAY THROUGH THURSDAY.
      ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE...BUT LACK OF STRONG UPPER LEVEL
      WINDS WILL MAKE ORGANIZED SEVERE WEATHER UNLIKELY.

      So--Sat May 24th through Thursday, May29th--that's 5 days out now--thunderstorms could happen, but the atmosphere as the models project will not support organized, severe weather. 5 Days!

      Now then if I am smart, and I keep checking back to these pages, I will know if something changes in the atmosphere, that might lead to severe weathers. It's rather handy for camping and hiking, or just knowing when not to stray too far from home, or how fast one should drive to get out of the risk area during the course of a trip somewhere else.

      If you click on OKC on the NWS interactive Map again, it will pull up the 7 Day Forecast! 7 whole days!
      You can also narrow it down even further [geographically speaking]  by clicking on the Zone Area Forecast.

      When NWS posts material warning in advance of Severe Weather, you can check out the Weatherdude diaries, and see what those graphics look like. FYI, I am simply utilizing his blogs because he provides these graphics. I did not ask his permission.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Note here, though, that this post is on Monday, and it predicts severe weather chances everyday with it peaking on Weds.

      And see where the really bad stuff is centered? If you live in that red area, you know, all weak will be chancy weather, not to stray too far from shelter, and that Weds is going to be particularly hazardous, so get your errands run before noon on Weds [because afternoon convection heating is an issue in the afternoon]

      Thanks to the software and the forecasters who analyze this, it's not rocket science on our end. We get the end product which is pretty snazzy and useful.
      NWS had this to say about community shelters.

      What about community tornado shelters? Community tornado shelters are excellent ideas for apartment complexes, schools, mobile home parks, factories, office complexes and other facilities where large groups of people live, work or study. FEMA has some excellent design and construction guidance for these kinds of shelters; and a licensed engineer can help customize them to the needs of your facility.

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