How Much Advance Notice Is There Usually to Know a Storm including Hurricane/Tornado Will Be Coming?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ED GEiN, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. ED GEiN

    ED GEiN Monkey++

    Just watching 2020 on the Houston devastation and it got me wondering how many days of advance notice does one usually have to know a Storm including a Hurricane/Tornado is coming? After seeing the devastation albeit I don't trust the media to not over sensationalize, as soon as an announcement was officially made, I'd get the hell out. I don't quite get why so many people stayed in Houston unless they didn't have advanced notice to leave.

    Incredibly, in 1960, New York City, there was a Hurricane on the first day of school, and the idiot Mayor and the Board of Education didn't cancel Public School that day and our idiotic parents sent us to school. They later decided, duh, at noon time to send everyone home.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Hurricane, a minimum of five days. They can shift abruptly, but the general area is usually known. Texans had over a week's worth of notice, although Harvey was initially expected to be a minimal hurricane at landfall.

    Tornado, five minutes if you're lucky,

    There is no comparison between the two.
    Ganado, Yard Dart, sec_monkey and 9 others like this.
  3. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Down here we just keep a weather eye out and pay attention to reliable forecasters. I'm inland enough here that other than maybe losing a tree or two hurricanes don't do much. This area's water table is a bit higher than I would have liked so I installed french drains through out during construction. They are tied into a larger ditch that we dug(1/2 mile long) that ties into the nearest creek. That has helped greatly, but the ground will still get saturated during heavy rainfall. For twisters, again watch the sky and listen for the siren. When they are possible-like today, I keep the weather on the TV and on the radio weather band. If needed we will head into the shelter, which because of my twisted sense of humor I have named "Der Fuhrerbunker".
  4. ED GEiN

    ED GEiN Monkey++

    Thanks for explaining the difference which I admit I didn't know and was never remotely exposed to a tornado. Good to know about minimum of 5 days. Is that more than enough advance time to get the hell out of the City or State? Why exactly did the people of Houston stay? After seeing the 2020 episode, I'd leave right away even if they said minimal Hurricane. At least this thing has taught me to get a credit card for emergencies (I've been using a debit card by choice the past 10 years or so).
  5. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Seen tornados form touch down and dissipate with a total time from forming to dissipating of 15 seconds, others travel miles and you get 1-10 minutes. Your warning with tornados are watching the conditions in the storm cells and playing the odds.

    Hurricanes on the other hand you know it is coming sometimes a week in advance. Just don't know where it is going to make land fall or whether it will gain or lose intensity. Friends and relatives that live on various coast all have the same attitude in regard to hurricanes...... "Prep for everyone heading your way like it is a category 5 and is going to be a direct hit, and be thankful when it decreases to a tropical depression and veers 100 miles away from you."

    Huge difference in magnitude between a category 1 and a category 5. Harvey was expected to be far less intense than it was and when it gained in intensity it left 48 hours or less, not really enough time to evacuate or prepare a City the size of Houston. Which IMO being on the coast should already be well prepared in terms of shelter, food reserves and evac plans. But we live in a reactive Nation, not a proactive Nation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2017
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    On top of all else that has been said, Keep in mind, in the case of Houston, the Mayor told the people that there was no need to evacuate. The Governor of Texas disagreed and encouraged Houston residents to evacuate while they could. Many folks were in no condition to evacuate on their own, ... ie; no motor vehicle, too poor and no where to go or way to get there, elderly in nursing homes, people in hospitals, and a raft of other reasons. Abandoning all you have and own to the weather and the lowlife opportunist looters is a real hard decision to make. Just my 2 cents
  7. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Tornados are typically less destructive than a hurricane. Unless you are right in the path of the funnel.
    Typically damage path for a tornado is measured in xxxx feet wide and length of damage done can range from less than a mile to a few counties. Hurricane .. yeah, damage can cover multiple states.

    A couple of decades ago a tornado went through our wood lot about 150 yards from the house. All the trees were snapped off 10 feet above the ground maybe 40 yards wide for about a quarter of a mile.
    House wasn't touched other than some small limbs and branches landing on the roof and in the yard.

    Weatherman stated earlier in the day that conditions were favorable for tornadoes .. so about 4 hrs notice that it could happen.
    But when it hits .. maybe a few minutes warning from the sirens.

    Tornadoes are not like hurricanes. if conditions are right .. twisters can popup anywhere in the storm. and they can disappear and reform somewhere else. Also tornadoes are short term events. If it hits you, the twister will be down the road in a few minutes as opposed to beating the hell out of you for hours upon end.
  8. ED GEiN

    ED GEiN Monkey++

    That's exactly what I hate (reactive not Proactive) and gets me nervous. Same thing in Europe where I lived for a few years.
  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    It is in most cases a crap shoot. The longer the warning, the less likely it is to be accurate and you keep getting the boy crying wolf problem. If there had not been a blocking pattern preventing Harvey from moving, Houston would have had no real problems, and damage due to wind and a normal expected rainfall , would have been minimal. I have been near a tornado, within 250 feet, and the building I was in lost a few shingles and had a couple broken windows, the barn, about 250 feet away was destroyed. My cousins farm, in the family since 1868, has had buildings destroyed 3 times, and the farm next to it has never had a tornado cross it. That would seem to indicate to me that even an accurate warning of an event may not help in the real world. Don't recall the name of the town, but one poor place has had a good chunk of all the highest category tornadoes in US history cross it.

    Living in New Hampshire, we are going to have snow storms, ice storms, hurricanes, brush fires, power outages, sudden severe thunderstorms with hail, spring and fall frosts, droughts, minor flooding, and tornadoes, etc. Don't know when, but have experienced all but the tornado in the last 40 year on our place. Warnings may give you a heads up to a problem, hit the shelter, check the generator and fuel one more time, but a 100 % accurate warning for a limited area is still a ways away and the longer in the future the event is, the less accurate the forecast.
  10. ED GEiN

    ED GEiN Monkey++

    I think most middle class people would have home insurance or rental insurance. The Storm looks like it would have prevented many looters. All I know is, if they ever said that a Hurricane is on the way, no matter what the degree, I'm out the door after seeing Houston on TV!
  11. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Quite possibly. But flood insurance is not automatic on home owners or renters insurance. You have to specify wanting it, or in some cases when you are in a flood zone mortgage bankers will demand you get it. Some of the flooding in Houston was in an area not flooded in last 500 years and mortgage lenders there would not in most cases require flood insurance.
  12. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Having experienced both I feel a lot more comfortable with the long lead times of hurricanes. Five days or more to prepare. We hardly do anything anymore. We just keep stuff tied down.

    The tornado (weather service never reported it, saying they saw only straight line winds on radar) that hit us gave me a couple seconds notice. I saw the closed garage door bulging inward toward me and thought somebody was backing a car into it. By the time the howl hit my ears I had just enough time to sprint into the house and jump in the bathtub. Other family members were already there. It was over almost as fast as it started, leaving telephone poles leaning West over the road, and sending a large wooden shed North East into another house behind us. Fortunately everything seemed to happen around our house.
  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Most people don't want to/feel they can't risk losing their jobs by just taking a vacation because "it's going to rain". Plus, these days, you miss 3-5 days of school like that, and they can flunk you for the whole year and put you back a grade. And some people just don;t care.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Your hurricane warning notice should start the day you move ton the coast. It's only a matter of time.
    Tornadoes can be up to 30 minutes. Just depends on how big they are. You still get some little ones that touch down with little if any warning tear stuff up for a few seconds and they are gone.
    Straight line winds, micro burst and rear flank down draft can be much more damaging then a small short lived tornado.
    sec_monkey and Sgt Nambu like this.
  15. Capt. Tyree

    Capt. Tyree Hawkeye

    To dovetail with what @ tacmotusn said above, the Houston mayor was saying there was no need for a mass evacuation of Houston (4.5 million people in the Harris County metroplex), because at the time of his statement the worst that Harvey was expected to be was a Cat 2 hurricane headed for the Corpus Christi area ( about 3.5 hours drive away) from Houston. He stated that you have to have a viable destination, and the necessary resources (fuel, food, water, bathrooms) along the route of travel for large amounts of population before you mandate that they evacuate. Harvey became a Cat 4 very late in the approach to landfall. It's slow forward progress, and meandering route of travel aggravated the flooding and wind damage.

    Most of us in Harris County still recall the horror stories of The Great Hurricane Rita Bug Out of 2005. Rita was looking like it was going to make landfall at the Houston ship channel. The panic was palpable as people recalled the images of the New Orleans floods from Hurricane Katrina only a month previous. They superimposed the visual of Katrina upon what they thought Rita was going to do to Houston (totally different land topography). Rita made a late turn toward the northeast away from Houston, making landfall about at the TX-LA state line. We still received a solid dose of Rita's storm effects, but not the direct hit, or even being on the eastern or "dirty" side of the storm.

    In the meantime there were hundreds of thousands of people needlessly displaced from their homes, becoming self-imposed refugees, and having difficulty being able to get back to their homes, because authorities were doing rescue, and protecting property, thereby limiting access to the area. In fact, more people died while participating in the Rita Bug Out than were killed by the actual storm and its after effects. Those who rode out the storm in their homes, were able to perform early clean-up / fix-up of their property, as well as look out for their neighbors' properties against looters.

    With all due respect to TX Gov Abbott, he should have said that people are free to evacuate voluntarily at any time, and that each household should analyze their situation, their property history in dealing with storms, as well as their personal means of travel when making such a decision. Hindsight indicates that a large part of the population in Corpus Christi and Rockport did evacuate, and wisely so.

    Evacuating for the varied nuances of a hurricane induced flood is a tougher problem to define until the conditions are closer to actually happening. Most self-reliant people (and there are a lot of us in Texas) are reluctant to run away from a problem when they know they are going to have to come back and fight or fix the issue later. As long as survival is feasible, most of us would rather ride out the storm, toughing out the near-term disaster, in order to be right on the scene for fixing and protecting that which we have worked so hard to build.

    Please don't get me wrong. I have evacuated for a storm; as well as hunkered down to ride another out. It's not a clear cut decision that a distant governing figure can mandate early in the situation. Flooding, however, is the "joker in the deck of cards," and is a problem I never relish facing. Remember, despite all the publicity on the flood victims in Texas because of Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey, most of the population, and their property survived just fine.
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  16. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have friends that were in the middle of all this that we have not been able to get ahold of ,assuming they were forced to go to a shelter. they stayed because of the looting last time, and lost so much then, more than that flood .

    I think that this is what we can expect in a SHTF situation. basically good people , whom are unprepared for what is to come, are forced to leave, and the dregs of humanity exploit the situation because that is what "they were prepared to do in" such a situation..
    All the more reason to have a secret room, a secure place that no one but you know where it is, nor how to get in .
    sec_monkey, Sgt Nambu and Gator 45/70 like this.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ed, buddy, You shouldn't give the NYC Mayor, School Board, and the parents to much grief on the 1960 Wx Alert Issue.... Remember that in the early 60s, it was BEFORE the invention of Wx Satellites, and Modern Space Based Wx Forecasting... Those Wx Folks couldn't see what was coming, and how it was moving, except by Ocean-Going Ship Wx Observations, which were reported by HF Radio... Things are an Order of Magnitude better today...
    ED GEiN and Sgt Nambu like this.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    The people in Houston are probably like me.
    Too hardheaded and stupid to leave.
    I've been in probably 20 hurricanes/tropical storms
    I'm well seasoned!
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  19. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Friend was well seasoned, prepared, very careful about everything and got himself killed in a minor thunderstorm by a tree falling on his car while caught in traffic behind a power line down in the road. When Murphy strikes, all bets are off. Most of us survive to an old age by luck or God's will, your opinion may vary as to which, but I have buried several friends over the years who were killed in accidents doing the same things I have done all my life. Please be careful, there is a big difference between 20 years experience and one days experience repeated every day for 20 years. Some things, stallions, bulls, boars, falling trees, bad weather, rising water, bad health, bad people, etc just are beyond my ability to control and I tend to be very careful around them. I will be 80 my next birthday and am pulling stumps with my tractor today, you may try something else, but I pray to God and then try to give him all the aid I can in staying out of trouble and so far it has worked for me.
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I attribute my survival to God.
    Not by accident but deliberately seeking God's instruction in as much as is necessary .
    Known the lord for 60 years almost, and learned to walk in His will since I was 20.
    I'm not perfect, but I'm still working at it.
    My weakness require His intervention for which I am heavily indebted .
    The events God has given me instruction averting disaster are numerious , and those events Gods warning was ignored I learned the hard way ,STOP IGNORING GOD.
    Human nature still wants to run ahead of things , hence I am not given to foretell the future only anticipate the worst case scenario and prepare my self both spiritually and physically and trusting God will see me through besides what I have set aside .
    Others are a part of the program, whether they believe in God or not , and will need help .
    I depend on God for instruction to whom and how much help is expected .God has given me a lot , but not just to accumulate it all unto my self.
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