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Tornado Preparedness?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tracy, May 24, 2008.

  1. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I don't live in tornado country. I've seen the devastating effects on television and can't imagine the horrific scene it must be in real life.

    I'm guessing that, though a lot of our methods and emergency items are alike, each of us has different preps in relation to our local dangers. I don't think that I could live in an area with a high probability of tornadoes.

    I was wondering; How does one prepare for a tornado? Do most homes have storm cellars? Tell me your tornado tales.
  2. 13BRAVO

    13BRAVO "Hit the ground running!"

    To sum it up in one sentence.....bend over, put your head between your legs, and kiss your a$$ goodbye. No, seriously....In Oklahoma we have excellent weathermen and storm trackers that give us plenty of time to seek shelter. Since May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado came thru Oklahoma City, a lot of Oklahoman's have put in storm shelters....others just find a closet and cover up with pillows and blankets. You can access www.fema.gov to learn more about seeking shelter from adverse weather. The closest I have come was about 1 mile from the edge of one. It's an awesome experience to see what Mother Nature can do....but it's a horrible feeling to have to live thru one.
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    My wife called last week to say that a tornado had passed close enough to fell several trees along the drive including one in our front yard. WHen we were children, if it got cloudy, my Granny would make us all go to the storm cellar and wait it out. She knew to watch the weather and she knew first-hand, just what it can do. When I got older, I would scoff at hiding in a hole in the ground but now that I have helped clean after several bad ones, its "Off to the hole, I go..."
  4. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    About the closest we've had was about a mile from the house. At the time we knew the storms were bad but because we have buried power lines from the sub station to my house we never lost power, we were in the basement during that storm.

    The biggest issue be if you were in direct line and everything was lost, if all your preps were in one location you would loose everything you've worked for in one shot, and at the very time you need all the supplies.
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Most folks here have basements or at least a crawl space under their house if its a built in place house. If you have a sturdy place to be in a basement then you should come through fine or if you have a cellar. Liveing in tornado alley isnt all that bad. They CAN happen any time but mostly its in the spring you have to worry the most. WAY WAY more likely than being hit by a tornado is that you get just damaging winds from the thunder storms that take off a few shingles or blow over a weak tree or some such. When storms are passing through the weather men stay at the stations all night and keep you posted, you generaly know hours ahead if the portions of a storm likely to produce tornados will come near you. IF the storm dose produce a tornado/funnel cloud, it more often than not will never touch the ground or will touch down and within a few hundred yards go back up. IF it happens to touch down on your house then your house is most likely gone (tornados do STRANGE things that cant be predicted or duplicated) but we have had them hit several times with in 5 miles a just thought it was windy. On the rare occasions that one touches down and stays on the ground then the area it hits will be gone BUT even among these cases it is REAL rare to have one 1/4-1/2 mile wide and a couple of miles long. So in a most extream case it may shread an area 1/2 mile wide and 2 miles long and that may be in a rural area where it hits little other than trees or it can be in a populated area but either way you go a mile to one side or the other and at MOST a few shingles may be tore off or limbs blown out of trees but structures are fine.

    My basic point being that while IF you take a direct hit then other than being in a cellar or basement you are screwed and the house (in a direct hit) almost certainly will be gone (a local guy had his large 2 story house picked up off the foundation, moved a foot to the side then sat down in tact and barn exploded, so like I say unpredictable) BUT your odds of takeing a direct hit are slim and if it isnt a direct hit you are not likely to have hardly any problems at all. Not like a huricane that covers a path hundreds of miles across.

    To be well prepared for them you basicly have a large cellar stocked with food and water, means to do without lights for a few days when needed and have a NOAA weather radio. Hide in the cellar if there are tornado produceing storms in the area and surviving it is almost certain, just property COULD be lost.

    For me it beats earthquake prone areas, areas with lots of forest fires and huricanes and so on.
  6. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Been through five of them. They are just like anything else, know the signs, have a plan, execute your plan. The weather forcasting is much better than it ever was when I was a kid, so kinda easy to know when they are coming now. The biggest problem is that the weather forcasters get excited and everything starts looking like a tornado anymore.
    Usually, you can hear them coming if you are looking for them. You get a loud rumbling that doesn't go away. Three of the ones that I have lived through, the weather gets strangely calm right before they smack you. On one, the sky turned the most beautiful emerald green.
    As others have said, the midwesterners typically have basements, and if you prepare when you build your house, you can either get a storm shelter, or corner built in your basement, rigid enough that the house can't collapse on you. I built mine and made it into my gun fault, dual purpose. I have numerous blankets, flashlights, weather radio, books for the kids, cell phone, all the amenities necessary to get through.
    When the siren goes off or you get the idea a tornado is coming, you head for the basement, get everyone bedded down, then do what is natural in every man's blood, go outside to see if you can see it coming. Even has a name, Tornado Prarie Dogging, can you see it, can you see it. Men have a natural instinct to know when enough is enough and to head inside, kinda neat to see!
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    lol yup, one of them that hit about 3 miles away was while I was working in the garden a couple years ago. Since we dont have a cellar yet or basement and live in a mobile home (the natural food source of tornadoes), then when theres supposed to be one comeing I generaly head out to the pourch to see if I can see it.
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