Tornadoes: Just Wind, Right?

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By Missy Saila on April 5, 2012, 2:54pm

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Tornado Warnings. Not something I really want to think about. The warnings are no joke, annoying - yes they can be - but they can also save your life. Whether it is a severe T-Storm Watch or a Tornado Warning it is something to stop and pay attention to.

A Tornado is just wind, granted wind that is kicked up like a jet engine on steroids. Think about it, in an instant that gentle breeze caressing your face given the right conditions can whip a tractor trailer into the air like blowing on a dandelion. I couldn't believe my eyes when watching some of the footage of the Tornadoes in Texas.

With that in mind, when I hear warnings my actions are torn between peering out the window or the garage to the safety of my son and our furry felines inside. Of course when my son was much younger, his safety overtook any desire to be an active participant in the wild weather. Now that he is older my desire to be in the midst of the maelstrom has grown back to pretty much where it was before I had him. That excited flutter way down deep that makes your toes curl never left, it may have been replaced for a while but never left!

Anyway, there was one time we had a terrible storm and my son was maybe 11 years old. I grabbed my scanner and hit the WX button as I saw the skies turn into pea soup. There was a tornado warning for my area!! OH Goodie!!! Wait... Oh NO!!!

All of a sudden there was a faceoff: Old Me (the wild eyed risk taking weather fanatic) and Mama Duke (sassy mild mannered mom only thinking of the safety of her son) facing the screaming BEEP BEEP BEEP and robot voice of the severe WX Alert urging to take cover.

Old Me disappeared and Mama Duke flew into action.

Some safety precautions I took were getting my kid, scanner, some snacks, water as well as the cats (Pookie and Maxi) to the basement. We hunkered down in a pile of blankets. The cutest thing ever was what my son had done... he was sitting on top of an overturned laundry basket. He proudly pointed below his butt "Look mom, I'm keeping the cats safe." Yes, they were surprisingly content trapped in safety under the basket while he sat cross-legged on top of it. I still have no idea how he got them both under there.

Some questions to ask yourself: If I am affected by severe weather, what will I need to survive? Where will I ride it out? How will I get information? How will I get in touch with my loved ones? Where will we meet if it is a worst case scenario? What about pets? What would I grab if I only had a few moments to get out of my home? Where are my important papers? Banking info, insurance, phone numbers? (If you are like me, all my contacts are on my phone and not in my head anymore. What happens if the battery goes dead and I have no way to charge it?) Medications, candles, matches, I could go on…

Not pleasant to think about but in reality, we should all have an emergency plan. One way I think about what I would need is by reviewing my day from start to finish, what do I use, do, need on a daily basis, what can I do without and what are things that I use so often that I don't even consider them? The things that you would be so sorry you forgot about…like toothpaste, toilet paper and things you use without thinking about until they are not available.

Take a few moments out of your day and write down things that you really cannot live without. (I'm not talking about your iPod or 200 pair of shoes) From there, make your emergency list. It may seem all dramatic right now seeing that out my window is blue skies and a cool breeze... but it can change fast. You don't want to be caught with your pants down do you!?

Thanks again for stopping by for a bit more sobering article and have a great holiday weekend! Hug someone!

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Missy Saila

Town: Derby, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since February 2012.

Articles: 26

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