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Tornadoes in the South

No really more about my experience with the tornadoes in Huntsville Al.

For those who know a little about me , we, the wife and I, got through the day from hell, with only minimal structural damage due to straight line winds to our home and NO physical injuries at all.

Took some 4 hours, after daylight, to get to safe place where there was power and no risk of interfering with the search and rescue effort. That 4 hours included spending over 2 hours going 6 city blocks within the subdivision chopping trees as we went. And all this was in an area where there was NO tornadoes.

Some observations related to Disaster Recovery during a tornado outbreak

1. No need to put yourself or anybody that you feel some degree of responsibility to in harms way.

IMO because the majority of these tornadoes, this time, was during daylight hours the amount of injures should have been much lower. If you are NOT a professional storm chaser get the hell out of the way. Several incidents Wednesday where the local media was showing reporters driving into or parked right in the path of these storms.

2. Shelter when you are in a tornado’s path.

Wasn’t a single tornado during the heartbreak in Huntsville where the National Weather Service and or the local media was not providing clear and concise location, direction, and size for any of the 1/2 dozen or so tornadoes that visited our fine community and providing at least 15 minutes notice. Apparently one of the larger tornadoes was a whole 1/2 mile wide If I have a plan I suspect that maybe I could almost run that distance if it came down to saving my life. A Caveat, with this outbreak 2 or 3, at least in the Huntsville area storms took almost the identical path(my understanding very unusual) so the warning system would NOT as been as good for the second or third storm for those people directly impacted.

3. Know how to shelter.

Know where the safest place is in the house or wherever you are at, and practice getting there, especially if you are in that location regularly and practice it when it is dark inside the building. If the plan is for your family of 6 is to go to the bathroom, figure out how you are going to all get in there, but probably more realistically would perhaps plan for multiple locations, but practice will show that. Just going to the lower inner room is probably not got going to do too much for your life, know what you have got to do to protect your body as much as possible.

4. Know what to shelter:

Haven’t heard of any tornado outbreaks that didn’t have days of general warnings, and specific warning can be as long 30 minutes. If you need special medicine to survive maybe you ought to pre-store said medicine in your shelter. Don’t forget money, and personal ID. Don’t get carried away and bring all your photo albums, bills, credit cards, all your medications.

Sort of related would be pets… Yes I know pets are important but practice sheltering all and make sure that you are not putting you and others you love at risk so you can bring your favorite goldfish through the disaster.

I am hoping to post a few follow-ups to this “blog” including what to do AFTER the storm(s), the significant role social media can and should play, and infrastructure issues that I observed.

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