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Recent Tornados - Questions from a dumb CA girl...


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I have always lived in the west so these kinds of things are completely foreign to me--so forgive my honest ignorance here.

 

I was just reading an amazing story about the baby found alive in a field. What I don't understand (and here is the ignorance) is why were some people were not under cover if they knew that tornadoes were in the area? I do not ask this because I blame these poor people - not in the least. I don't understand how there are people like Kelli in TN, who knew the tornadoes were coming and knew where they would go, and then there were people taken completely by surprise.

 

Now I realize not everyone listens to the radio or watches TV or has the internet, but in the story I linked to one of the people said they were watching storm coverage on their TV and one of them hit their house right then. Was there no indication in the weather outside their home? Why were they not in hiding or whatever? Did the tornadoes happen so suddenly in some areas that folks had no time?

 

I *really* don't know - that is why I am asking honest questions here as I have no experience with this.

 

Earthquakes? Been there done that, but I just don't know much about the workings of tornadoes.

 

Thanks for any clarification.

Warmly,

Kate

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I can't answer for everyone, but tornadoes can be really unpredictable. They can jump over some houses and go on to destroy 20 miles of property, then jump again.

 

I've personally been away from home during some tornado warnings. In one case, I was in a college class. This was before the age of cell phones, the Internet, etc., so none of us knew things were that bad (we just thought there was a storm). The tornado hit a mile away.

 

In another instance, I was a couple hours away from home, shopping and stuff. We were listening to CDs in the car, and saw it really cloud up. But it wasn't until we got home and saw the news later that there was a tornado spotted just 5 miles away!

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I have always lived in the west so these kinds of things are completely foreign to me--so forgive my honest ignorance here.

 

I was just reading an amazing story about the baby found alive in a field. What I don't understand (and here is the ignorance) is why were some people were not under cover if they knew that tornadoes were in the area? I do not ask this because I blame these poor people - not in the least. I don't understand how there are people like Kelli in TN, who knew the tornadoes were coming and knew where they would go, and then there were people taken completely by surprise.

 

Now I realize not everyone listens to the radio or watches TV or has the internet, but in the story I linked to one of the people said they were watching storm coverage on their TV and one of them hit their house right then. Was there no indication in the weather outside their home? Why were they not in hiding or whatever? Did the tornadoes happen so suddenly in some areas that folks had no time?

 

I *really* don't know - that is why I am asking honest questions here as I have no experience with this.

 

Earthquakes? Been there done that, but I just don't know much about the workings of tornadoes.

 

Thanks for any clarification.

Warmly,

Kate

 

There are a lot of Tornado Watches and Warnings in the South. So it can become somewhat like the boy who cried wolf. I'm of the mindset that if it's a warning, I'm hunkered down in my parent's master bath with my family (I no longer live there, but last time we were delayed in leaving because of Tornado Warnings).

 

Also, some people have TVs that are portable so they can watch from their shelter place. There aren't basements, usually, in the south, either, so you are typically on your main level in a hallway closet, or bathroom. And my parents have a TV in their master bath, so we'd be watching until the power went out.

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There are a lot of Tornado Watches and Warnings in the South. So it can become somewhat like the boy who cried wolf.

 

That's very true. I hate to admit it but I watch Desperate Housewives. Their tornado episode was a little ridiculous, because they were all running to the store to stock up on supplies because of a tornado watch. You could have tornado watches every single day in the spring but never have a single warning (which is when an actual tornado is spotted). So, it's easy to get lazy about the whole thing.

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I've lived in a few tornado-prone states.

 

In Oklahoma, Gary England on Channel 9 can pretty much tell you what street the tornado is coming down. His coverage is amazing, and the best. (In part because of their equipment, in part because of Gary England's experience, and in part because there is a huge network of spotters in Oklahoma.)

 

In Texas, we'd get a tornado WARNING when a tornado was IN THE COUNTY. Anywhere in the county. It was often several minutes before we'd get more specific information about WHERE the suspected tornado was.

 

A tornado signature can be seen on doppler radar, but that is not always *proof* that there is a tornado. Often they will give a warning when they see the signature, but not until a spotter on the ground sees a funnel, or until tornado damage is reported, do we know if there is actually a tornado, or precisely where it is.

 

They are unpredictable and slippery.

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Oh my goodness... what is with weatherman names?

 

"In Oklahoma, Gary England on Channel 9 can pretty much tell you what street the tornado is coming down. His coverage is amazing, and the best. (In part because of their equipment, in part because of Gary England's experience, and in part because there is a huge network of spotters in Oklahoma.)"

 

These are some of the names of weathermen that I've come across either while living somewhere or visiting somewhere...

 

Bob English

Bob French

Bob German

and now... Gary England (is he your weather anchor?)

 

Sorry. I just found this too funny! :p

 

 

When we lived in Texas (6 years for me, 10 for dh) I could not understand why people did not have basements. Of all places... Here everyone has a basement and while tornadoes do happen every couple of years, they are less common.

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I'm in Nashville, TN. Most people I know do not have a basement. Some of the older homes do, few newer homes do. I live in a 60 year old home, we do not have a basement. What basements there are, being in a hilly state, well, sorry, Kelli in TN, your side of the state isn't, what people call basements are often times partial basements, meaning, it's a basement on one end of the house, but the other side is ground level due to the slope of the lot. That would describe 70% of the "basements" in my very old historic neighborhood.

 

Interestingly, one of the news stations had a weather special after our last batch in the late 90's about basements and tornados. BAsically, the upshot was, a basement is helpful, and could save your life, but many people die in their basement from tornados because their house collapses on top of them and kills them. The general rule is, if you have a basement, you still need to be under a table,workbench or something, to protect yourself from falling (or usually, shooting) debris.

 

The middle TN area installed tornado sirens after the last batch of really bad tornadoes, 1998? Our sirens were going off for hours that night. When they go off, that means your county is affected, but it could be on the other side of the county. But that is really irrelavent.

 

So, you know you may have a potential tornado, what do you do? If you don't have a basement, you go to the central part of your home, away from windows and pray. You really pray because a tornado could take your roof off only, just blow out some windows (from the air pressure), uproot trees in your front yard, could take out 1/2 of your house and leave the rest completely undisturbed, or as one house did here the other night, the entire house was moved off it's foundation and move hundreds of yards away, but in tact. Many homes are just completely destroyed and there is nothing left but foundation blocks and debris.

 

So, what do you do? Many of these people live in rural communites, and your nearest neighbor isn't that close. And your neighbor doesn't have a basement either. So you just do the only thing you can do, and go mid house and just pray.

 

And tornadoes can jump around. We were in dead line for the really destructive tornado as it come through Nashville. It was very destructive south of us, kind of skipped over Nashville proper and touched back down north of NAshville. Some say the taller buildings in town tend to diffuse touchdowns, I don't know.

 

Yes, the baby in the field. I don't what category the baby's parents were in. I don't know if they didn't know (I don't know how you could not have because all radio and tv programs were preempted for constant weather coverage, andat least advisories were running at the bottom of the screen for cable programs. And the tornado sirens, sersiously, were non stop in the Nashville area are from 915pm until roughly 230am. All I can guess, is that baby's parents had no where else to go, and their house was blown away, with them in it and God was merciful, and saved that baby. Stranger things have happened.

 

I hope this is helpful to understand the unpredictable nature of tornados. A friend of mine moved from here and now lives in Kansas. Being in torando alley, every home has a basement, period. Not here.

 

I lived on the west coast one year, with many aftershocks of the last big one in SFO, hated it. I'm from the Texas Gulf Coast and dealt with hurricanes growing up. I can't decide what's worse, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes, lol.

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Oh my goodness... what is with weatherman names?

 

"In Oklahoma, Gary England on Channel 9 can pretty much tell you what street the tornado is coming down. His coverage is amazing, and the best. (In part because of their equipment, in part because of Gary England's experience, and in part because there is a huge network of spotters in Oklahoma.)"

 

These are some of the names of weathermen that I've come across either while living somewhere or visiting somewhere...

 

Bob English

Bob French

Bob German

and now... Gary England (is he your weather anchor?)

 

Sorry. I just found this too funny! :p

 

 

When we lived in Texas (6 years for me, 10 for dh) I could not understand why people did not have basements. Of all places... Here everyone has a basement and while tornadoes do happen every couple of years, they are less common.

 

I'm from Oklahoma and yes, Gary England is *the* meterologist for Oklahoma, *everybody* watches Gary England. He's not just a weather anchor though, he's an actual meterologist.

 

When one of the biggest tornados on record (with the highest wind speeds ever recorded on earth) hit my home town (I was living in Germany at the time, this is what I've heard from people) no telling how many lives he saved. They usually say "get in the center of your house, stay in your home" and such. However, that day he went on tv and basically said "if you can't get below ground, get in your car and drive away from the storm because if it hits your house, there isn't going to be anything left."

 

eta: debbie mentioned all the homes in tornado alley having basements-not so. Almost no homes in Oklahoma have basements because the bedrock is too high, they'd have to dynamite in most areas to put in a basement.

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This is really not an unusual occurance, except that the baby survived.

 

In the tornadoes of 99 there was one family huddled in their "safe" room and the tornado grabbed a boy of about 11 years. His dad held onto him and the dad and the tornado played tug of war with this child's body. The dad won.

 

In Oklahoma (I think) the tornado snatched a baby right out of the mother's arms while the family huddled in their "safe" room. Nobody else was hurt, the baby was never found.

 

We know it is coming. The vast majority of us do not have basements, contractors simply do not build basements in this area, so unless you can build a custom home, you will probably be faced with the following choices "Honey , where do you think is best? Hallway, closet, or bathroom?"

 

We use our hallway, we put the children (and the dogs:rolleyes:) in the middle of the hallway, we cover them with pillows and quilts and make them scrunch down. We sit on either side of them and when we hear it grow quiet outside we tell them we love them, warn them to hang onto our arms no matter what and then we pray. And wait. We take nothing for granted and we never assume that we will survive. Thus far it has never been my house, but I never assume anything.

 

That's how we do tornadoes in Tennessee.

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These are some of the names of weathermen that I've come across either while living somewhere or visiting somewhere...

 

Bob English

Bob French

Bob German

and now... Gary England (is he your weather anchor?)

 

Sorry. I just found this too funny! :p

 

 

That is too funny!

 

He is not my weather anchor. I have no idea what the guy's name is, here. I don't need him, lol. But once you've lived in the OKC area, you remember Gary. Forever.

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I've lived in a few tornado-prone states.

 

In Oklahoma, Gary England on Channel 9 can pretty much tell you what street the tornado is coming down. His coverage is amazing, and the best. (In part because of their equipment, in part because of Gary England's experience, and in part because there is a huge network of spotters in Oklahoma.)

 

.

 

 

We have one of those! Ours is Dave Brown in Memphis. I just panic when the power goes off and I can't hear Dave's voice!!!

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We use our hallway, we put the children (and the dogs:rolleyes:) in the middle of the hallway, we cover them with pillows and quilts and make them scrunch down. We sit on either side of them and when we hear it grow quiet outside we tell them we love them, warn them to hang onto our arms no matter what and then we pray. And wait. We take nothing for granted and we never assume that we will survive. Thus far it has never been my house, but I never assume anything.

 

That's how we do tornadoes in Tennessee.

 

OH, Kelli, I just cannot imagine. I am all teary thinking of it. God be praised you made it through. I am so glad you did.

 

Warmly,

Kate

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I hope this is helpful to understand the unpredictable nature of tornados. A friend of mine moved from here and now lives in Kansas. Being in torando alley, every home has a basement, period. Not here.

 

I lived on the west coast one year, with many aftershocks of the last big one in SFO, hated it. I'm from the Texas Gulf Coast and dealt with hurricanes growing up. I can't decide what's worse, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes, lol.

 

Yes, it does help me a great deal to understand it all. I think you are all terribly brave, honestly. Earthquakes are so few and far between and even the really big ones are so short and cause relatively little damage. I was in the Loma Prieta one in the Bay Area in 1989 and while it was terrifying, it didn't leave the kind of damage we see every year with tornadoes. Perhaps I am more comfortable with them because they are so infrequent or maybe it is because I grew up with them. Hard to know really, but tornadoes and hurricanes are utterly terrifying to me.

 

You are all wonderfully brave and I am so grateful to God that He brought you all through it.

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

 

Warmly,

Kate

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We have no basement, no cralwspace and no neighbors who do. I admit, am really afraid of the next storms to come through. I wasn't that afraid until the one in Jan and now the other night.

 

Are they that unusual in your area that the builders don't make the space when house-planning? I remember a friend of ours moving to OK and they were moving to a newer house that did not have a basement. I could not believe it. Is that ususal?

 

Kate

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I think it's the norm. I am new to the south so I was floored when I learned there are no shelters.

 

To the best of my knowledge it is the norm. Older homes have basements and some higher price homes have them. But the majority of people I know are middle class and basements are rare.

 

I don't know if it is to save money or perhaps the clay soil with an abundance of underground streams makes it hard to dig basements. I am as perplexed as anyone.

 

There are no public shelters for riding out a tornado, there ARE shelters for displaced people AFTER the tornado.

 

You just hunker down and pray.

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Older homes have basements and some higher price homes have them. But the majority of people I know are middle class and basements are rare.

 

Is it unusual for you to have tornadoes? If I recall, not all that long ago TN had another one, right? I know TN is a fairly wide state so there is a lot of territory in TN, but if it is not unusual for them to happen there, I am surprised more homes don't have them.

 

I am also surprised there are no other places for folks to take shelter. I am just so glad you are OK. I was following your thread that night and was really feeling for you all. :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

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I was going to come back on and add some thoughtful reflective thing on tornados and how you aptly said that you never assume you are going to come out of it alive is true (except for my husband who was born and raised in West Texas and loves the thrill of it all too much to be too alarmed. He would have made a great storm chaser because he thrives on danger).

 

But the fact that we don't have storm shelters but shelters AFTER the storm ~ ha! So true, so ironic and sadly funny! :o

 

What I was going to add, (like anyone cares, but I'm trying to improve my keyboarding skills since I NEVER use spellcheck) ~ is this ~ you are right, you never assume you will come out on the other end of a night like that, but you also are painfully aware some people won't, it's just a matter of who and where. Kind of like a bad lottery ~

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Well, interestly, I had a guy from the NWS (National Weather Service) come and do a powerpoint presentation for one of my tutorial science classes and he mentioned that the powers that be, reconfigure the Tornado Alley map every so many years. TN apparantly, (I've only lived here 15 years, Kelli in TN, may have to correct me), doesn't have a long history of tornados except in the last 10-15 years or so. But, the NWS guy said that with the new high tornado zones, at least West TN will be included in the readjusted maps zones and probably up to about middle TN just west of Nashville. (sorry Kelli).

 

At least gowing up in Houston, my parents used to pack us up and drive inland to some property we had near central TExas just to avoid the flooding. At least we had advance notice to DO something.

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With this particular line of storms, the front was moving so extremely quickly that sometimes the tornadoes were hitting as the sirens were going off to warn of them. And no, you don't get a lot of lead time, in general, on tornadoes, anyway. They can come down out of a cloud bank and go back up before they touch the ground, after a few seconds, a few minutes, etc.

 

Some of the really large ones do sometimes stay down on the ground for a longer period of time and leave a huge path of destruction. But it's more the norm to see a house down here, the one beside it just fine, 3 in a row gone, the ones across the street untouched, etc.

 

And if you don't have a basement, even getting into an interior room is no guarantee that you won't be sucked into the storm and blown away. But by the same token, getting blown away doesn't always mean the end of you - tornadoes sometimes set folks down pretty much unscathed....

 

Even basements are not fullproof. I know of instances of stuff being sucked right out of them.....

 

Regena

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Hi, Kate --

 

As a former Sacramento girl, I would much rather ride through an earthquake than a tornado. Weather's nicer out there, too -- but you can keep the taxes. ;-)

 

In our case, there's just no where to go, unless you're watching the storms and see that something is coming your way and you can go some place where it *isn't* going. We had to do that three times last spring. The storm was going straight north -- so we ran over to the town in the east and camped at Taco Bell for a few hours.

 

When we moved here, we had no idea what we were getting into. Two years later, a tornado came through and leveled several of the major businesses in the area, not to mention many homes. A few months later, one of my neighbors, who has lived here for years, asked *me* where to go if a tornado threatens!

 

Tornadoes and spiders are the only things my son is terrified of, so I have to keep my cool and act like everything's okay -- and watch watch watch.

 

I did have the bulldozers come out to dig me a hole for a "root cellar" and everyone made fun of me. I tried for two years to hire someone to come out and do the work to finish it and couldn't get a single person or company to do the work -- but that's not unusual around here.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that, out here, no one has regular TV -- it's satellite or nothing. So once the weather gets really bed, the signal is blocked by the clouds and you don't know what's going on. I haven't found a radio yet that will get a decent signal at my house no matter what the weather. With the trees and hills, if one ever hit here, I wouldn't know it until after the house was gone.

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As a former Sacramento girl, I would much rather ride through an earthquake than a tornado. Weather's nicer out there, too -- but you can keep the taxes. ;-)

 

This made me laugh. NO kidding, sister! :)

 

When we moved here, we had no idea what we were getting into.
This is why I asked! I was born and raised here and really just didn't know!

 

I did have the bulldozers come out to dig me a hole for a "root cellar" and everyone made fun of me. I tried for two years to hire someone to come out and do the work to finish it and couldn't get a single person or company to do the work -- but that's not unusual around here.

 

Did you ever get it done?? That is astonishing that people made fun of you! "Oh that silly CA girl.." !!

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that, out here, no one has regular TV -- it's satellite or nothing. So once the weather gets really bed, the signal is blocked by the clouds and you don't know what's going on. I haven't found a radio yet that will get a decent signal at my house no matter what the weather. With the trees and hills, if one ever hit here, I wouldn't know it until after the house was gone.

 

Sooo what do you do? I mean this is scary stuff to me, but I live in the burbs with no country living for quite a ways away from me. Wow, just...wow~!

 

Thanks for sharing. :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

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A cop found a muddy baby in a *tree*.

 

Alive, and unhurt.

 

The video (from the police vehicle, as he sat her on the hood and checked her) was amazing. I used to have a link to the YouTube video, but I guess I lost it. Can't find it now.

 

I don't know about Tennessee, et al, but Oklahoma houses don't generally have basements (has to do with the soil here). And as Stephanie said...Gary England usually tells us what's what. :o) (Remember him, from Twister? Actual footage of him. A generation of Okies has grown up listening to his weather warnings). But when you have as many warnings as we have...sometimes it's hard to be glued to the TV and home near shelter *every time*. You'd never go anywhere, in the spring, lol.

 

I feel for the places that don't regularly have tornadoes (tornados?), because I'm sure that sometimes, it's just a matter of not having the news on, or knowing when a situation is really serious. Even where tornadoes are regular things, it's not always a given that everyone is prepared. They're just deadly.

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A cop found a muddy baby in a *tree*.

Alive, and unhurt.

 

Well if you ever find that video, you let me know. That is utterly amazing to me.

 

I know what you mean about having to live your life. These circumstances seemed more, I don't know, big to me or something. I mean *I* knew about them here, you know? But that is why I asked - because I just don't know how it works. :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

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Oops, sorry. I think this is like the time I freaked out the lady on the plane about changing seats, commenting that I was sure it wouldn't matter to anyone, unless we went down and they were trying to identify us by our seat number.....

 

Sorry!

 

I lived through that awful night's outbreak in 1974 when there were more tornadoes through the middle of the country in one, 24 hour period than at any other time in history. We were still finding stuff thrown up in weird places out in the parks surrounding our homelands for 10 years after. The stories that came out of that night, and the things I saw afterward won't ever leave me....

 

But why be freaked out when, as you and Marin have said so eloquently: Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake? We are here for a moment or a hundred years, yet by His Grace. And it is only when He takes us away from here, that we will realize fully that grace, as an awakening for all eternity....

 

Regena

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We have one of those! Ours is Dave Brown in Memphis. I just panic when the power goes off and I can't hear Dave's voice!!!

 

I was so happy to see him when I was watching the storms the other night online. He's been on the air ever since I can remember, and I'm always happy to see him when I'm home. I think he did a weather station tour with one of my brother's early elementary classes before 1985.

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I am really not unhinged, but the idea of all that happening in front of me is really not something I want to ever experience. I find it amazing that anyone does, honestly.

But why be freaked out when, as you and Marin have said so eloquently: Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake? We are here for a moment or a hundred years, yet by His Grace. And it is only when He takes us away from here, that we will realize fully that grace, as an awakening for all eternity....

 

OH, absolutely 100% true. :) What a lovely lovely way to end that post. And so I will too.

 

Warmly,

Kate

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Are they that unusual in your area that the builders don't make the space when house-planning? I remember a friend of ours moving to OK and they were moving to a newer house that did not have a basement. I could not believe it. Is that ususal?

 

Kate

 

I mentioned it on the first page but the reason there aren't any basements in Oklahoma is the soil is very thin and the bedrock is high. You'd practically have to dynamite to put in a basement in most areas.

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Is it unusual for you to have tornadoes? If I recall, not all that long ago TN had another one, right? I know TN is a fairly wide state so there is a lot of territory in TN, but if it is not unusual for them to happen there, I am surprised more homes don't have them.

 

I am also surprised there are no other places for folks to take shelter. I am just so glad you are OK. I was following your thread that night and was really feeling for you all. :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

 

In Texas, the ground is too rocky, and the water table was too high where I lived, to make basements practical. The cost of getting them put into the ground would seriously jack up the price of the house. Rarely do you EVER see a basement in TX. When you do, it's likely a walk-out, that they built into the side of a hill.

 

If we had stayed any longer, I was going to fork over the $5000 for a storm shelter. That's $5000 just for a little 9x9 cement box dug into my back yard.

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It was in November 2006. The day had been very warm for November and very windy, but there were no signs of any incoming storms a tornado was the furtherest thing from peoples minds. That night we had our bedroom window open a crack and the blinds started hitting the window slightly so my dh got up and shut the window, a few minutes later one of my dc woke up because there nightlight went out, I just figured the bulb burnt out so I comforted him and put him back to bed. The next morning we woke up to a power outage, my dh said, 'something's going on I've been having ambulance sirens all night long!' I said, "nah, what could have happended?" Since our power was our phone wasn't working, we have a cordless. When my dh went to check his cell phone, he saw that my sister, and mother, who all live in a different state were calling frantikly to see if we were all right! We called them back and said we are fine, why? Well, you town was just hit by a tornando! We slept right through it, and it was only a half a mile away from our house!! Our town made national news and we were clueless as to what was going on. The tornado killed 21 people, and destroyed over 500 houses.

They said the tornado siren was going off but they aren't meant to wake people up from inside their houses, they are just to alert people outside to take cover! We were so thankful the tornado didn't turn our direction, we would have had no time to react. The tornado hit at like 2am, and traveled through 2 counties, it was later declared an F-5. Scary!

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I mentioned it on the first page but the reason there aren't any basements in Oklahoma is the soil is very thin and the bedrock is high. You'd practically have to dynamite to put in a basement in most areas.

 

I was asking Quiver in that particular post. It seems that many states have soil (or rock) that makes it difficult to do it. Since tornadoes hit so many different areas I was curious about hers. :)

 

(I did read your post.) :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

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No kidding! It was probably better you slept through it! A lot less stress! :)

 

SO glad you were OK though. I can only imagine what your family must have been thinking!!

 

Warmly,

Kate

 

My family was freaking out. There were trying to call us for about 4 hours! They were thinking we were buried under a bunch of rumble. My sister was calling all the area hospitals looking for us. I felt so bad when we finally called them back. We really had no idea of the devastion! When we saw how close it came to our house we were just in shock that we didn't hear a thing, except the blinds hitting the window. I'm sure that was the time the tornado hit. :eek:

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A very close friend of mine lives in our downtown area. In 2003 these storms took out our downtown. Her family never woke up throughout the whole scenario!!!

 

She finally woke up in the wee hours of the morning, bothered by a neighborhood call alarm going off. She stepped out on her porch to see hwat was going on. The car alarm was going off because there was a tree limb on the car. She thought "hmmm. we got some strong winds" and went back to bed. It was the next day before she found out what had actually occurred a block from her house.

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When we lived in Texas (6 years for me, 10 for dh) I could not understand why people did not have basements. Of all places... Here everyone has a basement and while tornadoes do happen every couple of years, they are less common.

 

We've been in TX 16 yrs (gasp!) and still think it's peculiar that they don't have basements. It's due to the water table and the type of rock (limestone in some areas). I've been told it's less stable and much more expensive to drill basements because of this. BUmmer, b/c we could use the space and security of a tornado safety zone.

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We use our hallway, we put the children (and the dogs:rolleyes:) in the middle of the hallway, we cover them with pillows and quilts and make them scrunch down. We sit on either side of them and when we hear it grow quiet outside we tell them we love them, warn them to hang onto our arms no matter what and then we pray. And wait. We take nothing for granted and we never assume that we will survive. Thus far it has never been my house, but I never assume anything.

 

That's how we do tornadoes in Tennessee.

 

This is exactly what we do too and did Tuesday. We couldn't hear the sirens (not sure they even have them in the 'boro) I just had my eyes glued to the tv and when our county received its warning at 2 am I got everyone up and we went to our safe place. Thankfully we were completely missed but I know others were not as fortunate.:(

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Oh, Kate, and those of us who live in the south cringe over the thought of living on the San Andreas fault line, or with all the wild fires and mud slides that California endures. My husband has a cousin living out there and I think of them every time there's another round of menacing weather. We think of other peoples' weather as scary, because it's foreign to us; but it's the mundane for them. I bet you don't give a second thought to most earthquake activity, but we'd be completely freaked out by just the thought of it....

 

Regena

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you are right, you never assume you will come out on the other end of a night like that, but you also are painfully aware some people won't, it's just a matter of who and where. Kind of like a bad lottery ~

 

I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one who thinks that way. I sometimes worry that I am a paranoid and morbid.

 

I am not afraid of every storm, but sometimes you just know, you can feel it in the air. You know that a monster is brewing and the monster will consume someone that night. There is no place to hide, you cannot escape. You just wait and pray and make sure you have said everything you need to say to everyone you love.

 

It sounds morbid, but really it's not. It just is the way it is when the monster approaches your city.

 

We take our tornadoes very seriously here.

 

In fact, on Wednesday they were interviewing a TEMA person on CNN and she said something to the effect of "Well, there were less fatalities in Jackson because they have so many tornadoes that they know what to do"!! Sarah and I just busted out laughing, yep, there's our claim to fame! We know how to do tornadoes, by golly!

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This is why I asked! I was born and raised here and really just didn't know!

 

I completely understood where you were coming from. I didn't "get it" either -- until the roof of the neighbor's shed was up in that big tree -- LOL!!

 

Did you ever get it done?? That is astonishing that people made fun of you! "Oh that silly CA girl.." !!

 

Nope. We used the hole for the stuff that was stripped out of this house when we were remodeling it and filled it back up. There were all kinds of problems with it, anyway, including the fact that it could have been used as a swimming pool six months out of the year. ;-)

 

And I'm very careful about mentioning that I'm from California. After that, you're wrong no matter what you say. So I tell 'em I was born in Idaho, and leave the California part out.

 

 

Sooo what do you do? I mean this is scary stuff to me, but I live in the burbs with no country living for quite a ways away from me. Wow, just...wow~!

 

All I can do is watch. That's really it. If I have a place to run to, and can do it safely, I do. I was only five minutes ahead of one last year.

 

We have a culvert -- yuck -- and a low spot in the yard that the "experts" tell us to hide in. We had a huge box of stuff in that spot two weeks ago when we had straight line winds and that stuff ended up all over the property, so we decided maybe we wouldn't do that! LOL! Although, it *was* all still here -- not two counties over.

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Oh, Kate, and those of us who live in the south cringe over the thought of living on the San Andreas fault line, or with all the wild fires and mud slides that California endures. My husband has a cousin living out there and I think of them every time there's another round of menacing weather. We think of other peoples' weather as scary, because it's foreign to us; but it's the mundane for them. I bet you don't give a second thought to most earthquake activity, but we'd be completely freaked out by just the thought of it....

 

Regena

 

I'm not Kate, but --

 

That stuff in the news is in southern California. Up north, like in Sacramento, you don't have all the mudslides, etc. We had a few earthquakes and some cracks in the walls, buildings swaying, that sort of thing. But nothing like they do in the south.

 

Oh -- and floods.

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Oh, Kate, and those of us who live in the south cringe over the thought of living on the San Andreas fault line, or with all the wild fires and mud slides that California endures. My husband has a cousin living out there and I think of them every time there's another round of menacing weather. We think of other peoples' weather as scary, because it's foreign to us; but it's the mundane for them. I bet you don't give a second thought to most earthquake activity, but we'd be completely freaked out by just the thought of it....

 

Regena

 

Yes, Kris is right in that the corner of CA I happen to live in (now) is a pretty safe place! It was not always this way because I lived in the Bay Area for years and that is where the Loma Prieta 1989 quake happened. And while we did have other quakes, they were not really all that big of a deal. Really it is Southern CA that has all the major issues. I am honestly quite grateful to live where I live. :+)

 

But I think you are right in the idea that the devil you know is not nearly as scary as the devil you don't! :)

 

Warmly,

Kate

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