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Even weather geeks need to take cover!
April 18, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
Most of my week has been dedicated to covering Severe Weather Awareness week. Being a weather nut, I've found it interesting for myself, but I also hope it's helping inform you - the readers - on how to keep yourselves safe from these weather events.
Some steps should be obvious. But unfortunately with the popularity of shows such as "Storm Chasers," now everyone with a smartphone that can follow weather radar and take video seems to think they're a storm chaser. Not smart, people! Storms are unpredictable, and can rapidly intensify, redevelop or shift courses, leaving you at ground zero! Leave the storm-spotting to the trained professionals...
One of the complaints I heard was from a person who lives by one of the busier intersections in town. "The last time we had the sirens go off, we had one of the worst traffic jams I've seen," he said. "And all of them were trying to head out to where the storm was, not to take cover." These things are called "WARNINGS" for a reason! Even if there's no tornado with it, hail, winds and lightning can do plenty of damage and possibly kill. (Check out the photo of the melon-sized hailstorm that was reported from Kansas last weekend! You want that falling on your head at 90 mph while you're out gawking?! Didn't think so...) I admit curiosity gets the best of me sometimes, and I wanna see the show Mother Nature is putting on for us. But is that show worth your life or well-being?
Another thing, don't forget to check on and update that emergency supply kit. I did that this weekend and found a can of formula, a bag of diapers, and baby clothes. Considering my youngest is almost five (and finally potty trained, thank God!) an update was in order. That, and I discovered that while I had matches and candles, I had nothing to strike the matches on. Oops.
Tomorrow is the tornado drill day, and hopefully some people will actually think about what they should do if the Big One is bearing down on them, instead of just ignoring the sirens until the windows start rattling. Do you have a plan at your workplace? At your home? Just something for you to think about before it's crunch time...
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A TV station in Kansas featured this "hailstone" that fell during the tornado outbreak seen last weekend.