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post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
How do those of you that live in Tornado Alley deal with it? We rarely get tornadoes in New England, but Wednesday afternoon we had some extremely severe storms and a funnel cloud was spotted in the town next to me. I heard on the news this morning that they confirmed it was a tornado. When the Tornado warning emergency alert came over the TV, I was terrified. I got Abby into her carrier and headed for the cellar until the threat passed.

I really don't know how some of you deal with it on a regular basis.
post #2 of 29
wow, that is scary! I didn't even know it was possible to get them in New England

I don't live in tornado alley, but I do live in a trailer park which, as you know, has a big bullseye for tornadoes on it in NE Ohio we get occasional tornadoes and 2 have hit within miles of me
post #3 of 29
I think we're "technically" in tornado alley, though we don't get them all that often. Honestly, I love them. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a storm chaser. Storms and tornadoes are fascinating to me. I've only ever witnessed an actual tornado once, although I've seen many funnel clouds.
post #4 of 29
I've lived though about 15 of them so they don't really bother me anymore. Just this summer we have had about 2-3 touch down around Platteville(where I live) and I don't even get away from the windows anymore. I just listen to the ESA come over the tv and then go back to watching what ever I was watching. It doesn't even phase me anymore.
post #5 of 29
I wonder the same thing about people who live where there are earthquakes! At least with tornados you get (most of the time) some warning and you can take cover, earthquakes just happen!
I also love storms and would love to be a storm chaser! CLosest I have ever been to a twister was about 2 blocks, where I used to live in Wiscosin with my ex.The weather bug on the computer started chirping with the warning, and after we got the animals (2 ferrets and one cat) into their carriers we ran outside to see if we could see it. (Please no one else do this, lol.) I ran back in to check the computer, it was geting cloeser, it also had a message on it to take cover, don't go outside to try to see it. lol, could it see us??? Well we stayed out there for a little while longer, the sky was doing some weird swirly stuff that the sky doesn't normaly do, and we decided it was probably a good time to head to the basement. About a minute later it came through. Never did see it It was a small tornado, F1, and though there was a lot of property damage (not to our house) and trees down everywhere, and no power for 2 days, no one was killed, and only one injury, to a fireman who's truck got hit by a flying pontoon boat, he was OK.
post #6 of 29
I live in the tornado alley of Saskatchewan, although there are more tornadoes north near Saskatoon. Yesterday there was a brief tornado spotted south of town. Whenever tornado watches/warnings are issued, I take the cats downstairs. Sometimes I do that when it's just lightning and thundering really loud.
post #7 of 29
Oh yeah, I heard about the tornados on the news! Good for you for getting Abby prepared, better safe than sorry. The weather has beens so crazy the last couple of weeks.
post #8 of 29
We put the dog and cat in their carriers and put them downstairs and then go outside to watch! WOO!
post #9 of 29
We get mini tornadoes here in the UK on the odd occasion..

Here on the South Coast where I live, we have had 2 in the past year or so..and quite near to the town where I am too. I'm glad that they always seem to die out by the time they reach my town..such a relief!
post #10 of 29
Well, there are earthquakes here everyday but most are so small that you don't feel them. You can feel them in the 3 - 4 magnitude range but the only damage they do usually is to knock things off shelves, open drawers, etc.

But, CA isn't the only state to have earthquakes. There was a 5.2 magnitude temblor in Chicago in April of this year. In Dec. 1811, Jan and Feb of 1812, there was a series of some of the largest earthquakes in the US in MO. NYC is on a big tectonic plate and there is a potential for an earthquake there.

I guess like tornadoes you get used to living in earthquake country. I just have emergency kits, water, etc. I only had my budgies when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck in 1989. I was in a vanpool coming home from SF, over the bridges and we never felt it. The nanny did what I told her to do in an earthquake. She stood in a doorway with my daughter. That is one of the safest places to be in a house.
post #11 of 29
Welcome to Indiana, the land of 90 F weather in October, 40 F weather in July, tornadoes, and earthquakes!

I grew up in NW Indiana and we got about 1 or two warnings every season, but never had one touch down close to the house.

We get less here in Lafayette, but this past season has been fairly bad. At least three have touched down within a couple of miles of our place, but we weren't affected. We just snatched the kitties up, hid in the bathroom (only fully-enclosed room we have) and waited it out. It's nice, though, that we have a siren to alert us.

We just deal with it. I get more nervous down here than I did growing up, though. Might be because I'm the one with the family now.
post #12 of 29
I lived in North Texas for the first 18 years of my life (I'm 19 now). We were well-versed from the time we could understand as little ones on what to do when a tornado came... and it wasn't "if" one came, it was when. Where we were in Mansfield, or the Tarrant County area, we were constantly battered with warnings when Spring came around. You get used to it. I was personally never scared for myself. I always worried for my mom, my little sister, my Nana, and our animals at home. My mom worked an hour away and she'd leave work and drive right into one at times. That's when it's the most nerve-wracking, when you don't know if your loved ones are going to be safe. I'll tell you what, though. God always looked out for us. We had some go down the street over, and not touch ours.

It's funny though, because a ton of houses in tornado alley have attics, but no basements. And houses out have basements, and no attics. I always lamented that. Basements would have been nice! But nope, it was always the tub for us. Three people and a huge dog in a tub... with a mattress covering us! Good times. OR NOT!

I don't know if we'll get any in Georgia... I'm hoping we steer clear of a lot, lol. But with the way the weather is working up all over the world, I doubt we can stay under the radar for long.
post #13 of 29
I grew up 30 minutes minutes away from the National Weather Service's Severe Storms Labs - home base for most of the stormchasers. I have been in tornadoes for as long as I can remember. The joke in OK is that a tornado warning means it's time to climb up on the roof with the video camera. There's also a drinking game based on one of the local newscasters - you have to take a drink when he repeats a certain phrase.

We had a plan in place since we were children. I can recognize a wall cloud quicker than some meterologists. We can look at the radar and know if we are risk. We don't change plans for a watch, just a warning.

The most current radar can pinpoint the tornado to within blocks - very reliable and the sirens are a must. Unfortunately, it isn't in place in very many locations.

And OK gets its share of earthquakes - most are very mild, but some have knocked pictures off of the walls.
post #14 of 29
Me, I have a love/hate realtionship with the things! I would love to be a storm chaser, but I'd have to know that my kitties were safe before I could go out! Living in a mobile home, the key words when tornado warnings come are "get out"....and I do! My closest experience with one here at home was Nov. 10, 2002. If you guys remember, it had been a bad fall for tornadoes already, and that Sunday afternoon when the "severe" weather bullitens went out, we decided to just go to our safe place, just in case, that nothing had ever happened, so the kits could just stay home, instead of trying to wrangle 6 cats into carriers and take them..............................bad move. When all was said and done that night, a tornado had taken the life of a very good friend of ours about 15 miles north of here, and another one, one classed as having the longes track on radar in history had passed directly over my home. When the storms passed, we came back to see just how close to home it has passed......had to walk in from the main road, about a half a mile, because of the trees down across the road. I guess in that 1/2 mile streatch, there were probably over a dozen trees down in the road, nevermind those just leaned over in the forest surrounding us. But the closer to home we got, the more of those trees there were, and in the moonlight (yes the clouds had broken enough that we had light to see by) we started seeing sheet metal in the trees that were still standing...panic time for me, all I could think of was my poor kits, that I'd probably never see them again, and it was all my fault because I didn't want to wrangle them into their carriers.

But as we came down the driveway and could just see the clearing where our home is, we could see that it was still standing! The sheet metal later turned out to be from our neighbors workshop. There was no electricity, but my home was still right where we left it. We have another trailer set up directly behind us that I use for a utility trailer, and hope to connect to this one some day, but the tornado picked it up, bounced a corner of it off the backside of ours and set it down on a brand new heat pump. We also lost a close to 100 year old oak tree in the front yard too....but nothing more than that and a bunch of terrified kits. ( I was in the house the day the fixit man came to relevel it and re-align it.....when the end kicked back in place, I was expecting it and it still scared me, I can only imagine what my kits thought!)

Now, when it storms, we get out, kits and all. But I do watch Babycakes closely when I'm making my decison.....she was the most traumitized that night, and still tends to be the most closely attuned to the weather.....when she gets nervous and clingy....we vamoose!

Oh, and for the record, when we looked at the damage in daylight, you could see that the damage to my home and the trees on that side of the road were straightline winds....across the driveway( single car width) it was all twisted where the tornado sat down....it rolled over a hill and totally destroyed a brick house less than a mile away.....scary! If I can find the link, I'll either make a new post or edit this one, somewhere they show the track of the tornados that night.
post #15 of 29
Ok, decided to make a second post of this. If you check the link here, it shows you a map of all the tornadoes that touched down that night, along with the time/length of them. If you look down the left of the page and see a city named Fayette, there are two that started there, the top one is the one that took the life of my friend, the bottom one is the one that hit us.
post #16 of 29
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
And OK gets its share of earthquakes - most are very mild, but some have knocked pictures off of the walls.
I can remember hearing about several, but I've never felt one. I'm in Clinton though - about 60 miles from Elk City, so Western Ok. I do know there was one around Lawton not too long ago.

And as with anything, a person gets used to it. We watch the news, have a battery powered radio, have a weather radio, and a storm shelter. When it starts looking really bad - and yes, usually you can look outside (during the day) and tell when the storm has reached that point, and when we're in a tornado warning - we get the cat carriers and a few other things around.
I've been luckily enough to only have to go to shelter three times now - once in 3rd grade, around 2000, and just a few months ago.

All my life I've lived in smaller towns, even in Michigan. I couldn't imagine living in a city and dealing with crime.
post #17 of 29
Oh, to add to my tornado story, it didn't sound like a freight train, it sounded like wind and things breaking and hitting the house. Really, don't go out to see the storm, though a few of us here now have posted that we have. We could have been hit with god knows what flying through the air, my main reason for going back inside was the lightning, but, Respect the storm, always.
post #18 of 29
We constantly have tornados in Tennessee. It seems like there's always a warning or a watch going on anytime the weather acts up.

I have been through a few pretty nasty tornados- the worst being when i was in Oklahoma visiting my cousin. The lived literally only a few miles away from Moore, OK when the tornado wiped that city clean. That was probably the most scarry thing ever. Thankfully we had access to a wonderful storm shelter and were all safe and sound (their house didn't even get touched!) (Info about that tornado- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore,_Oklahoma )

That was definitely the most frightening one i've been close to- but we've had some pretty bad ones here in Tennessee too though! The key is to ALWAYS have a game plan. If I am on the road and a warning goes out- i immediately head towards the closet grocery store (sounds silly right? totally not!) When i used to work for Schnucks, anytime a tornado warning went out we'd put everyone in the freezer and turn them off- they are insanely strong and protective and much safer than being in a car in bad weather! So i always keep that in mind if i can't make it home in time.

If i'm at home- i put all of the animals in the guest bathroom (it's the safest spot in the house - it has two parts- one vanity /sink area with a seperate door and a toilet/shower area with another door. I close all of the animals into the vanity area (Cats in their carriers and under the sink (i put the vanity stool in another room). Then i put tons of pillows and blankets in the bathtub. I put my weather radio in there too and then i get in the bathtub and cover up (Usually Foster, our Aussie, he gets in the tub with me and Colin too.) / For my fish- if i have time, i net them and put them in small containers and put the containers in the other area of the bathroom with pillows around the sides so they don't shift too much. / Another thing we do is have waterproof copies of all our important documents ready to with us at a moments notice. I put my purse in the bathroom with me as well and several flashlights/batteries.

I keep a first aid kit in that bathroom as well too so if we need it we can get to it. I also take the shower curtain pole down and the showerhead if i have time. (Those can both be dangerous if they fall on you in a storm). I also make sure my cell stays charged at all times just in case i need it.

It sounds like it'd take a while- but i have the whole drill down to just a few minutes and can skip steps if need be. We practice it every once in a while just to be safe. In the event that our house gets messed up- our meeting spot is my sister Kimmy's house (about 3 streets over from ours) - if theirs gets hit, their meeting spot is our house.

Probably the most valuable thing people can do to help their animals get to safety in an emergency is to keep open carriers around the house all year so that they learn not to fear them (if the only time they use them is to go to the vet, they're going to be hard to catch during a storm!) If you leave carriers our all year and they get used to them- they will learn to go in them when frightened- this will make it MUCH easier to catch them in an emergency! Also- both of my dogs are trained to different rooms of the house- if i say "Bedroom" -they go to the bedroom, if i say "Bathroom" - They go to the guest bathroom- having them learn rooms also can help in an emergnecy! It helps to try and be prepared.
post #19 of 29
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
I was terrified. I got Abby into her carrier and headed for the cellar until the threat passed.
I´m so sorry for that my friend........

But the global warm has made many changes in the usual wheather of all countrys... that´s awful....
post #20 of 29
I live in Kansas and am in tornado alley. My last house got hit by a tornado and we had no basement at the time, only an underground storm cellar that you could only access by going outside to get to it.

The tornado that hit us had no warnings issued (other than the fact that a feral cat brought her kittens up to the house hours before the storm). We had lightning strike the flag pole in our front yard, then hail. When the wind got crazy loud (almost like a train), we tried to get out the door to get to the storm cellar but couldn't push it because of the wind. We tried another door with no success. With adrenalin kicking in, we managed to open a door and started to run to the storm cellar. The wind blew me to the ground and DH picked me up and flung me into the cellar.

With no warning, there was no way to collect the cats to take them with us and if we had tried, their cages would have been pulled out of our hands and they would have probably landed in the next county. We actually found a bass boat hanging in our trees after the storm. Fortunately the house had only minor damage.

A big part of why we sold that house and moved was so that we could have a basement to run to in case of a storm. I have had tornado drills with the cats where I herd them into the basement. I also have a weather band on a radio with battery backup in case of power failure.
post #21 of 29
Between 1950 and 2006, there were over 3,000 tornadoes in OK.
I've been very lucky in that we've lost property, not people. My cousin was on the National news with the Moore tornado.

Strange_wings, I was in Yukon for the first one I'd ever felt. Canadian County is on a fault and has very small ones daily. I've often wondered if it was related to the oil and gas being pulled out of the ground...
post #22 of 29
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
How do those of you that live in Tornado Alley deal with it? We rarely get tornadoes in New England, but Wednesday afternoon we had some extremely severe storms and a funnel cloud was spotted in the town next to me. I heard on the news this morning that they confirmed it was a tornado. When the Tornado warning emergency alert came over the TV, I was terrified. I got Abby into her carrier and headed for the cellar until the threat passed.

I really don't know how some of you deal with it on a regular basis.
I don't know how we do it either!

I couldn't count all the times THIS year that we've gathered all the critters and gone to the basement. In fact, just last week we were down there! I wish our basement was nice and finished!
post #23 of 29
Where we live there was a possible tornado about 30 minutes away from us. They don't know if it was a tornado or just lots and lots of high winds, thunder, and lightning. One person was killed, and 2 other people, including an infant, were injured.

One of the drivers from work was actually in the town it touched down in when it occurred. He felt his box truck start shaking so he pulled over. When it was done, he couldn't go anywhere because one way down the road was covered with down trees, and the other side was covered with down power lines.

You just never think something like that can happen in New England.
post #24 of 29
I live in Nebraska another State in tornado alley. Just last night I heard a knock on my door and it was my neighbor asking us if they could come use our Tornado cellar. I didn't know there was a big nasty storm coming. We went out and looked and sure enough it looked bad! I started to watch the radar map and there were tornado warnings to the west of us. I did the tornado drill with the cats and got them in their carriers. The storm lost it's punch before it got to us, thank god. Last year we did have a tornado hit about a mile west from us. It was 3/4 mile wide and stayed on the ground for something like 18 miles. We took 8,000 dollars worth of damage on the house because of the hail the storm produced. This storm was fast and I only got 2 cats in the carriers before we had to go to cellar(it's really hard to try and stay calm to catch them). When the red came flashing on TV that this tornado was going to hit near mile marker 209 That was us!!!! The tornado went across interstate 80 and picked up a semi truck and tossed it. There was lots of damage to farm houses and pivots, it didn't hit directly in our town. I don't take tornado warnings lightly here. The tornados in tornado alley can literally wipe a small town out! That was a really scary night! The tornados at night are the worst cause you can't see them coming!
post #25 of 29
We get tornadoes up here. They don't often hit the city, but there have been a few instances where they have. They are usually just outside the city and south.


There are a few videos at that site from Manitoba tornadoes. One from just a couple of days ago.
post #26 of 29
My parent's hometown ( in Minnesota) got hit with an F3 this year... they can happen anywhere...

My dad said he heard a funny noise (his 'den' is in the bottom level, essentially a basement) and went upstairs and heard it was the tornado sirens. He hadn't thought the weather was bad so he went outside to look and got to the street and looked south and saw the funnel headed towards the ground... went and got my mom and they went BACK outside (remember I said we tend to WATCH these storms?) and watched the funnel grow, but when it was about 3/4 the way to the ground they couldn't tell which way it was moving and figured it was headed right towards them and went back inside, called the dog, and headed to the basement.

The tornado was headed on a line to go right down the middle of town, but at the last second turned and cut across the south end. Destroyed five houses, a few turkey barns, a car/equipment dealership, injured two but took no lives . My little brother ended up weathering the storm in the back of the grocery store. He left three minutes before the sirens went off... My dad told him to "Go now, before the rain starts... doesn't look like it will be bad, though."

Thank goodness it turned or it'd have gone right through the grocery store.
post #27 of 29
I spent a lot of time as a child in the SE corner of the basement!

I'm glad you and Abby are safe!
post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post
I spent a lot of time as a child in the SE corner of the basement!

I'm glad you and Abby are safe!
Me too, only no basement, just the SE corner.
We had tornado drills in school, basically out in the hallway, duck and cover. I lived in Indiana until I was 30. We moved to New York, and like Abbysmom it's rare here for torndadoes, I think there have been 2 since we moved here.
It took me the longest time after moving here to not be terrified when it rained. Storms in Indiana meant either a tornado warning or a tornado watch. I finally realized I could relax and enjoy a good old fashioned rain storm with thunder and lightening and go to sleep.
With the mountains here, it's hard to see weather coming, and they probably limit the formation. In Indiana, I could see everywhere and watch the formation of funnels. I don't miss that part at all.
post #29 of 29
We normally get small tornadoes that pass through so you get used to them. I always keep an eye out if there is a watch.

There was one tornado about 10 years ago that was an F5. It was suppose to hit my city, but it diverted and went towards Jarrell. It was one of the worst tornadoes in Texas history. A friend of mine lived there and told me that not only was it that big one, but also several small ones that were touching down everywhere. Her dad was driving and trying to get them out of there.

It was so bad it ripped the hides off of cows. I don't know what I would have done had we gotten it.
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