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Tornado Alley

by Tab Moura

Tornados are coming! Whether you’re a twister chaser, proud storm shelter owner, or a noob who doesn’t know where to begin, the general rule is that we try to stay sharp and ready during storm season. 

As an adopted Okie, I’m uniquely positioned to speak to fellow transplants on this topic… the way I see it, there are two things you have to consider: 1) Storms can be dangerous and deserve our respect. 2) We get a lot of storms, which can make us complacent. It’s wise to stay personally informed so you can actively make the best choices for yourself and your family. Bonus: I know that no matter what I say, at some point you may be tempted to sit on your porch with a joint while watching a tornado roll in. Whatever flavor of Okie you are, just take the rest of this with a grain of salt. 

Precautions – aside from the most obvious instruction, which is to stay away from tornados, let’s refresh the safety rules, shall we?

  • Choose a weather or news app to receive weather updates. If you don’t use a smartphone, consider another source such as radio or TV. Knowing storms are on the horizon can be a huge advantage in the event that a storm hits your area. 
  • Know where your local tornado sirens are located so you can “track” the trajectory of the storm in the event that you’re sheltering in place without electricity. 
  • Have a small bag packed with emergency rations, flashlights, and batteries for your household. 
  • If you have a generator, have a plan for utilizing it safely, to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • If you or your loved one use life-saving medicine or are medical cannabis patients, make appropriate preparations to ensure that they can access medicine even without electricity or cold storage. 

In the event that a tornado develops in your area, you may only have moments to respond. 

  • Get as deep into your home as you can go, avoid windows and doors.
  • It’s recommended that you try to stay where you are if you can already hear sirens. 
  • Safe places may include bathroom tubs, hall closest, underneath stairs, hiding beneath heavy furniture or a mattress, and, of course, a storm shelter or basement. 
  • If you have time, try to grab blankets, pillows, or mattresses to cover yourselves. If windows or belongings break, these will help protect you from debris. 

If your home is on the small side, like mine, you may have a really cut-and-dry emergency plan. And that’s excellent, this isn’t supposed to be complicated or anything. But if you don’t have a plan in place, for whatever reason, it’s recommended that you discuss this with your household before a storm hits. A shared strategy could be what saves someone’s life in the event of an emergency. 

Until next time… duck and cover buddies!

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