Before you know it, Spring will be here, and for many people that means the start of another tornado season, of watching the Accu-Weather and listening for the sirens and wondering idly what they'd do if a tornado occurred. Can tornados, or tornadoes if you prefer, can they in fact occur? This helpful pamphlet from the National Child Safety Council says "yes."
Remember what the freaked-out animals seem to be saying! a tornado can occur at any place and at any time! Thanks, National Child Safety Council, I feel safer already.
Learn the difference between the different kinds of tornado alerts. "Watch" means weather conditions look like we might be gettin' some twisters, "warning" means an actual twister has been seen in the area, and "destruction" is what happens afterwards, to either your town or director Jan De Bont's career, depending on the nature of the twister.
Plan in advance where you'll take cover. Just not this culvert. This culvert belongs to Bossy here!
Take cover! If you have a basement, go to the basement! If you are in the basement, make sure you're not sheltering directly underneath heavy appliances in the floor above! I'll pause for a moment while the prospect of your refrigerator smashing through the floor and crushing you to death cements itself into your brain forever. Yep, it's something new to worry about for the rest of your life. You're welcome!
Whether you've just knocked over a bank, are avoiding a homicidal ex, have committed insurance fraud, or are in the path of a tornado, "laying low" is always good advice.
IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME, get out at once. You will probably take a bath because those things do NOT appreciate in value the way traditional homes do, but we all tried to tell you this before you bought the thing. We all said "A mobile home? Really?" and we gave you that look. You know, the look that says "don't do it, stupid!" But no, you didn't want to listen, you had some sort of idea of it being a starter home, that you'd build something more substantial on the lot, that you wouldn't be trapped in a tiny aluminum box with a metaphorical target painted on top waiting for a tornado to come along and send it spinning into the next county with you and all your possessions inside. So remember, DO NOT STAY IN A MOBILE HOME IF A TORNADO THREATENS, or for any other reason.
If you're in an office building? Go to the coffee shop in the basement, get a bagel with cream cheese, read the paper. Ho-hum.
When a tornado watch is announced, somebody should be assigned to be the lookout. This should be somebody that is generally agreed upon to be expendable, like Bob here. Stay close to that glass, Bob!
Remember to go to the safety shelter when a tornado hits, or you might wind up with both eyes on the same side of your head, like what happened to Henrietta Hippo from New Zoo Revue. Poor Henrietta.
If a tornado strikes when you're in a store with a large free-span roof- say, your Costco or your Wal-Mart - and seeing as how this is where we do most of our shopping these days, chances are this is where you'll be - then this booklet advises you not take shelter there. And don't take shelter in cars in the parking lot either. Instead this booklet says we should... go outside and lie down in a ditch? What, to make it easy to bury us, because we'll be dead? I'll take my chances in the Costco, thanks.
Keep calm! There's no reason to get excited! Just because right above your head is an enormous supercell storm full of deadly lightning and winds so powerful they can drive debris into and through your body with immense force, that's no reason to flip out. Just listen to your radio for awhile.
That's right Bob, you did such a good job looking out for that last tornado that we appointed you official tornado watcher. Bob? Hey Bob! Where is Bob? What's that? Nobody's seen him since that last tornado? Okay, uh, Frank, you're the official tornado watcher. Have fun!
They developed this particular move for the atom bomb, but so far they haven't needed it, so they figured we could use it for tornadoes too. I imagine it has about the same success rate.
There is NO PROTECTION FROM TORNADOS except CAVES and SPECIAL SHELTERS so GET DIGGING, don't forget the games and the porta-potty!
"Yeah, hello Weather Bureau? So I see this big funnel shaped cloud whizzing around the neighborhood destroying property, there are bricks and 2x4s flying through the air decapitating passersby, and it sounds like fifty freight trains. Can you tell me if this is a tornad.... " (call suddenly ends)
Ever feel like getting into your car and driving around a disaster area just to be a heartless thrill-seeking looky-loo? You do? Well, DON'T
Remember these seven steps to detect a tornado with your television. Or just wait until the tornado picks up your television set and deposits it in the next county. Whichever!
Here's what happens when the tremendous force of tornado-driven wind blasts a person right into a TV set, in this case Mr. Frank "Please Kill Me" Smith of Lexington KY. Don't be like Frank, kids, get to your shelters!
You can also use your radio to detect tornadoes. I mean, in ways BESIDES having your radio tuned to an appropriate station that delivers current news. This method is not foolproof, but has been credited with saving lives in several midwestern states. If you can call that "living!"
So that's our advice - don't get excited, avoid buildings with wide free-span roofs, do not shelter in your car, lie down in ditches, live in caves, and stop calling the Weather Bureau already! They have enough to worry about!
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