Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo

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2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Cars Piled by Tornado

Cars Piled by Tornado

2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Cleanup

Tornado Cleanup

I know I normally post on Wednesday, but with the Tornado Outbreak in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, I felt it was important for me to post on this.  So, tomorrow there will be no post.  Why?  I think you will hear all of the details about how much destruction was done, and how many people got hurt, but nobody focuses on the people that died or were injured, why, and what we can do to prepare and prevent it from happening to us.  So let’s discuss lessons learned and tornado safety facts from the tornado outbreak in MayflowerAR, Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville MS, AthensMS, RichlandMS, TupeloMS, Yazoo MS, & Faulkner County.

What we know is this: 15 deaths in Arkansasup to six in Alabama, seven deaths in Mississippi, and one in Oklahoma, one death reported in the Midwestern state of Iowa, now totaling to 30.

What do I hear in the news?  People finding their pets, some guy found an award 300 feet from their home, and of course everyone that picks up a broken stick is a National Hero because they were involved in cleanup.

This is all great and makes people feel good, but it doesn’t help anyone in the future.

2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Tornado Touchdown

Tornado Touchdown

First, Let’s discuss the most common scenarios of the deaths from the tornado outbreak and what we could do to fix the problem.  One person was in an outbuilding, which collapsed, causing him to perish.  Another person died in their home due to a sudden drop (from typical storm to rotation to touchdown in minutes) and Quapaw, OK officials are wondering what they could have done differently.  Most of the dead in Arkansas were killed in their homes in and around Vilonia.  Many of these tornadoes during this outbreak just ripped through, moving houses off of foundation and collapsing them on top of residence.  I know two of the deaths near Athens, AL were because mobile homes were struck.  In Mayflower, three people died when the tornado tore a Paron home down to the foundation.  I even heard of someone in a safe room dying because debris went through the door and hit them.  Someone was even in probably the safest possible place in a home.  They were in an internal closet space under a staircase.  But many of the people in that space are now dead.  There was even a freak tornado touchdown near Union City, TN that hit the Discovery Museum.  No one saw it on the radar, and as meteorologists looked back at all of the signs, even with the 20/20 hindsight, they could find absolutely NO trace of a tornado… but it happened.

2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Radar

Outbreak by Radar

Beyond all of the death and immediate destruction, there are thousands of people all over the mid-west that are without power as a result of this outbreak.  So what in the world can we actually learn from all of these scenarios?

  1. 2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Cars Piled by Tornado

    Cars Piled by Tornado

    It is a bad idea to be in an outbuilding during a thunderstorm at all.  Tornadoes or not, outbuildings can give way during just a strong thunderstorm with straight-line winds, so don’t do this.

  2. Sometimes Tornadoes can drop suddenly without notice, so it is a good idea to have the radio or television that will be your main source of update in a safer location, like an interior, lower-level room, away from windows.  Yes some tornadoes will destroy the entire home, but if you are surprised by a sudden drop with no warning and have no time to protect yourself, then why not have yourself already in a fairly safe location.  Many lives have been saved when people decided to go to an interior room.
  3. Working with #2, you should be able to cover yourself with mattresses.  A house can fall in.  When it does, a mattress or two may be your only salvation.  Hunkering down close to a very strong appliance may also help deflect falling support structure from hitting you.  Notice most people that died were actually in their homes.
  4. Get out of mobile homes.  We had 3 or 4 days warning about how bad this outbreak would be.  Why not hang out with a friend in their home… maybe even helping them around the house for providing you with shelter.  If you are in a mobile home… have a shelter to go to.  Do all of this before something is baring down on you.
  5. Under-ground shelters are best.  Sure there are safe rooms, and if this is the only thing you could do, then so be it, but there are people that will quickly dig a storm shelter in your back yard, or someone that will place a prefab box in your cement foundation.  better to have something under ground for tornadoes.  Safe rooms are still 90,000 times better than just a house, so this is still a good option.  Make sure that whatever you do, you have a reinforced door for your space.  This is usually the weak point.
  6. Nomatter how safe you are being, is there a safer alternative.  I feel that we are too unsafe, so I am going to outfit my selter with TV antennas and internet, so when an outbreak starts, we just hang out most of the day, leaving only for food and bathroom breaks, if needed.  Not ideal, but better than a sudden impact when we are in the living room.
  7. I also was watching lots of the storm chaser video feeds on TVNweather.com and noticed an insane amount of people driving in and out of tornadoes.  With the amount of stupidity, I am surprised more didn’t die.  Yes I did go out, but it wasn’t when storms were beating down on us.  Although a freak approach could have occurred, I was watching the weather and know the signs, and felt safe enough to venture out… although this is risky still.
  8. I had my children (to reduce their anxiety) pack backpacks with a bottle of water, some meal bars, their favorite toys and games, and one full change of clothing.  We had our B.O.B.s and our important documents already ready to go down into the storm shelter with us.
2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo: Destruction along the path

Destruction along the path

Also, just as important as the above lessons, if not MUCH more important, is how we react to this.  Please help those that are affected by this.  You know that you would want the favor returned.  Take a day and go to the closest impacted location, and help with cleanup and rebuilding.  If you can’t, then donate supplies or funds to those that are helping.

2014 Tornado Safety Facts, Outbreak, Mayflower & Vilonia AR, Quapaw OK, Louisville, Athens, Richland & Tupelo MS, Faulkner County, Yazoo

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Ken
Ken
Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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