UPDATE: A friend from Kansas City just sent me a link to the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom. To demonstrate the power of these storms, they have before and after pictures. Please check them out here.
This tornado season has been unbelievably active. As someone who grew up in Tornado Alley, I have seen more than my share of tornadoes.
Much like fire drills in school, we also practiced tornado drills, so we always knew where to go in severe weather. Fortunately, we never had to take shelter for real.
Likewise, through the tireless efforts of storm chasers and trained spotters, along with technology advances, make tracking these storms much easier. This allows cities like Joplin to have more warning than ever before.
Unfortunately, many people didn’t hear the warning, and as a result, lives were lost. The Tornado Sirens in most municipalities were never designed to alert citizens inside buildings. They are designed to alert those outside to take cover.
That is why I have always been a fan of NOAA Weather Alert Radio. These inexpensive devices ($20-50) can serve as a silent sentinel in your home or office, and will sound a loud alarm if a watch or warning is issued in your area. I’ve owned one for many years as have my parents and other family members.
My prayers go out to those in Joplin. I know that as a community, you will grieve those who were lost, tend to the injured, and overall help your community rebuild stronger than ever.
If you would like to help, the American Red Cross has set up a website for donations. Please donate, and encourage others to as well. Who knows it could be yourself in that situation one day.