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#171121 - 04/11/09 03:22 AM family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado today
Lon Offline

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 115
Loc: middle Tennessee
Feeling very lucky and fortunate tonight!
We did not expect extreme weather today, and my wife and daughter were "out and about" when the tornado watches and warnings started popping up.

It was just a regular rain shower at the house, and I just happened to turn on the TV and discovered that the Tornado activity was cranking up; and began trying to call my wife's cell as soon as I realized (within 30 seconds) that it was serious.
I guess a lot of other folks had the same idea; because it took me about 10 minutes to get through to her (circuits busy).

Our local news folks did an excellent job of tracking the storms, live; and they were showing where a tornado was "on the ground" and it's projected path. Turns out my wife and daughter were having lunch in a restaurant very close to the path of the storm.
From all the radar and tracking info on the TV, I could tell that they had about a 15 minute window to get the heck out of there and make it South of the most treatening weather (heading South also happened to be toward home).
So, with a quick discussion and decision made, they threw the money on the table and got out.
[thankfully, the restaurant also had the TVs on in the bar, and everyone was becoming aware of the situation by then]

"Long story short", the wife did a great job of driving home in some very heavy rain, and even thought to phone me on the way to make sure that she was still heading in the safest direction. They did arrive home safely, as the tornado was causing much destruction very close to the area they had been.

Now, my 5 year old daughter wants her own kit, because (in her words) "Dad is always prepared".
So, we talked about her picking out a pack/bag that she would like, and talked about some things she would like to carry (flashlight, sunscreen, etc...).
It will probably end up being some sort of Hannah Montana bag with a mix of some useful items and some toys; but I think that should be just about perfect for her age.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those folks in our area that were not as lucky as we were today.

#171126 - 04/11/09 05:39 AM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado today [Re: Lon]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
You never know, your daughter might surprise you.
Just keep in mind that kids have slightly different priorities and a much different world view than adults do.

(And I think games/toys/comforts are an often under rated and neglected part of a bail out bag)
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#171131 - 04/11/09 09:24 AM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Lon]
Grouch Offline

Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 395
Loc: Ohio
(emphasis added to quote)
Originally Posted By: Lon
It was just a regular rain shower at the house, and I just happened to turn on the TV and discovered that the Tornado activity was cranking up;

I urge you to get a weather radio to avoid a repeat of the "just happened to" scenario. I have a Midland WR300 and highly recommend it. I bought one for each of my parents and siblings as a first step into the world of thinking ahead and being prepared. This model can be set for specific geographic areas ( S.A.M.E. ) and to alarm only for specific alerts... to avoid alert fatigue.

I'm glad that your family made it through the event safely and good for your 5 year old!

Disclaimer: Not affiliated... blah blah blah... happy customer... blah blah blah...

#171136 - 04/11/09 03:06 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Grouch]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1843

in Minneapolis one of the TV stations shows up at the local malls and sells weather radios and a very good price and will program them for you right on the spot.the suburbs around here get a hit every few years but in my part of town all i really worry about is a heavy wind bringing down one of the old trees out on the street.

#171137 - 04/11/09 03:19 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Grouch]
Lon Offline

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 115
Loc: middle Tennessee
Got one! (weather radio)... more than one, actually.
However, the one that stays on is kept in the bedroom to awake us at night; and I was upstairs working, away from the radio all morning.
We had also watched the morning news, and there was no mention of any concerns for extreme weather yesterday. It seems the uptick in severity caught everyone a bit off guard.

One of my favorite "weather radios" is the Midland 2-way (walkie talkie) set that we have. Those have the weather alert feature, and you can also access the local NOAA information at any time by holding down the menu button.
On my insistance, the wife usually carries one of those with her whenever there is a forecast of rain/storms.
She did not take one with her yesterday; so we've learned a valuable lesson from this experience.

#171141 - 04/11/09 06:02 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Lon]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Thank goodness for cell phones!

And great family teamwork! Good to hear you all dodged a bad situation.

We're having rain today and I have three weather radios, but if a tornado threat were in the area at the moment I'd be reliant on a televised warning. If I were reading a book instead...

On that note I wonder if one day it will be required that Internet Service Providers be able to cut into our Internet viewing with weather and civil service warnings.

I spend more time on the computer than watching TV.

#171145 - 04/11/09 07:54 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Dagny]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 999
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
I've been in an area of Alabama where they did that with cable. Interupted the signal with snow and an audio message. I don't remember how long it lasted but irritating is an understatement when you live in a frame construction apartment building.

As to the internet, there are several free weather programs (Weather Channel, Weather Bug, or Weather Exchange). All of them have an audio alert of some kind when NOAA posts an alert.

#171157 - 04/12/09 04:59 AM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado today [Re: Lon]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
Remember - a text message will likely get through faster than a cell call.

#171163 - 04/12/09 02:55 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: TeacherRO]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Lon, et.al.

I think I might have posted this in the recent past, but it is worth a revisit.

Our municipality has a reverse 911 system called CodeRED . The system alerts for the specific area the municipality has contracted with the provider to warn about. I have all of our cell phones set to receive the warnings, and it has a specific ring tone/vibrate pattern. The way ours is set up, it starts warning one county away from our town.

Check with your local governments to see if something like this is available for your area.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#171165 - 04/12/09 03:05 PM Re: family prep after Murfreesboro TN tornado toda [Re: Desperado]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Like the reverse 911, one of our local TV stations has an alert phone call system. If severe weather is forecast for your neighborhood it gives you a call.

Worked well two weeks ago when we had a tornado pass within three miles of the house. We actually got the call before the TV station stated making announcements, we happened to be watching the news at the time.

As to the PC, "Weatherbug" does decent alerts, you can either set them make noise or not. It's a free download. Ignore the ads.



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