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#260864 - 05/23/13 01:23 PM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Dagny]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 876
Loc: Colorado
A few years ago I had a police scanner wired up at my desk at work and was listening as a series of t-storms was moving thru the area.

I heard a county Deputy report swirling motion in the clouds above the intersection next to my workplace.

We recieved no notification at all of anything all day via the management/security channels even though the NWS had posted Tornado Watches for the area.

Conclusion-
Warnings might be helpful if they are offered but in reality - you're on your own Jack!

(I've found that to be the case in simple workplace safety as well as our Facilities people have endangered many people many times w/o management noticing. When I report the issues I get in trouble.)

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#261062 - 05/31/13 08:53 PM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Dagny]
TeacherRO Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2560
Working of equipping my 'shelter.' in the basement.

radio, blanket, tools, water, lights all in bags (damp basement)

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#261074 - 06/01/13 04:30 AM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Dagny]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
^ That's what we've done, Teacher. After watching an episode of Rescue Heroes with my son when he was about four, he became scared of tornadoes, even though they are extremely rare here, and not very big when they do happen. (There was a micro burst a couple of hours from here a couple of days ago, btw.)

We talked to him about our realistic risks were, and then outfitted the basement, to act as an emergency shelter.

Water, blankets, light, food and cooking, first aid, hygiene, etc. are all ready and waiting down there, along with a plethora of repair and clean-up supplies
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#261075 - 06/01/13 08:08 AM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: jshannon]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
"Just one more reason to move to Colorado or New Mexico"

Oh heck no! I ran into tornado storms in both places. Both states have other severe weather issues, but when the tornadoes hit, they popped quick, moved fast, and folks caught in the paths of those funnels had little to no warning.

Never been a tornado here in Anchorage, and very rarely any lightning. One big earthquake every 50 years, a little over a hundred people killed a little over 150 people, mostly by tsunami, which would afford much more warning response time.

Here in Anchorage, not too many tall buildings that have to contend with seismic.

Would be a wild ride, but I doubt the body count will be that high when the next one pops. Some are predicting the next big Alaska earthquake could approach force 10. We figure that would be enough wave motion that if you were laying in bed it would bounce you off the ceiling, maybe even through it.

My office is on the second floor of the old Alaska RR building, which is a reinforced concrete building that survived the 9.2 quake in 64 and is still in good shape. Masonry isn't my preferred structure material for seismic resistance, but if it is thick enough it is more like a rock than a hollow chocolate bunny.


Edited by benjammin (06/01/13 08:11 AM)
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#261076 - 06/01/13 11:53 AM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: benjammin]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
No matter where you live, there is a hazard profile - something about which you had best be informed. There is severe weather of some sort everywhere, and fire is a universal hazard. There days, with weather related events, you should have some sort of advance warning - I understand there were some more tornado related fatalities in Oklahoma, but there was advanced warning that conditions were ripe for tornadoes there, as well as whatever immediate notifications may have been provided.

There aren't many places where you can forget about earthquakes, for that matter, although the probability varies considerably.
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#271724 - 09/20/14 10:46 AM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: hikermor]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 454
Loc: Somerset UK
Here in the UK, most modern fire alarms do not use traditional bells but use electronic sounders that can be programmed to emit various sounds including a passable electronic imitation of a traditional bell.

I presume that USA fire alarms are similar.

It might therefore be worth use of an alternative sound on an existing fire alarm system to give the tornado warning in schools or large workplaces.

This would be especially useful in districts equipped with tornado warning sirens but where the sirens may not be reliably heard in a large complex. It would be a simple matter to trigger the tornado warning when needed for practice purposes or for a real tornado.

(I know that this is an old thread, but having recently been testing a new fire alarm system, it got me thinking)

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#271732 - 09/21/14 03:32 PM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: adam2]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: adam2

It might therefore be worth use of an alternative sound on an existing fire alarm system to give the tornado warning in schools or large workplaces.



Assuming the system is sufficiently programmable, it might be better to use a recorded voice to give a specific warning and command, something like "TORNADO WARNING TAKE IMMEDIATE COVER" and have it repeat several times.

The problem I envision with different sounds for different warnings is the learning curve/confusion factor among people, e.g. "that's a horn---does that mean evacuate or shelter in place? Does anyone remember?"

From the fire drills I've been in, its hard enough to get people to know that it (the bell or whatever) means that they are supposed to leave. I always saw a lot of people standing around looking confused. . .
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#271735 - 09/21/14 08:42 PM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Dagny]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
13 minutes ... throw some snacks, water and a wallet into a car, grab the family, and DRIVE AWAY!

GOT an escape route?? :-)

Pete

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#271736 - 09/21/14 09:53 PM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Pete]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
Fortunately, I don't live in tornado country, but I understand this is not a good idea - too much depends upon the storm track, which is relatively unpredictable....
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#271741 - 09/22/14 02:10 AM Re: 13 Minutes Warning - what can you do? [Re: Pete]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 876
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Pete

GOT an escape route?? :-)

Pete


We actually did that on the orders of the county when I was at work one day. Work was officially evacuated and the buildings closed. We all got in our cars and sat in the street because the exit routes couldn't handle the volume.

I swung around and went right back into the parking lot.Then walked over to the pizza joint and had lunch.

Fortunately it was a misfire of the reverse 911 system and there was never any toxic chemicals in the air. (The cause was some tile guys spilled their glue bucket at a facility 3 miles away- downwind.) I knew this because I'd been listening to my scanner at the time.

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