Some people didn't even hear a traditional warning. I heard stories about several people who had called to check on family or friends and that phone call was the only warning they had to get to shelter. I saw an interview with a truck driver who sought shelter under an overpass, and he told the homeless man he found there to hold on.
HOW DO YOU FIND OUT?
I don't think my area has tornado sirens. I don't remember hearing any when I worked downtown and one passed by a few blocks from my office. Of course, a lot of us were on our computers. If you're on Facebook or Twitter and you see people talking about a twister, even if you don't get specific information there, you at least know to check the news websites, the National Weather Service or other sources of official information.
- Would you have had the maximum warning (24 minutes, I think they said) or would you have known about the tornado only when you heard the roaring of a freight train outside your home or office?
- Do you have a plan in place for reconnecting with your family? A lot of people were at work or at school when the tornadoes starting forming Wednesday afternoon. If your home was destroyed, if roads were impassible, if cell towers and phone lines were down -- what would you do to find your loved ones?
- Have you thought about how to notify family or close friends who live outside your area?
- Do you have copies of important documents stored somewhere safe? It's not a bad idea to place copies of important papers - insurance documents and ID, a list of phone numbers for credit cards and utilities - in a bank vault, with a trusted family member out of town or even store them electronically (with password protection) "on the cloud." You'll need to know who to call if your home is destroyed.
Think ahead. Plan ahead. Be ready.
I hope that all my readers are all right. If you are in the danger zone, please know that a lot of people are thinking of you and praying for you.