Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Tornado Etiquette

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tornado Etiquette

I've been having trouble getting into Blogger tonight, so I'll keep this fairly quick. I've just got a question that may provide an opening for a public service announcement (but no guitar--sorry).

The Midwest was hit by storms and tornados this weekend, and obviously, it was all over the news. It seems like there are more tornados that there have ever been, but I suspect the real truth is that pretty much the same number of people who always encountered tornados are confronting them today, but not the vast majority of them have camera phones.

Anyway, there was one video in which a car passed the cameraperson and then, as if they just noticed the tornado they were driving toward, they stopped and started to back up. The newsreaders laughed a bit about that, but they never suggested what that driver should've done. If you're in a car and a tornado is bearing down on you, what are you supposed to do? Turning around isn't going to help much, but that's about your only choice, isn't it? Do you get out of the car and start looking for the closest shelter? Are people really going to let you in to their basement for protection? There must be a correct answer, though, or it seems like tornados would be causing a larger number of fatalities. Any storm chasers out there? Now's your time to weigh in.


At 2:11 PM, June 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always heard it said that if you look at a tornado and it doesn't appear to be moving, then it's either moving straight towards you or straight away from you. If that's true, maybe a good strategy would be take a good look at it to see where it's heading - and then go the other way. If it doesn't appear to be moving, maybe the best strategy would be to go away at an angle. If it is unquestionably heading straight for you, it might depend on where you are - if you're on an open highway, you could probably drive faster than the tornado could move. But this is all guesswork on my part; I don't actually know shit about this stuff.


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