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Tornado Warning; Evacuate or Shelter in Place?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nwdiver, Apr 13, 2017.

?

Tornado spotted 15 minutes from your home.

  1. Evacuate

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Shelter in Place

    4 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Here's a refresher if you don't recall what a Tornado Warning is. Watches are common but Warnings are not. I've lived on the edge of Tornado alley for ~8 years and I've only seen 2 warnings that directly effected my home. IMO all tornado warnings should be treated very seriously...

    Here's the scenario.

    - Tornado Warning issued by NWS.
    - Doppler indicates it's heading directly for your home.
    - You have ~15 minutes before it arrives.
    - You know where the storm is and where it's headed.
    - You have good access to N-S roads to avoid the storm path.

    I think the old advice of seeking an interior room is somewhat dated... not long ago the warnings came later and people had limited ability know what the storm path was. Today most people look at a doppler image on their phone. Depending on the intensity sheltering in your home could be pointless if you don't have a purpose built storm shelter. The danger area for even very strong cells is typically only a couple miles wide... unless you're in a very urban area you should be able to dodge the storm in <10 minutes of driving.

    Last night was somewhat exciting.... I had seen a strong storm cell approaching my town earlier in the evening about ~2 hours away. I happened to pull the map up again and saw that not only had a Tornado Warning been issued but that the cell was headed directly for me. Less than a minute later the sirens in town went off... I grabbed a few things and was headed North out of town in less than a minute.... easily dodging the worst of the storm.
     
  2. RichardD

    RichardD Supporting Member

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    You cannot always count on the roads being clear, and everyone else trying to leave. Last hurricane, my neighbors left, 20 hours later, they were out of gas and only made it 12 miles outside of town. If your home is rated for it, I would shelter in place.
     
  3. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Best cause of action:

    a) Get in your Tesla
    b) Move to a state where there isn't Tornados
     
    • Like x 2
    • Funny x 2
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I used to live in the middle of tornado country. Warnings were not that uncommon (several every season) and the local sirens would go off quite often indicating we were in the direct path.

    We normally sheltered in place. Roads would often be blocked due to downed trees or power lines or flooding of the creek at the end of our street. Plus there is the risk of large sized hail. Had a friend get her arm broken in her car by a piece of hail that shot through the windshield.

    The interior room advice is still valid because tornadoes can blast debris through bricks and drywall. Normally an interior room will provide some additional protection.

    Best option is to have a storm shelter installed in your garage or home. They are bolted to the foundation (or installed in the garage floor) and provide the absolute best protection in a storm.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    That's true... but even 5 miles is enough to dodge a powerful tornado... the event that really started to shift the paradigm was the Moore tornado in 2013... residents had nearly 30 minutes to leave. Even well built homes were removed from their foundations.

    At that point it's too late. When I left last night the storm hadn't arrived yet... that's when you need to leave.

    I agree that in very urban areas it's not practical... hopefully as technology advances the NWS can narrow the warning area. Perhaps only 100 people need to evacuate and others should shelter in place... keep the roads clear.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like x 1
  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    florida.
    build an underground shelter, after see what a tornado can do to a home sheltering in an interior room shouldn't be considered an option.
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    WY
    A lot of Tornado Country has rock right under the surface or else high water levels in clay. Both of which prohibit full basements. But I should think you could jack hammer your way underground to install a heavy pre-cast concrete bunker. Not sure about the high water level - could it float a concrete bunker? I vote for the concrete bunker in any event; should be a lot better than lying in the bathtub with a mattress on top of you.
    --
     

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