OMG, is it that time of year already?
In case you weren’t aware, well shame on you!
This week happens to be Wisconsin Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Every year one week is designated to prepare and remind Wisconsinites about preparation for serve weather cause to property and life. And this week is it.
There are all kinds of “official” reminders about this week that rank right up there in excitement with the season finale of “Last Man Standing.”
You could adhere to all the tips associated with Official It’s Tornado Run For Your Life We’re Trying To Warn You Awareness Week. Those would be advised.
On the other hand, of course, here in Franklin, we operate to the beat of a different drummer. And so I present to you an alternative way to observe this critical week based on how we do Tornado Awareness Week, Franklin style!
1) During tornado season, do not, I repeat, do not trust meteorologists. I worked with a whole bunch of them at WTMJ. One of them told me weather forecasting is not an exact science.
2) If we are not to trust meteorologists, then who, or what? Boy, you’re good, and catching on fast. Keep reading.
3) During any possibility of tornado-like weather, do not watch television. Hmmm, Kev. Makes sense, especially what you wrote in #2.
4) During any possibility of tornado-like weather, do not listen to the radio, even if power went out. Hmmm. Well if we shouldn’t watch TV we surely shouldn’t listen to AM or FM. Thumbs up on that one, Kev.
5) Should we wait to hear from the Journal Sentinel? Are you kidding me?
6) What about the Internet like the CommunityNOW sites? ? Hmmmm. Let’s see. The NOW priorities. Celebrity car washes. Bake sales. Library calendar. Oh, yes. After all of that, THEN the latest and most accurate weather forecast.
7) No TV, radio, or Internet? Kevin, dear God, then what? A tornado warning siren you silly. Keep reading.
8) This goes without saying but during potentially ominous weather refrain from passing the time indoors playing Twister.
9) You’re outside having a party on a patio and it gets pitch black and the winds are howling. You think of moving inside. Should you?
Have you heard a tornado warning siren yet?
No, you say? Then don’t.
10) A tornado warning siren. That’s like…technology, right?
No siren. Obviously that means no tornado..
On Thursday, April 14, 2016, a statewide tornado drill is planned. At 1:00pm, the National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch and at 1:45pm a statewide mock tornado warning. Many radio and TV stations will participate in the drill. In addition, NOAA weather radios (also known as emergency weather radios) will issue alert messaging. This is an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather.
For the first time, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:55 p.m. to give families and businesses a chance to test their emergency severe weather plans.
How can I put the following clearly and succinctly.
THIS IS ONLY A TEST!
IGNORE THE TORNADO DRILL ON THURSDAY!
DO NOT BE AFRAID!
NO WITCH ON A BICYCLE.
NO FLYING MONKEYS.
Having said that, 3 out of 5 Franklin residents upon hearing the test on Thursday will assume it’s the real McCoy and won’t come out of their basements until they sense a craving for tartar sauce and cole slaw.
Whatever you do, do not, DO NOT purchase a weather radio for $10-$20. Save that wasted expense to use on the countless retail and restaurant options available to consumers all throughout Franklin.
And we close with this from Dennis Mersereau who graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. Previously running Gawker’s weather blog, The Vane, for nearly two years, he currently contributes to several blogs. He also teamed up with the editors of Outdoor Life to write a book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, which came out in October 2015.
<!– [if lte IE 9]>//html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js<![endif]–>Why Do Communities Keep Wasting Money on Useless Tornado Sirens?
The droning wail of a tornado siren is ubiquitous in the southern and central parts of the United States. These loud sirens are meant to warn people who are outdoors that a tornado is on its way. Now that we’re indoors or in a car for most of our lives, tornado sirens are all but useless, yet we keep wasting money on them.
There are millions of people across this country putting their lives on the line by listening for a sound they can’t hear.
If communities really want to help people protect themselves from life-threatening severe weather, they should demolish their siren systems and invest in automated weather radios. Remove the dependency on an unreliable system and replace them with life-saving radios right in your living room.
Tornado sirens were a great idea fifty years ago, but they’re increasingly obsolete and growing more dangerous with every severe storm that blows through. It’s time to cut the cord and bring severe weather safety into the 21st century.
21st Century? Unfortunately Franklin has a long to go before we get there.