Today was our statewide test of the severe weather alert systems, and longtime blog readers know this as the yearly post where I tell you to buy a weather radio. Longtime readers also know I will re-post this in June on the anniversary of the tornado that killed no one in our small town because of the warning system, citisen preparedness, and home weather alert radios. Having your neighbour's barn fall on your car is a drag, being in the car is deadly (I mean, Volvos are sturdy cars, but no match for a large hay barn and a tornado).
A weather radio will alert you not only to severe weather (storms, flood, fire, earthquake) but it will also sound an alert for civil emergencies (you know, in case the Canadians decide they're taking North Dakota or something), Amber alerts (child kidnappings in the US) and other situations that merit warning. It was the best $30.00 we ever spent. In a power outage, you need something that can run on batteries (or a crank powered radio, which we have as well). We keep the extra crank powered radio in our emergency kit (flashlights, food, water, extra medications, car keys, mobile phone, first aid kit) ready to grab in the event of an emergency. When the tornado hit us, we had about fifteen minutes of warning-most people get much less Talk with your loved ones. Have a meeting location if you are separated. And for fuck's sake, don't drive onto a water covered road. Seems so obvious, and yet...
I'll leave you with these visual reminders of what a tornado can do (or what it did to us, anyway):