In the last few days I have had conversations with several customers and became aware of something I thought would be a worthy topic.
I visited with a gentleman I will call Bob (not his real name), who told me he was at home watching TV when his town was placed in a tornado warning. It was well after dark, in the 10 o’clock hour. Bob, not having a storm shelter for his family to seek protection, decided to leave his home and attempt to drive away from the approaching tornado. He traveled north out of town on a blacktop. What he did not realize is, he was driving right into the projected path of the tornado. He was lucky enough to see it in a field just to his west during a flash of lightning. Bob stopped and turned around and thus was able to avoid it. The situation could have been much different and could have ended tragically, if not for a lucky lightning flash.
It happened to be Medford,OK on April 30, 2012. I had been chasing that storm for KFOR-TV beginning 8 miles west of Jet, OK. This storm produced several tornadoes that day before it even reached Medford. It produced a tornado again just southwest of town and stayed on the ground traveling north toward Highway 11, just barely missing the western edge of town. By the way, Bob lives on the farthest west edge of town. After it moved past the city it turned and began moving northeast and passed just to the north of Medford.
This is only one example of the stories I have heard over the years.
Getting in your car with an approaching tornado is not a good idea for several reasons, and I have written on this subject in other blogs. In short, automobiles are no match for a tornado of any size or strength. However, I am a realist and know some people are going to do it anyway. When you get in your car, it means you are leaving your TV and source of information. When you get into your storm shelter the same is true.
I have a viable option. If you own a Smartphone, Android, or I-pad, you can have the same information you receive from your television on your phone or I-pad. All you need to do is download a FREE app. The one I recommend is the 4Warn Me app available in the app store. This is a link to the 4Warn Me and KFOR App Center. http://kfor.com/weather/app-center/
With this app you will be able to watch live video streaming of all KFOR-TV newscasts and breaking weather and news events.
You can track severe storms in your neighborhood, receive severe weather alerts and view high resolution radar. You can also track earthquakes, lightning and projected storm paths. If you have an internet connection you can have TV in your car or storm shelter.
This is a free service to keep you informed of severe weather and hopefully keep you safer. Download it for free before the next storm threatens your city.