Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tornadoes in Virginia

           In my general region, in another county on October 13, 2011, some tornadoes were spawned.  East of here, thirty houses have been damaged, fifteen of which have been demolished.    In Louisa County, the site of a 5.8 earthquake in August, and of 41 aftershocks since, they had an F-1 tornado.  A plantation home whose original structure is from the 1740s has lost it's roof and has sustained other damage as well.   The video which follows is quite interesting.   Louisa County has certainly had a difficult year.  FEMA, under the direction of President Obama, has elected to do nothing for Louisa County, other than to condemn their homes, in a futile and somewhat misplaced attempt at an austerity measure.  The fact is that these people were already stressed by the economy and fuel prices, and cannot possibly rebuild or survive as families without some help. I suppose the present administration would prefer to spend money on lobster for themselves when they are visiting Wyoming (where beef is plentiful and reasonable), and steak for themselves while visiting Massachusetts, where lobster is more economical. Very little of the decision-making of the Obama administration has made sense, leaving many Americans wondering if he is simply incompetent, or means to do the United States harm.


        This would be a good time to review what we should do in a tornado situation.  Remember that all 50 states in the US can have tornadoes, although most places do not have tornadoes often.   You should not attempt to follow a tornado as the person in the video did.  Although I am grateful for the video, the tornado could have killed this person.   Tornadoes are also occurring with more frequency in other parts of the world as well.

Showing the simple potential diversity of a tornado

Breadth and size can differ considerably

Damage in New Kent County, Virginia on October 13, 2011

Also in New Kent County, Virginia, October 13, 2011

"Sylvania", a beautiful old plantation home from the 1700s which was in the process of being restored, was badly damaged by the Louisa County tornado on October 13, 2011.  This is near the video above.
This is the overhead view of "Sylvania" now. Photo courtesy of "The Hook", Charlottesville, Virginia. (No additional attribution of photo is given.)

       In a tornado, here in the US, we often notice a slightly green tint to the sky and eerie stillness before one. (Although this is not 100% true)   One may see an actual tornado in the distance, or one might just see fog or even rain.  The telltale sign is a stormy sound which sounds like a train coming.  In a tornado, you and your family should get to the lowest point in your building.  A basement or storm cellar is best.  A bathtub away from windows has also worked well for many survivors.  Some people have also survived the complete destruction of their homes by hiding in a closet.  Always have shoes on your feet during a tornado because you will likely need to walk out of the building amid lots of broken glass.  Many areas in the US have a tornado watch or tornado warning program which is managed through the National Weather Service and then announced through local television. Never disregard a tornado watch or warning just because the weather looks great where you are this minute.  Conversely, tornadoes can occur quickly sometimes, before a warning has been issued, so being generally alert is simply intelligent.
           It is important that people take tornadoes seriously and that they get to the lowest level of their homes. Some references feel that one should get underneath a heavy table or workbench and cover ones head with blankets or a pillow.  
            Try to have emergency supplies in several places in your home.  This way, if your home is damaged by a tornado or an earthquake, and your main supplies are inaccessible, you will have smaller caches of supplies available to you in such an emergency.

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