Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ways to save your life...

An outbreak of tornadoes has struck Alabama again.  The video above show the damage in the path of the EF 3 tornado that hit on January 23, 2012.  It was on the ground for approximately 2 hours and followed a very similar track to the April 8, 1998 and April 27, 2011 storms.  This is the second time in less than a year that our great state has suffered loss of life and property from severe weather.  If you live in Alabama, you need to prepare yourself for severe weather.  Any you need to do it now - not when the tornado is bearing down on you.

If you are waiting on the sirens, you won't make it to safety.  Most likely, you won't hear them sound at all.  The wind will blow the the sound waves away from you, or you won't be able to hear it in your house, or you will sleep through it.  There are better ways to protect yourself.  They are listed below.

There is an app available for the iPhone called iMap Weather Radio appSupposedly, they will be adding it to the Android marketplace soon.  It is now available for Android as well, but I don't know what the cost is.  It will alert you only if you are in the polygon warning for a tornado or other severe weather.  $10 is a small price to pay to be able to save your life.  If for some reason you don't care if you die or are seriously injured, please buy it to protect the other people and pets in your house.
Here is a link to the iMap Weather Radio app in the iTunes store.
Here is the link to the iMap Weather Radio app in the Android marketplace.

If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you should also get Ustream app to be able to view ABC 33/40 during a power outage.  It is free.  However, having this app won't tell you when you need to monitor the weather.  It will only allow you to do so.  By having this app, I was able to watch the track of the tornado and decide whether or not to move my family to our safe room.  We had at least 20 minutes of warning.  Plenty of time to move me, David, Emmeline and three dogs, had the need arisen.
Here is the link to the Ustream free app in the iTunes store.
Here is the link to the Ustream free app in the Android marketplace.

If you cannot bear to spend $10 on an app the could really save your life, here are some other options. 

AL.com weather texts (This will alert county wide, just like the sirens.  The text alerts I got on January 23, 2012 were about 1-2 minutes behind the real warning.)  This with the Ustream is an acceptable alternative to iMap Weather Radio, if you think that you won't need those 1-2 minutes. 

A weather radio.  This one is $30 (plus shipping if you use Amazon).  I think I'll be buying these as gifts for friends and family who don't have smart phones.  Not a very sassy gift, but I think it says "Please stick around here on earth.  I really like you!"
(By the way... you could buy 3 of those $10 apps for that price.  Just sayin'...)
Midland Weather Radio from Amazon
Midland Weather Radio from Walmart

Please take these recommendations to heart, unless you think your house will withstand 150 mile per hour winds.

Personally, I think some of our houses will look like the ones in the video above.  Wouldn't you like to give yourself the time to get to your safe room?

Be wise and get prepared.  Protect yourself and your family.  No excuse.