26 May 2011


In the summer, it's tornado season. A friend of mine had no idea about tornado sirens! I thought everyone had those, but maybe not. So I'm posting some pics of our closest one and chatting a little bit about our "season" so far.

When the siren goes off, it means to get into your basement or best cover right now. It could be the result of a county-wide warning, or it could be specific to where you are. Just get into the basement and tune in to your radio from there to see what's up.

 The siren goes off every Wednesday at the same time. Eeeven though it was a Wednesday yesterday, I knew it was a for real siren. It was turned super loud as if to tell everyone that people, this is not a drill. And it went on for I'm thinking an hour and a half or so.

Emperor was already freaked out about Joplin. He understands. He is very, very afraid. I distracted him by making him match my huuuuuge collection of single socks. I mean, why not. I told him I would give him a nickel for every pair he folded together. I'm tremendously bad about matching socks with this size of a family. PLUS, there is the fact that G has until recently only worn one sock at a time, being in a cast/boot and all. (BTW, he is still in a brace. So... not done yet.)

Emperor was very nervous and upset but the job helped a bit. When he was done it was eeeeerie quiet, odd whistly outside and he sat with me. Little tears in his eyes.

"Momma, if I live, you owe me 70 cents," he whispered as he got in my arms. I held him close and even Woodjie and Rose sat and were suddenly still next to me for a minute. They have no clue, but they were still a bit. I don't know what could have caused it because usually they don't stop and crouch like that even when there is shouting and upset in the house. They remained down a good ten minutes. Was it a tornado nearby? I still don't know.

After a long time, it didn't sound eerie or even angry outside any more and the sirens stopped. Emperor had a hard time being coaxed out of the basement. Poor guy.

There is some photographic evidence on a major news channel of a funnel cloud about a half a mile from our house yesterday. One neighbour of mine (who is not given to hysterical fits of exaggeration) reports that the tornado passed OVER our houses. Why she went outdoors to look, I could not in a million years tell you.

If you are interested,  here is a YouTube video of a tornado siren in action. Promise it is louder in real life.


  1. So glad you're OK!!! Poor Emperor! I know a certain boy who would be a complete basket case if he had to live through that siren. I certainly don't miss tornadoes. I gave them up for earthquakes.

    Hmmm... don't think that was an even trade. Too bad we don't have sirens for those after all!

  2. I am from the north and have lived in GA for about a decade now. This has got to be the worst year since we moved here. I can barely handle the stress of this season. Spring used to be my favorite time of the year, but not so much anymore.

    Glad you all are safe.

  3. So Glad you guys are ok, when I heard where the tornado hit I immediately wondered if you and your family was all right.

    I was relived to see a blog post from you the next day. We do not have those sirens here in buffalo.

  4. Thank you so much for the post! The siren reminds me of that little speaker that pops out from the ground on the old episodes of the 'Teletubbies' show. Wow, how frightening it must be to have that go off (and I am sure it IS a good deal louder) and have to scramble to cover with little people and try to keep them calm and occupied. :/

    How much warning time does the siren give you?

  5. Sue, I can't say I'm jealous of the Japanese people right now... :(

    Andrea, I hope you have a basement!

    Shelly, what do they do when a tornado comes? Or is it too cold for many tornadoes there??

    Blondee, it doesn't feel like the Teletubby siren and nowhere as cute lol. Warning time? Well, sometimes they run the sirens when they SEE a tornado (so, no warning!) and sometimes it's when the county is on a tornado WATCH (conditions good for tornado formation) and so on.

    It isn't really a good answer because it sort of varies...

  6. Wow! I can't believe you went through that. I've never seen those sirens before and never experienced a tornado. Scary! So glad you are okay.

  7. I"m glad you're safe. We were watching Missouri...I have a couple more friends up there.

    Unbelievable, what the neighbor said...too close for comfort.

    Did I say I was glad you were all safe?

  8. Yes, we have a basement. Problem is it doesn't feel like a basement, with full windows and doors across the back of the house. My son moved down there to enjoy a bachelor suite and to have a bathroom to himself, and my daughter and I actually slept down there one night when we had a tornado warning. My husband was out of town and that was the only way I was getting any sleep that night.

  9. Well We have had a couple smallish tornado's in the past but nothing to damaging.

    We just watch the news. Really that is it. Guess we don't get enough to warrant a siren.

    We do get crazy snow storms tho in the winter.. We were snowed in twice this year.

    I am glad we don't get that many tornadoes, I would much rather deal with the snow.

  10. My eldest son has always been terrified of tornadoes. We had one come near our town in Ohio a few years ago. We were at the doctor's office and had to leave an inside room for the hall (yeah, makes a LOT of sense..) until given the all clear. After being 'released', we drove home (1 mile) and not even a few minutes after entering the house the sirens went off again. We hunkered down in the basement..me with three boys and the dog in our storage room. The upside P saw was that we had food and drink with us.

    No tornadoes up in Alaska that I've heard. But, we do get earthquakes. Nothing big and scarey yet, though.

  11. The idea of tornadoes freaks me OUT. Poor Emperor! Take your cell phone down there, too - okay?


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