And climb the stairs to the beach...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Morning Folks 03 30 07

Morning Folks from the USPS National Center For Employee Development in Norman OK.

Ed has been here in Norman since March 20 and I flew out yesterday to join him. I will be here while he is continuing his classes. We will both drive home next Saturday the 7th.

As I am writing here in the hotel room, tornado watches are everywhere around the area. A map of Oklahoma is in the corner of the TV screen on every channel, with color coding identifying hot spots in bright green.

Yesterday morning there were people killed in a tornado in the panhandle. And yesterday afternoon, as I watched on TV a very destructive one touched down just a few miles up the road. I watched on TV as it unfolded live. The TV station didn't use cameras but a computer program that actually tracks the velocity of the raindrops, allowing them to pinpoint exactly where that particular twister is. They can identify the very address where it is with the GIS mapping available nowadays. They show the map generated by the computer and in real time you watch the graphics change as the tornado moves up the street. They then tell people who live in that certain neighborhood to get to their shelters NOW. Then as it passes that neighborhood, they tell them to come out and issue the warning to the next neighborhood in its path.

Yesterday it was moving along and picking up speed and strength when suddenly it was gone. All of a sudden the numbers dropped and just like that it dissapated and evaporated into nothing. Film of the devastation quickly followed because they could send the crews out to a particular spot while it was happening. It was exciting, but very scary, too. Technology is truly amazing.

Everything happens so fast when it hits. I was wondering how it feels for parents of school children when these things start up near the schools. You could be miles away from your kids. I suppose they are safe in shelters at schools, for the most part. But yesterday this occured about the time schools were letting out. What about those kids in busses or on bikes on their way home? Scarey stuff.

So, yesterday I did learn that when there is a threat of a tornado you are supposed to get as low as you can and put as many walls between you and the outdoors that you can.

I never thought much about tornados as a kid. There aren't many in Massachusetts. We did worry about hurricanes, but not like the people in Florida do.

Or earthquakes! Now earthquakes have scared me since I was a little kid and saw some movie with people falling down into cracks in the earth right beneath their feet. I had nightmares about that.

And volcanoes! Imagine living in Pompeii? I remember those pictures in National Geographic showing those ash people. And remember there was a dog?
That was terrifying to me when I was a kid. But even now it is eerie, isn't it?

Or the tsunami?
Not that the tsunami is a particular threat to me here in Oklahoma, but still...

Wow. I think I better stop thinking. Actually, it does point out to me that we all have a certain amount of faith to even get up in the morning.

I better go explore this hotel and find out just where I am supposed to go when the sirens start to blow. I have faith, but being prepared is always a good thing.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Auntie Em! We're fortunate in New England to avoid most of the weather disasters experienced elsewhere. My nephew is stationed in OK City. I sure hope the Air Force knows better than to fly AWAC's into bad weather. Be well. Maybe your blog tomorrow can be about OK City's airport's namesake. Trigger isn't it? :)

    Andrea T


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