Flaming Tumbleweeds and Flying Trampolines: Texas Severe Weather

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If you are traveling to Texas or the South (yes, they are different but that’s for another post) during tornado season in the early Spring, you’ll want to be mindful of tornadoes and other severe weather. During this time of year, the bluebonnets are beautiful but the twisters…not so much.

A non-flaming tumbleweed during non severe weather.

A non-flaming tumbleweed.

 

And, yes, flaming tumbleweed warnings really are a thing. Wildfire conditions and high winds can be disastrous. Although rare, it’s quite a sight to behold. Nonetheless, severe weather isn’t rare and there are a few things you should know in advance to maximize your safety.

Turn on Smartphone Alerts for Real-Time Severe Weather Warnings

Both iPhone and Android phones allow you to turn alerts in and off. When you’re in the South during the Spring, you’ll definitely want to enable those.

DFW hit by tornado

The first tornado warning is issued at 2 am on March 29, 2017.

Finding a “Safe Space”

If the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, you’ll need to find a safe space to ride out the storm. Find a room on the lowest floor of a house, most office buildings, or a hotel. A bathroom, closet, or any room without windows will work. It’s best to find a room that does not have exterior walls if possible. We rode out the last storm in our laundry room.

You want to already know where that room is BEFORE the storm happens. If you have young children, you might even want to practice moving into the room without panicking. Bring a mattress or cushions if you have the available.

If you live in a mobile home, leave and take shelter in a nearby permanent building. If that isn’t possible, lie flat in a ditch or ravine.

Get Out of Your Car!

If you find yourself in a tornado and you’re in a car, do not drive towards the storm. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. Listen to local radio stations about alternate routes to a safe place and take shelter there. If you can’t find a shelter, get out and lie flat in a ditch or a ravine.

Schools and Large Open Buildings

In buildings with large spaces, such as schools or convention halls, follow posted plans and go to a designated shelter area, usually interior hallways on the lowest floor. Avoid auditoriums, gyms and areas with wide, free-span roofs. In shopping centers, move towards the interior away from exterior glass walls.

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About Jim Ogden

Jim is an information technology strategy consultant who has traveled extensively for client projects. Despite having logged many miles for business, it is the personal travel he most values. When traveling for pleasure, Jim prefers to seek out the authentic soul of the places he visits. His favorite travel memories are not of the tourist-friendly areas but rather the places off the beaten-path. As an expat and foodie, Jim brings a perspective of writing based on maximizing the experience of traveling.

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Pingbacks

  1. […] We’ve tried to keep it light around Jetsetter’s Homestead.  It isn’t easy but we know you can only read the same stories so many times.  My news feed definitely felt a bit grim today… or perhaps it was the grey skies.  There is a possibility of rain in the forecast for the next 15 days here in DFW… welcome to spring time and more possible meltdowns.  In case you need to brush up, check our advice for travel when bad weather is in the forecast – and what to do if the severe stuff hits! […]

  2. […] Often it can like watching a distant tragic event when something catastrophic happens somewhere else – unless it is personal to us.  Travel makes the world a smaller place so very often these events feel close to home.  Every hurricane or natural disaster that strikes seems to affect someone I know, especially since we are no stranger to extreme weather events. […]

Comments

  1. Great advice Jim. A piece of advice I heard on the weather channel was to avoid parking under an overpass as many do (and block others from moving on) when they fear hail or a tornado. In the case of a tornado, it is probably the worst place to be per the information piece.

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