If he is wearing a tie, relax!
While the various sirens and warnings are certainly valuable and important, their seemingly intermittent and arbitrary use has caused some of us to essentially ignore their wail and cry. Also, many of us live outside of earshot of these warnings.
I suggest that you consider getting an inexpensive “Weather Radio” for your house. These special radios can pick up broadcasts from the National Weather Service and let you know in advance with an audible alarm tone if dangerous conditions exist. They also have added the broadcast of information about other dangers such as chemical spills and even have added some AMBER alerts. The neat thing about these radios is that many of them can be programmed to give you only the information you want and need.
You can “tell” the radio where you live and thus only get warnings and information that relate to your area. This keeps the radio from sounding the alarm if the storm is in the general area but really posing no danger to you. While I am sure that we all wish our neighbors in Dayton no harm, we really don’t want to be rousted from our sleep at 3 AM with a message on the weather radio that a severe storm is headed for the Dayton Airport.
The radios can also be programmed to ignore certain conditions that are not relevant to you personally even if they are happening in your area. For example, I live on a hill and as such I really don’t need to know in the middle of the night that there might be a flash flood on the Whitewater River. I do want to know that a tornado has been spotted on
New Biddinger Road.
While not all radios can be programmed, most of units, beginning with the mid-priced models on up, have these features. They can be purchased at many locations. Radio Shack® has a Midland™ model for about 40 bucks that is very popular and has the programmable features. It even has a battery back up built in. You can also find hand-held models for camping, boating and hiking at Bass Pro Shops® and many of the leading electronic retailers.
Now, if all of this fails, you can use another method to predict when you need to take cover in the basement. I have been working on this theory for several years. I call it the “The TV Weather Man’s Clothes Hypothesis.” (Sorry, this does not seem to work if the TV weather reporter is a woman.) Here is how it goes. If you are watching any of our local TV stations and the Weather Man is talking about severe weather and he still is wearing his coat and tie and looks as dapper as ever, you can relax. If however the tie is a bit askew, pay a bit more attention. If the coat disappears, the top shirt button is undone and the tie seems even looser, pay closer attention. If you see him with his tie gone, shirt sleeves rolled up and hair tussled, go to the basement immediately. Check me on this next time we have storms in the area.
Seriously, the price of a weather radio is really a small one to pay to help make you and your family safe. Think seriously about getting one this weekend. It might save your life.