Skip to Content

A lesson in tornadoes’ wake: Warnings work, but human response is key

The past few days have been unprecedented in the location and magnitude of severe weather in the central U.S. In spite of the number of tornadoes and their occurrence at night and at an unusual time of year, the total number of deaths was (at least as far as we know now) less than 100 people. (A terrible number and so sad for the families, but it could have been much worse.) This is due in part to the longevity of the storms but also due to the work of the trained meteorologists at the National Weather Service (some of whom are my friends) doing their diligent work to keep us all safe. This story from the Christian Science Monitor discusses some of the problems that the NWS has in getting people to heed their warnings or why folks are not able to act in spite of getting the warnings. If you work with Emergency Management, then you will want to be sure to read the story and discuss the best ways to get emergency information out in your own community, before it happens to you.

SHAWNEE, OK – MAY 20: Volunteers help clean out Jean McAdams’ mobile home after it was overturned by a tornado May 20, 2013 near Shawnee, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)