I Love Tornadoes

Before you think I'm some kind of monster, I absolutely do not mean that I love the tragedy, injuries, damage and especially death that comes with severe weather. Who would? I've seen the horrible things powerful storms can do; from Joplin, Missouri to Greensburg, Kansas. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by those storms, as well as all of the other storms that are oh so common in the wild, wild Midwest.

Now that I've cleared the air on that (oops, no pun intended), you're probably wondering why in the world I love something so notoriously horrible. Well, as a girl that's grown up in Kansas (both Wichita and Kansas City) I've spent my fair share of times listening to meteorologists on radios, sitting in the basement, wondering what was going on outside. For most kids, this would be scary, and it was, but more so for me, it was exciting. I'm normally not an adrenaline junky (in fact, I try to steer clear of danger) but I've always gotten a thrill out of those tornado sirens going off.

If you really don't pay attention to the news, you might be wondering why I've brought this up. There have been quite a few massive tornadoes in Kansas in the past week, resulting in some amazing footage. In fact, right now my TV is on in front of me and I'm watching the meteorologists report on the severe weather happening in surrounding counties. (Luckily, my county seems to be safe.)

I have numerous memories of tornadoes, from taking shelter in a rural Walmart on our way back from Branson, Missouri, to having a very close call my freshman year of high school, to being stuck in a drive-thru line and speeding to a friends' to take shelter (the things I do for food....). Luckily for me, I've never experienced any damages or true destruction, but every time I know it's a possibility.

Here are a few quick tips if you find yourself in tornado alley:

Tornado Alley: the states between western Texas to North Dakota

Tornado season: tornadoes are most common from March to August, depending on where you're located, and happen most often from 3pm to 9pm.

Tornado Watch: the conditions are good for possible tornadoes, but there aren't any, yet.

Tornado Warning: there are tornadoes spotted on the ground and you should probably take shelter.

Where to take shelter: if you're in Kansas, most buildings have basements, but since moving to Texas I've found out that that's not normal in other states. If you're without a basement, go to an interior room without any windows, on the lowest level of the house/building. If that room has a lot of glass or heavy items, steer clear of those and bring pillows and blankets to protect yourself, just in case.

If you're driving: if you're driving and you find yourself in a tornado warning, get off the road ASAP. Head to a gas station, store or hotel. Anything to take shelter. If you're seriously in the middle of nowhere, pull off into a ditch.

Who knows where this fascination came from, maybe it was growing up with it as 'norm' or maybe it is because one of my all-time favorite movies is Twister, but what I do know is that if that annoying iPhone weather alert is going off, I'm probably happy about it.

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