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FOLKS KEEP A WEATHER RADIO HANDY!


coachmac9

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Terrible tragedy yesterday in Louisiana and prayers are with the injured and hurt as well as the families of the ones that lost their lives at the RV park in Convent La...this is just the start of the storm season for those of us that live in the south and midwest so be safe and observant at all times. The storm yesterday was not unexpected and there was plenty of time to prepare or leave. Please watch the sky and the news broadcast and be ready to take action!!!

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Friends of ours were in Del Rio TX Monday night when the same line of storms went through there. We know they are alive and unhurt, but we also know their awning was ripped off the MH and they reported "hail in the motorhome" at 11pm after the storms had gone through. We haven't heard from them since the next morning so we still don't know the details.

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I wounder if you can not out run a storm what is the best way to ride it out. Also assuming that you do not have a shelter available to you. I was up to around 3 am the other night because of the storm. I am in Victoria TX right now.

 

I am thinking slides in and hooked to the truck and extend the landing gear so it touches the ground but still leaving the weight on the pin and tires.

 

What is the safest method?

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I wounder if you can not out run a storm what is the best way to ride it out. Also assuming that you do not have a shelter available to you. I was up to around 3 am the other night because of the storm. I am in Victoria TX right now.

 

I am thinking slides in and hooked to the truck and extend the landing gear so it touches the ground but still leaving the weight on the pin and tires.

 

What is the safest method?

 

We are also newb's and really got scared yesterday. We just left Pensacola the day before they got hit and where we are heading next was the same place that got hit in LA. Totally had a panic attack all day as we are newbies. Spent the day praying for those poor folk and being scared! We have our radios and understand to go to a concrete bldg with my cat and valuables, but what do you all do if something happens and how are you prepared?

 

Thanks again!

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I wounder if you can not out run a storm what is the best way to ride it out. Also assuming that you do not have a shelter available to you. I was up to around 3 am the other night because of the storm.

 

A couple of months ago we were in Pearland TX (south side of Houston) as 7 tornado sightings were recorded that night. At about 3 in the morning the phones were flashing "Take Cover Now". I opened the laptop and used WeatherUnderground's Wundermap at maximum resolution to verify our position relative to the dangerous cell that was causing the alert. It turned out that we were already upwind from the storm and the threat to us had passed. After breathing a sigh of relief I sat for a while and watched the storm continue to blow through. Eventually the adrenaline rush died down and I was able to go back to bed. I'm not sure what I would have done if we had been on the other side of that cell.

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Just outside of New Orleans yesterday as that storm went thru slightly to the west and north of us. Watched the weather channel the whole time. We were in Oklahoma City last year and stayed in Road Runner RV park a mere 2 weeks before a tornado hit there. TV and newspaper reports showed our site and the wreckage in the park. Lucky so far, knock on wood. Our thoughts and prayers to those in that RV park in Convent La. Stay safe everyone.

 

Rich

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A couple of months ago we were in Pearland TX (south side of Houston) as 7 tornado sightings were recorded that night. At about 3 in the morning the phones were flashing "Take Cover Now". I opened the laptop and used WeatherUnderground's Wundermap at maximum resolution to verify our position relative to the dangerous cell that was causing the alert. It turned out that we were already upwind from the storm and the threat to us had passed. After breathing a sigh of relief I sat for a while and watched the storm continue to blow through. Eventually the adrenaline rush died down and I was able to go back to bed. I'm not sure what I would have done if we had been on the other side of that cell.

I was watching the weather on tv and had weather underground app opened also. I always ask when we check into a CG if they have a shelter in case bad weather comes through. The Tv and 5ver are insured, I just worry about my wife and two fury friends.

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We were in a direct path 20 min out about a month ago here in Fl at 0330. Our phone went off with the warnings. Checked local TV and watched the track. So we got our go bag we readied the night before and took our dogs with us to the campground restroom building (Cement block) Waited it out there. The storm turned about 10 min before it reached us so was not bad. We all got soaked but fine. Lucky

 

One thing though Cell service for us away from the RV with the booster was spotty. That was frustrating. The rest of the RV park was quiet no lights no one stirring except us and 3 others we grabbed next door. No idea how close they came.

 

That storm killed two in a Mobile Home about 20 min SW of us. Several tornadoes. Lots of damage.

 

If you look at some of the TV pictures from recent storms Trailers are tossed like tooth pics and piled up and even big trucks flipped. I really don't think being in one is a great option. Being outside though in the mist of the worse with debris may be equally as bad. Early warning and move before is for sure the right bet.

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I'm not sure what I would have done if we had been on the other side of that cell.

Having lived much of my life in areas where tornado warnings are frequent and tornado destruction in the area is all too common, this is kind of a pet subject of mine. When storms are predicted you should consider what you need to do before the storm is on you as weather nearly always gives advance notice that a major storm is likely. Waiting for the alert is often too late for one who is traveling.

 

I have always heard that if you cannot leave your RV, or don't have time, to lay on the floor by the bed and pull the mattress down over you for protection. It is flying debris that causes most deaths.

Your hearing is OK but it is never safe to stay in an RV. It is true that more than half of the injuries and deaths are caused by flying debris, but that is a national statistic and is not valid for mobile home & RV parks. As everyone who watches these storm reports knows, mobile homes tend to be more easily destroyed, even when anchored to the ground properly, but RVs are not anchored to the ground and they are one of the few things that you could be in which are a worse choice than an automobile. If either of those is struck by a tornado it will be picked up and thrown about and they don't even need to be in the center of the funnel. When the tornado struck Van, TX last Mother's Day one of our friends was in his stick house and while it had only roof damage, the motorhome that was parked beside the house was thrown across the street and onto a utility pole. That 2 year old motorhome was a total loss. Had someone been inside, they would most likely have died.

 

You are usually better off to go outside and lie in a ditch with something over you, than to ride it out inside of an RV. Take cover in a stick building. Any building is better than an RV but if you are caught inside of the RV and getting out is actually impossible, realize that the RV is probably not going to stay on it's wheels. On the floor by the bed is probably not a bad idea, if it is actually your only option.

 

All of this said, most people fail to realize that there are relatively few people that are actually harmed by most tornadoes, but those who are suffer major damage and make impressive TV. In the recent Van tornado, about 1/4 of those in the town of 4000 people actually suffered damage and of those there were about 60 homes that were damaged to a point where they could not be occupied. There was a mobile home park that was heavily damaged and the only two deaths were a couple that were in a mobile home but the two RV parks close by were not harmed by the tornado at all. It is important to remember that the TV only shows the homes that were damaged. At it's nearest, it was some 6 miles from us and as frightening as that can be, our only loss was some sleep and the loss of two friends. We attend church in Van and there were 8 couples who had major damage, two of which lost their homes and the couple who were killed. The point is that while a wise person takes cover at each alert, most of us do so virtually hundreds of times in our lives and yet never suffer direct damage. Part of the problem is that after we take cover over and over we begin to think that it won't happen to us and so we stop taking cover in an alert. Most of those who are seriously harmed are those who fail to take cover. Keeping a weather alert radio is a good first step, but if you do not know what to do when the alert comes, or if you don't bother to seek shelter, that alert radio becomes just one more useless item in the RV.

 

Don't be unduly paranoid about traveling though tornado country as it is less risk than driving on the highways, but when you do so take advantage of all of the safety features all of the time. Paying attention to weather alerts is exactly the same as putting on your seat-belts when you drive or ride in an automobile.

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Hooking a fiver to your truck might help keep it from tipping or getting picked up, dropping the hitch and suspension to get as close to the ground as possible would also help. We did that several times over the years when things got iffy. I still wouldn't stay in the fiver if the storm got close though, just too much area to catch wind and too little weight. If the storms got close we'd shut off the propane tanks and water and unplug the power and go to the campground's storm shelter.

 

What to do if no shelter is available is a tough call, I'd stay in the fiver if we had good information on the storm tracks and they were not close to us. If we were I'd have to decide between getting into our MDT and unhitching the fiver or looking for a ditch or other low spot that wasn't full of water. Maybe the MDT until things got really iffy and then the ditch, laying in a wet cold ditch for very long is pretty hard on old folks.

 

Not liking that second set of options is why we always looked for a campground with a good storm shelter option when traveling in storm season / country.

 

Unplugging is important, don't trust your power protection or just flipping a breaker, many things can go wrong during a storm that can get you a surge that will overcome most protection systems but unplugging protects you for minimal effort. Same with shutting off the propane, if the rig tips or is hit by flying debris there is a chance for a leak, for a couple turns of a knob can prevent a propane fire or explosion.

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Last night in eastern VA was a close call for many including us. As the tornado and wind shear path barreled out of Richmond right toward us. It chose a path that struck the town of Tappahannock crossed the Rappahannock River just 4 miles below us. Needless to say we spent about 2 hours in the basement of the Hdqt bldg of the refuge we are volunteering at in the dark.

Today we are dealing with no damage but a perplexing electrical issue that has us with no shore power or Genny power in the rig. Suspect our transfer switch is toast but mobile Tech will be here later today.

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So, we're about to move to fulltime and will be in areas where the weather is a larger issue than we are used to. Until now we've relied on our iPhones and park rangers, but nice I'd prefer to add a good weather radio to our arsenal.

 

Recommendations on a good choice?

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I don't see the old one we had in the fiver for sale anymore but here are a couple I like, simple and small.

 

Crane: http://smile.amazon.com/Crane-Pocket-Weather-Radio-Clock/dp/B00BSYCZZ0/ref=sr_1_33

 

Sangean: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0012YHQVE/ref=psdc_6893245011_t1_B00BSYCZZ0

 

There are a lot of options, you might find one of the hand-cranked versions with a cell charger function a good deal or a lot of other fancy features. Amazon is a good place to start looking, set the review level to 4 or more stars and then look for ones with a lot of reviews. If you find one that mentions "Newer version available" check out the link and be willing to consider it even if it had a lower number of reviews.

 

Another option if you like CB radios is to get one with the Weather band. Only downside to that is that some have a really loud alarm that can't be silenced, scared the wife badly when it went off the first time.

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When RVing we always kept a go bag packed by the door. We checked weather reports at least twice a day. We had weather alerts on our GPS enabled phones that would warn us of approaching threats. When the threat was a hurricane we pulled up stakes and drove several hours inland. And we truly believed that spending a few hours in a park bathroom was better than spending time in a hospital or morgue.

 

Now we are in an apartment we still do all of that except check weather reports twice a day. Only a couple of times have we felt the need to move to a sheltered area when living in s&b but we live by "better safe than sorry." That applies even more when living in an RV.

 

Linda Sand

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