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Mother Nature's Fury


Wizards&OZ
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How do you handle Mother Nature? For example... when the weather takes a turn for the worse, what steps do you take to ensure your MH is secure? What apps or devices do you use to monitor the weather? At what point do you decide to leave your MH and take shelter? What do you do when bad weather strikes while you're driving? What tips & tricks would you tell a newbie with regard to bad weather and RV'ing? 

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We use the weather channel app, it gives out dangerous weather warnings. It scared the C^^p out of us in Texas at about 3 am when the phone started screaming and telling "Tornado warning in Your Area". That was when we realized we need to find out if there is a tornado shelter in the CG when tornado season is on! Happened again in Florida one night and we knew the bathrooms were the storm shelters.

If the weather looks bad when we plan to travel we change the plan until it's better.

Best tip? If the forecast is bad stay where you are. If the campground is alongside a river and there are flood warnings, LEAVE.

If it's too cold go South.

If it's too hot go North.

Have fun,

BnB

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Every morning :

Visit the bathroom .

Dress appropriately .

Get a cup of coffee and go outside for a while . 

Back inside for another coffee and turn on the lap top .

First page , have a look at the national animated weather map . That gives a very good idea of what to expect . Then to local weather forecast page for what 'they' predict . 

I always have radar maps on speed dial . National , regional and local . 

Maybe we've been fortunate that only once in 8 years DW thought seriously thought about going to heavy shelter . I slept through the whole affair . 

We do keep a weather radio in case everything else happens to go down . 

I've found that in nasty weather , TV is next to useless , as most of the time there's no signal .

We try not to travel in bad weather . That includes rain . If it happens , slow down and if it's too bad , stop .

It comes down to always being aware of what's going on and having an appropriate exit plan . Same as in life before full timing . 

Make it fun . ;)

U.S. Animated Radar :

https://www.wunderground.com/weather-radar/united-states/animated

Edited by Pat & Pete
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I use wether underground and the Storm app on IOS as far as apps. Our phone has SCREAMED at us twice in 3 1/2 years.  But I think every phone in that area goes off.   I try to always watch the weather everyday so I am not surprised.  If I know something is coming in advance I will hook up and get out of the way.  I will not travel in bad weather.  Is something just pops up we look for a shelter.  In areas that have commons storms I always ask where there shelter is. The rig is insured and can be replaced.  The wife and my kitty are my first priority.

 

you will NEVER win against Mother Nature.

Edited by rynosback
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We checked the weather every morning and evening. NOAA lets you enter your location so you can get local weather wherever you are.

If the weather forecast is bad, don't travel. Exceptions are if there's a storm heading towards you that you have time to outrun. When we were at Rainbow Plantation when a hurricane was predicted we dove up to Montgomery for a one night stay.

When traveling up tornado alley during the season we picked a campground because it advertised its storm shelter. We didn't need it but it was nice to be so close to it just in case.

In a park where we were visiting back home we spent a couple hours sitting in a storm shelter. Those of us in the shelter were amazed at how many stayed in their rigs.

In a different park another summer visiting home we evacuated when a river overflowed.

The only really scary one was one night in Quartzsite when the winds were rocking our Class C something fierce (no jacks on that rig). When the wind shifted direction Dave turned our rig so it would, once again, face into the wind. We didn't get much sleep that night. Later we were told those winds reached 70 mph.

All of those events became stores to tell around later campfires.

If you watch the weather so you can make informed decisions, all will be well.

Linda Sand

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A great deal of the weather precaution will depend on what sort of bad weather is expected. Everyone should keep a good weather alert radio since they are very available. And you should watch the local weather reports every day. Most major storms today are predicted well ahead of time so we can usually plan for it. 

Thus far it seems everyone is addressing tornados so I'll comment on that first. I have lived the majority of my life in areas where tornados occur and have impacted by one twice in my life, once in WY and the other here in TX. Neither struck me but both damaged people that I knew. It is important to realize that there are no states which have never experienced a tornado but it is more likely in the central part of the US. Start by making sure that you know where the campground storm shelter is. Most common is for a restroom to be hardened for shelter as it has water and facilities available and it doesn't become a storage space full of junk the way that special rooms do. You also need to realize that most people get dozens of alerts and never experience a tornado. It is like wearing a seat belt, if you do not always pay attention and take cover, you won't be there when one does strike. You do not want to be in an RV or vehicle if you do experience tornado.

In a thunderstorm, hail can cause far more damage than do tornados because it usually strikes a much larger area. There really isn't a lot that you can do about it other than to get off of the highway if you are moving, stop if you can't get off of the road. The motion of travel will greatly increase the damage the hail does. Flash flood warnings should be taken seriously. If you are near a lake or stream, move to high ground. In high winds, trees may fall on you so even though they can provide some shelter, they can also cause major damage if they fall. Try to park the RV such that the prevailing wind strikes the end of the RV, rather than the side and retract your slides. If driving in heavy rain, try to get completely off of the roadway if you choose to stop. An off-ramp or rest area would be best. Lightning can be very frightening, but rarely ever strikes a rubber-tired vehicle. If a hurricane is predicted, move inland well before the storm strikes and don't wait for an evacuation order. 

The wise RV traveler does not go out on the highway when the weather is very bad. We regularly see posts about tire chains on an RV but do not own them and never have. The only way that I move an RV in bad weather is when caught on the road when a storm strikes without warning and then only to the next exit. 

As important as it is to take reasonable precautions, do not spend your travel time living in fear. Always be aware of what is happening around you whether earthquakes, forest fires, thunderstorms, or hurricanes but you do not need to avoid those areas, just pay attention and take reasonable precautions. 

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I hate when you see those weather-tornado chasers. They need their butts blown away but not hurt. I was in a tornado once when living in mobile home. Not cool when the roof blows off and the walls go down an dw screaming. No warning nothing. Guy from the national weather comes out and say just a big wind. Never heard a wind sound like a train going bye. See that sweet corn in garden that looks like its been braided. He left. Found a picture over a quarter mile away. Been japped by lightning before also. I'll take parshall blame for that one. Had to go park into wind away from tree's before. This was before cell phones etc.

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Before you denigrate professional storm chasers, you might want to consider this:

"Since there is still so much that is unknown about tornadoes, their formation, and their paths, it is important that storm chasers continue to make observations and collect data so that more accurate weather warnings can be issued, allowing people to react to tornadoes more quickly and more effectively and prepare themselves for potential danger."

http://why-sci.com/storm-chasing/

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We were sitting around yesterday and my cell phone starts squawking.  It says TORNADO WARNING in the area and to take shelter.  Luckily we finished are house and living in it and not the 5th wheel.  
The TV said there were funnel clouds spotted around us.  We live on the top of a mountain and have a 360 deg view, I looked outside and never seen any.  Never been in any tornados, but figured the safest place in the house would be in the hallway in the center of the house.
If we were still living in the RV I think I would have got in my car and drove away from the oncoming storm and looked for a public building that could survive a tornado and get in it.
Oh did I mention that I live in California.  So we don't get Tornados that often so don't have shelter for them.

 

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10 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Before you denigrate professional storm chasers, you might want to consider this:

"Since there is still so much that is unknown about tornadoes, their formation, and their paths, it is important that storm chasers continue to make observations and collect data so that more accurate weather warnings can be issued, allowing people to react to tornadoes more quickly and more effectively and prepare themselves for potential danger."

http://why-sci.com/storm-chasing/

Didn't use the word "professional". Talking about idiot video makers. I've actually been in the Air Force Hurrican Hunter and learned about what they learn and collect data etc.

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I have the NOAA Hi-Def Radar app on my cell phone and find it very handy for immediate radar updates. 

As the weather gets bad, do the following in this order as the storm approaches and as it looks stronger:

1) Put awning in.  I never leave mine out after dark or when I leave my vehicle. (Learned once how not fun it is to have to go out at 2:00 am and put awning in. also have seen a lot of damaged awnings left open when people went away for the day.)

2) Pick up and put away anything outside that might blow away. This includes mats, chairs, etc. 

3) Put slides in as storm approaches, if it looks like winds will be strong. Learned my lesson with 65 MPH winds that tore one of my toppers.  Putting slides in will also make your rig less "tip-able."

4) Head for the rest rooms, assuming they are concrete or strongly made.  Wear a coat, take purse or wallet, flash light, and cell phone with charger.

I have a motorhome and am not sure what you do with a lighter trailer or popup.  The storm that tore my slide topper knocked a couple of 5th wheels off their posts and turned some lighter trailers 90 degrees.  I was parked on a bluff overlooking a lake, and I could feel my heavy vehicle lift up on one side, so I would not have wanted to be in a lighter vehicle.  The storm changed direction and came too quickly to head for a rest room, so I put on my coat, grabbed my purse and cell phone, and buckled myself into my Class C drivers seat.  Figured if it went over, i would at least be somewhat protected by the cab. 

By the way, this was in Kansas, and the camp host showed me how his 5th wheel was cabled down into the concrete pad it sat on!

Edited by Solo18
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5 minutes ago, Solo18 said:

I have a motorhome and am not sure what you do with a trailer 

As that hurricane I mentioned earlier was predicted to head our way several people with 5th wheels hitched their cabs to their trailers to act as anchors. Which may or may not help depending on the severity of the storm. Some people with motorhomes parked their toads on what they hoped was the downwind side of their motorhomes. We were not the only ones who evacuated but we were in the minority. As it turned out the park just had lots of damage to trees.

Linda

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We have numerous apps on our I-phones plus a weather radio.  We do not come back to our home state (Florida) during hurricane season unless we have to for medical reasons.  When traveling we will modify our plans and route to avoid severe weather conditions.

While stationary we just do the best we can.  We know where the closest place is located we can take shelter.  We keep our motorcycle rain gear inside the coach if severe weather is coming.  Depending on how severe we may even pull the slides in and load the Harley and car inside the trailer.  Anything around the campsite that can blow gets put away in advance.

I think the most important thing as full time travelers is you have to constantly monitor the weather predictions and stay on top of things.

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We have weather radio that is on all the time our employment, both of us, with the FAA  provided us with a fair  knowledge of  weather.We have the weather channel on satellite. We can look outside and see what is going on. We winter in Florida so we have no foul weather.

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44 minutes ago, richfaa said:

We have weather radio that is on all the time our employment, both of us, with the FAA  provided us with a fair  knowledge of  weather.We have the weather channel on satellite. We can look outside and see what is going on. We winter in Florida so we have no foul weather.

Sure . LOL

hqdefault.jpg

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I forget that camping in the Southwest, the worst weather we face is pretty much nothing.  I mean, sure, a very rare 50 MPH wind, but whatever.  So this has been educational, as we start to travel farther.  I'd like to add that Dark Sky has been great about predicting rain and wind right down to a few minutes for us here.

 

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Spent a lot of time working and living in Oklahoma city, FAA, saw our share of tornado's.We rode out the May 3rd, 1999 EF -5 that destroyed Moor, OKC.It went right over us and I thought we were toast. The  weather chasers and forecasters are real good in that area 

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We've stayed in many state parks in the southeast where tornados happen often. The ranger always came around and knocked on every RV to alert us to get into the bathhouse which was of concrete block and the best place to be.  Men, women, children & pets all were together.  Some bring folding chairs. All bring water & snacks & playing cards or games. The weather radio is on.  People in those areas are ready. The always have a 'go to' back already packed & setting by the door to grab.  We've done that quite a few times. No tornado though but you need to be ready.

Get a good weather radio which will give you detailed information by county.  When you pull into a campground in those regions the first thing you need to know is what county you are in because that's how the radio announces. It's helpful to know the surrounding counties, also because they'll say the storm is coming from A and approaching B.  Another thing to ask is where is the storm shelter. It may be outside the campground.  Sometimes the county is printed on the park map they give you.

Even when driving it's good to know what county you are in so you know who they're talking about.

When you leave bring in your slides and naturally, your awning and anything outside that can blow around like a free-standing propane tank for the BBQ.

In Oklahoma we stopped for fuel and a lot of truckers were inside watching the television. We asked what they were watching & stated "about a tornado approaching". We asked "where?". We were told "right here along with baseball-size hail". This was our first experience and we spotted an overpass not far. We got in the motorhome and drove to it and parked. Some other vehicles were also tucked in under it.  We were told later that that is the worst place to be in a tornado because the wind will come right through it like a funnel.  We should have stayed parked at the station like the truckers were and sought refuge inside the building - away from windows even though our motorhome would have been damaged by hail.  That would have been better than us getting harmed.

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Weather radios, local television/radio stations, and weather apps all are appropriate. Be sure you know what county you are in, and what the neighboring counties are. I also have my 2 meter radio monitoring the local repeater that is used by the spotters. We don't have slides, so don't have to worry about them. I do put away all the outside stuff if there is any thought of bad weather. That includes the electric cord. Go out BEFORE the storm arrives and unplug and put away the cord. Fire up the generator if you want electricity. You don't want to be outside with lightning flashing, thunder roaring, and hail bouncing off your head trying to unplug.

We do campground hosting, and several times I've gone out and knocked on doors to tell campers that we were in a severe weather watch. I tell them to monitor the television/radio and where the shelter is. I also tell them that I may be able to come around and give them additional warning, but that depends on what the storm is doing.

We did have to leave a campground once due to flooding. We arrived, and got set up, planning on being there for a week. The next morning the ranger was knocking on our door - at 6:00 a.m.! He said the river was rising and everyone needed to be gone by noon. We were pulling out by 8:00, and the water level was less than a foot below the road level. When we called a week later to ask about our refund they said the river was over the tops of the electric pedestals.

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3 hours ago, richfaa said:

Spent a lot of time working and living in Oklahoma city, FAA, saw our share of tornado's.We rode out the May 3rd, 1999 EF -5 that destroyed Moor, OKC.It went right over us and I thought we were toast. The  weather chasers and forecasters are real good in that area 

Our former son-in-law was a storm chaser. The most important decision he made was that he needed to trade in his rag top Jeep for a hard top.

3 hours ago, Carlos said:

Is the recommendation to bring in the slide based on having a slide cover?  Meaning the awning-like fabric?  Ours doesn't have that, so it seems like the slide itself is fine in bad weather.

I recommend bring in slides. They are more vulnerable to damage when out. You don't want the wind to catch your slide and dislodge it creating a good place for leaking.

Linda

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I will never forget May of 1999 in OKC one of the news channels had a reporter  on the air with a giant EF-. 5 tornado filling the screen behind her. We were listening to the storm Chasers on their frequencies.We heard  a call  to a storm chaser asking what is the location of the tornado and his reply was  do  you mean the one in front of me or the one in back of me. We still have the State and OKC city maps were we tracked the tornado as it approached  us. It went right over us and destroyed Moore. Very scary day.

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