Tornados tend to be highly localized (and, only strike trailer parks! :> ).
Hurricanes being much broader in their impact (and, usually flood damage
instead of the "percussive" damage from flying stuff)
A friend rode out Andrew ('92) and said it was an interesting experience.
I think having to cower in an interior room would sort of defeat the
experience... all you'd (hopefully!) experience was noise and some
shaking -- wouldn't be able to SEE what was happening.
Supposedly, the New Madrid fault just due south of IL has some potential
for significant damage. OTOH, the populations affected, there, aren't
what they would be in (anywhere!) Calif.
The idea of the *ground* moving is just fascinating to me! It's one
thing to be on a man-made structure and experience motion (Harvard
Bridge, Royal Gorge Bridge, tall buildings, etc.); yet another to be on
"solid ground" and feel it move!
It IS an interesting experience! I remember a 6.2 shaker in 1970 when
the brand new freeway overpass in Northern Los Angeles fell. We were in
bed on the second floor when it hit, and I watched our building rock
back and forth, bang! bang! and the street rolled like waves for a good
2 minutes. It was fun!
The Harvard Bridge (Cambridge-Boston, MA) sort of "floats". When you
walk on it, passing traffic causes the bridge to "bounce". So, you have
this competing rhythm that screws up your walking pace; instead of "step,
step, step" it's "step - boing - step - boing, boing - step". It can
be disturbing the first time you encounter it.
The "roadway" of the Royal Gorge Bridge is built of *planks* laid on
steel supports. So, when the (occasional, touristy) car drives by, the
planks flex and lift you up a bit. As they are only ~10-12 inches wide,
you can visibly watch the ripple in the roadway as the car advances
past you. At ~1000ft to the river below, you really wish they'd opted
to use something other than LUMBER!!
I'd like to be in an open field (away from buildings that might tumble)
to experience an earthquake. To be able to *think* about what is
happening and "gather data" (observations) to try to rationalize what
my body would be feeling. (having to worry about my personal safety
would sort of hamper that!)
No, unlikely that I will find myself in a field for ANY reason!
OTOH, I *was* able to realize that the "shaking display" I
experienced was the result of an earthquake fast enough to be able
to make note of the experience! Folks who were asleep (or driving,
etc.) would have missed it entirely!
We can't always see them and have to often rely on the weather reporters
or storm chasers for locations. Occasionally, a tv station will be
filming live from towers, so we can see when transformers blow up and
know about what street they're on.
We had a small one hit about 3/4 of a mile south from us and take the
roofs off a strip mall and some surrounding houses a couple years ago.
Another one jumped the river and sent north of us about 3/4 of a mile
north of us in the air then came back to the ground and took out a truck
stop NE of town.
Doesn't shake you up about a twister hitting your home? I think I'd
have a BIG room in the house that is twister proof. I'd prolly spend
most of our time in that room durring tornado season!
Earthquakes don't scare Me, but tornadoes do. :-? Maybe because we live
in a earthquake prone area?
Earthquakes are rare here, and I would rather keep it that way, there
apparently have been some but they didn't affect me at all, only felt
one when I lived on the 17th floor of an apartment building many years
ago. Tornadoes are also rare, one or two every three of four years
within 100 miles or more, living on stable land and with relatively
non-violent weather does have its benefits.
I think a lot of it has to do with *familiarity* with a risk.
Things with which you have no first-hand experience can conjure up
all sorts of nightmarish scenarios, in your imagination. OTOH,
practical exposure allows you to more accurately gauge those
risks in a REAL context.
Folks who've never encountered a cougar, rattlesnake, tarantula,
gila monster, poisonous spider, etc. might cringe at the thought.
In practice, you realize they aren't going to CHARGE you but,
rather, will shy away -- unless you provoke them! So, instead
of thinking that they are "lying in wait" for an unsuspecting "you"
to come along, you realize they're going to ignore you -- unless
you force them NOT to!
Coming to this realization WITHOUT direct experience is difficult.
Seeing the devastation of a "natural disaster" leaves your imagination
unconstrained to IMAGINE what it must have been like. In practice,
I suspect the appraisal is very different.
But most of the consequences of those events are related to how
well the support systems addressed the AFTER EFFECTS or failures
of man-made structures brought about by the event. E.g., had NOLA
been ABOVE sea level, most of the fatalities there would not have
occurred. The storm, itself, didn't kill those people; the failure
of levees meant to keep the sea water out of the low-lying wards
How often do you see *bodies* littering the area of a storm/disaster?
Last year, ~30 people died as a direct result of tornados. Despite
all the *power* that they unleashed! 1000 times more people died in
the same period due to automobile accidents -- almost the same
number as lost their lives to guns! Bundle up the energy expended
in all of those car crashes (or gunshots) and compare it to the
energy in *one* tornado...
What you *see* in the media is the devastation that these events
leave behind. And, *imagine* that the "human cost" must have been
tremendous! It is -- but in the *aftermath*, not the event itself!
We've had about 6 close calls during tornado season. All we can do is
pay attention to where the storms are and what direction they're moving,
but when they're coming straight for us you decide just how much you
believe in prayer. The best hiding place in a house is a room with no
outside walls or windows. We have one tiny coat closet that fits that
description and the door doesn't latch tight on it. Probably one small
person could squat down in it. The other choice is the bedroom closet,
but it's on a west facing wall. The house is built in an L shape and
the closet would be located on the inside corner of the L. Me, the
hubby, and the dog would fit in that one, but if a strong F5 or F4
tornado hit our house we'd be lucky if there was anything left, but
strange things happen and sometimes a twister will take part of a house
and not touch something else.
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