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Old 07-19-2010, 12:26 AM   #1
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Tornado Advice

Hello American friends

We are leaving on Sunday for a one month trip through the usa . . . Rocky
Mountain Park in Colorado, then Texas, then the Ozark mountains in Missouri.

We are wondering if anyone knows of a site online that offers specific advice on what to do if caught in a Tornado while traveling on the road with your trailer and as well if caught in a campground. Or your own advice if you are knowledgable.

I know that part of the advice is "get out of the camper", but I would like a bit more detail than that.
Thanks
Lady Wendolyn
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:59 AM   #2
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If you get caught near a tornado while traveling on the road and you can't avoid it, get out of your vehicle into the closest building and stay away from windows. A couple of months ago near OKC, customers were gathered in a convience store's walk-in cooler. The store took a direct hit, but there were no injuries.
If there is not a building close by, lie down in a low area such as a ditch. It won't be fun, but it's better than staying in your vehicle. If at all possible, cover yourself with blankets or something similar for protection from flying debris.

Most campgrounds do not have a storm shelter, so try to take cover in the campgrounds bathhouse. You may have less than a minute to get to safety, so be prepared. Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations if threatening weather is close by.

You really don't need to worry too much. While tornados can and do occur through out the year, the height of tornado season for Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas has past, April - June.

You will experience hot and humid weather, temps in the high 90's - low 100's with heat indexs as high as 110. Storms can build in the heat of the afternoon, 10-20% chance, and most only produce rain. Some can contain hail and lightening but tornados are rare with these types of storms. However, the storms can fall apart quickly and produce micro bursts. Straight line winds as high as 70 or 80 mph. They can turn a trailer over but again this would be a rare occurance.

You truley have a very slim chance of experincing any of the bad weather conditions I mentioned above, so relax and enjoy your trip.

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:17 AM   #3
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If you are driving with the trailer and this type of storm hits, does it help to pull under an overpass or behind a building? Or is this just wishful thinking?
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:57 AM   #4
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I don't mean to scare you but I posted some pic at our campground about 3 or 4 weeks ago about a tornado the touch down in at Thousand Trails in Hershey PA. I took my camper back and put it on our seasonal this weekend after a two week trip to Myrtle Beach SC. Pic are one thing but being there after the destruction is another.
It's a matter of being in the right place at the right time with something like this and as suggested fine shelter if possible.
The first two pic shows a tree that fell in to a cabin, while I just learned yesterday that there was a family of 6 in this cabin when the tree fell, but all were at the other end of the cabin, no one was hurt. the last pic is 3 site down for mine, it was occupied, the camper was destroyed and the had to cut the tree up to get the older couple out, again they were OK.
One out of 4 bath houses was damage, a tree fell into it and it looks like most of the damage was done by falling trees, from what I can tell the only thing that was damaged by the wind was the roof on the pavilion.
Keep an eye on the sky and your ears tuned the the weather and be safe.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:29 AM   #5
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definatly don't park under an overpass! Just get over and out. The overpass will cause worse damage to the trailer and people due to the way the wind moves through it. If your that close to a storm get over, grab the floor mats, find a ditch and pray.
I ogt caught in a tornado here in Suffolk a couple of years ago. There was no warning, the NOAA guys must have been on a coffee break. There was nowhere to run or hide as I was on an open stretch of highway in rush hour traffic. Trust me, the ditch is no fun but I saw a truck thrown into the side of the hospital (2nd story windows) not 100 yards away. most everybody got out of the ordeal with only scratches needing new underwear.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladywendolyn View Post
If you are driving with the trailer and this type of storm hits, does it help to pull under an overpass or behind a building? Or is this just wishful thinking?
You definitely do NOT want to be parked under an overpass during a tornado. The wind actually funnels underneath and can be even more violent than out in the open. And if you're driving somewhere where a tornado hits, you won't likely be anywhere where you can hide behind a building. It wouldn't likely do any good anyway if it's a direct hit.

But with all this, please don't get yourself worked up over it. As grhodes said, "tornado season" is over. You might run into a freak storm that produces some straight-line winds that are often mistaken for tornados, but really those are pretty rare also. Just come on down, relax and enjoy your trip. Really.
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