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Old 05-19-2018, 11:04 AM   #1
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Severe weather - campground evacuated

Recently by us in upstate NY a campground that we frequent was evacuated for 3 hours due to severe weather and a tornado watch. Luckily the tornado did miss the campground and no real damage occurred. We were not there at the time but the event got me thinking. What should you do in a case like that? I would bring the awning and slide out in, unplug the camper, shut gas off at the bottles and disconnect water, sewer and cable connections. And of course bring anything outside inside. And leave the camper and campground. But where do you go? If you traveled a distance to the campground you just can't go home, plus being on the road may not be safe either. The campground does have a large building on site that is used for camping events not sure if they allowed people to gather there will ask next time we visit. I suppose if there is a restaurant of diner nearby you could go there order something and wait it out. Anyone have any experience where a campground was evacuated if so what did you do? Thanks
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:08 AM   #2
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Our campground has concrete block bathrooms which are also shelters in case of severe weather. However, the area has only had 2 tornadoes since records have been kept.

I like your list of actions to take in case of severe weather make sense as long as you have enough warning time.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:30 AM   #3
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Recently by us in upstate NY a campground that we frequent was evacuated for 3 hours due to severe weather and a tornado watch. Luckily the tornado did miss the campground and no real damage occurred. We were not there at the time but the event got me thinking. What should you do in a case like that? I would bring the awning and slide out in, unplug the camper, shut gas off at the bottles and disconnect water, sewer and cable connections. And of course bring anything outside inside. And leave the camper and campground. But where do you go? If you traveled a distance to the campground you just can't go home, plus being on the road may not be safe either. The campground does have a large building on site that is used for camping events not sure if they allowed people to gather there will ask next time we visit. I suppose if there is a restaurant of diner nearby you could go there order something and wait it out. Anyone have any experience where a campground was evacuated if so what did you do? Thanks
Chances are that if a tornado is coming you won't have time to do all of that.

If a tornado is coming, crab the family and pets and head to one of the campgrounds bathroom/shower buildings if they have them.

That is about all of the time you will have, if that!
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:30 AM   #4
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In state or Fed parks, the Rangers will call the evacuation and let you know where to go. As mentioned the restrooms are usually designated as shelters.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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In state or Fed parks, the Rangers will call the evacuation and let you know where to go. As mentioned the restrooms are usually designated as shelters.
I am going to have to ask next weekend when we are there what they or people did. No way the bathroom buildings are large enough. There is a large recreation hall on the site, near the entrance, maybe people went there to wait it out.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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In state or Fed parks, the Rangers will call the evacuation and let you know where to go. As mentioned the restrooms are usually designated as shelters.
CT state parks specifically tell you (with signage) NOT to shelter in the buildings during severe weather. This is due to the lawyers. Someone was struck by lightning leaning against a pillar in one of the pavilions during a thunderstorm a few years back. Now you're out of luck looking for any shelter within the parks.

A truck or car will protect you in a thunderstorm but your options are limited to non-existent during a tornado warning.
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:08 PM   #7
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Itís a very good question and one that I ask if I know thereís the potential of storms while Iím camping.

I just ask what do you have us do Incase of a tornado warning when I check in. Sometimes I get some quizzical looks, other times they have the answer.

For the ones that donít know, I look for the most sturdy building on my first walk around the campground.

FYI
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:57 PM   #8
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We were at a COE campground last winter when a tornado warning was issued. There was a funnel on the ground 15 miles away. We were told to head to the shower house immediately. Only about half the campers did??? Luckily there was only crazy rain and lightning. Half hour later it was nice again.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:16 PM   #9
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We were camped in tornado country when the 12 noon test siren went off.

The only reason that we heard it was that I had stepped outside. Inside the trailer with the air conditioning on we didn't hear a thing.

We now travel with a weather radio on when we're camping. As to where to go....sometimes there isn't anywhere close.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:46 PM   #10
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I would add that if you are just overnighting and haven't 'set up' camp and all that stuff, and you know that a tornado could be coming directly to the campground, and you have 'time' to pull in the slides and drive away, then that's what I would do, as I can keep driving for as long as I need to before coming back afterwards, or drive and park next to a substantial building.
If I was already set up and had too many things out, awnings, etc., and/or there is a long way into the campground, I would bring in the slides, awnings, and put away anything I could, but leave the air bags deflated and the leveling legs down, for the lowest center of gravity and creating the best 'foundation' near the ground, then head for the best 'shelter' right before it 'hits'...

RVs are accustomed to hitting 60 or 70 + mph winds as you are normally driving on the roads, and interstates, but they're not normally accustomed to this at the SIDES. They are vulnerable, but I also think that they can probably take more than we think.
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