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Cosmotaf

Maryland

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Posted: 05/18/13 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Will be traveling to SD the last of May. We are traveling in a Ram 3500 Dually with a 5th wheel. My husband who is a firefighter/EMT will have a weather radio. He has been West several times with Wildfire crews. So if there is a Wildfire he will know what to do. However living on the East coast we have only camped as far west as Tennessee. We are a little nervous about driving through areas that are tornado and severe storm prone this time of year. Do rest areas have appropriate shelter? Any safety tips/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Nervous Wife.

mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 05/18/13 07:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't be nervous. There is far more risk of some drunk wrecking into you than there is with getting hit by a twister.

If worried, I'd call ahead -- a lot of places have reinforced bath houses just in case this happens.

I've lived in tornado country all my life. Tornados are an issue, but they are not something to worry yourself sick over. Plain old lightning is far more dangerous.

BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 05/18/13 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have lived at the southern end of tornado alley all our lives and really just don't worry much about it. Just keep an eye on the clouds.
If you have a smart phone get a good weather app or two with good radar maps. If you see a heavy storm in your path pull over some where until it passes, preferably some where that provides shelter. Rest areas around here do have storm shelters in them. Can't say about other states.

Turtle n Peeps

California

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Posted: 05/18/13 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This has been talked about many time on here.

Here are the odds:

Auto deaths in the US every year= Over 300,000.

Tornado deaths in the US every year= Less than 70.

You are traveling on the road with an RV. Your chances of being killed while on the highway in your RV are way, way, way, way, way, way, higher than even seeing a tornado let alone being killed by one.

The storm chasers try their best to run into tornados and even they, with all the high tech equipment they have; have a REALLY hard time doing that.

Do the best you can; try to be careful and move on with life. Life is a fatal disease anyway.


~ Too many freaks & not enough circuses ~


"Life is not tried ~ it is merely survived ~ if you're standing
outside the fire"


sdianel

Tampa, FL

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Posted: 05/18/13 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We check the weather 10 days ahead and try to avoid storms if possible by taking an alternate route or staying put another day or two. I check www.weather.com every day. We have a weather radio and leave the setting on "all" counties. When we stop, I find out what county we're in and note the surrounding counties. I ask the park office were the shelter is. If there is a severe thunderstorm warning with high winds or tornado warning, we go to the shelter. In 5 years of traveling, we've only had to do that twice. Once outside Cincinnati and once in Florida!


Lonny & Diane
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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 05/18/13 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As others have mentioned/stated Tornado Areas shouldn't be excessively feared, but keep abreast of weather fronts, have a plan just in case.

We have driven in Tornado Alley a few times & camped in places were tornados & severe thunderstorms have been a possibility. Fearful? Yes. But no harm, thankfully.

Twice in Minot Area in North Dakota, very severe wind coming from WY, but didn't quite made it to us. We pulled over to be in shelter of a large building (on Minot AFB at the time). Severe Thunderstorms with Tornados coming down from Canada, got a lot of rain, but no Tornados, Thankfully. Parked at sons house (with basement).

Overnighting in Eagan, MN Walmart (years ago), very severe thunderstorm with hail came down us, we quickly moved behind the Walmart close to the building to get some shielder from the wind & hail. Very scary & noisy. No hail damage.

On a none planned stop in Clear Lake, Iowa (a year or so after the Eagan hail storm) driving back from Eagan. Extremely angry looking black wavy clouds & a sinister looking sky north of us & the radio telling of tornado warnings in several counties in Iowa. We didn't know what county we were in. Our map didn't show counties.

Went searching for a map without luck, finally stopped at a 7-11 type store & asked. Then found a map in the RV with counties. Very heavy rain but no storm.

Clear Lake Adventure

A few years ago, we were in Wichita Falls, TX. Just pulling into the RV Park, we heard of a Tornado & Severe Hail Warning. Very severe hail was on the way to Wichita Falls. The restrooms & the laundry room were where guest were to take refuge.

The RVs were parked (we meet our son & his family as well as our daughter there). So we took our two pickups & my daughters took her car to an abandoned car was not far from the RV Park with my daughter had noticed as she drove in.

We settled into two of the bays & waited for it to come. It come but the hail wasn't as severe as it had been in some of the small down southwest of Wichita Falls. We had came in through there early. When we left later lot of damage had been done. Broken windows in buildings & autos.

A police car came in for shelter while we were waiting for the hail to stop. No damage to our TTs.

Wouldn't have to be an abandoned car wash to find shelter in one. Ha!

Many, many years ago, our summer in the Texas Hill Country & planning on going down to Corpus Christi Area on the Gulf Coast. A hurricane came into or at least very close to the Corpus Area. We had to layover a few days extra days at Pedernales Falls State Park (lot of heavy rain off the hurricane which made it possible to stay longer - cancelations due to rain).

Went on down to Corpus Area (had been some flooding but mostly gone by then) & had a great time.

Advise, don't let fear keep you from enjoying traveling. As I mentioned above, keep abreast of weather fronts & any warnings, have a plan just in case. As others have advised if possible drive around severe weather. If cough on the highway, the rest area restrooms would be one place to seek shelter, I would assume.

Your firefighter/EMT husband should have the training to keep you safe.

* This post was last edited 05/18/13 09:37pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


DesertHawk - Las Cruces, NM USA
2005 16' Scamp Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailer
Side Dinette, Front Shower & Head
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab
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Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius


joe b.

Florida

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Posted: 05/19/13 04:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I am in tornado country, I am not concerned with what the odds are, just does one of those storms have my name on it. I grew up in southern Oklahoma, in the center of tornado alley, and I freely admit those storms scare me. If you or a loved one are one of the mentioned 70 people killed each year, tornados are very important.

Information is the key, IMHO. Tornados move from the SW to the NE in Tornado Alley, so keep a watch on large towering clouds building to the SW of you. As mentioned, check the long term weather forecasts and avoid those areas with a high chance for severe storms, if possible. Each summer we tend to spend time in Colorado, so when we get to Tallahassee, we will get as many weather forecasts as possible. My wife and I are both aircraft pilots so we will discuss the forecasts and decide the general route between Florida and Colorado. Last summer, the middle of the country didn't look promising so we stayed south, along the Gulf coast as long as possible.

Sometimes we guess wrong and get caught in a tornado outbreak in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas or eastern Colorado. The 24 hour forecasts are much more accurate than the long term ones, so then a traveler has to decide whether to stay parked in a campground or Ty to get out of the area before the storm develops if possible.

I have both a weather radio and an app for my iPhone, iMap Radio. App cost me about $10 but well worth it. It uses the built in phone locator to automatically give you verbal alerts for the area your are in. Prior to getting the app, one time we were in La Junta Colorado when in the middle of the night the weather radio went of with tornado information, given by counties. We had no idea of what county we were in or the surrounding counties. After that we checked every night on our road atlas for our county location.

While it may be more dangerous to drive a vehicle, if something kills or maims you or a family member, it doesn't really matter, IMHO.


joe b.
Stuart Florida
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
2011 Chevy 3500 DRW Dmax CC 4X4- Rockwood 8281 SS 5th Whl & 2008 Lance 845 TC
www.pajbcooper.com web site
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"Without challenge, adventure is impossible".

Bumpyroad

Virginia

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Posted: 05/19/13 05:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you will have a bigger chance of having your RV stuff destroyed by hail than a tornado.
bumpy





K3WE

Missouri

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Posted: 05/19/13 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sdianel wrote:

We check the weather 10 days ahead and try to avoid storms if possible by taking an alternate route or staying put another day or two.


This is excessive and sorry, it's really bad advice.

For starters, those of us that LIVE HERE full time are't going anywhere based on the 10 day forecast- moving to a different city for a few days, or anything like that.

And, back to the odds- the whole family is Midwesterners. I've never been hit (in 53 years), the parents have never been hit, the inlaws have never been hit...and that's 53 years without your suggestion of avoiding Tornadoes by avoiding the area ~two or whatever days in advance.

Dittos to the post that said pay attention to the weather and listen to the radio.

...and, by the way- flash flooding and lightning??? Those kill just as many folks.

(and repeating the normal act of driving is tons more dangerous).

K3WE

Missouri

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Posted: 05/19/13 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22 wrote:

Plain old lightning is far more dangerous.


I heard this somewhere before...however when I checked the stats, (noaa.com) it's NOT correct- tornadoes kill more people.

Of course, if you are in a vehicle or camper- you are better off to be hit by lightning than hit by a tornado.

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