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Old 04-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Tornados during travel

We are going from CA to New Orleans to WI then back to CA this summer. Its our first big trip. With all these tornados in the mid west, it made us wonder what do you do when traveling during that type of weather?
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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First, get a weather radio and learn how to use it and select SAME codes if needed, then use it. We use a tablet computer with the "Weather Channel" or similar ap to watch weather patterns and forecasts. We make it a practice to avoid traveling if severe weather is forecast in an area we would be traveling in or avoid that area. We avoided I 40 Sunday north of Little Rock. Glad we did. If you are camped, learn where any building is located that might serve as a storm shelter if it gets rough.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:38 PM   #3
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Go into a basement compartment or hide in bathtub.

Actually, the weather radio is the best idea. Also, if on the road as storms approach, find a shelter and GET OUT OF THE RV. It is not considered a good shelter to huddle under a highway bridge, a depression or ditch is a better choice. (A highway underpass can 'funnel' wind and debris if a tornado is a direct hit)
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:47 PM   #4
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We also have a weather radio and normally we have some Verizon coverage and use Weather Bug a lot. Caught caught in a storm 2 weeks or so ago and we spent 2 hours in the Women's Rest room (my first experience in a Woman's rest room I might add!) but I was not alone - my wife and about 30 campers spent 2 hours there for the storm to pass and all was ok with no damage but had 40 mph winds. If there is no shelter look for the bathhouse or restroom - if they are not built well, just hunker down. We pray for safety.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:59 AM   #5
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Ran into a possible/likely tornado situation last year while in Vicksburg, MS. Tracked the storms travel for a couple of days and seemed to be headed right in our direction. Went to the front desk and asked the lady about shelter and her response was they generally used the laundry room but it wasn't that big. I'm staring at a whole bunch of RV's, did some math and we would not all fit.

Therefore, we pulled up anchor and headed south to New Orleans where we sat for 2-3 days of heavy rains but at least no tornados.

Moral of this story for us is when it's headed in our direction, we're out of there!
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:26 AM   #6
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We ran into a situation while driving in ND last summer. We tracked the storms real time on weather radar apps. When it looked like our path would intersect the storms path we pulled off and waited for the storms to go ahead of us. If I thought they were going to come at us where we stopped I would have back tracked to get out of the way.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:36 AM   #7
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Who ever is not driving tracks the storm on thier cell phone. We have slowed up to follow storms and changed route to go around them. We always check the weather well over 100 miles in advance so no surprises. We travel in winter also and followed a blizzard a couple years ago. Problem was when I caught up to it. Had to park it for a while.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:02 AM   #8
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The beauty of having wheels. Where tornados might be........I'm not!!!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:00 AM   #9
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I was curious if you really need that Weather Radio if you have a smartphone with all kinds of weather information at your finger tips ?
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:08 AM   #10
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If you have good cell coverage and a smart phone you are fine. The advantages of a weather radio is: 1. Lots of coverage around the country. 2. Can set to alert you (but you can do that with weather bug and a smart phone). 3. Cell towers would prob be fairly equal in a storm to the weather radio towers.

Actually weather bug is my favorite but as I said you have to have cell coverage. We have found Verizon the most reliable around the country.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:09 AM   #11
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I am also a ham radio operator so carry ham radio
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:14 PM   #12
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My tip is to know which county you are in, especially in a campground. When the WX radio goes off in the middle of the night, they usually give the counties in the warning area. That's not the time to be looking at an Atlas. I've also noticed in the last several years, most campgrounds list their county on their handout map at check-in. If not listed, ask!
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:56 PM   #13
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Weather radio or good app on your smartphone or tablet. If you're on the road & one comes up, at the very least stop under an overpass. If you can change your route, do so.
When checking in at an rv park, ask where their shelter is. If you have animals, ask about their pet policy for the shelter.
Have a "go" bag ready. I have a bag to put medicines, snacks, bottled water & food for our cats & any important papers. You could be in a shelter for an hour or two, but it could be a longer time away from your mh if a storm comes through & heaven forbid damage ensues.
If it's windy or stormy, we bring in the slides. It's all a bit of a hassle but going to the shelter I meet people I might not have seen otherwise. Just like the road trip, it's all in what I make of the adventure.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3catstravel View Post
Weather radio or good app on your smartphone or tablet. If you're on the road & one comes up, at the very least stop under an overpass. If you can change your route, do so.
This is a MYTH! Due to a 1991 memorable video of a TV crew sheltering in an underpass, many people think this is safe. IT'S NOT. In that case, the tornado didn't pass directly over the bridge, it passed close, and the underpass had a unique design, allowing the people to crawl up and brace themselves in a space at the base of the underpass. In 1999, an outbreak of tornados in OK killed 3 people sheltering in 3 different underpasses. You are much more likely to be killed by flying debris. THE VERY BEST STRATEGY IS TO SEEK PROPER TORNADO SHELTER. or if in a vehicle, DRIVE AWAY FROM THE STORM'S PATH.

Tornado Overpass Information

Tornado Safety (Online Tornado FAQ)
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