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Old 11-25-2020, 05:20 AM   #1
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Tornadoes

My question is regarding siren alert horns for an RV park. Actually I'm wanting to know about a blowhorn of some type - not anything connected to the internet or county. They're too expensive.

We just had a tornado blow through North Texas here last night at 8pm and missed the RV park I'm staying in by inches. Had water damage get into my living area when I was escaping with the dog to get in my car to drive to the tornado shelter half a mile away. We had no siren because this is the boonies. When I was looking to choose a spot for the winter none of the parks in the entire area had any kind of horn for the park managers to blow. This is the country so there's no NOAA County system this far out! There are at least 20 RV parks in the area.

All I want is some information I can pass along to our Park owner. We just need a loud siren on a pole that the park manager or the nearest person can activate with a switch when our cell phones get the alert. My new cell phone actually didn't get a warning!!!! and the manager's iPhone also didn't get one. Thank God I had my old Samsung plugged in on a charger because it did receive the alert and blasted loud and clear!

I was running over to bang on the manager's door when he popped out wondering why his trailer was shaking!
I only had a 30-second warning before the 100 mph winds/rain hit. The weather went from dry, to the worst I've seen in my life and I've been through many hurricanes when living on the coast. I knew a tornado was coming because I was pottying my dog and saw the wall cloud 10 miles away as the lightning lit up the sky. About 10 minutes later, only the park manager and myself made it out to safety. The other 50 units apparently had no clue.
I had to drive down a pitch black county road in torrential rain. I went into a ditch because I couldn't see, missed the state park entrance to the restrooms, all this with my poor senior Pug puppy in tow while the storm chasers went driving the opposite direction into the fray. The rain was so bad I couldn't see the stadium lights on the State Park parking lot. Took me a good 8 minutes to get into the restrooms from the time I left my RV. Had it been a direct hit my dog and I would have been dead.
Does anybody have any ideas for RV park owners who have not been provided for by the county?

We just need something to let people know that the manager is heading for the shelter.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:54 AM   #2
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Those types of storms this time of year are very difficult to predict. There may have not been enough warning to even sound the siren if they had one. The bigger factor here is your reaction. In the point of the storm where you baled you should have stayed put. You put yourself in more danger by getting in your vehicle. Having no idea where the storm actually was you could have easily driven into the tornado or been seriously injured when you ran into the ditch and noone would know where you were. Study up on your tornado rules, Keep a close weather eye, and stay safe. Glad you made it through the ordeal. Those storms are scary but are just a part of life in this part of the world.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:45 AM   #3
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Where were you I used to full time at DFW Kia thatís where the storm hit got the apartments also
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:46 AM   #4
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Advise the park owner to get a weather radio with alarms. Then he should be able to buy a klaxon rotary powered siren for not much money. The big thing is getting the weather radio. A siren does no good if there isn’t notice.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:03 AM   #5
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Advise the park owner to get a weather radio with alarms.
You might want to get one for yourself as they should be good all over the country. Most come with all sorts of bells and whistles (bottle opener, solar, cell phone charger, crank generator, automatic 5th wheel parking assist, dishwasher, oh, wait, I might have gotten a bit carried away with the last one). Take a look at what Amazon has to offer to get an idea.

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Old 11-25-2020, 09:18 AM   #6
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To the OP. You said your new phone didnít get the weather alert but your old phone did.
If you go to settings page on your phone you will see a notifications tab. You can turn on or off government alerts, amber alerts and weather alerts there.
On iPhones and most android those alerts will sound even if the phone is in the silent mode.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:27 AM   #7
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WOW! That was a close one! Sure glad you're OK!

I've never heard of an RV park with a warning siren, although it would be a great idea! We depend on the NOAA emergency warnings anywhere we go.

We also inquire about the nearest tornado shelter when checking into an RV park!
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:52 AM   #8
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Then, if the owner of the park, for some reason, fails or cannot flip the switch, or does not get the warning himself, or the tornado siren malfunctions, a tornado hits and folks get hurt and their property gets damaged, he has just now opened himself up to some horrifical law suits for negligence for not sounding the warning. He's just lost his business due to legal fees and the campground closes down. Everyone's a winner!

Bottom line, it's still YOUR responsibility to protect yourself, not someone else. Get the weather station scanner and quit blaming others.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:52 AM   #9
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Why in the world would you 'foray out' into the middle of the tornado? Whether you are in your car or in the RV, you are in imminent danger. Tornado experts say if you are caught in a tornado in your vehicle, to get out and seek low ground, not to get into your vehicle and drive away. Either way, glad you are safe.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:50 AM   #10
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Why in the world would you 'foray out' into the middle of the tornado?
My dad along with his classmates survived the great tornado of Frost Texas back in the 1930's in that farm town that lost every single building as he watched his country schoolhouse flatted while the entire town disappeared. My dad and his classmates walked a short distance from the school to lie in a ditch as everything in the area blew away. The kids got soaking wet and one boy had a wooden limb propelled through his leg but all the kids survived that day.

So think about this when you see a tornado and fiddle with calling the dog and trying to get everyone out and trying to drive away in a car. I'd scream a couple of times and haul buns to the nearest ditch! You can wash in and out your jeans the next day if you are lucky.

As far a weather radios go, I have one but I have to admit I quit using it because of the constant alerts when I'm in Texas. It's like the WEA alerts that often come enabled by default on a cell phone. After a few days of them going off several times a day, you finally just turn everything off.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:29 PM   #11
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...... We just need a loud siren on a pole that the park manager or the nearest person can activate with a switch when our cell phones get the alert. My new cell phone actually didn't get a warning!!!! and the manager's iPhone also didn't get one.
Question, since you nor the manager got the warning alert, who's going to flip the switch?

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Then, if the owner of the park, for some reason, fails or cannot flip the switch, or does not get the warning himself, or the tornado siren malfunctions, a tornado hits and folks get hurt and their property gets damaged, he has just now opened himself up to some horrifical law suits for negligence for not sounding the warning. He's just lost his business due to legal fees and the campground closes down.
Exactly, as confirmed by the OP. It a shame that we sometimes have to protect ourselves, by doing nothing.

Most everyone has a cell phone these days. It sounds like the notifications need to be double checked.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:54 PM   #12
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Many weather radios can trigger an external siren or horn (in addition to beeping obnoxiously) and can turn on or off alert types; you could have it alert to tornado warnings only, for example

If your radio can't receive warning signals, a VHF antenna up a tall pole might do the trick. It's about 162.55Mhz, close enough to TV that a TV antenna would work.

If that's still not workable, a panic button might be the only option. Many 12v horns are available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Being weather-aware is vital. A few years ago I was at a CG near Washington, Texas, and I was looking at the weather radar on the computer. Obviously something nasty was coming; a few minutes later the radar readout denoted a TVS and about that same time the sky turned green and things got rather nautical.

The weather radio went off a full five minutes later, after the tornado had damaged some buildings a few miles away.

About 10 minutes after that, many of my neighbors got their warnings from Houston TV and duly trudged to the bathhouse. Note that this was at least 15 minutes _after the tornado had gone over_. They sat in there about a half hour.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:53 PM   #13
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WOW! That was a close one! Sure glad you're OK!

I've never heard of an RV park with a warning siren, although it would be a great idea! We depend on the NOAA emergency warnings anywhere we go.

We also inquire about the nearest tornado shelter when checking into an RV park!
Those are the two things we did when traveling those tornado-prone states. The weather radio is great and we got a battery one in case electric went out.

We were in a few Alabama state parks where the ranger knocked on doors telling us to seek shelter in the concrete bath houses. We also had a 'go to' bag packed and ready. It was a party atmosphere - men, women, kids, pets.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:11 PM   #14
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Was in a park in Missouri where the manager drove a golf cart around the park with a bullhorn warning everyone.
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