My home town is on the fringe of Tornado Alley. You grew up here. Now the tornadoes that come through here get to you about five or six hours later. Technology advances, we are more able to predict bad weather, and we are more aware of the need to pay attention to the forecasts.
You older sister is one of those ‘get your basement ready’ people. She has her bags packed. It is likely that she will not hear the tornado sirens because she is already in the basement. She doesn’t make a big deal about it – if you want to join her in safety you are welcome – if you don’t she will merely give you that look that says, “You men really are stupid, aren’t you?”
She has flashlights, extra batteries, battery operated radios, television with cable, candles, extra water, canned food, blankets and pillows and lawn chairs and and mattresses. She may even have one of those old fallout shelter radiation detection kits – you never know what a tornado might bring.
I was at her house one evening when the sirens went off. I found her in the basement, sitting in a lawn chair, drinking a can of cold soda from the ice packed cooler. How did she do that, I wondered.
“Hey,” I said, “You should come out and see these cool storm clouds. You don’t see clouds like this everyday.”
She scowled and rolled her eyes. “Men!”
I went outside and looked around. Almost every yard in the neighborhood had a man standing and staring up into the wonders of nature.
I watched Storm Chasers on TV last night. This is a program about people, they call themselves scientists, who chase tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. They come back every year for a couple of months; the rest of the year is spent in their garage, adding armor plating to their vehicles. These guys have all sorts of weather monitoring devices. They measure barometric pressure and wind speed, stuff like that. Their goal is to get measurements from inside the tornado. It makes me happy that you studied art in college.
This year they have added a woman to their team. Nice touch, I thought. Perhaps these guys could use the voice of reason.