It’s a blustery day, Piglet

For those of you who didn’t have a childhood, my title is from Winnie the Pooh, where Pooh and Piglet are walking around the 100 acre wood and it starts to get really windy and they blow away. That’s kind of how I’ve felt the past few weeks here at school. The weather seems fine, almost nice, and then all of a sudden the winds are at 20 miles per hour.

Strong winds are often scary, but I think they are more scary because they can be a sign of a tornado. A tornado is a column of violently rotating winds that extend down from a thunderstorm cloud and touch Earth’s surface and usually cause immense damage. Michigan experiences an average of 18 tornados a year, which is a lot considering it’s a natural hazard. Since 1950, 239 people have been killed due to tornado related incidents and there have been 782 tornados since then in Michigan. Most of them occur in the summer months; June, July, and August and typically occur in the late afternoon or early evening.

The impacts of tornados are not to be taken lightly. They can cause property damage, pressure drop, loss of livestock and human life, strong updrafts, flying debris, disruption of utilities and power, and so much more. A tornado can destroy a small town, leaving it’s citizens with little ways to make money for themselves and repair the damage that has been done. Michigan has a lot of small farm towns, and many of them have been devastated by the impact a tornado can leave. With the economic state the country and Michigan is in, we cannot afford to not be prepared for a tornado.

That being said, I think that tornado warnings need to be a lot more direct and informative. The only warning or watch I have ever seen has been on the TV, and that’s pretty much it. There should be interruptions on the radio and maybe even emails or text messages sent out to those who live in the area so that they have adequate time to prepare or leave.

We should also be teaching citizens to take these watches and warnings seriously and to always be prepared as much as they possibly can be so they can avoid devastating impacts. By showing examples of tornado damage in schools and maybe even work places, the community will have a better grasp on what can happen when a tornado hits.

Jessica Smith

Sources:

http://clem.mscd.edu/~wagnerri/Haz/hazardsimpacts2.htm

http://www.co.monroe.mi.us/government/departments_offices/emergency_management/tornado_facts.html

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5 responses

  1. I think you touched upon a really interesting issue. As a state that is on the fringes of what we consider tornado alley, we don’t normally consider tornadoes as something that really affects us like our annual snow storms and such. Personally I was really surprised to see in your article that we average about 18 tornadoes a year and there have been 782 since 1950! I think the most effective way to curb the devastating effects of tornadoes which can result in a variety forms such as loss of life, severe property damage, and the like is to increase people’s awareness through the school system, weather stations, and public service announcements of the impact these storms can have on them and the probability of them occurring.

    Megan Povenz

  2. I really enjoyed your post and found it interesting. Today, proves your example of the strong winds we have in Michigan and they are scary. I have never experienced a tornado, but to hear they do pose a threat in Michigan and are 18 per year is news to me. I agree with you when you say more immediate warnings need to be sent out to citizens where a tornado may occur. I think more lives could be saved or reduce property damage if people knew about the incoming tornado. Warnings should be posted everywhere to inform people.

    Sara DeJonge

  3. i really enjoyed your post a lot of information on tornadoes and their damage. i have personally not experience a tornado and am not familiar with the signs since i am not from Michigan or a place were tornadoes are common. this post really help understand tornadoes and keeps me aware of when tornadoes happen here in Michigan if i am around in the summer.

  4. i really enjoyed your post a lot of information on tornadoes and their damage. i have personally not experience a tornado and am not familiar with the signs since i am not from Michigan or a place were tornadoes are common. this post really help understand tornadoes and keeps me aware of when tornadoes happen here in
    Michigan if i am around in the summer.

    Abraham Garza

  5. I, too, am surprised to hear that Michigan has an average of 18 tornadoes per year. I think your ideas and reasons to better prepare for such weather are great. I like the idea of updating the “warning system” by sending out text messages or emails to those in the area.

    Bonnie Lowry

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