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Is it May already? Time to get ready for spring storm season once again

Again with the weather?

Well, it is May, of course. We get all hyped up for things to turn green for spring, and worried over the drought, that we forget that when we do get plenty of rain, it typically comes in with a vengeance.

Years ago, I was at a hair salon going through the rather extensive process of Younger Looking Hair, when the tornado sirens went off. My kids were at home with their dad, which any mom knows is the first form of anxiety in that scenario  are the kids OK? They were, but freaking out because they wanted their Mama, and Mama had foil in her hair like she was ready to dial Mars.

The workers in the salon were completely nonplussed, and it was business as usual. It appeared to be a Save Yourself situation, so I was checking out the area, deciding where I would take cover if needed, and fortunately did not have to.

I also recall a night when my family and I were at the local festival, along with thousands of other people, and the sirens went off. We all scrambled home with very little information.

Employers and event planners need to have a clear game plan in the event of a tornado, or threat of a tornado. Part of the issue here is that we have such a wide area; so, for example this past Mothers Day storm, when there's a wall cloud 20 miles south of you, should you take cover? We did not, but watched it closely.

We've learned to rely on the local weather guys, who, again, do a great job. The bummer is when that cable knocks out right in the middle of trying to get information.

When a tornado warning happens and you're dealing with the public, there is a huge flurry of activity where you are concurrently trying to get the facts, calm your customers and advise customers and employees what the plan is should an emergency occur. It takes a bit of planning and training.

Finally, I'm remembering a few years ago, when the big tornado blew right through tornado alley 90 miles north of us, and the local weather guy up there made a suggestion that people get in their cars and try to drive away from the danger, causing a gridlock in which cars were actually slowed to a halt right in the path of the storm. It was a huge deal, and I'm wondering if the guy lost his job. He certainly took a beating for it in the media.

That may have been good advice for a few, but it was terrible advice for the masses.

Despite how frightening the prospect of a tornado can be, the most damaging weather phenomenon is flooding. And we had our share of that this past weekend. There are always people who try to drive through high water and either stall or, God forbid, get swept away. The best advice comes from the Turn Around, Don't Drown campaign. It's just not worth it.

But one thing I did learn years ago is that if your car is parked and it floods, do not drive it until you tow it in for service and have the transmission flushed out. Years ago, mine was underwater after a big rain and I drove it home after the water went down. A few years after that, my transmission went out, and come to find out it was all rusted from the flood.

There was an insurance claim fight and I won, but at a cost.

So brace yourself. The spring storm season is here, and it's best to give it some thought on how to handle it. Candles, flashlights, gas or charcoal, generators, bottled water, etc., are all good items to have on hand this time of year.

And remember, prayer helps, also.

The Lawton Constitution

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