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Take Cover!

Photo Credit: Cielo Tormentoso
During Midwest Life #1, I'd hear comments about moving to tornado alley. Yet, as I drove out to the Midwest a storm was brewing back home. A tornado touched down in Central Florida that day.

In Florida, we're used to storms. The Sunshine State has unpredictable and quite predictable storms throughout the summer. Some are slow moving hurricanes that produce massive amounts of rain, wind, and even tornadoes. Others are summer showers you can set your watch by.

Nevertheless, I braced myself for the unpredictable and devastating possibility of a tornado. The tornado sirens rarely went off, but when they did you settled into the basement. If you were on your way to the store, as we once were, you can seek shelter with the friendly staff. We got out of our first Midwest life unscathed.

Then I moved north. The clouds would roll in more frequently than in Missouri. The thunder would crack. The sirens would wail intermittently. Have you ever tried to get two defiant cats into a basement for shelter? It's not easy. I'd have to drag my laptop downstairs if I was working at home. It seemed that the sirens were going off at the slight chance of rain. This is a state that has fog days and fog delays during the school year, but sirens for a drizzle seemed a bit too much. It got to the point that I'd just peek outside and take my chances upstairs. A bit risky, I know, but I could never get the cats to comply. I was sick of going up and down, and up and down, the stairs during the breaks in the storm and cracks of thunder. 

About two years into Midwest Life #2, I opened up the city newsletter. The thunderstorm sirens were getting upgraded. Thunderstorm sirens....now that makes more sense! So now, when the sirens wail intermittently I know a storm is coming, and that's all.

If you want to learn more about warning sirens, the different uses, and the different tones, check out the Wikipedia page for Civil Defense Sirens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_defense_siren#Usage_in_the_United_States

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