VIDEO: Alabama Tornado Disaster

Posted In: Airstream, RV Lifestyle, RV Products, Safety, Video

Long Long Honeymoon is usually a lighthearted website. We tout ourselves as celebrating “the fun stuff” as it relates to Airstream RV camping. Usually our focus is gleeful escapism. But when a historic disaster happens in our backyard, it can’t be ignored. And this topic — severe weather — DOES relate to camping. Does it ever…

There’s nothing lighthearted or fun about severe weather and tornadoes. Those of us who camp are especially vulnerable to twisters. If you plan to do any serious RV camping, sooner or later you will confront this issue. The last time I checked, no RV comes equipped with a basement.

It can happen just about anywhere. One of our most frightening nights of severe weather in our Airstream occurred in Michigan, about a thousand miles north of our Alabama home.

There are a couple of key points to remember with regard to tornado safety.

First, get a weather radio. Ours cost forty bucks, but you can find them for as cheap as $10! ANY weather radio is better than no weather radio. A weather radio will help alert you to any severe weather or natural disaster threats that may exist in your region. It’s not only tornadoes that we’re concerned about. Last year, for example, flash floods killed several campers in Arkansas. In other parts of the country, you may be vulnerable to wildfires. Heck, weather radios even cover man-made threats (riots and so forth).

Here’s a link to the weather radio we chose to buy:

Second, have an emergency escape plan. When you receive the severe weather alert, you may need to move to a SAFE PLACE. So it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of your community’s (and/or your campground’s) safest nearby shelter. Some places have designated tornado shelters. Others have solid brick buildings (for example, laundrymats) that are at least preferable to campers. Ask the campground staff for recommendations.

If tornadoes are the local threat, consider finding an underground shelter. The recent tornadoes in Alabama have underscored this point: your survival may depend on being in an underground bunker. While this is often not possible, it should be your goal. These huge tornadoes will scrape entire brick houses off the planet; your only hope may be underground or in a fortified storm shelter.

If you want to help the state of Alabama recover from the devastating tornadoes of April 2011, consider making a donation to the American Red Cross — Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 (http://www.redcross.org/)

Goods are also being accepted. Check out Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa (a private effort of citizens helping citizens) on Facebook.

I realize that we all are accosted by requests from charities on a daily basis. With that said, the April 2011 tornado catastrophe is a unique situation, a natural disaster on a massive scale that must be seen to be believed. The state saw a record 362 tornadoes in ONE DAY. Many people have had every material possession taken away. Others have tragically lost friends and family members. Over 250 people lost their lives in Alabama alone. The scope of the damage can hardly be overstated, and recovery is going to be a long haul.

Special thanks to the gang at Cullman Life (CullmanLife.com) for providing video footage of the Cullman tornado.


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