5/02/2008

Tornado Siren

(Ida, MI) I am sure that there are parts of the United States - as well as the rest of the world - where the idea of a tornado siren seems bizarre. Here in the northeastern edge of Tornado Alley, though, the blaring of a tornado siren can mean the difference between life and death.

I have never experienced a tornado, and I admit to a morbid curiosity about this meteorological phenomenon. I suspect, though, that I am all the luckier for never having a tornado tough down closer than five miles away fro me.

I recall last summer driving to my house when the sirens began blaring, and the sky turned greenish-black in the southwest. I was paranoid that my teenaged children would not take cover, and they did not pick up the phone when I called. Of course, I kept getting commercials on the radio, as the winds suddenly shifted 180 degrees toward the storm.

Luckily, the spotted tornado struck a few miles to the north in Monroe County, and my kids were smart enough to have already gone to the basement with the dogs by the time I got home, perhaps three minutes before the storm hit.

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