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Old 06-09-2008, 10:37 PM
114 posts, read 452,733 times
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Just one more question. If there is a warning, do they keep kids in daycare after its over or one should pick them up?

Most daycares treat warnings just like a normal part of the routine. They usually tell the kids that there is a tornado drill (your kids will know this term within 2 years o living here and will be old pros and annoyed with them by 3rd grade). If is is at the end of the day and you are picking up your child, stay there. Ask your Provider what their policy is and let them know you are new to Iowa and not sure of what to do.

Here a few hints to help with the kid (I have 2, so it comes from experience)
1. know that tornadoes could happen at anytime. any month. any time of the day.
2. F5's are such an oddity here that the last one was in '76. (normal F0-F3)
3. designate a spot in your base as the tornado safety spot.
4. pack 'tornado spot' box. Put in water, treats, a radio and batteries, flashlight and batteries, items needed for kids (diapers (even if they are potty trained, it may cause them to forget or they could be really scared), wipes, etc) the Red Cross ( American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_591_,00.html - broken link)) has some good tips and further ideas for a tornado box.
5 REMEMBER TO STAY CALM, even if you are scared. being upset will not help the situation at all.
6. ALWAYS have shoes for every one including new walkers. there may be debris from flying objects. Have an umbroller (can get for less than $10). In case something bad happens, you have a way to haul around the kids. it takes up less space than a regular stroller OR store you stroller in the basement. a hassle though.
7. Wen a TORNADO WATCH is in effect, it isn't a bad idea to pack a bag (diaper would be fine ) with meds (if any) lovies, formula etc., gather some blankets and shoes. so you are ready for a warning if it ever comes.
8. just a suggestion so put a tent as a shelter. they might get trapped. Make a tent with chairs or a table with blankets and pretend you are camping (complete with s'mores (marshmallow fluff, graham crackers and chocolate bar It will pass the time and give them something else to think of
9. Practice, Practice, Practice. That way when it happens they wouldn't be so scared.
10. And as odd as it sounds have fun. great family bonding time. sing songs tell stories, play a board game (or cards transport easier)
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:24 AM
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I remember a small tornado that happened last year in virginia.A bus driver lost her home! Yikes! Trees were knocked down every where, even one fell on a house.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:10 AM
11,288 posts, read 23,247,430 times
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Wow - thread's a year old!

It helps to remember that the chances of a tornado actually hitting you are VERY small. The state might get 50 a year, but most aren't very destructive and they really only affect a small patch of earth in the long run. There's a LOT of land out there, and most of it's not built up. You just hope for the best.

Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning is good. Normally during a watch I'd kinda keep an eye on the weather, but not really think about it too much. During a Warning you're going to know it anyway because the sky will be falling, and you just need to stay calm and know what to do.

The main thing is, even if it's late at night, you normally have a LOT of advance warning that a line of storms are moving your way. Sometimes 12 hours. They move across the state, and you pretty much know exactly when you're going to have to start paying attention. The most dangerous ones are infrequent, but they're the super-cells that pop out of nowhere. Of the one-two warnings during the middle of the night I remember, we knew before going to bed that a very bad line of storms were, say, by Des Moines. We knew that if it was 10pm, they'd probably be here around 3am, and even if you're asleep you kinda prep yourself mentally before bed. When the storms hit and woke me up, it wasn't a huge shock, I just clicked on the TV to see if there was actually anything to be worried about, or if it was just a normal storm. In most cases I'd just lay back and enjoy it, or peek out the window at the lightning, and then 20 minutes later drift back to sleep.

If you have small children, you can change plans as the storms approach, it's normally not a situation where BAM - there's a tornado, where are my children!?!? Just pick them up early and get home, that's what we always did.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:18 AM
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Lived in Aplington-Parkersburg (towns are only 3 miles apart) most my life until about 12 years ago I moved 25 miles away to Cedar Falls. I have a lot of family there and we lost a total of 5 houses in the family from the F5 tornado. Luckily only thing killed in our family was a few dogs and everyone else was ok. The tornado that ripped some of my familys homes apart was actually a mile away from my home in Cedar Falls so it just missed me. Then a few months later the floods came. My part of town was completely flooded and my little block of houses was the only part that didnt get flooded. So again I just missed the terrible disaster. I did have to take a boat to get to my block which was really crazy. So after all of this I do not think Iowa is a bad place to move, however I do think things are changing with the entire world with climate and so on and I do strongly believe floods will come back soon and maybe other things. I already noticed in my neighborhood that people are getting prepared for the worst again. So if anyone moves here to Cedar Falls/Waterloo just make sure to be out of a flood zone or along ways away from the river. Also in the past 12 years I have lived here there has been a total of 4 tornadoes that have traveled what we call our own tornado alley which is Dunkerton Road. Seems like every tornado that comes to visit us likes to travel down that road including that big F5 from last year. Anyways, this was just my 2 cents. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:42 PM
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Lots of good information has already been stated. I wouldn't worry too much about tornadoes though. The chances of them actually hitting your house are so small that you're probably more likely to be killed or injured in an automobile accident or plane crash. Like others have said, most homes here have basements and if not, there is usually a city hall, community center, or some other shelter where you can go in case of emergency. Interior, windowless rooms on the ground level of a house (such as a bathroom) are better places to go if no basement is available. Or get to know your neighbors. Most towns, even small ones, have a siren system that will alert you if tornadic weather is approaching. There is the very rare chance that you will get a big F5 tornado like what hit Parkersburg, but we hardly ever get tornadoes that big in Iowa (unlike Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas where the moist Gulf air combined with high temps brews up more severe storms).

I'm 25, and in my lifetime we've had to go to the basement due to tornado warnings maybe a total of 12-15 times. Most of the time I'm outside watching the clouds during severe storms! I wouldn't worry about it too much...just be prepared and have a plan if one does happen to come.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:49 AM
11,288 posts, read 23,247,430 times
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Yeah, I've been in the Midwest for 30 years, and I've never known a person personally who has had any direct dealings with a tornado.

I actually think I've only met two or three people in my whole life who have seen one in person. Not that it obviously doesn't happen, but from 1950 onward Iowa averages around 1 death per year and 39 injuries. So you have about a 1 in 3,000,000 chance of dying and a 1 in 76,000 chance of being injured. Those stats are actually quite inflated if you take into account how many more deaths and injuries there were before around 1970. In 1968 there were something like 670 injuries, FAR more than any other year. That really pulls up the average of 39 per year.

I'd normally just go out on the lawn with a shotgun and scare them off if they got near...

Last edited by Chicago60614; 06-02-2009 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by zz4guy View Post
If I knew an F5 was coming I'd get in my car and hammer down. From what I heard the peopel in Parkersburg did everything you should do in a tornado but they still died.

But F5's are extremely rare here.
You are wrong, Iowa has the highest rate of F5's per square mile over any other state.

source: Tornado Alley Maps and Information
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:25 AM
196 posts, read 724,504 times
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That is an interesting map (see link). It looks like that area of NE Iowa where Parkersburg is has the same high risk level as Oklahoma & Kansas, etc. Wonder what it is about the climate in that little circle of NE Iowa that makes it a high risk area?
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:20 AM
11,288 posts, read 23,247,430 times
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But at least the occurance of an F5 tornado in Iowa is still only about once every 10 years.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:53 AM
84 posts, read 267,334 times
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Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
But at least the occurance of an F5 tornado in Iowa is still only about once every 10 years.
Yep ... about true. However, Iowa is #6 in frequency of all tornadoes... not to be taken lightly "IMO."

I feel that some people think that since they haven't seen one yet... it never happens around here. Very wrong. Tornado alley stretches from Texas all the way north and east to Iowa, the Dakotas, and southern Minnesota.
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