On Tornadoes…more Friday?

Damage in Hodgenville, Ky. Patti Longmire, AP

So, where did y’all go when the tornado warning sounded yesterday? In the Writing Center, we head to the basement of the library. In fact, because of the large glass windows and the length of time it takes to get to the library basement from the 5th floor:

the Writing Center operates out of the HUB in the basement any time that Lexington is under a tornado watch.

Now, being from Oklahoma, I must admit this struck me as odd. But Okies have a weird paradoxical relationship to tornadoes… we want to tell everyone how incredibly dangerous they are, and at the same time we want to shrug them off. (If Okies have guests from out of state when tornadoes break out, we tell them dramatic-but-true tales of devastating damage before shuffling them into the shelter. Then we shut the door on them, saying “now I’m gonna go finish cooking those steaks and watch things from the porch.”)

However, relocating the Writing Center to the HUB during bad weather days makes a lot of sense.

Here’s why you’ll find us in the HUB on days when severe weather is likely:

1) The HUB is the designated shelter area for the WT Young Library. No running down stairs when the siren goes off!

2) The HUB has computer workstations, both PCs and Macs, for everyone to use during consultations.

3) The HUB has chili-cheese Fritos and a television.

All of this is good to keep in mind, especially since severe weather and a possible tornado outbreak are being predicted for Friday.

Click more for the exciting Tornado Precautions list:

• The best shelter from a tornado is a safe room, basement or storm cellar. If those are not available, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest level of the structure, preferably a closet or bathroom. Place as many walls between you and the outside as possible.

• Cover yourself with pillows, a mattress or blankets and wear a helmet and shatter resistant goggles. Keep your shoes on.

• Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during a tornado. If you feel your home is unsafe, move to a preselected shelter before the storm arrives.

• Avoid windows and do not take shelter in halls that open to the outside.

• If you are in a vehicle, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.

• DO NOT take shelter under an underpass or bridge. It is not safe since it can leave you exposed to flying debris.

• Be aware of the counties, cities and towns that are near you. It will be easier to track the tornado’s direction if you are familiar with the geography of your area. Storm systems usually move from west to east (though not always.) Since Lexington is in Fayette county, watch for warnings in Anderson, Mercer, Woodford, and Jessamine counties to give yourself more time to get to shelter.


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