Severe Weather

Readers share how they prepare for threatening weather.

| March/April 2011

  • Taking Shelter
    A cellar or cave is a good place to take cover during severe weather.
    Brian Orr
  • Tornadic Sky
    An odd-looking sky often means a storm possible of producing toranadoes is brewing. White
  • Illinois Airport
    Powerful winds from a storm in the Herrin, Illinois, area in May 2009, ripped the roof off of the Williamson County Airport.
    Joanne - Herrin, Illinois
  • Ice Storm
    Winter storms that offer sparkle and beauty can often cause problems on roadways, leave people snowed in, and cause property damage and power outages due to the weight of snow and ice on trees, fences and electric lines. Derics

  • Taking Shelter
  • Tornadic Sky
  • Illinois Airport
  • Ice Storm

Glad to Have Basement Instead of Faraway Cave

Whenever I hear the tornado siren go off, I grab a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, a phone and a book. I gather up my dog, and we head for the basement. Since we seldom lose electricity, I usually just sit in a chair and read until the storm passes. 

When I was a child, my family lived on a farm. I remember my dad waking us up in the middle of the night and making us go to "the cave," some 20 feet from the house. We kept chairs in the cave, so we would sit and wait it out. Every now and then, Dad would raise the cave door and peek out to see what was happening. 

It seemed like just when it was raining as hard as it possibly could, Dad would decide it was safe, and we would have to run through the rain back to the house. 

One time when we came out of the cave, we found that the top part of the windmill had been blown off, and the chimney was laying on the roof of the house. The chimney was soon fixed, and the windmill was taken down and replaced with an electric pump to supply us with water. That was the only time I ever remember anything being damaged during a storm. 

When my dad said we needed to go to the cave, my mother would always grab her purse and the two photographs she had of her mother. I was the youngest of three children, and I never went to the cave without my favorite book, The Lord’s Prayer. 

Now, sometimes when I go to the basement during a tornado scare, I think back to when I had to run through the rain to get to and from the cave. I always felt safe, but I sure hated running through that rain! 

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