bookwritegirl

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Thunderstorms, tornados, and more May 6, 2007

Filed under: storm,tornado,weather — bookwritegirl @ 11:07 am

Wow, what a busy night last night. Storm after storm kept coming and coming, we were under a tornado watch until 4 in the morning, and got tons of rain. The grass probably grew 2 inches overnight. Tornados didn’t hit my city, thankfully, but it did hit Kansas, Iowa, and I think on the Nebraska/SD border. More is coming this afternoon, while I’m working, but thankfully I work with easy and unlimited access to computers the entire time, and my boss is of my kind, who keeps an eye on weather and radar, and likes being prepared. We also have a weather radio that’s nice and loud.

This is a far cry from where I used to work: Panera Bread. They had no weather radio, their one computer is restricted to only other Panera Bread websites,  and the radio is tuned to pretty much the music channel the whole time. True, we get alerts, but it’s bad for radio business, so the alerts are few and far in between. One time, there was a nice storm, lots of wind, hail, and weird-looking clouds. I called my parents several times on my cell phone, while still on duty (I’d rather be fired and alive than to be dead.) The lines were busy, so I used the company (!) phone, and finally got through. My dad said there was a tornado sighting about 15 miles away from where I worked, and that our whole county was under a tornado warning. He said that we should take shelter. So, I hung up, told my bosses, and all of them were nonplussed. To them, it was just another storm. Traffic declined severely, and only one person ran in, and that was just to use the phone. The managers wouldn’t even use the intercom system to advise our few customers that we were under a tornado warning and that there was a tornado nearby.

Needless to say, I didn’t work there for much longer. Since I had the job described above, and it was a good one, I quit Panera Bread in two months after the incident. I vow never to work for another food service job, unless they have a good emergency system in place, AND a weather radio.

If you have slow computers (like the library does), go to www.NOAA.gov, and type in your city and state. It’s ad-free, so it loads quite quickly. It also has several different kinds of radars. But if you’re the amateur meteorologist, another cool website is www.wunderground.com. Type in your zipcode. It has ads, but it also loads fairly quickly. The radar is cooler there. You can see the tracks of storms, the direction, the size of hail, all the goodies the weatherman on TV has, and all for free. You can even see which storms have “tornado signatures”, too.

Be safe this spring! Take heed of Mother Nature, and take shelter, and don’t be like Panera Bread.

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