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At Least 17 Tornadoes Slam Midwest: 9 Dead, 71 Injured. We Offer Safety Advice.

Tornadoes stalked the Midwest once again last night. At least 17 twisters were reported across five states, with the greatest concentration in Oklahoma and around Oklahoma City in particular. So far, 5 people had been reported killed and 71 injured. There has been extensive property damage both from high winds and from the flooding that accompanied the storms. While tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City in particular, took the brunt of the storms.

There is no way to stop a tornado, and the best way to keep safe is to stay informed, so that you can get out of the way before the storm hits. Smartphones and other smart appliances can play a big role in this. First, a battery powered portable NOAA Weather Radio is an essential lifesaving tool. There should be such radios in your home, in your place of business and in your pocket, and they should be turned on at all times during this period. Also, NOAA offers a smartphone app. Another good app is the crowdsourced Tornado Spy. An app that provides alerts from all over the US is Nixle. The American Red Cross offers Tornado by the American Red Cross, that keeps users posted on damage and shelter locations. Tornado Chasers offers an excellent grounding in tornado facts and tornado safety. But remember, cell towers are vulnerable in storms, and a portable weather radio is your most critical information tool. NOAA also provides an Online Tornado FAQ.

As Unknowncountry's Climate Watch has been reporting since early spring, unstable weather conditions are persisting over the central US, and the National Weather Service has just issued a tornado emergency for western portions of Oklahoma City. This means that dangerous tornadoes are expected to develop imminently. Until unseasonably cold air, driven by arctic ice melt, ceases flowing across the continent from the northwest and colliding with warm air surging up from the overheated Gulf of Mexico, these conditions will continue. It is possible that unsettled weather could trouble the US midwest into July, to be followed by extremes of heat and drought persisting into the fall.

Where else will you find a story like this? Sure, there are plenty of stories about the storms, but how many inform you about useful ways of keeping informed, and also offer a clear explanation for why this unusually large scale and violent weather pattern is likely to keep reappearing this season?

The answer is simple: nowhere else. But it all depends on you. Subscribe to We need you, and we think you need us. Click here to explore our options.

The Midwest will soon be depleted of people if this situation worsens. If I were living in tornado alley right now, I'd consider moving. By the grace of God(s), I live in deep South Texas where the cold air barely manages to let out a whimper. However, we do have to deal with chronic drought and the seasonal threat of a major hurricane down here. We were hit by 2 hurricanes in the past 5 years and drought is always with us. We have three choices on offer right now: to either adapt, die, or ascend.

"By the grace of God(s), I live in deep South Texas..."

I am from deep South Texas, and I am not too sure about that 'grace of God(s) thing. :-)

To be fair, the entire world has become an increasingly unstable place to be, politically, geologically, and meterologically (South Texas has a whole host of problems, and the weather is probably the least of them). The Earth, however, will continue, with or without us, just as she always has. I think some people may leave the mid-west and Tornado Alley, or they will find new ways to adapt and live in the place that is home for them. This may mean a new style of living that does not include the typical square boxes we call call houses and may mean more rounded or under-ground structures more in tune to the extreme weather changes. Never forget New Orleans. My thoughts after Katrina was that no one would want to live there after the devastation, and yet some chose to stay and rebuild.

Devastating changes have a way of pushing evolution along quickly, and these events of late may be challenging to us, but perhaps that is what we need to make it to the next level in terms of creativity and spiritual growth.

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