Dodged Another One

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 012014

If you’re anywhere in the South or Midwest this time of year, thunderstorms are a fact of life, and it’s not uncommon to be under severe thunderstorm and even tornado warnings. We’ve had a couple of close calls over the years and we keep an eye on the weather but so far we’ve been lucky. Last night we had another severe thunderstorm warning with winds up to 60 MPH possible. Fortunately, we dodged the bullet again and the storm went north of us. We got some rain and wind gusts, but that was all. Then, just as I was getting out of the shower tornado sirens started going off. One big gust shook our motorhome hard and the rain and thunder were so loud it was hard to hear anything else, but it was moving fast and was over within about an hour.

I’ve heard people say that they would be terrified to be in this part of the world in an RV in storm season, and actually knew one couple who refused to leave California because they were afraid of encountering bad weather someplace. I guess earthquakes, wildfires and landslides are less scary for them.

We aren’t unmindful of the dangers of bad weather, but at the same time, we’re not going to go into a panic with every storm alert. Caution and common sense are the best tools to deal with any challenge in life.

Keep an eye on the weather in your area. Have a weather radio and keep fresh batteries for it, keep three or four flashlights and extra batteries on hand, keep your fresh water tank at least half full (completely full is better), and park with a full tank of fuel. That and a supply of food will see you through if the power grid goes down and you have to “rough it” for a day or two.

Over the years I have had readers ask if they should try to outrun a storm headed their way. I think it’s safer to sit it out where you are, unless you’re parked under a tree that may come down on you. You never know what direction a storm may go, and how do you know it won’t change course and you’ll run right into it? Plus, you’re safer in a campground where there is a storm shelter than out on the highway if a storm hits.

If you have a Kindle and can spare a few bucks, do me a favor and buy a book called The Bitten. I didn’t write it and I don’t make anything off the book, but it’s a very special project to benefit a very special person.

The bitten

A while back I told you about my friend Brandon Hale, a very nice young man who is an excellent author and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Brandon is fighting cancer and it’s been a rough time for him and his wife Laura. Over 25 of our author friends put together this anthology, with a vampire theme, to help raise money for Brandon and Laura and all proceeds go to them. Personally, I’m not into the vampire thing, but I bought a copy anyway. It’s worth the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee to help this nice couple who are dealing with the challenge of their lives.

Another of my author friends, Mona Ingram, currently has one of her most popular books, Full Circle, on sale for just 99¢ until July 2nd, which is a heck of a deal. You can never have too many books, right? And if the weather stays bad you’ll have plenty to read!

Thought For The Day – When I’m finally holding all the right cards, everyone suddenly wants to play chess.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Dodged Another One”

  1. Wish I could be calm and cool as a cucumber Nick!! I think we’ve been through a Tornado Warning/Watch every day for the past three days. I don’t have to check my weather radio … it goes off every hour, so I know it’s working!! We skated by the 60 mph winds last night after pulling our slides in, only experienced 1/4 inch hail instead of the 1 inch predicted along with half the amount of rain than the night before. Thank goodness Barbara and Tom are here to keep me from going completely crazy!!!

  2. after 10 yrs of full timing and being in Tornado Alley in May and dodging the twister one finally caught up with us three weeks ago in NB. We were lucky enough to be at a Flying J when all hell broke loose. We knew there was a watch out for the area because our radio kept going off. Just got back from dinner and the radio went off the same time as the sirens, I did not know that this old fat fanny and Mike could still run so fast. It was the longest and scariest two and half hours of our lives, not knowing what was happening. We got the all clear and when the rain settle a bit we were very thankful that both the rig and the car were fine. This was also the longest night for us. Two twister touched down less than seven miles from us and no one was hurt in its path just corn fields. Anyone traveling full time or part time should have the emergency radio.

  3. We were work-camping at Adventureland in Altoona, IA., three years ago and heard the tornado sirens go off in the middle of the night. Not having an emergency radio (yes, we’ll be getting one when we head that way again), my wife thought the sirens was just loud music from some inconsiderate camper in our section of the park. However, I went to and found there to be a tornado warning currently in our area. We packed up everything necessary (which wasn’t much) and headed to the nearest rest station where there were about 15 other folks, one with an emergency radio. Don’t know that it would’ve done a lot of good if it was hit by the tornado as it was only made of cinder block. Luckily for us it didn’t come in our direction, but touched down in Ankeny a few miles to the northwest of us doing minor damage. I’m guessing that the rest of the folks that were in RVs heeded your advice, Nick, and didn’t feel it was worth it to go out in the deluge of rain and high winds, or they were sleeping too soundly to hear the sirens. We had a couple other nights of severe storms while we were there, but no more tornadoes, thank God. Having been there that one time is enough to keep us from going to the mid-west much, or at that time of year at least. I tip my hat to those of you that visit or live in that area of the country. Still the same, I’d rather do an earthquake in California where it happens once in a while as opposed to several times, or more, each tornado season.

  4. We had wind gusts of 80 mph…woke up to bring slides in and went back to sleep. Tis life in Indiana.

  5. Two years ago we were high tailing it from Madison, Al to Las Vegas. After 622 miles we pulled into a WalMart in Shawnee, OK, right off I-40 for the night. Wife went in to do her shopping and the person at the cash register said we’re not closed yet but we would be soon with the tornados coming. She ran to the coach and told me and we powered up the TV. Oklahoma City, 30 miles up the road west of us was having a record breaking hail storm on the first anniversary of the last record breaking hail storm. They showed softball sized hail, smashed windows and claims of hail crashing through roofs. Obviously great damage. Luckily for us the storm went north east rather than east and we got some good gusts, but nothing else. Next day at the gas station in Oklahoma City, I quit the pump at $20 after about 10 plus minutes. They said the power outages wreaked havoc with the pumps. Moved on down the road to fill up. I had been having thoughts of driving that last 30 miles before pulling over, but stopped in Shawnee.
    Last Wed nite we were watching the weather on TV in Pennsville, NJ at about 11:20pm, they said there was a strong line of thundershowers stretching for several hundreds miles long heading in our direction. The TV station was in Philadelphia, 20 to 30 miles away.. They said we should see the rain in two to three minutes. In under five the rain started. Lots of thunder and lightening. Went to bed shortly after that. At 12:05 am, we heard a horrendous thunderclap and the slide retracted by itself. Circuts blew and there were no lights but lots of rain, thunder and lightening. Also terrible smell of smoke and a haze inside the RV. Went outside and walked around the coach and couldn’t see anything. Went back to bed. Next morning, still no electricity in the coach. Looked up at the TV antenna over the passenger chair and there was a 2 foot diameter scorch mark on the ceiling. No Refrig, not A/C, Burned out this and that. Even got the Alternator in the class A. There was a quarter sized hole burned in the Antenna fin.
    So Thursday afternoon the coach is totally busted. Call coach Net. This is Thursday June 26th. Several places would look at it in Mid August, one would take a look at it on July 10th. We got lucky, a friend suggested a local place 30 miles away. They said bring it in as soon as you can. Two hours later on Friday morning they are writing up a ticket. Can’t touch it on Friday but spent all day Saturday on it. More work on Monday, Tuesday and again on Wedsnday. Left the shop at 5:00pm Wed. Current invoice is just short of $6,000 and more problems may arise. Insurance company is being a dick head and not returning any calls and sending all calls to voice mail. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. The insurance policy says there is a zero deductible. So other than the grief it should end up coasting us just 3 days of our trip.
    You can bet the guys that worked on the repairs are going to be added to the good guys section of the Escapees Days End Directory and the Insurance Company is going to get a scorching on the internet. Maybe even a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner. Bottom line. Both the wife and I and the cat are fine other than a ton of sweat waiting for the A/C’s to get repaired. Life goes on.

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