Thursday, November 20, 2014

Severe Weather - It Happens

When you are asleep do you worry about this,


or maybe this


or even this?


 Well, I did!!


At the beginning of camping season and at the end of camping season are the most dangerous times for storms expected, or not.  And if predictions are correct and this is an El Niño year then things could get really bad or not. 
What  is an El Niño?  El Niño is an ocean-atmosphere climate phenomenon that is linked to the periodic warming of waters across the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. This warming is part of the natural climate system. On average, an El Niño event occurs every 2 to 7 years and typically lasts about 9 to 18 months. 
So why should you worry or even be concerned about an El Niño ?  During periods of El Niño,  warm water builds up off the South American coast and this sends more than the normal waves of moisture into the US.  These waves of moisture can, and do cause more storms, some of which are more severe than storms in a non-El Niño year.  This translates into more severe thunderstorms and more than normal tornado's
While you can use your phone most of the time for weather alerts and weather radar, when you are out camping your phone may not get a signal or changing weather conditions may suddenly make your phone not work.  And the basement of a 5er is not a safe place to be.  So what is a person to do?






During the check-in process to get your RV site, you should ask, where do we go in case of severe weather and do you have a method of alerting the campground of approaching bad weather?
In most cases the park will have a severe weather location, like a cement block bath house or  underground facilities.  But most will not have a warning system.  It is left up to you to know when bad weather is approaching and it is time to take cover.

So now your phone has no bars and the park has no way to tell you that a large thunderstorm is approaching your RV site.  Now what are you going to do to keep you and your family safe?  Buy a weather radio with built-in weather alert.  Our government built, many years ago, a National Alert System to let citizens know about disasters before they happen.  That was the old weather radio that went off (with its built-in siren) all the time for just about any reason (some good, mostly bad).  After a lot of citizen complaints over many years a new system of alerting people was developed by the government that had a better built-in method of stopping false alerts and added text messages to each alerts displayed on a screen on the new generation of weather radios.

I could go into detail on how this type of radio works but this is not a DIY Blog. This type of radio can be programed simply, thanks to SAME(Specific Area Message Encoding) technology you will only receive alerts for the locations that you have entered into the radio and you won't have to worry about false triggers or deal with an event that has nothing to do with your area. Also some weather radios like the ones pictured (above and below) you can customize some of the alert types, so it only alerts you to the alert types that you have selected.  For example, if the National Weather Service issues a thunderstorm watch and you have only thunderstorm warning selected. The radio wont alert you unless a  thunderstorm warning alert is sent. Most of these radios have battery back-up and you can attach your HDTV antenna to them to extend the pick-up range of this type of weather radio. You should never leave home to go camping with out one of these special SAME radios.

 Here is one that operates on just batteries and can be carried on the hiking trail or just outside around the campground.
No matter which one, or maybe both, you choose like a smoke detector or gas detector your RV is not complete and you are not fully protected nor safe until you have one.






Until Next Time



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