Archived Story

Never take severe weather lightly

Published 6:00am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It’s hard to believe that one year ago on Friday, my morning at UNA started off like any other.

My roommate and I had looked at the weather, but we didn’t think anything of it.

The worst was supposed to go south of us, and we were of the opinion that nothing would happen at all.

We live in a world where people have become desensitized to weather sirens because they go off too much, as the technology they work under is not perfect.

This has in turn made people worry less about possible severe weather, as the mentality exists that “nothing ever happens most of the time, so nothing will happen now.”

I remember my roommate saying that morning that he believed nothing would happen, because “it never does.”

That afternoon I was watching a live feed of a tornado in Cullman on television.

I found the now famous video on Youtube of the man in the University Mall parking lot filming the twister that ended so many lives in Tuscaloosa just hours after the footage was captured.

I later found the video taken by the Phil Campbell police officer in their building that showed debris flying at rapid speeds.

The storm that hit Cullman also went through Walker County, where my parents and sister live.

My brother lives in Tuscaloosa, and I had at least one friend at UNA who was from Phil Campbell.

My roommate himself was from Cordova, which saw four people killed by the second tornado that went through the small town that day.

I knew someone from every area affected by the storms on that day just about, but I was not faced with the loss of anyone I knew like so many people were.

April 27, 2011, had a big impact on siren desensitization, because that day proved that a life-changing storm system could and would end 250 lives in our state, including 26 in Phil Campbell.

Storm detection technology has come leaps and bounds in the past decade, and meteorologists are now working to make sirens only sound when a storm is nearby, not just somewhere in the same county.

Even so, April 27 proved that we must never take severe weather or severe weather warnings lightly.

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