0513tornado1An interesting lesson was learned yesterday on how to use technology during a pack of tornadoes coming at you.

For those who have not heard, the home town of StarterTech, Kirksville,MO, had a pack of four tornadoes come at us yesterday.  You can read my more personal account of the event at May 13th, 2009 Kirksville, MO Tornado on my personal site.  As we hunkered down in our basement with our dogs though, we found technology was easing our fears some.

As I ran for the basement (and I do mean literally “ran”), I realized I still had my BlackBerry 8830 and iPod Touch on me.  Luckily our power stayed on with just a few blips, but if it hadn’t, none of this would have mattered.

Thanks to our Sprint Airave, my BlackBerry continued to receive five bars of signal strength even in the cemented basement.  This allowed me to get messages out to people as to what was happening via the handy Gtalk app.

As for the iPod Touch, I was able to use the Weather Channel application (iTunes link) to check the radar to see where exactly the storm cell was.  (right on top of us)  That was a mixed blessing and curse knowing the storm was about to tear my town apart.

We did learn a few lessons also.

  • We really need a battery operated radio in the basement.  All we had was one connected to power.
  • We also need a phone down there that doesn’t run on electricity.  If we had one, and had lost power, we could have still gotten phone calls out and in.
  • You can never have too many flashlights, as we discovered we had none down there.  We also moved some chemical light sticks down there later, which are great in a true emergency.  (every house should have some)

Again, luckily we did not lose power, and our home was untouched.  Sadly, two people in our town did lose their lives, over 40 homes were damaged or destroyed, and a car dealership was decimated.  If you want to learn more about the Kirksville tornadoes, please make sure to visit For actual news I suggest you check KTVO TV 3 and the Kirksville Daily Express for all of the latest local coverage.

Our only damage was a computer, which is a post of its own coming later as it is now working and we learned some valuable lessons even we didn’t know.

In short, keep your gadgets on you as they can be a vital lifeline during an emergency.  Also, old school (battery operated or no power needed) gadgets still have their place in this world, and that is something none of us should ever forget.

Categories: Gadgets   
 

3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Candace Holly
    May 14th, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    You're fortunate. Last week, a storm went through Southern Illinois and my BlackBerry was out. Verizon lost towers in the storm and I couldn't get messages to people. However, we realized something similar to what you just said; we need more flashlights, and some battery operated electronics in case it happens again. Glad you got through it OK.

  2. Alberto
    November 24th, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    I wanted to thank you yet again for this amnzaig web-site you have designed here. It’s full of ideas for those who are definitely interested in disaster survival, especially this very post. You’re really all absolutely sweet and thoughtful of others plus reading your blog posts is a superb delight if you ask me. And what a generous gift one of these emergency preparedness kits would make. Ben and I are going to have fun making use of your points in what we do next week. Our list is a mile long and tips might be put to good use.

  3. Andrea Angel
    September 18th, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    do you agree

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