Get Out of Dodge

Usually I try ti stick to humor, but once in a while, I have to have my say. Agree or disagree if you want. I know there are many who think otherwise, but for Pete’s sake, people, it’s time to use a little common sense.

Sometimes I have to wonder about people and why they make the choices that they do. Oklahoma is not only in tornado alley, it is the bull’s eye for storms. For some reason people continue to choose to live there and dodge tornadoes like bullets, hoping that Mother Nature will be a bad shot. They are “used to tornadoes.” How can you get “used” to a tornado?

I don’t get it.

“We know other people who have been hit, and this time it was our turn,” says one woman, with resolve, as if there is no opportunity to do anything else but sit in harm’s way with your fingers crossed and hope statistics don’t catch up with you. Some people are hit not only in one devastating tornado, but are hit again later. I think I would give up on the laws of probability and take matters into my own hands.

Most people say they don’t know how they survived. “I hid in the closet, in the bathtub, or in the hall under a mattress. I was lucky. God must have winked and let me survive.” So, what if God doesn’t wink next time? Should people continue to depend on God winking, or does God expect people to take some responsibility for their own safety?

I don’t get it.

Oklahoma people are resilient, they say on the news. In a year it will all be rebuilt. People in Oklahoma come from hardy stock. They are cowboys, oil workers, people whose ancestors claimed the land in land races. It will all be rebuilt with the help of the taxpayers and the insurance companies. It will rise from the debris in plenty of time for the next big one.

A few more people will build storm cellars or concrete bunkers to hide from the storms. Regular wood, plywood, and particle board cannot possibly stand up against 200 mph winds with the force of a mega bomb. Houses can be reinforced with steel and made somewhat more resistant, but they are still only wood.

The only thing that can withstand a force like that is a home built like a bomb shelter with reinforced concrete walls and roof. Not very attractive or practical and probably very expensive, but maybe it is time to consider something other than conventional wood homes if people must live where it is only a matter of time.

People do not like to relocate. They are tied to a geographical area by jobs, friends, family, and community. Is Oklahoma really that great, or just what is familiar? It seems to me when everything familiar is gone would be the best time to throw in the towel and go elsewhere.

Most tornadoes happen in what is called “tornado alley,” the plains between the Rockies and the Appalachians, where the land is flat and where moist air from the Gulf and cold air from the north meet. The two fronts collide and begin to spin as hot air rises. Then the spin becomes vertical and a tornado is born.

Granted, no place is totally immune from natural disasters, whether it is tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires or floods. But it seems better to play Russian roulette where there are fewer bullets in the chamber.

The changes of being hit are greater than ever. Most tornadoes are small, not the large super-cell type. Only a few usually achieve that status. However, we know that storms are becoming bigger and more frequent due to global warming.

I don’t get it. I will never get it.

All I can say is it is time to get out of Dodge while Mother Nature is still blowing the smoke out of her pistol.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
Updated 2022

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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