Ashley Montagu


This is going to be about something different. I am not raving about Slow Joe or the Demoncrats. Like my aunt told me I should give politics a rest. This should be a story that should not upset anyone. I am going to talk about Kansas weather. Oh we are back in Kansas Toto. (quick suppression of the urge to bring in the Wicked Witch of the West)

We are in tornado season. Not that you could tell by the snow forecasts and cool temperatures. Where is that pesky Global Warming when we need it. We are keeping Mom’s new flowers in the garage for a while. My brother mowed once I think to just ride the mower around for a while.

Now you are going to get all kinds of official instructions about tornadoes as you do every year. I want to throw in some Kansas experiences and some good ideas. My nurse that watches over me from Pratt Medical Center mentioned a few ideas and I had her send them to me.

Now ladies you need to pay attention to this since we all know how the guys respond. As soon as the storm is said to be moving your way the guys will grab the camera (or the smart phone) and go out on the porch. There they will film and shout both instructions as well as expletives, that the news will have to beep out, as well as show wonder and guess how fast they will have to go “oh c#@p and fall down the stairs.

You all have heard the instructive narratives of us men during the storm. “Mom you and the kids get to the basement! wow you should see this! That thang just missed the Smiths barn and just exploded the Jones house! Man you should see this! No you stay there with the kids! Wow that thang is coming straight for us! Do you have the beer down there I just ran out?”

Yes you hear this every year and sometimes for many years if the footage makes the Morons Hall of Fame on the Weather Chanel. You notice how many of us survive? Now I don’t chase tornadoes but have tried to get good pictures of them for years. I finally got my picture of ‘Sister’ (that is three vortexes twisting together. I was laying down for a nap when the scanner came on and said that a tornado was on the north side of town going north. That was just nine miles south of me coming straight north. I got up and grabbed my camera and in my underwear on the south porch got a series of shots that I had waited 50 years for. They turned and angled to the northeast about a mile south and passed between us and the neighbor place a mile away.

Besides paying attention to watches and warnings you should have a plan of what you are going to do when this happens. Do you know what a ‘GO BAG’ is? Military, emergency workers, and others who leave on short notice all have Go Bags. Get yourself and each member of the family either a duffel bag, back pack, or oversized gym bag. In this put extra underwear, socks, shirts pants, and a pair of shoes. Keep a list of all medications and plastic baggies near the drug cabinet to throw all your bottles into to throw in the bag. Keep a spare charger for your phone in. Keep a list of all your contacts as well as your important papers. Keep a battery operated radio in the bag and a good quality flash light.

When it looks imminent that you are going to need shelter have everyone’s Go Bag ready.


  1. Make sure you have a flashlight with extra batteries.
  2. Have good shoes on not slippers. Due to broken glass and lumber with nails
  3. have a bottle of water for each person.
  4. Have a whistle, rescuers can hear better than shouting.
  5. Have a list and/or bottles of medications.
  6. Carry your photo ID and insurance information.

I will tell of some of my tornado experiences Later on as well as a tornado story told by Willie Ricken when he was on duty at Sedgwick County Fire Station 5.

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