We just got slammed! You could barely tell the difference between the sky and ground until lightning struck. This storm then went on to produce a possible tornado in New Jersey. I am just glad I got home before it hit.
URGENT WEATHER BULLETIN, PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND FOLLOW THESE TIPS:
My heart is absolutely broken watching the destruction unfolding across Mississippi right now as tornadoes rip through the South, this is the same storm system that produced deadly tornadoes in Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma yesterday and it will be moving into West Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia this evening, tonight and tomorrow. PLEASE PREPARE FOR THESE STORMS. At least 16 are dead from yesterday, multiple fatalities are likely from the storm which just leveled Tupelo, Mississippi and tomorrow will be more of the same. Stay home, monitor conditions online, on TV and through radio to keep your families safe. If you are a student, take a sick day and stay home! Do not play games with this system, it should be taken very seriously!
PLAN AHEAD: As I said, if you can stay home from school or work, do so, you do not need to be out in this system. Please keep up with any Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado Watches/Warnings via internet, TV and radio, If you are in Georgia, I suggest tuning into WSB-TV (Channel 2) to hear the most accurate and up to the minute information. Have a bag prepared with flashlights, candles, blankets/pillows, a first aid kit and other materials to put in your tornado safety area. This area should be the basement or lowest level of your home away from doors and windows. Closets are extremely safe due to their small size. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can. Make sure your cell phones and laptops are charged before the storm. Bring all pets into your home. Move your vehicles into garages or carports to protect from debris or hail. Secure any lose items which could be tossed by high winds, of course this will not protect them in case of a tornado. Do this BEFORE the storm.
Once the storms move into your area, remain indoors, do not stand near windows or doors. A Tornado Watch means be prepared: A tornado could develop in your area. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a Severe Thunderstorm capable of high winds, lightning and/or hail is in your area. A Tornado Warning means immediately move to your tornado safety area. If you do not have a TV in this area, turn the nearest TV on and turn the volume up so you can hear it. Keep your shoes on, this is to protect your feet from debris following the storm. If you have children, bicycle helmets can and should be used to protect their heads from debris. Take pet with you into your tornado safety area to protect them. If a Tornado Warning is issued you do not have much time so make sure you plan ahead. If a tornado is bearing down on you, cover yourself and family with blankets, pillows and even mattresses to protect yourself from debris, keep your eye closed and huddle together. Try to keep everyone calm. Once the storm has passed, wait several minutes to make sure debris is no longer falling, then proceed to safely evacuate the area. If you are trapped in your home, call for help or yell loudly so rescue workers can find you. Remember to keep your shoes on to protect your feet from broken objects and debris. DO NOT TOUCH ANY EXPOSED WIRES, THEY COULD BE LIVE. If you are injured, seek help immediately, if not, help others in the area who may be trapped.These storms are producing large, violent tornadoes and the risk is high, so please take this seriously.
These storms are also producing excessive rain which is causing flooding in some areas, for this reason, stay off roadways if you can. If you come across an inundated road (Flooded), DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH THE WATER, the road underneath could be washed out and your vehicle could become trapped or be swept away.
Please stay safe, use common sense and do not put yourself or others in danger. Listen to meteorologists and authorities, they are here to help and trust me, they do know more than you so listen closely and follow their directions.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: RESEARCH BEFORE YOU REPOST!
This is a map of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami generated off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 - 3 years ago this month. This map shows the maximum height of the tsunami in centimetres radiating outwards from the epicentre of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake. How do I know this? Because this map was issued by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) following the tsunami and I personally used it in 2011 to cover the tsunami’s aftermath and report the news.
However, thanks to fear mongers and attention seekers, and people who believe what they read online… No offense, this map is going around on facebook, tumblr and other websites as a map supposedly showing radiation leaking from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan which was crippled in the tsunami. Now, was radiation released from the plant in alarming numbers? Yes. Was it spread? Yes. But the levels reported in the US are not alarming, they are minimal and it does not pose a danger to the US anymore. This map and many others being spread around the internet have nothing to do with the nuclear disaster, people are taking advantage of your lack of knowledge to spread fear.
This map shows wave height, not radiation, look at the map key on the side… radiation is not measured in centimetres, it is measured in Becquerel (Bq) or curie (Ci). Plus, most radiation was released into the air, it would follow wind currents not ocean depths like a tsunami.
This is just like people spreading lies about politics or celebrities - you cannot believe everything you hear on the “news” or read online, you have to do your own, independent research. The disaster in Japan was and still is very serious especially for those who were personally affected by it, people need to know the truth about what is happening not be mislead, misguided or flat out lied to, especially with the painful anniversary just a week and change away. Please do not spread false information - look things up, ask experts, check sources, yes it takes up more time but it is very important and you will gain knowledge which is a priceless reward for your curiosity.
After more than 3 years and 8 months of dedicated, accurate and up to the minute breaking news and weather coverage, I have decided to leave journalism and reporting. The first event I covered was the devastating earthquake in Haiti on 12 January 2010, and the last event I will have covered was a shooting at McNair Elementary School on 19 August 2013. From earthquakes and tsunamis, to tornadoes, elections, school shootings, births and deaths, wars, oppression, protests and court cases, I have covered thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of stories, tragedies, disasters and events. It is bittersweet to think it has all come to an end.
I will never forget the impacts the tsunami in Japan, shooting at Sandy Hook, and tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma and Tuscaloosa, Alabama have had on me.
Hopefully, this will open the door to other opportunities for me and bring about the change I desperately need in my life. Thank You for all of you who have supported me and I hope you continue to support me through future endeavors.