Monday, June 3, 2013

The power of information

I'm sitting here, doing my usual morning computer time (check email, book sites, Facebook) and listening to the news. "Good Morning America" is playing on the TV, and the newscasters are talking about the people that lost their lives in the latest round of storms/tornadoes in Oklahoma. Sadly, many people were killed in their cars trying to outrun the twisters. Why did they believe they could do such a thing? I have no idea. As someone who grew up in the Midwest, I was always taught that you should never get in a car and try to drive away/run away from a tornado; they are too fast, and also, too unpredictable.

This destruction and loss of life has me thinking about how many lives could have been saved if they'd just had the right information. And where does one find such data? Many places, but of course I'm going to mention BOOKS. And I'm not even going to recommend a huge 400+ page tome on weather and weather phenomenon. Nope. I'm going to suggest heading into any children's section and pick up a basic book on weather, or tornadoes, or what have you. Should be in the 551s (plus you can find other cool stuff there like earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc).

Why would I suggest a "kid's" book? Because it's the best source for basic information. Children's non-fiction books are awesome for adults looking for the basics. You know it's not going to take more than an hour to read it cover-to-cover (maybe a bit longer, but you're usually not looking at weeks). They almost always have an index, so you find exactly what you need. And if it's a responsible publisher/bookstore/library, the information should be the newest and most relevant possible.

Knowledge is power. And where weather is concerned, especially severe weather, knowledge can literally mean the difference between life and death. My heart goes out to those families who lost love ones, and to those who will have to literally start all over again. My hope with this post is that, in the future, people know what to do in these sorts of storms, so that we're not watching another sad scene on the morning news.

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