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Do you reside in a tornado prone area? And if so, are you prepared for when they might strike? Regrettably, a lot of people are not. Numerous experts claim that twisters are increasing in numbers, and equally in intensity. That is why it is always a good idea to be prepared for a tornado strike, just in case.

Preparing for a twister consists of several steps that you will want to take. These precautions necessitate you knowing your own particular risks. Do you reside somewhere that is typically referred to as a Tornado Alley? Because if you do, twisters had better be on your mind, especially during the springtime, summertime, and autumn months. Bearing that in mind, it is also crucial to remember that tornadoes do not discriminate. Virtually all of the states in the U.S.A. have fallen victim to twisters before. Even if the tornadoes that do touch down in your area are small or have a low intensity level, it is still better to be organised and prepared.

Additionally, one of the numerous measures you will required to consider involves formulating a plan with your family unit. This plan ought to include which room you will all pull back to in the event of a twister warning or even a watch. Generally speaking, a basement or cellar is the safest and most secure place to be. But not every home has a basement, and if yours does not, you'll want to retreat to an internal room, and if your home has an internal room that does not have any windows, all the better. Be sure that each of your family members know of this plan. It might also be beneficial to alert a close relative or friend of your plan. In the outcome that your house is damaged or even destroyed, local rescue workers and your family had better know where to find you if you are unable to get out on your own.

Getting together all the required provisions that you might need is an another way that you can prepare for a twister or at least tornado season. If your above mentioned tornado planning involves retiring to your basement, it would be preferable to amass all of your provisions and store them in that location. If your action plan calls for you to retreat into an internal room, you will all the same want to get together all required supplies, but store them close at hand, such as in a nearby cupboard or closet. The supplies that you might prefer to have on hand include drinking water, non-perishable snacks, such as crackers, as well as a waterproof weather radio and fully operational waterproof torches,not forgetting spare batteries for both items.

The precautions covered in this article are just a few of the numerous steps that you may wish to choose, should you reside in an area that witnesses its fair portion of twisters. As a final reminder, it is crucial that you always stay up to date on what is occurring outdoors. In several areas, particularly the Midwest, just a bare thunderstorm can generate a powerful twister, and sometimes only in a matter of moments. Because of that understanding, you might want to keep your eyes and ears open all of the time.

### Surviving Severe Storms

If you're in the path of the hurricane, or other strong weather here are a few quick tips that may help you or even be the key to your survival.

Tip 1: Pack a go bag with two or three days clothing, for each person in your home, make sure you take all necessary toiletries and place them in a central place in a plastic garage bag. Don't forget if you have small children to pack diapers formulas or anything they need in a separate baby bag for easy access.

Tip 2: If your home is serviced by well water or even if you have city water it's a good idea to fill a spare bathtub with water using extreme caution if you have any small children that could get to it place a pool alarm in the tub as a precaution take great care to prevent drowning. This could be a great source of water to flush toilets and clean cookware. It is not recommended for cooking or consumption.

Tip 3: Have more than one car? Try to separate your cars by 50- 100 yards meaning do not park both of them in the garage because if you garage gets damaged you will be out two cars instead of one. The best idea is to shelter one vehicle and park a vehicle somewhere else preferably away from trees, power lines, or tall objects that could fall and damage the vehicle, don't forget to fill it with as much gas as you can afford.

Tip 4: Take the time now to contact your local authorities or the Red Cross so that you have there numbers, it would be a great idea to program them in your cell phone. Find out where the closest shelters are. If your home is extensively damaged and you may need to make a run for it!

Tip 5: Make sure all your cell phones have a full charge and you have spare batteries for your flashlights. If you are going to use candles make sure they are slow burning and not scented candles, if you burn to many scented candles at one time the smells can become overwhelming. Place everything in a centralized place. Plastic containers are a great idea, to keep things dry and organized. If your going to use emergency candles do not leave them unattended, burning while sleeping, or within reach of small children. A great alternative is a rechargeable LED lantern available almost anywhere they are about \$15.00 and can even be recharged in your car.

Tip 6: During the storm stay away from windows and doors, as close to the center of your home as possible and on the lowest floor of your home. If your home sustains damage during the storm do not try to evacuate immediately unless you feel your home has received structural damage to the extent that you would be more at risk in your home than out in the storm. Minor damage to your home such as broken windows or a limb or tree in the side of the roof you are most likely safer to ride it out and not risk going out into the storm again, you must use your best judgment about the condition of your home.

### Hurricane Survival Skills

Hurricane survival skills are essential knowledge for many people around the world, including the United States. Here in the US, hurricanes are mostly known to strike the states along the Gulf of Mexico, but they can sometimes travel up as far as Maine to the Northeast given the right conditions. Survival skills for hurricanes are a mix of the obvious and some aspects that might not be common sense to many citizens, as they are constantly changing along with technology.

Underground or Overground

Perhaps some of the more obvious skills for hurricane survival are taking cover. If the hurricane is not expected to lead to floods, one should take cover underground, tie down heavy objects, and board up windows. Flying glass leads to most cyclone-related deaths because of its ubiquitous use in modern construction and because the shards are razor sharp. Flower pots and other ceramics should be brought indoors because their shards bear the same ability to cut and stab when flying at high speed.

Hurricane Preparedness

Citizens who plan on waiting out a hurricane should have enough food and water to survive for three days or more. Because electricity is usually cut during hurricanes to prevent fires and explosions, people should be prepared to eat canned or vacuum-sealed foods that will not easily spoil. Bottled water is also essential because the powerful winds of a hurricane may lead to floods that can contaminate municipal water sources. Homeowners should also turn off their natural gas outlets in order to prevent poisonous gas leaks, fires, or explosions.

Communication

Among the less obvious measures that enhance survival during hurricanes are radios and text messaging. Many radios need only batteries to perform and citizens can stay updated on events occurring around them rather than having to rely on electricity-powered computers and televisions. Information can mean life and death in many situations, so sheltering people should stay informed as often as possible about developments occurring around them. Text messaging is a much more efficient way to communicate with the outside world because their frequencies do not clog up cell phone towers in the way that phone calls do. Phones with keyboards are best suited for the practice of text messaging, so citizens should prepare accordingly.

Flooding

Following these suggestions should maximize your ability to survive in a disaster brought about by a hurricane. If flooding is expected, one should abandon their home and drive in-land. There are few measures one can take to survive flooded urban areas due to the contaminated water, destroyed supplies, and lack of shelter.

### Tips to Surviving Winter Weather

2010 saw one of the worst winters in the past 70 years, with severe weather conditions literally grinding the UK to a halt. The main reason that the snow caused so much trouble was that the people and businesses of the UK were simply not prepared for such severe weather. Although the same conditions are not expected again this year, that does not mean you cannot be prepared.

By putting in the effort in advance, you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible should the weather take a turn for the worse. Follow these simple tips and ensure that you are ready this winter.

The first thing you should do is ensure that you have a list of emergency phone numbers. This should include numbers for your gas, electricity and other utility services. This will come in handy should you experience any trouble or disruption in your normal service. You should also make a list of friends and relatives that may be able to help should you run into any trouble. Keep these numbers together and in a safe, easy to located place.

Another good tip is to stock up on essential food items such as bread, milk and foods that can be frozen or easily stored for a long time. Often when the snow comes you will find that stock in supermarkets plummet. This is due to people panicking at the last moment. By preparing in advance, you can ensure that your larder is heath, your cupboards are full and your fridge well stocked.

If you have an open fireplace, ensure that you have enough coal or wood to see you through the winter period. If not then it may be advantageous to buy an electric heater or generator. An electric heater will come in handy should your gas system fail. Mean while a generator will help should you experience any complete loss of power.

The key to surviving the winter weather is preparation. Stock up on supplies such as rock salt, snow tools and food. Have emergency numbers and contacts ready. Follow these simple steps and be prepared for whatever weather comes this winter.

Donald Simpson is a car fanatic, he owns a garage that offers a range of services, as well as cheap van hire in Edinburgh and the Lothians. In his spare time he writes a blog and likes to share his knowledge and experience with his followers.

### Snow and Ice Driving Tips

We've had our first real signs that winter is beginning to settle in and it's made for treacherous roads in the early mornings and late at night.

It's almost impossible not to travel when the weather is bad with work, dropping off children and shopping all requiring travelling of some form and more often than not it will be in the car. With temperatures dropping below freezing overnight lots of us are waking up to icy cars, drive ways and routes to where we need to go.

Main roads, motorways and most busy areas will have benefited from road gritting and snow clearance but it's inevitable that you will at some point have to drive through slushy snow, over obvious patches of ice or worse still over the black ice that can't be seen.

We all have a story about a time when we had a bad experience driving in the snow and there's nothing more upsetting or unnerving than losing control of a vehicle. With that in mind I decided to draft up some advice and tips for driving in the winter as someone who drives on lots of icy back roads and has had the displeasure of being involved in an ice related accident.

The first you should think about is preparation...failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

* Get up earlier than you would normally to give yourself time to prepare the car for your trip.

* You should use de-icer and a scraper to clear the windows of snow and ice. You should never set of with just a tiny part of the windscreen cleared.

* Check the roof for snow and clear it off to stop it slipping down the rear or front window which could obscure your view whilst driving.

* If you find it difficult to put the key into the lock then you should heat up the key with a cigarette lighter and it should unlock more easily.

* Once inside the car, if it has air conditioning you should turn it on and set the fan speed to high and on the highest heat to help demist the windscreen and thaw any ice that could be on the inside the windscreen.

* You should always carry a scraper and de-icer just in case things freeze over whilst you're away from home. You should also carry a mobile phone - fully charged, a car charger for it (easily bought from eBay), a torch, extra clothes, blankets, some food jump leads, a tow rope, a hazard warning triangle and something for shovelling snow should you get snuck. If you end up breaking down or getting stuck like thousands of motorist last winter then you'll be very grateful that you packed them.

* You should also ensure you have a dry pair of shoes in the car. Driving with snow covered, wet shoes will cause slipping on the pedals.

* You should always put safety before punctuality when the weather is bad. Employers accept there is an inevitability of you being late when caught up by bad weather. If you're worried you can always call in before you leave for work to inform them of your possible lateness due to the poor weather.

* You should plan your journey around major roads which are much more likely to have been gritted. However this isn't always possible so the following are tips to driving in the snow and ice.

Snow and Ice driving tips

* When driving along if you no longer hear much noise from the tyres, that could be a sign that you're driving on ice so be cautious and remain alert.

* If you find your vehicle skidding you should depress the clutch and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. Steering away from the skid is the temptation but this will definitely make your vehicle spin. When the vehicle straightens steer along the road. You should also resist the temptation to hit the brakes, doing so will lock up your wheels and you will find yourself skidding further.

* Stopping distances can double in the wet weather but in the snow and ice the distances can become ten times longer. You should give other motorist plenty of space and if someone is driving too close to the back of you let them know by flashing your hazard lights.

* Manoeuvring gently is the key to safe driving in the winter.

* Reducing your speed significantly reduces the likelihood of skidding. Too much power in a lower gear is often a cause of skids on snow and ice.

* You should pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch slowly to avoid any wheel spin. Second gear provides less pull and will reduce the chance of wheel spinning greatly.

* Try to maintain at a constant speed choosing the most suitable and highest gear to avoid having to change down for inclines.

* When driving down hills, select third or fourth gear which should help prevent skidding if you're cautious with your speed.

* You should always feather the brakes lightly and never give them a long press. Over braking is a common causing of losing control on ice and snow.

* Should you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels with the steering wheel and clear the snow from around the tyres. Put an old rug or sack in front of the driving wheels to give them something to grip onto. Once you're on the move try to avoid the temptation to stop until you're on less snow covered ground where your tyres can get a better grip on the surface.

Remember to take extra care on roads without gritting and snow clearance, it's just not worth the risk. If you don't think it's safe to travel then you shouldn't.

### Blizzard Predictions

Blizzard predictions are made after careful review of computer models and other forecasting factors. While many people think of a blizzard as nothing more than a heavy snow occurrence it is wind speed that actually determines when a snow storm becomes something much more. In fact falling snow does not even have to be a factor. A ground blizzard can occur when snow that has already fallen is whipped up by excessive wind. Whiteout conditions can also be caused by blowing snow. These conditions can cause vehicles to collide with each other as drivers are unable to see the roadway. People have been known to die within a few feet of shelter because of the inability to see. Lake effect blizzard conditions can also be produced as a result of blowing snow.

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as producing the following conditions that last a minimum of three hours. Sustained winds or gusts in excess of 35 miles per hour which reduce visibility to less than 440 yards. These types of storms are very dangerous. Warnings should be taken very seriously as loss of life can occur to humans and pets if exposed to blizzard conditions for any length of time. Wind chill, which is the combination of temperature and wind speed can become deadly during a blizzard resulting in death from hypothermia.

Certain factors must come together at the right time to produce blizzard conditions. The arrival of a cold front, the amount of moisture that is present, the jet stream and numerous other factors all go into the forming of the conditions the produce inclement winter weather. Weather conditions can change suddenly and a day that starts out clear, sunny and cold can quickly deteriorate into one where temperatures plummet, the wind starts to pick up and snow begins to fall producing blizzard conditions.

Predicting when and where a blizzard will occur is still an inexact science. That is why it is crucial that individuals pay close attention to their local weather forecast. There is no substitute for preparedness. Everyone should have a basic weather emergency kit. Included in this kit should be enough water and food to last a minimum of three days. Blankets, a flashlight with spare batteries and a medical first aid kit should also always be kept on hand and fully stocked. A battery operated radio is also essential as this will keep you informed about weather conditions and allow you to receive vital information from local authorities and the weather service.

It is best to stay put if the forecast calls for inclement weather. Sometimes however this is not possible. If you must travel on roadways that may become treacherous be prepared for delays, drive with extreme caution and above all use common sense. Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order and that your tires are able to handle the road conditions that you encounter.

Up to date winter forecast information including maps can be found at winter weather predictions for 2012. Tips on preparing for winter, taking care of pets, protecting your home and vehicle and much more. Learn about the greatest dangers you face during the winter months. Learn how to create and run your own weather station.

### Tips For Staying Warm This Winter

When it comes to staying warm during the colder period, most importantly at night, there is always some implication when it comes to the cost of doing this, but it really is crucial to try and make sure you do everything you can to keep yourself warm.

Below, we take a look at our top tips when it comes to staying warm and well this winter.

Heating - Not only is it important that you try to keep your heating running throughout the cold spell, but you should also consider getting your whole system serviced and checked out to make sure that it is running efficiently. If your heating system is not working at its best, you will not have the adequate heating temperatures in your home and it will be costing you more money because the system is not working correctly.

Clothing - Instead of wearing a t-shirt and whacking the heating up to maximum, why not try wearing more jumpers and winter clothes to try and keep your body warm? Keeping warm with decent clothing is often easier than relying on the heating to work well and don't forget when you go out to try and wear gloves, a hat and a scarf alongside your winter coat to really make sure that your whole body is protected from the icy weather.

Bedding - Many people over look how important their bedding is when it comes to keeping warm at night (or even in the day if you like a sofa and duvet day!). Many people use the same light weight duvet all year, which means in the winter they are much colder at night because of this, but often do not realise how important having a winter duvet really is. Winter duvets are heavier and therefore keep you much warmer in the colder spells we experience during the winter, so you really must make sure that your bedding is appropriate for the time of year.

Draughts - One of the biggest causes of cold in the average home is often a very simple one to solve, and that is the draught coming from under or around doors or windows. Over time, windows and doors can often lose their effectiveness when it comes to how well they seal when closed, so if you are feeling colder than normal you should be checking around doors and windows to see if any of the warm air is escaping and the cold air getting in.

It is important to make sure that you keep warm and well this winter so that you can look forward to the summer months ahead by remaining fit and well and avoiding the bugs and illnesses that can hit you if you do not stay warm.

Guy Bodger is a Director of White Cloud Trading Co Ltd based in Gloucestershire, UK.

### Auriol Weather Station

The Auriol weather station or temperature station as it is also known, is a digital thermometer for measuring temperature indoors and out. It has a really nice looking interface, which is easy to use. It comes with many features which I will outline here.

On the actual display itself it has several features.

* Outdoor temp display in Celsius or Fahrenheit
* A maximum and minimum temperature values for outside.
* A temperature trend display
* Reception indicator/bar
* Battery power bar for outdoor sensor.
* Indoor temp display in Celsius or Fahrenheit
* A maximum and minimum temperature values for inside.
* Temperature trend display
* Battery power display for temperature station
* Shows the time in 12 hour or 24 hour mode, hours and minutes displayed and a snooze feature.
* It has two different alarms, a time signal indicator, seconds display and summer time reading.
* It also shows the date with the day, month and day of the week.

The weather station is an updated version of your regular thermometer, as we progress in life technology gets better and better. Our first weather stations were the old thermometers, that used the mercury in the glass tube, but with the advancement of science, we come to gadgets like this Auriol weather station.

They are great to use, really cheap to buy in this day when gadgets are getting smaller and smaller.

Because its a digital product, they tend to be a lot more accurate than the old types of thermometers. In the old days if you wanted to read the temperature, it could take a while for the mercury to rise up and down the tube, but with a digital device the readings are instant.

This device can be really useful in the winter, for example if the temperature starts to drop you can check your station, and plan ahead. You could put your car in the garage, if you notice the temperature dropping, or you could put some salt down on your drive in anticipation of the coming ice. If you are elderly then you will know that it will most probably be very icy in the morning, so you should take care.

Have you watched the weather on your television or read the forecast on your computer, but it never really gives you exactly what's happening outside your door. This could be because the actual weather station could be miles away from where you actually live, so it can never give an exact reading of your temperature right outside your house.

With this little gadget you can get instant readings inside and outside your house, and if it gets to warm inside, you can easily adjust your heating and conserve energy. The beauty of this station also is the fact that it is a wireless device, so you can take it out to your garden, and get a true reading away from your house, because the range is 30 metres.

If you are interested in the weather and devices like the weather station you can start upgrading and buying many different products. There is a whole world of different products to monitor the weather, for the beginner up to the experienced person. You can start of with thermometers, but maybe you would like to monitor rain fall, this is where you can look at rain gauges.

For the more advanced you can get complete weather stations which you can add all the information on to your computer, these are called weather station software, and they monitor everything from rainfall, to temperature, to humidity.

On a final note, the Auriol weather station is a good little product that might get you interested to look at other products in the weather range, if that is what you intend to do.

To find out more about the Auriol weather station and everything else you need to know about weather station software, please visit my blog

### Meteorological Station

A Meteorological Station or weather station as it is also known, is a place where data is gathered to monitor weather conditions. This facility could be on land or at sea, measuring the atmospheric conditions to study climate and weather.

Typical measurements that would be taken include wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, barometric pressure, humidity and temperature. When measuring temperature and humidity, the observation is kept away from direct sunlight. When measuring, the instruments will bear the full force of the wind to gain readings.

Observing the weather will be done automatically and manually, automatically probably every hour, and manual observations once a day. For measuring data out at sea, ships and buoys will be used. but they will typically measure wave height, sea temperatures and much more.

A weather station will use most of these instruments to measure there data.

* Rain gauge: This will measure liquid precipitation over a period of time.
* Hygrometer: This instrument is used for measuring humidity
* Anemometer: Wind speed is calculated with this device.
* Barometer: For measuring atmospheric pressure.
* Thermometer: This measures land ans sea temperature.

You also may have a smaller version of a station that is set up at an airport, to monitor things such as,

* Ceiling projector: This measures the cloud ceiling
* Disdrometer: Measuring drop size distribution
* Transmissometer: This checks visibility
* A sensor for present conditions for rain fall

You also have advanced or professional weather stations that use the same instruments above, but might also include, solar radiation sensors, snow gauge, leaf wetness sensors, soil temperature sensor, and ultra violet light sensors. Another instrument they might use is a probe that measures evapotranspiration which is very useful for the agricultural industry.

Meteorological stations can be set up two ways, either wireless or wired. They both have advantages, and disadvantages, so its important to do your homework if you are thinking about buying one.

Apart from the rain gauge and the anemometer (these two instruments need to be out in the elements) the rest should be enclosed in what is called a Stevenson Screen, which it a type of vented box. This is to stop direct sunlight and wind to affect the instruments

If you have an interest in the weather for personal information it is possible now to have your own personal weather station. there is hundreds of products out there today on the market, for every ones specific needs.

You can now have all the data connected to your home PC, or laptop, this is how advanced these systems are now, and collecting data can be sent to different groups, or organisations through the internet. Another source of transmitting data to fellow meteorologists is by way of cb radio.

Because weather is part of our daily routine, it is not surprising that major weather stations have been setup in a network all over the world. These networks will monitor pressure systems and weather fronts. You can find and read about all the different networks around the world.

To find out more about Meteorological Stations and weather instruments please take a look at my blog,
http://Automaticraingauge.blogspot.com