Record-Setting Stretch of Deadly Tornadoes Rips America’s Heartland Apart

Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Idaho, Colorado and Missouri. Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Those are among the states that were blitzed by tornadoes and other dangerous storms only just last week. The American heartland just keeps getting hammered without any signs of stopping.

In fact, the country established a record with 12 consecutive days of at least eight recorded tornadoes. The previous record of 11 stood since 1980.

The results were so devastating that they still haven’t been fully calculated. What we do know is that numerous lives were lost, there has been extensive property damage throughout the region and millions were and few continue to be left without power.

Path of Destruction

The deadly system began in Texas. It worked its way northeast for a while. A sharp right turn then sent it heading toward the East Coast.

Along the way, powerful tornadoes destroyed virtually everything in their paths. Cars were thrown off roads. Power lines collapsed on roads causing people to lose power. Broken glass flew. People were trapped in buildings.

In Missouri, a large tornado ripped through Jefferson City. Winds reached 160 miles per hour. The tornado stayed on the ground for 20 minutes. First responders exhausted hours rescuing people.

Over in Golden City, about three hours’ away, three people were killed by a tornado. Including a couple that were found 200 yards from their home.

‘Like a War Zone’

Ohio was also hit particularly hard by the storms. Roofs were ripped off buildings. Trees and light poles were snapped. Power lines fell onto roads. Cars were strewn about the landscape.

Some houses were actually torn out of their foundations and flattened on the ground. Debris was everywhere. Including on Interstate 75 where lanes were blocked for days. Snowplows were needed to clear the wreckage.

One vehicle was picked up by a tornado and thrown into a house in Celina, Ohio. It killed an 81-year-old man as he lay in bed.

A phrase heard repeatedly from people who survived was, “It’s like a war zone out here.” Others said, “It felt like an earthquake.”

Millions Without Power

As almost always occurs with extreme weather, electrical power was knocked out. Except this time it happened to millions across many states.

In Ohio, 70,000 power outages were recorded, affecting millions of people. Some of those outages made it impossible to pump out floodwaters. Including in Dayton.

Once the storms passed, some cities even issued boil advisories. Due to possible water contaminations. In some towns, the school year was ended early due to damage to school buildings.

And in many areas of the country, when one storm system had passed, another came through a day or two later. Including near Lawrence, Kansas, where a dozen people were injured by yet another larger tornado.

Many people in the affected areas remained in the dark over a week later.

U.S. Leads World in Tornadoes

In the United States, there are more tornadoes that touch down than in any other country – about 1,200 per year. And they result in approximately 80 deaths. In fact, this year alone, there have been 38 deaths reported from tornadoes.

But the truly scary aspect is that though they generally occur in the spring and summer, they can happen any time of year.

And unlike hurricanes, tornados can come on quickly. There’s often not much time for people to take shelter when a tornado warning is announced.

That’s why it’s important to know what to do and prepare in advance to make sure you’re ready at any moment’s notice.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare regardless of whether you’re at home, or at the office:

  • Make sure your homeowners coverage is up to date and that it covers extreme weather damage.
  • Have bug-out bags ready for each family member.
  • Have at least 72 hours’ worth of non-perishable food and water stockpiled.
  • Locate the nearest shelters in case you need to bug out.
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries ready.
  • Have a generator on-hand, powered up and ready to go.
  • Have an emergency, hand-crank radio.
  • Know how to shut off your home’s gas line, electricity and water line.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible at all times.

Once a tornado passes, you’re not out of the woods yet. Most people who suffer post-tornado injuries get hurt while trying to clean up debris. Also be aware of downed power lines, ruptured gas lines and damaged structures.

Don’t Wait Until the Next Tornado to Act

Tornadoes are horrific. Plain and simple. They have the ability to create massive amounts of damage, injuries and deaths in just a matter of a few minutes.

And sadly, they are occurring stronger and more frequently than ever before.

In fact, according to meteorologist Patrick Marsh from the National Weather Center, there were 500 eyewitness reports of tornadoes in the 30 days between April 27 and May 27 alone.

The best thing you can do for you and your family is to have a plan in place and supplies ready before the next one hits.

An obvious choice to help with power outages is to have a generator on hand.

But if that generator runs on gas, there could be a bigger problem than not having power.

That’s why we recommend using a solar generator instead.

You can use it to run kitchen appliances. Power your personal or medical devices. Or light up a room with an LED light string… for weeks at a time.

There is no worry about running it inside your house because it does not produce fumes like a gas generator.

And it recharges using only the power of the sun, so you don’t have to worry about gas shortages either.

See this personal solar power system in action (video)

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