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Tornado safety class planned in Martin

Tornado safety class planned in Martin
The year 2011 was record-setting for severe weather across the U.S. Tragically, 550 people were killed by tornadoes, with 32 of those deaths occurring in Tennessee.  Unfortunately, tornadoes have already killed three people in the state this year and the height of the storm season is yet to come. This active weather pattern has helped spawn more than 20 tornadoes within 50 miles of Weakley County just within the last five years, according to National Weather Service records. Traditionally, West Tennessee sees more tornadoes per year than any other part of the state.
“Despite better warnings than ever before, too many people are being killed by tornadoes.  Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. – two cities hit by large tornadoes last year – had high numbers of deaths despite up to 20 minutes warning. Something has to change,” CBS-affiliated meteorologist Charlie Neese said.
Neese has partnered with Alexander Auctions and Real Estate Sales and Central Baptist Church for TornadoSafe, a live, multimedia tornado safety program set for April 10 at 6:30 p.m. This presentation is open to everyone in Martin and Weakley County. The event will be held at Central Baptist Church, which is located at 301 Harrison Road in Martin.
“We are about to enter the peak tornado season here in West Tennessee and the pattern looks to remain active again this year. People are dying from tornadoes because they don’t hear the warnings, they ignore them, they don’t know what to do or they don’t have a safe place to go. I address all of these issues in the TornadoSafe program,” Neese added.
Neese, a staff meteorologist for the CBS affiliate in Nashville and formerly with KFVS-12 in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is a two-time Emmy award winner for both his on-air severe weather coverage and for a severe weather safety news series. He has studied several tornado damage paths, including ones from the record Alabama outbreak last April, in an effort to fully understand how buildings are affected by the extreme wind forces experienced during tornadoes.  He said he’s on a mission to share the lessons he’s learned through the years about tornado safety.
“When I’m tracking storms on radar and I see one that has the capability of producing a tornado, I always think to myself, ‘Do the people underneath this storm know what’s about to happen and do they know what to do?’ That’s my motivation behind TornadoSafe – Once you hear the warning, do you know exactly what to do?  In the program,  I talk about some things most people probably have never considered when formulating their safety plan.”
TornadoSafe, presented by Alexander Auctions and Real Estate Sales, is free and open to everyone in Martin and Weakley County. For more information, call Central Baptist Church at 587.5311 or visit Neese’s website at

WCP 3.29.12

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