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About a month after the tornado, trees were beginning to show some green in spite of the still massive clean up needed.


(think: Midland or Motorola) but their range is always never what they advertise. Around here we can get about a mile on a good day. But, if you have two or three on secure channels, if something hits, you can communicate with your family as you prepare to respond. I’m shopping around for another option that would give me longer ranges though. Have primary and secondary


meeting places to meet if a disaster occurs, since you may not be able to communicate. If you come home and your home is destroyed, you’ll know to meet at the library, and if the library isn’t there, meet at the police station or where ever you decide. I’d make one close to home, and one a bit farther in case the close one is wiped out too. Keep in mind transportation might be tough, so leave notes: “I was here on this date and time and


That’s a truck tossed against a building, but note the American flag. Those Joplin natives are tough.


am going to Bill’s house and will wait there. I am safe and unharmed.” There was a lot of that going on in


Joplin. The local radio station had an open mic for days, allowing anyone to come in with announcements. “I want to tell Jeff Johnson that his brother, Ralph, is safe with us.” Or restaurants informed they were feeding people, or churches that they had shelter or even names of missing people were put out — and many found!


Guns I really never saw a need for a gun


in this case, but can see how it might be in more rural areas, especially if there are dogs running around that are scared and dangerous, or real looters like they had in New Orleans and in L.A. during riots. In Joplin, there was no violence of any sort I heard of, even though people were


pushed to the limits. It was more of a helping hands everywhere you looked situation. However, I did have a reader ask


me how to keep his guns safe in a di- saster like this. Frankly, there is no keeping them safe. The most impor- tant thing is a safe room of some kind for your family. If you want, and have room, you might keep your gun safe in there. But if you have a safe in your house, above ground level, and some- thing like this hits, everything is pret- ty much destroyed. Short of burying them, it’s a crapshoot. This tornado picked up trucks and


buses and tossed them a quarter of a mile or more. One SUV with some- one inside was found over a mile from where it had been parked. The driver was still inside, dead. One teen was literally sucked out of a sunroof, torn through his seatbelt while his dad


The view for miles in south Joplin. This is looking east and is only a small portion of the devastation.


40 REALITY CHECK • 2012 SPECIAL EDITION


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