Where to Live V – Tornadoes

July 24, 2018
1 min read

As I am sitting under a tornado watch at present,* it seemed a good time to examine another threat that the prepper should consider when selecting a location to live: tornadoes.
In some ways, tornadoes are the opposite of the nuclear power plants we discussed in Part IV. Whereas nuclear plants are stationary, tornadoes are mobile. Nuke plants are rare while tornadoes are common. But the third difference is, at least to me, the most important: when a nuclear power plant has a serious accident, it does far more damage over a larger area and for a longer time than even the largest tornado.
That’s not to say tornadoes aren’t serious; they can be. Drive through Joplin, Missouri, today and you can still see the path of the F5 that killed 158 people and injured more than 1000 in 2011. But a few years later, more people are living in and around Joplin than ever. The same is not true of Chernobyl, which is today surrounded by an Exclusion Zone measuring 1000 square miles.
This comparison gives us a two-sided grid under which the prepper can categorize threats: frequency (common/rare) versus impact (limited/massive). Nearly every conceivable threat can be measured that way. Those threats that are rare and of limited damage can often be safely ignored, for you’ll have built in enough preparation already to handle them. Those that are both common and massive (e.g. hurricanes on the Gulf Coast) will demand serious preparation and perhaps even avoidance. Those massive threats which are deemed inevitable, like a dollar collapse, can perhaps only be planned for and muddled through.
Since no prepper can be safe from all threats or even prepare for all threats,** the prepper must prioritize the ones he plans on planning for. If the danger posed by tornadoes is judged to be greater than that of earthquakes, California looks welcoming. If not, then the prepper will make another choice. We’ll have a few more factors to throw into your threat grid over the next couple of weeks. Be safe.
* One of eight I’ll see this year according to this handy-dandy map from NOAA.
** What’s the plan for a planetary collision?

El Borak is an historian by training, an IT Director by vocation, and a writer when the mood strikes him. He lives in rural Kansas with his wife of thirty years, where he works to fix the little things.


  1. On the bright side, the refugees from high tax, high authoritarian States are unlikely to choose Tornado Alley. I intend to add my part to discourage their relocation to our locale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Support Men Of The West

Previous Story

Communion: Conquering Through Defeat

Next Story

Where to Live VI – Earthquakes

Latest from Family

“Joseph” by Charles Kingsley

Editor’s note: The following is extracted from The Works of Charles Kingsley, Vol. 25 (published 1885). (Preached on the Sunday before the Wedding of the Prince of Wales. March 8th, third Sunday

Fly, Fly Dear Friend

It is with heavy heart that we report that our good friend and MOTW Poet Laureate, Ian McLeod, has passed away. He was too young, and he will be dearly missed. Offer

A Place for Everyone

If you ever played any team sports, you’ll be familiar with motivational quotes. Successories kicked things off in 1985 as a catalog company. There are entire campaigns and web sites devoted to

Church Home

That older single lady with the grey hair and quirky dress. The men stuffing themselves into old suits a size and a half too small or the old men whose suits now
Go toTop