The recent tornadoes near my home in Oklahoma remind me of this great interactive graphic from the NYTimes. In particular, the map of tornado risk:
My parents have been really lucky actually; I think the only storm damage they've had was roof damage from hail, which my dad repaired on his own so he could use the insurance check to buy a computer. I think he would probably take that deal any day.* But I saw several of them as a kid coming towards us and hid in the closet or storm shelters who knows how many times. The worst storm, on May 3 1999, which saw 61 tornadoes touch down in the state on a single day, beating the previous record of 60 in a month, took place when I was living in Germany and the worst thing that happened to us was a lot of stress waiting to hear from people that everything in Stillwater was ok.
But recently my cousins' condo was hit by a tornado, and a dozen houses or so were damaged in Stillwater, and when that happens, the numbness towards tornado risk that you build up over dozens of eventless sirens takes a hit.
And then, apparently, you blog about it.
*Yeah this is probably where I get my tendency to refuse to call a tow truck after totaling my car and spend a couple hundred hours repairing it myself with salvage yard parts and Wal-mart spray paint for under $300...