Resources for Tornado Survivors

Did you talk with us?

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Our research will make a difference in helping to make homes safer and improving safety advice about where to shelter during tornadoes. Here are links to the approved consent forms (information sheets) about our study:


You can build a stronger home. There’s no reason to keep building with old/recent construction practices when we now know better. Have you heard of the concept of a continuous load path? A continuous load path helps both hold your home together and keep it down on the ground during strong winds. See the research for yourself:

If your home can be repaired, consider building back stronger and consider adding a safe room. Learn more about these exciting developments with this handout:

When you’re in the market for a new car, you probably research safety features. Do the same for your next home! Here’s how to learn more, including how to find builders who build stronger homes:

Install a FORTIFIED Roof

Just above we link to resources to learn about a continuous load path that makes the whole home a lot more resistant to wind damage. But short of that, did you know that the most common thing to happen to homes is water damage inside after losing some roof shingles? Consider at least installing a FORTIFIED Roof:

Some insurance companies offer discounts, and some states require that discounts are offered:

Calm yourself and your family after the storm

Experiencing a tornado is traumatic. You may find that it’s hard to stop reliving the events in your mind, or you may find yourself cringing at noises that remind you of the tornado. There are many others who have gone before you, be it with storms or other traumas, and there are lots of resources to help:

Did you know there are counselors specifically trained in trauma? Here’s how to find one:

Here is a web site for children who have been through a tornado:

And here is a handout for parents to help their children after a tornado:

Regaining a sense of calm in the midst of the storm

Today I received an email from OU’s human resources with a reminder about resources for dealing with stress and anxiety and this reminded me of resources I already know about and have been sharing with tornado survivors.

App icon for the Mindfulness Coach
The app icon for the Mindfulness Coach

Mindfulness Coach

Practicing mindfulness means grounding yourself in the present moment. Mindfulness has been shown to be helpful for reducing stress and coping with unpleasant thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness Coach will help you practice mindfulness meditation.

This is a FREE app from the Veterans Administration, with both Google and iPhone versions available:

Learn more here:

If you don’t want to download an app, there are very similar tools in the VA’s PTSD Coach Online:

Revisiting My Study of Forecaster Learning

I am honored to be at the CALMET XIII / Eumetcal conference hosted at EUMETSAT this week to lead a workshop on the implications of my dissertation results. It is so fun to be meeting people from all over the world who are training forecasters. The image below shows pins for all the locations: from Australia to Argentina, Nicaragua to Niger, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Fiji, Grenada, and so many more countries. CALMet is a vibrant and wonderful community.

It has been interesting to hear how my work has resonated, and I look forward to learning more about that after my workshop. I also hope that my work is extended in the future. While informative and representative of my study participants, it was just one study. There is likely more to be learned.

Here are some key publications and a handout:

Here is link to the conference presentation (video) and paper (PDF) from when my dissertation was almost complete (2010). The following year I presented a poster (PDF) of the complete study. These are free to download/view.

Here is a link to my 2018 paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society on facilitating self-directed learning. Self-directed learning can be a misnomer: it is often actively facilitated by others, and it is in the best interest of the field to do so.

And finally, here is a handout of the key diagrams from (or related to) my dissertation:

Building Better

A colleague and I spoke about our Survivor Story Pilot Study at an outreach event in Lee County, Alabama, on May 30. Dr. David Roueche, from the Auburn University, is a structural engineer. We explained that a survivor’s experiences during a tornado and knowledge of their structure might either challenge or confirm forensic engineering studies of tornado damage, and shared some of the latest science on how to build and secure homes to the ground better.

We shared information about the latest in disaster engineering science, including this video in which IBHS makes the bold claim that EF-0 and EF-1 damage can be virtually eliminated, and much of EF-2 damage can be prevented as well:

We also created this handout with links to information about building better and to dealing with storm anxiety, which is very common after disasters:

Please feel free to share it widely!

Out today: our chapter from the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Expertise

I am very pleased to see that our chapter on Expertise in Weather Forecasting is out today in electronic form:

It is part of an expansive handbook that will be out in print this fall (2019): The Oxford Handbook of Expertise

My #DayofScience for #ScienceAThon

I had fun last week participating in the Science-A-Thon fundraiser for the Earth Science Women’s Network. I planned some of my tweets ahead of time, like this one:

Tweet about the Rav’s radar and sonar


I wrote some tweets on the fly, like these two:

My tweet that quotes another scientist’s post about how she gets paid to learn and read

Tweet about Briana getting the remaining REU paper books ready to distribute.


My REU students got involved and had fun.

Tweet about us helping David edit his title.


I collected the highlights into a Storify story. Enjoy!

Psst, it’s not too late to donate to my fundraiser! Click HERE!