(photo from Limestone county Alabama tornado Apr 27, courtesy of Decatur Daily)

Before I list a few web links to allow you to experience the gut wrenching stories of several survivors, I need to interject a few comments:

Many of the survivors either were unaware or ignored the fact that all there was a tornado warning in effect;

Most only acted when they saw or heard the actual tornado;

As I wrote in a post several weeks ago, if you ignore a tornado warning and act only WHEN you see or hear the tornado bearing down on you – then usually you ONLY HAVE 20 to 45 SECONDS BEFORE THE TORNADO IS GONE and the damage is done.

In fact, when you wait to see or hear the tornado before seeking safety, you may not reach your first choice of a safe shelter.

You are still likely to survive BUT your chances of being INJURED (slightly or severely) increase dramatically.

In fact, take note of the excellent account from the University of Alabama student Randy Robbins. He had SEVERAL personal warnings (phone/text) he disregarded from family and friends and admittedly, almost paid for it with his life.

Here are the survivors’ web links and let their painful experiences guide you.

1) 8-year-old pulled into tornado as his home is shredded -

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/01/year-old-gets-sucked-200mph-alabama-tornado-survives/

2) University of Alabama student blown out of his apartment and seriously injured -

http://blog.al.com/wire/2011/05/tuscaloosa_tornado_experience.html

(NOAA photo of Tuscaloosa tornado Apr 27 damage path – from lower left to upper right)

3) family in extreme north Alabama suffers fatalities from a series of tornadoes on the same day -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42848701

4) high school baseball coach loses house but there’s good news -

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=6470969&type=story

Finally, here’s a photo of a tornado shredded neighborhood in Pratt City in Birmingham.

In front is an unscathed monument paying tribute to victims of a 1977 tornado that ripped through the same apartment complex.

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