Letter to the Editor

Mayor urges citizens to use common sense

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Editor:

Many, if not most of your readers, will agree that our weather of late has certainly been unpredictable this year! Usually, to talk about the weather is a conversation topic if nothing else can be said of importance. However, my letter is to address the weather in a conversation with our community, and does bear very much importance.

It is always my nature to "teach" when the opportunity arises, and such is the opportunity now. In this lesson it will require much common sense from you as a reader. My mom and dad taught me if it's raining, get out of the rain. If there's thunder, then there must be lightning. If the sky suddenly turns dark, (and not because the sun went down) look to the sky, and if it's a storm cloud, be ready to take shelter or find shelter!

I grew up on the farm way out in the boonies, so to speak. No storm siren, no Doppler radar, no storm watcher's map, a radio maybe, and one television station we picked up occasionally. I did, however, have a father who was very wise about reading the clouds and knowing when it was time to get to the cellar!

To my amazement there are many who want to point a finger and say nobody told me a storm was coming! I didn't hear the storm siren, because I had my television, radio or whatever on. One 30-something person even asked a lady, "What in the world is that siren going on and on about?"

Please let me explain that our city's storm sirens are sounded whenever a severe storm warning has been issued for our "immediate" area. Let me also say that it would be foolish to totally rely on that as your source of warning, because the siren's nature and intent is for those who are "outside." These outside sirens are for those who might be at the ball fields, or parks, or outside for whatever reason.

For those of you at home, you have your televisions, radios, or better yet storm radio to alert you to impending severe weather. If you are in your car, turn on your radio to a local station. I'm certain our friends all around us who have not been as fortunate would say loud and clear to us, "Could have, should have, and would have paid more attention."
One of my former students asked me, "If common sense is so common, wouldn't there be more of us using it? Instead why don't we call it 'rare sense'?" So, I urge my fellow readers to dig out your common sense, dust it off and start using it as if your life depends on it! And one other thing, when you're visiting with your neighbor about the weather next time, mention this "Dear Editor" letter and remind each other that "we" need to smarten up and pay attention to the weather!

I checked with Barry Electric, True Value Hardware and Craig's Home Center, and they have storm radios. For my household, it's as necessary as the fire detector and ranges in cost from $29.99 to $69.99 (depending on how many bells and whistles you like).


Mayor Tracy Holle

Cassville, Missouri