Why — More Than Ever — You Should Read "Warnings"

“If more people read this book, we’d all be a lot safer just from the inspiration to take weather more seriously than we do.”
 — Brad Barton, Chief Meteorologist, WBAP 820AM/96.7FM DFW, Texas. 

If there was ever a time to realize the importance of weather warnings, this would be it. Yet, for reasons unknown, the media feels compelled to undermine the warning system. Both of these were aired in the last 24 hours:

“Joplin was caught unaware by the tornado.” CNN Sunday evening


“The tornado occurred without warning.” Good Morning America, Monday morning

The fact is that Joplin was given a full twenty minutes of warning with wailing sirens, television stations’ wall-to-wall coverage, and NOAA weather radio. Yet there are many (admittedly anecdotal) reports of people continuing about their business as the tornadic thunderstorm bore down on the city.

Warnings will thoroughly entertain you while dispelling the long-outdated view that tornadoes, hurricanes, and other severe storms are “unpredictable.” And, once you understand the system, you’ll be better equipped to protect your family and yourself.

So, pick up a copy of the hardcover version of Warnings, the Kindle version, or the enhanced eBook for Kindle. The book will be out for the Nook in a day or two.

This book might just save your life.

15 thoughts on “Why — More Than Ever — You Should Read "Warnings"

  1. If any positives can be made out of all of this horrific season its that warnings can not be taken lightly.

    I hope that lesson is learned fast, especially with what is coming down the pipe tomorrow…..

  2. Agree. Tomorrow looks like a very big tornado day in Kansas and Oklahoma with storms possible in adjacent areas.

  3. When the weather GUESSERS stop setting off the sirens for no reason, more people will pay attention when they do go off.

    Also, using their deaths to shill for your own book, that's pretty classy…

  4. McKnutt,

    It is not the meteorologists that are setting off the sirens, quite the opposite: http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2011/05/sectorize-sirens-please.html

    Second, you might try reading the book before criticizing it or my actions. The quote at the top was unsolicited (but certainly appreciated). If you will read any of the reviews you'll find them to be stellar. But, people are dying because people don't believe the warnings due to not understanding the system (i.e., you blaming meteorologists for the actions of emergency managers).

    If they read the book, they'll learn how good the warnings have become and, hopefully, better respond in the future.

  5. I watched national NBC news tonight. The reporter said they only had FIVE minutes warning.

  6. NBC News is incorrect.

    The National Weather Service's tornado warning for Joplin was issued at 5:17pm CDT. The tornado moved into west Joplin at 5:43. The rest of Joplin had slightly more time.

  7. Um… Wow! So the whole point of "buying" your book is so people might pay more attention to the sirens, which "Might" save their lives? Seriously? You are trying to justify the sale of your book through terror tactics? If it truly has a chance of saving peoples lives then why not make it free? Oh, right, money!

    Just so you know. I read a small snippet of your book. While it looks entertaining, I wouldn't buy it thinking it might save my life. Also, I could care less what reviews say! I buy books because of content, not just because someone else liked it!

    (Might interest you also to know that my wife had been looking at getting this book until she saw this article! I also noticed several people on FB do not seem very pleased with you right now!)

  8. I have read that the tornado sirens didn't go off in Joplin until the tornado was coming into town.
    Thats the info i have.

    I reckon reading warnings will have provide a severe weather awareness.

  9. Sirens are NOT the point: Local emergency managers sound the sirens NOT meteorologists.

    The level of misunderstanding of the warning system exhibited in these comments is indeed proving my point that understanding how the warning system works might indeed save your life. And, to the best of my knowledge, "Warnings" is the only book ever written on this subject.

    Lets try this again: The warning for Joplin was issued at 6:17pm by the National Weather Service. The sirens went off almost immediately. Most jurisdictions, however, do not sound their sirens continuously (something I write about in "Warnings") for fear of burning them out since a lot of sirens are old. The sirens were sounded a second time as the tornado approached. Yes, I know a storm chaser said they were not going off. That is because he was not in Joplin the first time they were sounded.

    If you had read "Warnings," you would understand all of this so that incorrect media reports would not mislead you.

    There is a rare "high risk" of tornadoes today. It is still tornado season and we are less than two weeks from hurricane season. Now is an excellent time to read the book! Yes, I am trying to save lives through knowledge.

    As for the comments about "money," have you noticed there is no third party advertising on this blog? I provide all of this information to you free and on my own time. Final comment: When did I say you needed to buy the book? Just go to the library and READ it! It might just save your life.

  10. The initial post only mentions purchase options – no free options. Therefore, the focus is to sell the book just after the Joplin tragedy, which is not appropriate.

  11. When did you say we needed to buy the book? Here:

    "So, pick up a copy of the hardcover version of Warnings, the Kindle version, or the enhanced eBook for Kindle. The book will be out for the Nook in a day or two.

    This book might just save your life."

    You mentioned nothing about it being available in libraries in your initial post, only linked sales locations. You may be trying to "save lives through knowledge," but your post is trying to improve sales. There's no third-party ads on this blog? Not the point. It's the first-party sales pitch that people are criticising, and with good cause.

    I notice you deleted my earlier criticism (and I'll grant you the language, while not obscene per se, was less than gentlemanly). However, to rephrase it in more genteel terms, let me say this: using a tragedy in which over one hundred people lost their lives as a hook for a post suggesting people purchase your book, and not even offering to donate some tiny fraction of sales to disaster relief for the victims, comes across as the worst sort of ghoulish opportunism.

    Perhaps your motives are good. If so, you chose an extremely poor method of expressing them.

  12. (I deleted the posting above because I misspelled "link")

    Mike Smith said…

    I allow people to post comments that strongly disagree with me. I delete obscenities and your original comment was obscene. An apology would be appropriate.

    That said, I appreciate you coming back and doing it right this time. Let me clarify a couple of matters:

    1. I said "pick up" not "buy" the book. You can pick up a book at a library.

    2. What else would I like the three versions to? To my knowledge, there is no way to link to a given book at a library. If there is please come back and post it and I would appreciate learning how.

    3. On April 28, I did a first draft of a similar post after I learned that hundreds had died in the South. I deleted it for fear of looking "opportunistic" (your word, but it is a good one). I regretted that decision in the wake of the huge death toll in Joplin. In fact, I felt a little guilty about it because I am convinced that the book can help save lives (and, I think you'd agree if you read it).

    4. The decision to post in the wake of Joplin was influenced by the dangerous weather situation that was developing for the first of this week. As I understand it, four died in Oklahoma yesterday and two in Kansas. Anything that can help stop this is beneficial.

    When a doctor saves your life, he hands you a bill. That is how it should be. The book took five years of my life from start to finish and, of course, I hope to make some money from it. I'd be a fool not to.

    That said, I have always encouraged people to read the book first and foremost. If you'll look, you'll see that, from the very first moment it was uploaded, I allowed Kindle "sharing" of the book. Yes, that will cost me some $$ but that is OK.

    The book cannot save the lives of people who do not read it!

    So, Woodrobin, how about going to the library, reading the book, and tell me if I am off base that learning how the warning system works will help save lives?

  13. Just saying "My book shows how the warning system needs to improve by … and lives would be saved by …" would have been fine. The blog readers can determine if they want to buy or borrow it on their own from there. You should make money from the book and its message from all your work with it, yet please be more subtle. The advertisement for the book appears in the right hand column – the sell is present but doesn't overtake the content of the blog.