Is your family getting any sleep with severe weather warnings?

My girlfriend who lives in Atlanta by Phipps Plaza was exhausted all day Tuesday because she had been up all night monitoring the weather. The TV coverage had scared her so much she didn’t want to go to sleep and die in her bed. Her mother said, “You should have switched channels. The other guy said we were OK.”

My friend’s neighbor had watched the same station as she did and was also up all night trying to decide if she should move the kids to the basement.

My friend’s middle school child was worse for the wear and had to face the CRCTs on Tuesday morning. She gave him a coffee to wake him up. Her youngest was passed out on the playroom floor by Tuesday afternoon. She just let her sleep. She was worried they were going to have another bad night on Tuesday night.

Her basement isn’t finished so not really feasible for them to sleep down there but I told her she should just put everyone to sleep on the first floor and she might get a better night’s sleep.

Are the storms or storm warnings keeping you awake? Do you have the severe weather warnings on your phone? (My phone scares the crap out of me when a dust storm rolls through Phoenix. It is so loud.) Did you sleep on your first floor or in the basement the last few nights? Were your kids tired for the CRCTs?

23 comments Add your comment

Mother of 2

April 30th, 2014
5:45 am

I don’t have a weather alert on my phone – too many false alarms. I put my son in the basement bedroom so that he would get a good night’s sleep.

The problem with tornadoes is their relative unpredictiability. We do the best we can by getting as low as possible, having flashlights ready, and charging mobile devices. We also try to pull as many outdoor potential missiles into the garage.

It’s easy to get sucked into the media drama, so we try to limit TV unless there is an actual tornado in the area. Tornadoes are very frightening, but I find that my kids handle these situations better when we (my husband and I) are calm and prepared.


April 30th, 2014
6:40 am

Good grief this blog is really dull…. I think I might actually yearn for her to go back to cut and paste.


April 30th, 2014
6:53 am

@Mother of 2 – If you are receiving too many false alarms then you don’t have the settings properly configured. But back on topic, no, not at all have we lost any sleep, etc. I personally have a difficult time understanding why someone can be that scared of the weather. Yes, of course we take appropriate precautions and we leave the TV on. I don’t at all mind saying that we use WSB Channel 2 for severe weather instances. If they don’t have the actual video on he TV it is available using their free weather app. The best, by far, that I have located is iMap Weather – which isn’t free – but fully configurable to whatever alerts you wish. We live in Cobb County and most of our weather arrives from our west. So we naturally have the alerts set up for not only our immediate GPS location but also those counties and areas to our west so we can be alerted when weather poses a potential threat. Alerts for Atlanta and points north, south, and east we don’t receive due to the extremely low risk. The exception to this, of course, is a tropical storm or some other front that moves in from a different direction. I also don’t find tornados tobe “relative” unpredictable as there are numerous factors that can assist in prediticing the odds of a tornado forming. After all, they don’t just automagically appear as there simply has to be an underlying weather scenario. Maybe I have studied it more than most but I don’t find a reason to be scared or unprepared.


April 30th, 2014
7:11 am

We have severe weather sirens in our city and surrounding areas. They are very loud! I monitor the weather on my phone via The Weather Channel app.

One thing I do to prepare is keep my purse close by. In the event of a tornado, I want my purse, wallet, etc with me. And my cell phone. If the sirens go off, we gather all the animals and head to the basement. We all have a flashlight app on our phones so We don’t have to bring one to the basement.

I do get a bit nervous when there’s a lot of lightening and thunder close by….we’ve had a few close strikes in our area, last year a tree in my neighbors backyard got hit. That was freaky!


April 30th, 2014
7:34 am

No, I have not been losing sleep. We have flashlights that we bought at Costco that plug into the wall. If everything is ok, they have a little nightlight on but if the power goes out, they are on full light and easy to find. The brand is Eco I light. We paid $20 for a 2 pack.I bought my daughter a set when she headed to college and she gave one to her room mate. We also have regular flashlights with batteries and we can get those by using the eco lights. We have not been down to the basement but my husband has monitored the weather and kept me informed. He grew up in the midwest..

@ Macy…I ALWAYS keep my purse next to my bed. I also plug my phone in every night before I go to sleep. I have been in hotels where the smoke alarm went off and it is much better having your ID and room key right with you as you head out your door at night. I am fined throwing a robe on and slippers but I want my purse ( and everything in it) with me.

The house behind us was stuck by lightening a few years ago. It hit the gas line and it exploded and burst into flames. This was in the middle of thunderstorm. The people were out to dinner….LUCKY!


April 30th, 2014
7:35 am

We did light preparation. Put our weather radio and flashlights in the place where we gather for tornadoes as well as moved purse to that area. I did put a full set clothes next to the bed in case we needed to move fast. We all slept in our beds and rested.

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

April 30th, 2014
7:49 am

I’m a light sleeper, so the storm front rolling through at 6 AM yesterday woke me. It was gone by “get the kids up” time of 6:45. I got one local flood alert this morning (again around 6 AM) that woke me. The kids can sleep through anything, they are fine.

Weather is one of those things that is so unpredictable that it’s just not worth worrying too much about. Doing some common sense preparation makes sense – Flashlights, a place to take cover in case of actual emergency – and other than that, try to sleep.


April 30th, 2014
7:57 am

Nope, no lost sleep for us..The kids sleep thru it just fine and I’m used to waking up about 3 in the morning, so do biggie..We have plenty of candles, keep all of our phones charged and have flashlights..

As has already been said, I’m not going to stress over something that I can’t change..


April 30th, 2014
7:58 am

Mother Nature barely even spit on us last night here in metro ATL, but all heck would have broken loose with the weather if Gov. deal had not declared a State of Emergency in advance.

It’s weather … it is unpredictable and you must be prepared at all times for anytime.

I deleted my USA Today iPhone app after the countess false reports on the Malaysia airline disaster. I have the Weather Chanel app but never signed up for the ad infinitum alerts. In my experience and opinion, A NOAA radio in your home is sufficient.

PS. I am menopausal, I don’t sleep!


April 30th, 2014
8:05 am

Your friend is a worrywart who lost sleep for no real reason. The thunder woke me up a few times, but everyone else slept through it. It was a yawner, fortunately.


April 30th, 2014
8:14 am

I never heard the rain last night..or the night before. We slept upstairs in our rooms. YES I do get concerned over tornadoes…I have the phone by my bed, I check the weather forecast before bed. If there is a storm coming I try to get the information (WSB here too) and if I need to make the call to sleep downstairs–and we have done it–I do it without issue. The kids put their sleeping bags out, I grab the couch down there and sleep. Granted there is a HUGE window in that room but hopefully the phone alert would give us enough time to go to back to the storage closet just off that room.


April 30th, 2014
8:15 am

This storm was nothing compared to what the people in MS and AL had to deal with. We got lucky but it never hurts to be prepared. But no, we didn’t lose a minute of sleep over this. Just one more thing for people to stress over like Teacher Appreciation Week!


April 30th, 2014
8:43 am

I was woken up a couple of times between thunder and wind but not weather alerts. How in the world have people survived all these years without weather apps alerting them constantly? There are tornado sirens we can hear so I don’t worry too much about not watching TV. If I lived in the midwest, I might feel differently.


April 30th, 2014
9:18 am

The only issue I have with weather sirens is that they sound, at least in Cobb County, for any even within the county. Such an event may easily so far away as to be of no threat. I have heard these sirens go off in Marietta when the danger was much further north and west and moving away from us.I will agree that a NOAA weather radio is sufficient but only if properly configured to issue only alerts that are relevant. As I stated earlier, I have found iMap to be the best even though it isn’t free. Being able to pinpoint your exact GPS location and have it show trends of the weather systems related to your location is great – or at least the geek in me feels this way. There are also a number of “storm chasers” on Twitter that provide maps and information unavailable via TV.

Where is Al Roker.......

April 30th, 2014
9:19 am

…when Atlanta prepares and forewarns, and then nothing happens? Now the world knows why the weather is so hard to prepare for in Atlanta – it is so hit or miss, with all the talking heads spouting (and they were the only thing “spouting”) gloom and doom, and then NADA, ZILCH, BUPKIS, NOTHING but a very little rain…and Al, bunkered down in Birmingham, doesn’t even get to congratulate ATL on being prepared and warned…what a freakin’ blowhard with no clue about which he pontificates….


April 30th, 2014
9:35 am

i kept waiting for the bad weather to come and i’m still waiting. monday night was difficult sleeping night as everyone out-of-town decided to call as they had seen the weather channel. i put that on the tv and all the flashing colors and whatnot had my mind going a hundred miles an hour, so sleep didn’t come easily. and last night, nothing. then driving into work this morning, the traffic people on channel 11 kept talking about high winds, to keep your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

sometimes the hype is worse than the event. my way of looking at the weather is it’s something we can’t control and mother nature has been one mean old witch at times this year.

Atlanta Mom

April 30th, 2014
10:17 am

This is why we end up with children in school when a winter storm rolls in. Too many false alarms. Eventually we’ll stop paying attention and the weather reports will be correct and everyone will wonder why we didn’t preplan.
I have found to be much more accurate than our local weather people. I only watch local weather if it looks like a tornado may be coming.


April 30th, 2014
10:36 am

How silly, I’ve never lost sleep over the weather. Do trees frighten you too? They fall you know.

K's Mom

April 30th, 2014
4:55 pm

We are in AL and we lost sleep. Not many houses here have basements and we really do not have an ideal safe spot. My husband was traveling so I set a pallet up in the safe spot. I put the kids to bed upstairs and when the sirens and tornado warning went off, I got them down stairs in about 3 minutes. They slept through it, but I never really went back to sleep well.

After being a quarter of a mile from extreme devastation from the 2011 storms, I take the warnings seriously and I take every precaution. We have great friends whose home blew away around them. They had a 5yo at the time and at 8yo he still has weather anxiety, so I will always be a better safe than sorry weather girl. We have flash lights, bike helmets and I can pull a sofa sleeper mattress into our internal hallway. We want to build a house eventually and it will either have a basement with a safe room or a steel and concrete reinforced internal closet.

Those that are laughing at those of us that lost sleep did not see king sized mattresses in the tops of pine trees or see people having to dig their lives out of rubble that looked like a war zone. No one we knew lost their lives, but go read about the Alabama football player whose girlfriend died in 2011 and the Alabama swimmer who died Monday night. Or look up Enterprise, AL HS and read about the 8 students who died there due to a tornado. One was the grandchild of neighbors of my parents and we also know a teacher who was on that hall and still feels responsible for not saving those kids. I hope nothing that horrific ever happens to your kids because you were laughing at the folks taking the weather seriously and losing sleep.


April 30th, 2014
7:38 pm

Well said, K’s Mom.

K's mom

April 30th, 2014
10:28 pm

Thanks HB. Three years later, my brain still cannot comprehend the absolute destruction I witnessed in 2011. I do know people who are alive today because they took every precaution.

The worst thing I have ever done as a parent is write my child’s name, DOB, and our contact info on my baby’s arm and diaper during a tornado threat because I feared us becoming separacod and at the time he was too young to talk, but that is the reality of a tornado. Yes, you can only do so much, but given time and using the resources I have available I will protect my family as best as I can.

I really like the On Guard weather app. I have it programmed to only alert me for tornado activity and it has never failed. It went off a second before the sirens the other night. I have also has runner’s ID bracelets made for my kids to wear both in crowds where we could potentially get separated and during weather events.


April 30th, 2014
10:50 pm

Not much wakes me up — I’m hard to get to sleep, and hard to wake up. :-) I was spooked by the tornado that ripped by us in 1998 — it missed us, but you could definitely hear it as it roared by. We did go in the basement for that one. I knew there was bad weather last night, but as far as I could determine, we were out of the major impact. Lots of wet leaves around this morning, but other than that, no problems.


May 1st, 2014
8:45 am

K’s mom like DB I recall the tornado of 1998. I have a very healthy respect for weather issues. Prayers and blessings to those that did not get as lucky as many of us on the board. The snarkies on the blog will act like that no matter what the topic so try no to let them get to you