Blogathon has begun somewhat ominously, with dark clouds, heavy rain, and rolling thunder. It’s not the craziest weather I’ve seen – just a typical Midwestern thunderstorm.

But that got me thinking on how different someone’s idea of “typical” weather can be. If lightning is striking down the block, we’re usually looking out the window instead of running for cover. Power cutting out doesn’t even make us bat an eye anymore. Of course, the last time the power cut out here was while I was watching Inception at our local movie theater, and no one was quite sure if that was supposed to happen or not. We could have maybe gone to find more info on how to deal with it, though, as we seem to always be experiencing power cuts in our local area. Whilst they can be impractical, they are easily fixed usually by our local electricians who seem to be coming to our neighborhood all the time. We’re all just so used to the weather causing power cuts. Whereas, my friend experienced her first power cut the other day. She had to call Asbury Electric ( out to help her get some electricity back in her home. She said that her electricity was back on in no time thankfully! We’re so used to electrical problems and outages, whereas people from other areas very rarely experience them.

The same thing goes for tornadoes.

“Tornado Watch” to a normal person: Take cover, tornadoes may be forming!

“Tornado Watch” to a Midwesterner: OMGCOOL tornadoes may be forming, go plaster yourself to a window to watch for them!


“Tornado Warning” to a normal person: Holy shit a tornado! Get in the basement!

“Tornado Warning” to a Midwesterner: Holy shit a tornado! Appreciate that green sky until that thing seems to be ripping off rooftops, then reluctantly march down to the basement.

I didn’t realize how crazy we might sound until I came to college, where I was exposed to people who hadn’t lived in the Midwest their whole lives. You’ve lived through hurricanes? That 4.0 magnitude earthquake that titillated us Hoosiers didn’t even wake you up?! You’re crazy. Excuse me while I go watch energy shoot out of the sky and wind funnels of pure destruction.

The best reaction to our tornado culture had to be from my friend from London. A couple days after he first moved to Purdue, we had our monthly tornado siren check go off. If you’re from the area, you’ll know this as the annoying sound that wakes you up on the first Saturday morning of every month (seriously, Saturday morning? How cruel). We’re so used to the sound that it’s totally ineffective – usually when it goes off we all just sit around discussing it. Hey, is that the tornado siren? Is that for real this time? Does that mean warning or watch? Someone look up the info on their iPhone instead of us immediately taking cover.

His reaction?

“I thought the Germans were coming!”


What natural disasters are you used to? Which ones really freak you out?

This is post 1 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.