Having traveled quite a bit, I’ve been caught in some hell raising storms in my life. I’ve been in hurricanes, watched tornadoes go by, and been in incredible dust storms, blizzards, and even narrowly escaped a wildfire with my life. It’s really hard to explain these things to other people because it’s hard to put into words how insane things can get on the surface of this planet. Perhaps this is why not everyone cares to evacuate when they are told a big storm is coming.
What if we developed extreme weather simulators, and allowed people to experience some of the storms up close and personal? Okay so let’s talk shall we?
Perhaps we could have these out at public amusement parks, like the tsunami ride at Universal Studios, or maybe we can put them on expandable 18 wheeler trailers and take them around for local community events. This could also be quite good for schools, so our kids can see exactly what a hurricane is like. If I were the President, I’d have FEMA go around to the schools with these systems, to show people how serious it really is. That PR would go a long way to solving future problems, perhaps some kids might even choose to be future first responders or join the Coast Guard or one of the US Navy’s global humanitarian units.
You see, people on the West Coast don’t get it when it comes to Hurricanes or Tornadoes. Likewise, I bet people on the East Coast have no idea just how deadly and dangerous some of these wildfires can get out here on the West Coast. If they could see it in 3-D, via holograms in augmented reality, I bet they would learn their lesson and remember that experience for life.
How hard would this be? I don’t think it would be too difficult because in Las Vegas there is a vertical tube with air blowing straight up where people can practice skydiving inside. It generates a tremendous amount of wind in that vertical wind tunnel, and that is very similar to the experience you get when you are falling through the air before you deploy your parachute when skydiving.
If we blew air at people horizontally we might knock them over, or perhaps blow them away onto padded mats, but they’d get the idea of what 100 mile an hour winds really like, or 140 mile an hour wind which is enough to pick you up and fly you away. I once watched a fellow racer launch from his motorcycle at 145 mph, he put his head up and too one hand off the handle bars and blew right off, he got really hurt, luckily survived, but never could race again.
Most people don’t understand how strong water currents can be from flooding or tidal surges. Indeed, I do because I’ve attempted to swim across a raging river and ended up half-a-mile away without getting even halfway across, then while continuing to swim sideways wondering if this is what it was like to drown. After finally making it across, I realized how foolhardy that was, and how powerful water can be.
That’s a lesson I learned the hard way, but if someone is swept up in such a current with their clothes on they may not be so lucky. I was psyched up and prepared for it, or least I thought I was. When people are swept away by floods or giant tidal surges, it’s probably not something they plan to do that day. Further, most people are not in competitive athletic condition in our society – they really don’t stand much of a chance, albeit the fatter they are the better they might float for a while?
What I’m saying to you is this, if we had extreme weather simulators, fewer people would fail to heed the warning to evacuate when a big storm is coming. That means we would have fewer lives lost, and fewer first responders risking their lives to rescue someone who may well become a Darwin Award Winner. Please consider all this and think on it.