Multiple, convincing studies demonstrate that 15 minutes is the optimal lead time for a tornado warning. Why?
- People will only stay in basements, bathtubs and closets for so long.
- More than 18 minutes, the death rate goes up. This is likely due to the warning losing its urgency.
- As we saw, twice, in central Oklahoma in 2013, people without basements will hit the highways, likely putting themselves in more danger with they have more notice.
- The false alarm rate will go up, possibly way up.
The death rate (deaths per million population) has been cut 97% by the tornado warning system. A Nobel Prize-worthy achievement. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get at that last 3%, a lot of bad ideas have been implemented and proposed.
Congress should vote this one down.