Lisa, his wife, peered up into the swirling sea of debris and saw her son, Noah, floating above her — high above her, Lisa says: "I actually saw him up in the air, stuck up in it, being tossed around as high as the power lines."
Noah was twisting, churning, flying through the air, held up high by the tornado's angry winds. And then, Noah remembers, "the wind just immediately stopped, and I was going down headfirst, and then I think my helmet just cracked."Yeah, they'd stuck a baseball helmet on their kid's head before heading for the ... shower stall, which was the closest thing they had to a tornado shelter. (ed note: The shower stall doesn't seem to have helped much.) The helmet, however, may well have saved Noah's life.
I've lived in a tornado zone. I spent four years in the Texas panhandle, and tornado warnings were routine this time of the year. One storm in particular, I will remember clearly until my dying day. I thought there was a good chance that would be my dying day. It didn't occur to me to put on a helmet, but it wouldn't have been a bad idea. A little dorky, maybe, but still.
Hey, I think wearing a helmet on a motorcycle is simple common sense. In the incident that cost me my left leg and the remainder of my girlish laughter, my helmet was smashed. I think motorcycle helmets are a very good idea. I just don't think common sense needs a law.
And of course I did mention this was an advocacy piece, right?
The CDC website tells motorcyclists to wear helmets because they save lives; ditto for bicyclists. But if a tornado is bearing down? The CDC recommends people use their hands to protect their heads. It makes no mention of a helmet. For three months we tried to interview someone from the CDC, but the agency would only email a statement, which said: "The scientific evidence from helmet use during tornadoes is inadequate to make a recommendation." This has angered safety advocates such as Russ Fine. "I think their silence is deafening," he says, "and I'm embarrassed for them — terribly embarrassed for them."Why is this so important to "safety advocates?" If they think helmets are a good precaution for tornadoes, why aren't they spreading the word - and the helmets - on their own? Why do they need the CDC?
The two other CDC-related issues the article mentions are seat belts and smoking. I think seat belts and quitting smoking are good ideas, too, and I'm a smoker. But those were two issues the CDC did decide to involve itself with, and now they're so surrounded with intrusive nanny laws I hate the sound of them.
Here's an idea: If you think something is a good idea, do it. If it turns out to actually be a good idea, spread the word.
If you think it's such a good idea that everybody should be forced to do it at the barrel of a gun, go to hell.