The siren was loud and clear but the message received was mixed.
"Uh, probably a tornado if anything," said one student.
"Maybe plague got loose, I don't know," said another.
Wednesday on the Texas Tech campus the tornado drills were confused for alarms of terrorism. "That's all we think about now," said Morisha Minor. She did a double take when the sirens first sounded. "(To) see if there's a problem or some explosion or something, knowing that the terrorists are trying to attack us right now," she said.
"Well, of course, bomb and terrorism is new," said Texas Tech Professor Kishor Mehta. He says the tornado sirens are a normal yearly ritual, signaling the arrival of tornado season. "The season for tornados generally is from mid March to mid June. There are some in late July and actually they can occur any time of the year. But most of the tornados occur in April, May and June."
During a tornado, say experts, if you're in a building with a basement, go to it immediately. If not, find the central wall of the structure, kneel down against it, and place your hands over your head. "What you are doing by crouching down is you are exposing the least amount of body to high winds and falling debris, and the reason for putting your hands on your head is that the head injuries are the most critical," said Mehta.
Solid advice to help protect the public from the erratic behavior of mother nature, but not the unpredictable violence of terrorism.