I grew up in the Midwest and recognize the weather conditions that can cause tornadoes. It was hot and extremely humid Wednesday and a cold front was sweeping toward the East Coast. This system had spawned violent weather in the Midwest, so all that day, I tracked the approaching storm front on the Intellicast website watching radar and the movement of the storms.

The storms waxed and waned as the day went on, but they weren't giving up.

As the squall line approached New England, I saw it split into two systems west of Connecticut. One part went south toward New York City and Long Island and the other part went north to Massachusetts. At that point, I relaxed, but I had sent certain computer files filled with items I didn't want to lose to safe storage on Yahoo. My cartoons are on CDs, so it would be easy to scoop them up and run to the basement if I had to. That would take care of my professional concerns. As far as my family, I'd have only prayer and hope they were all safe.

My advice from a guy who lived with tornadoes in Tornado Alley for 35 years, is be prepared. Take watches seriously. A watch means conditions are ripe for tornadoes. Take warnings seriously. A warning means a tornado is on the ground, or has been spotted. If you hear a warning, be ready to run to the basement. If you don't have a basement, you're extremely vulnerable. You all know about the bathtub/mattress deal, but those tornadoes in Joplin and Tuscaloosa just about killed everybody without a basement. If you don't have a basement, hire someone to build a storm shelter next to your house, or office.

This is a year of extreme weather for whatever reason you want to pick. Accept it, and be prepared to go underground. Know where the storms are, when they're coming and plan ahead. Our tornado season is in July when Long Island Sound has warmed up enough that the cool breezes won't be able to protect Connecticut like it did Wednesday. I do not look forward to the hurricane season.