If anyone's been lulled into reckoning that the dangers of hurricanes and tropical storms are overblown, then Thursday's "weather event" should put that misguided thinking to rest.
Tropical Storm Andrea spawned a batch of tornadoes with one damaging several structures in Myakka -- proof again that severe gulf storms impact a far greater area than the coast and other flood-prone zones.
And that's why we all need hurricane kits and evacuation plans, just in case. We also need to keep tabs on weather developments.
The value of cell-phone alerts came into play near Myakka City in a dramatic way. Hugh Loynd awoke at 3 a.m. to the sound of a text alert from his phone. He quickly gathered his family into a hallway as high winds slammed into his house. His children were petrified.
Thank goodness for advances in technology. And the National Weather Service for employing smart phone text alerts, a new system launched just last year.
Older cell phones and some smart phones are not compatible, however. Check your cell provider's website to learn more.
While overall Andrea proved to be rather tame, we're on notice: Hurricane season is only a few days old.