The sirens would warn the city of the impending threat of an approaching tornado and instead of taking shelter we would go outside and look up into the sky searching for a funnel cloud. Usually there would be no signs of the tornado or a small funnel cloud would appear and disappear again just as quickly.
Caption: A classic tornado tracks across the Kansas prairie. This StormStock image is part of the world's largest collection of tornadoes on 35mm motion picture film. Credit: Martin Lisius/Prairie Pictures.
You become accustomed to what the sky looks like - the color of light, the feel of the air and you know as the hair stands up on the back of your neck that you should take shelter immediately.
Tornados are a novelty in the Prairie States, like tropical storms and hurricanes are for our coastal friends in the East and West.