Liz Sommerville had witnessed 11 tornadoes in her Texas hometown before she even left for college at the University of Oklahoma.
That inspired her to study meteorology and ultimately led to her job with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
"I think I'm up to about 17 tornados that I've seen, and every single time, looking at the damage shocks me," she said.
But she never experienced the kind of damage wreaked on Moore, Okla., this week.
The Monday afternoon tornado ripped through the Oklahoma city and led to the deaths of 24 people, including seven children. Teams are continuing to search the rubble.
"It's part of why I wanted to become a meteorologist. You look at the damage, and it can be very shocking," said Sommerville, 35.
"A lot of us study why this happens because we want to be able to better predict these events so nobody else can suffer or have loss of life. That's why a lot of us do this."
The DeSoto, Texas, native grew up performing tornado drills, in which students crouch and tuck their heads in the hallways.
"My first tornado I ever saw was in first grade," Sommerville said. "I was scared. I was little. All I really remember, because it was a long time ago, was my twin brother was also in first grade and I was looking for him. And my sister was in third grade, and I wanted her, too."
She recalled several other close run-ins with tornados when she had to take shelter. On one occasion, a tornado hit about one-eighth of a mile from her home. During her time at the University of Oklahoma between 2004 and 2008, a few tornadoes came through the area.