Numbers vary by a few- but 330 people lost their lives in what was called "The Super Outbreak" that year- 19 years before the Internet started in 1993.
Weather radars of that era were still modified World War 2 machines- weather satellites still fairly rudimentary and radio and TV stations received weather watches and warnings on teletype machines.
Thirty-seven years later- another outbreak- I guess we can call it "The Super-Duper Tornado Outbreak of 2011- struck only 7 states- but so far the numbers are staggering.
Even with super computers a fraction the size of the room-filling IBMs of 1974- highly-advanced Doppler weather radars and computer programs that interpret their information and high-speed Internet-distributed watches and warnings- more than 340 people died.
More incredibly- the National Weather Service (NWS) says that at last count- 312 tornadoes occurred in the 24-hour period of April 27.
Never mind many of the tornado-producing storms moved at freeway speeds- 50 to 70 m.p.h.- the storms were forecasted- watched and warned WELL in advance.
TV stations broadcast live images of many of the twisters from their remote robotic cameras.
Ben Franklin once said "Some people are weatherwise- but most are otherwise."