Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Storm Chaser, I am not.

A tornado touched down in the middle of the night, 5 minutes from where I live!

Thank God we are fine, and no one at all was hurt.

I didn't even really know it was happening and every kid slept through the storm.

I had stayed up late watching the brand new episodes of this seasons'  Deadliest Catch. I - oh, so shockingly - fell asleep on the couch around 1:30 in the morning.  About an hour later, I groggily awoke to the sound of serious winds and thunder and crazy, frantic rain. About 30 seconds after I opened my eyes, a huge BOOM made me jump about 3 feet off of the couch, sending me flailing around and gasping in fear. The lights went immediately out and I instantly reached for Wilo, who was still awake on the other couch. Even through the dark I could see that he was faintly amused by my moment of panic and my terror inspired moves. It was very late at that point, so we headed upstairs to bed.

The storm had calmed slightly after that last bit with the bomb blast of thunder or lightening, whatever it was that equaled impending doom. I was pleased with the calmer, rainier, stormy weather as I crawled onto my side of the bed. I love sleeping with my window open and I actually sleep next to it. The wind was very cool but very nice, and the rain had very much slowed. Sleeping with the windows open when it is raining is one of my favorite things, ever. I  was smiling as I closed my eyes - a perfect sleep for me.

Then, as soon as I closed my eyes...

....Tornado Sirens went off!

That CAN'T be good!

So, I lay there contemplating what to do. As a child in the Midwest, Tornado Safety is drilled into the minds of countless children. Memories of lining up against the wall  in the hallway, seated Indian style with a text book over your head.. At home,  you go to either a basement, or the inmost room (a bathroom, closet, laundry room) - as soon as you hear the siren! Don't mess around! Don't Delay! 

BUT.

I've lived in suburbs on the North, North East, East, And South East.  Out here, we hear a ton of them. We live near the actual siren, so it will broadcast for areas 30 miles or so from here.. It doesn't mean that you are about to die, but it does mean that you need to be very cautious and be ready to seek safety. SO - here, years later, in the middle of the night,  I'm recalling all of my weather safety knowledge. Seriously weighing the thought of waking 4 children up to abruptly creep them out with the sounds of a siren, pulling them down to our utility closet. Yep, don't have a basement. But, I do have some safe, inmost spaces so where we would huddle. I'd have to get blankets and pillows and water, and can goods. Bottles. Diapers. And, OMG, I am so NOT prepared and it's 3 AM.

I reach over to Wilo,  seeking his council: "Do you hear those sirens?"

Of course, I hear them.

Should I be worried?

No.

I shouldn't? We're just going to ride this out like Storm Chasers?

No, we're fine. You don't have to worry. Go to sleep.

I sighed heavily; I am not a storm chaser, Wilo. You are from the desert. Do they even have tornadoes there?

As I finished teasing him, I realized the sirens had stopped.

Peacefully Asleep, I fell.

Then I hear from a neighbor that it was REAL!  Ladies talked about it on Facebook. I found an article. A tornado touched down in Groveport.  We were THISCLOSE  to something scary!  Thank you Jesus for letting it pass us by. Tornadoes are powerful and very easily could have headed the 5miles towards my direction. But, it didn't. Our power was out for 12 hours and I lost some groceries, but overall we were safe. And, I really should work on my emergency preparedness. Don't tell my kids, but we would've been hosed should the whole town lost power for a few days. 

This former Girl Scout needs to amp it up! Mama needs to stock up on some non-perishables. 

How do you fair in emergency preparedness? How long could you make it with what you have on hand should their ever be a city wide disaster - or power outage? Do people think you are crazy for bracing for the worst? Can you take it to far? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Anyways.  Happy to have NOT survived a tornado.