Monday, May 2, 2011

Tornado Thoughts

If you don't live in a region that experiences tornadoes, you're lucky.  They are the scariest things I can think of.  They terrify me.  In my short 36 years of life, I can't count the number of times I've had to sit in the hallway at school, in the closet at home or in the basement of a building to try to stay safe during a tornado.  I can't begin to count how many people I know that have lived through the devastation and sadly, I can count the number of friends I've lost during tornadoes.

While the power was out last week from Wednesday night to Sunday morning, I had a lot of time to just think.  I thought a lot about what our family experienced on Wednesday night, April 27 and these are a few of the things I learned during the tornado.

Be prepared.  Listen to the radio or watch the TV.  Don't take these storms lightly.  If the weatherman says go to your safe spot- DO IT!  If you live in a mobile home and he says leave, DO IT!

Find the safest spot in your house as your safe spot.  If you have a basement, that's your best bet (besides a storm shelter).  If you don't have a basement, find the most interior spot in your house with no outside walls or windows.  If your bathroom is interior and doesn't have windows, use it and hide in the bathtub for extra protection- especially if the tub is cast iron.

In your safe spot have the following:
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • All family members need to wear sturdy shoes (in case you are hit and need to evacuate the house)
  • Have all personal items with you: medicines, proper id (if you are hit and you leave your property, you can't reenter your neighborhood without ID- to prevent the bad guys from looting and stealing what you have left), valuables (wedding rings, etc), car keys, wallet with money, ATM card and credit cards, cell phones and chargers.  I keep ours in a backpack on my back.
  • If you have kids consider having a backpack or bag with toys, books, distractions while in your safe spot.   Glow sticks are another nice thing to have.  They are small and produce a good bit of light in pitch dark.  
  • Bottled water/ juice for each member of the family
  • Diapers and wipes and formula if you have a baby. 
  • Nonperishable snacks: granola bars, nuts, raisins, PB crackers, etc.
  • Candles/ matches/ lighter
  • Flashlights
  • Radio with batteries, or a weather radio that cranks
In thinking about all the events, seeing all the devastation and hearing of all the deaths following these storms, I am very thankful for so many things.

  1. I'm so thankful for all my friends who called, texted, emailed, facebooked and tweeted that they were thinking of us and praying for us.  
  2. I'm very thankful for my Magical Blogorail friends for working around me!  We were supposed to have a special loop on Friday about events at Walt Disney World but without power I could not participate.  They were nice enough to postpone our loop until my power was on and I could finish my post!
  3. I'm thankful for my mom logging onto my blog over the phone to unscheduled my post for the Magical Blogorail loop that wasn't finished!
  4. I'm very thankful for my brief stint of an interest in camping! Because of this, I had a Coleman Propane Camping Stove in the attic that we could use to cook canned food over while the power was out.
  5. I'm thankful to Couponing to Disney for teaching me to stockpile groceries!!  We’ve been eating off my stockpile since I was planning on going shopping the day the tornado hit!
  6. Thankful for my travel box!  We used the “baby flashlights” for Cman to hold during the power outage and used the glow sticks as nightlights in the rooms while we slept.  The Winnie the Pooh card games were handy as were the handheld electronic games.
  7. Most of all, I'm thankful that our home was not damaged in the storms.  I feel very guilty for being thankful for this when there is so much devastation all around.  Please pray for everyone affected by these storms.  Spring isn't over.  I pray that we won't have more tornadoes while we recover from these.
Thanks again for all of the well wishes, thoughts, prayers and concern over the past few days.  There aren't enough words to express my gratitude to all of you!

Disney Love to you all!


  1. So glad you were all safe. I'm in Tornado alley up here in Kentucky, too, so I totally understand your fear and worry when it comes to these things. Great tips though! Thanks for sharing them!

  2. I agree with Bird! So glad you're safe! That's so much more important than a blogorail schedule! Definitely great tips for sharing.. and very glad that I live nowhere near tornado alley..

  3. Beth, I was so thankful when we finally heard from you! Even Pierre was asking, have you heard from Beth yet? Needless to say I was very worried! :-)

    I love your list of tips. We don't have tornadoes here in NH, but we do have blizzards and ice storms that can trap us in the house for days without electricity (or heat) and take down trees, so your advice to listen to the weatherman and to be prepared is invaulable. Taking mother nature lightly is never a good choice! So happy you and your loved ones are safe and your home was unharmed!

  4. I too have survived multitudes of warnings, along with several tornados, including an f4 that hit my neighborhood & home. I would say all of the things you listed are good. The most important things I can say, have your shoes and a jacket. It's usually hot, but there's so much debris and it protects you. I keep a bag packed at all times that has pictures that cannot be replaced, my external harddrive, and important papers along with my purse.

    The one thing you did not note, is anything to do with pets. We have a carrier for each animal we have. When we see a warning for the county two over from us, we start grabbing our pets into the carriers and taking them to our basement. That way, when the storm gets to us, whether it's still tornadic or not, they are in a safe spot and we do not have to put ourselves in danger trying to track them down. OR even worse, not being able to protect them!

  5. Mary,
    thanks so much for your comments!! Valuable info that I had not thought of. We did bring our dog in from the backyard last week, but left her in the garage because our closet wasn't big enough for 4 people and an 80lb dog. I'll get the carrier down from the attic and at least put her in another interior closet next time. I also had not thought about jackets. great, great tips!!
    thanks! :)

  6. Very welcome! Even putting the carrier in the tub in an interior bathroom is a good option. Just make sure lots of blankets on top & around for protection! Animals seem to survive things like that if they are even only slightly protected! We are fortunate and have a basement that is full sized and totally underground. We have 7 cats and two dogs so we gather the cats and put the dogs on leashes. We've come up with a pretty good system on how to herd them as well as protect them once in the basement. We have a porch that is solid concrete and the basement goes up under the porch so we get under there in case the house were to collapse into the basement, we have a safe spot. It's fortunately big enough for all of us plus the carriers.

    Another thing we have, is an emergency camping light thing. My dad camps a lot due to being the president of the Astronomical society here where we live so he got this handy thing. It's a big battery pack that not only has a light, but a flashing light, a siren, a radio, a place to charge a phone, AND jump off a car?

    And always grab car & house keys! I've seen more houses blown away but the cars are untouched!