Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top Ten Lessons for Living in Tornado Ville

We're anticipating tornadoes overnight. I'm writing this today because who knows? Maybe I won't be here tomorrow? Or maybe I'll be here, but the house will be in Oz or some other fantasy world. I never thought I'd live in a place where I'd be hiding from tornadoes many months out of the year, but here I am. Don't have to like the situation, but I have accepted the reality.

Here's what really makes me scared about tonight. All the tornado events that occurred on April 27th. We were slammed hard. We lost power and lives and homes. And we were forgotten. Yup. Out of all the massive weather events that required FEMA to help, Alabama got the least amount of the moola. I don't care for myself. I have insurance and I have the financial means to crawl out of a disaster, but many do not.

Now I'm also lucky because we could afford to build a tornado shelter. I love that it is above ground, weighs a ton and will protect me, the fur babies, the Teen and the Physicist. I wish I could protect more people in my 4x6x6, but I can't.

Which leads to the valuable conclusion that I am not all-powerful and important and special. I am human. This one is up to the Universe and God. I ask WHY NOT ME more often than Why Me so I have been very fortunate and blessed and spared from lots of things for reasons that go beyond my understanding.

So having said all this--here goes my take on surviving these events.

Top Ten Lessons for Living in Tornado Ville for the Non-Survivalists (people who stock up food for 6 months-have bomb shelters-think we'll be taken captive by mutant aliens to name a few)  in Northern AL

1. Have all cars' gas tanks full.
2. Make sure you have cash--at least $100 if not more.
3. Gather all your important papers and put into a file that is easy to carry to a safe place. For us it is a shelter. For you it might be an interior closet or bathroom.
4. Have all computers and phones and purses and wallets and chargers loaded in a bag ready to go to your shelter or safe room.
5. Be sure you have closed toe shoes and comfortable clothing in the shelter and/or near the door/or on your body.
6. Have blankets and pillows loaded in shelter or near safe room.
7. If you have a shelter, stock it with water and basic supplies but really? It won't hold 6 months food supplies so don't go too crazy. Assume you'll only be there for about 20  minutes.
8. Get emergency radio and so forth locked and loaded.
9. Keep TV on for weather alerts--I have the station call me with weather alerts on my cell phone and home phone for a small fee.
10. Don't bother cleaning the house--just chill and be aware.

Oh, and on your way out to the storm shelter or to the interior bathroom, grab a corkscrew and a bottle of wine. If you're going to lose everything, you may as well get a bit tipsy.


Jean Hovey said...

Great advise, Christine. I would add freeze plenty of ice in big cubes--one and two cup containers. It will last longer if you have to ice your perishables down for a few days.

Also, if the power goes out, set up a plastic serving tray on the table before you light a bunch of candles. It saves cleaning wax off the table.

Ellen Brickley said...

The worst we have to handle in Ireland is rain and occasional snow. Posts like this really make me think about what the rest of the world has to face, and the bravery with which they face it.

Thinking of you and your family and community, Christine. Take care.

Christine said...

Hi Jean: I love the plastic tray idea. Fabulous idea. And the ice idea is good. I just don't have room in the freezer right now to do that but I think we're getting a different freezer/fridge for the garage so that might help.

Christine said...

Hi Ellen:

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts. I think we're all just very nervous after last year's tornadoes. But I am hoping it's just a big windy thunderstorm.

And I'm over preparing JUST IN CASE.


Katherine Bone said...

Boy, this is a really good list. You might want to make sure important paperwork like birth certificates and marriage license are stored in a safe/indestructable place.

Flashlights and plenty of them need to be on hand too.

But we're going to be fine because I've surrounded us with prayer. Hugs!!

Christine said...

Hi Kathy: I agree. We have the BCs etc in the important file which is currently in the storm shelter.

Goodness, we are lucky tonight. No major winds!!


Gwen Hernandez said...

Good tips from everyone. Stay safe!

Christine said...

Hey Gwen: We were spared nasty weather. Thank goodness!!!

But the shelter is even more prepared for springtime tornado activity.