Sunday, May 1, 2011

Scary Tornado Day

Lee and I, the unborn, Lucy, and Anni and Deuce are all fine. We were very lucky. We had no damage to the house or property...only a few limbs were torn off of the trees. There are seven people confirmed dead in my county, Madison County. My best friend lives in Tuscaloosa and the roof was ripped off of her house, but she and her family are fine. It was a very scary day. There were tornadoes passing over my neighborhood and they were touching down only a few miles from us in all directions. I spent a lot of time in the closet that day with Lucy. I put the dogs in our bathroom, with is adjacent to the closet. I kept two blankets on top of me a good portion of the time. I kept one folded up above my head and another over my whole body and bunched up over my belly (gotta protect the little peanut).

Usually when when I hear the sirens, I'll go peek outside and see what it looks like and turn on the television to see where the tornado is, because it may be on the other side of the county. If it is close, I'll gather the animals and we'll head to our safe spots. I usually just sit in the middle of the closet for while and then go out and see what the sky is looking like. Not this last time. I put the blankets on me and huddled in the corner of the closet behind our pants (not the first time I've huddled behind pants...when I was living in Tuscaloosa I was in a Dillards when a tornado was passing over and we took cover behind the pants in the men's suit section). When I looked out the window as we headed to shelter, I saw that the sky was very dark and green in color with some strange looking clouds. This was no joke, so I took serious precautions.

We lost power that morning during that first round of storms. Power came back on mid-afternoon about the time school let out. My wonderful neighbor brought me a crank up weather radio before we regained power, and I was very grateful for it. The afternoon storms that came through shortly after we regained power were even worse than the morning ones. I sat in the closet with the radio and a flashlight for the longest time that afternoon as tornado after tornado made its way over and around us on all sides. I even heard what sounded like golfball-size hail for a few seconds. I would crank up the radio and listen as the meteorologist announced roads near my house where tornadoes were either approaching or either already on the ground. At one point, they announced that they were tracking something like eight different rotations. We lost power only a few minutes after the afternoon storms came through and it is still off. The entire county was without power for at least twenty-four hours. We are expected to receive power tomorrow.

Lee and I had plenty of food we could eat and we have a gas grill with a burner and an extra propane tank. Lee's been grilling up the meat from the freezer before it goes bad. He was able to get some ice the night of and put some of our refrigerated items in a cooler. Lee even made us orange rolls in the grill. I headed down to visit my parents in Enterprise on Friday (Lee wanted me to be comfortable). I was planning on visiting them this next week anyway, so I just get an extended visit.

These storms made me realize how unprepared we are for these situations. I need to purchase some weather radios for the house and keep some extra batteries around for flashlights. We need to have some cash readily available and I need to keep the closet and bathroom clean so we have safer, more comfortable weather shelters. This made me think about other safety precautions too, like fire extinquishers. We have one, but it is old. I need to purchase a few more and place them around the house.

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