You can keep that, thank you very much

Yesterday about 11:45 something occurred that has never happened to me before.  Out here in the wilds of Kentucky, they have tornados.  Real ones.  When I got up yesterday morning and checked into Twitter I saw lots of local-ish people talking and retweeting information about the warnings for tornados.

I went to meet a friend for coffee.  I asked all kinds of questions about tornados and how I would know what to do and what to be aware of.  It seemed unlikely that anything was really going to happen except wind.  When I got home I put away all the chairs on the patio and put away the toys.

As soon as I took off my shoes the sirens started…

…and I started to shake.  My hands were shaking, the windows were rattling with wind and I could not stop this feeling of panic that crept up from my toes.

In emergency situations you are never supposed to panic.

I couldn’t help it.  I sat in the stairwell to the basement clutching my phone while furiously chatting with a friend to keep myself sane.  This tornado and the siren turned out to be not a whole lot of anything, at least for me.  There were seven tornados reported in Kentucky though.

Chick’s teacher called me as the second siren went off to let me know that they were keeping the kids at school (she was past her time to be home).  For the first time in her twenty years of teaching they had to take the children into the basement for safety.

I am very glad that Chick’s teacher is a communicator.  She emails everyday and for her to be able to call me and tell me not to worry was such a wonderful thing.  I am sure Thor was okay as well (he goes to a different school).  I worried about him because when they did tornado drills last year he did not know what he was supposed to do and he’d told is teacher he was scared.

We have never lived anywhere where tornados are something we needed to be worried about. We’ve survived hurricanes coming up the Delaware River.  Floyd brought immense rain.  Hurricane Isabel (which to this day I still have the newspaper clippings from it) rocked our house and made me feel like the entire thing was going to blow over.  70 mph winds will do that. We lost power for twenty-four hours but things were pretty much undamaged.

I will take a hurricane any day of the week over a tornado.  A hurricane I know is coming.  I can plan, buy supplies and if necessary flee for safety in advance.  The scariest thing for me about a tornado is having no idea it’s coming, no way to get away from it, no idea where it will wreak havoc.

I know what happened yesterday wasn’t really that big of a deal to most people here, but for me, as a first timer it scared me.  I didn’t react well at all to those sirens.  It is something I’m going to have to deal with hearing in the years ahead though.  I just hope I’ll get used to it.

Have you ever been through a natural disaster or severe storm?  Share your story in the comments.

14 thoughts on “You can keep that, thank you very much

  1. First of all, I'm glad everyone is OK. Here in upstate New York, we are pretty much immune from most weather catastrophes except blizzards and ice storms. There was a rare tornado that came through about 12 years ago. I remember it well. There was a lot of rain associated with it (I'm not sure if that's normal, but we had it) My wife and I were grocery shopping, and when we came out, the parking lot was flooded. We really struggled to get out of there. We got home and waited it out. We were living in an older brick house at the time and it barely noticed the 50+ MPH winds. We found out later that a tornado had touched down in a nearby town. It just happened to be where my wife's cousin lives, so we were a little nervous, but they didn't get hit. A few years later, I became associated with a group from that town, so I got to know some people whose houses were destroyed. Nobody was seriously hurt, but a lot of lives were changed. Everyone had insurance, so it turned out OK for them.Given the rarity of that type of weather around here, we have no sirens and our kids do not have tornado drills in school.


  2. I'm glad you're ok. I grew up with tornado sirens being a normal part of life. I've almost become immune to them. If I hear them I don't take cover I go outside to see where the storm is. Glad you made it through.


  3. The first time is always the worst, I imagine. You'll get a little less scared if there's a next time and a next time after that.Not too many crazy storms out this way. Some hurricanes, and a really bad infamous one when I was a kid but that's kind of fuzzy. I tend to worry about other sh-t, especially after 9/11. In the back of my mind and with the skyline right out my window, there's that nagging feeling of, will it happen again?


  4. I guess it's all relative to where you live and the midwest is tornado country so I've been through that a lot. After a while, you become conditioned and take the safety precautions without flinching.I did see a twister up close outside my window once. Very cool actually!


  5. Interestingly enough, we even get tornadoes here in Alberta. FEW, but they have been known to happen.Just before I moved here, one hit and hubby was scarred spitless….went to hid under the stairs. Luckily it did minimal damage at our place but ripped off siding on many houses, and totally destroyed some crops. It would scare me to death as well.nothing fun about a natural disaster.


  6. We have tornado watches and warnings a few times a year here (in maryland, WTF?) and I am a huge natural disaster phobe. I would have probably crapped my pants if I were you.Like seven or 8 years ago a tornado passed within five block of my house and killed two people. I had no idea. I was all, Oh, hey, it's kind of windy. I should go out and take the plants off the porch railing.


  7. I feel for you. I've lived down here my whole life and hurricane preparedness is just part of the routine. When something comes down the pipes I know I can put up my shutters, hunker down and still feel relatively safe. School is called off, all the chicks are in the roost and it's not too awful. Well, not that I've ever experienced. Still scary but not as bad as tornadoes. My MIL recently moved from Miami to Tennessee and she is having a rough time adapting to the tornado activity. Freaks her the hell out, she's terrified one will come through her living room while she's sleeping. Yikes.


  8. Wow! I'm glad the tornado didn't really come to your house or to the kids' schools! I LOVE natural disasters! 😉 When we hear the tornado siren, we run outside to see if we can see a tornado. I won't bore you with the story about how I drove toward a tornado as it travelled toward my kids' middle school. Good times!


  9. Wow, that is scary. I'm glad it was just a siren and not an actual tornado. I don't know what I would do if that happened and the kids were at school, probably drive in the storm and die. I've lived in FL since I was 3 and have been through so many hurricanes/tropical storms that we barely even worry anymore.


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