Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thunderstorms & Tornados

I have always been scared of storms, at the slightest hint of thunder or lightning I tense up and I have to put the TV on a news station just to make sure I know whats happening.

As a kid when the warnings would come across the tops of the screen saying we were in a Tornado Watch I would spring into action and gather up all my favorite belongings and take them to the basement and put them under the table where we would have to sit. I also made sure to take a flashlight and radio down with me. This was not normal behavior for a 7 or 8 year old but it's what I did. I did this for about 3 or 4 years before my mom finally said I wasn't allowed to anymore or she would keep all the things I took to the basement. Of course I didn't listen to her and I would just sneak things down and hide them where she wouldn't find them.

Then one Saturday afternoon in the middle of the summer, Mom, Steph, Nick, and I walked out of the mall to go home and the skies were very very dark. Of course this freaked me out and I started to have my mini panic attacks. We quickly got int he car and made our way home. On the drive we stared to hear the Tornado Sirens. When we pulled into the driveway one of our neighbors ran over and said that a there was a touchdown and the Tornado was moving right towards us. Mom rushed us inside and straight to the basement under the big table. She was about to go back upstairs to get a flashlight and the radio but because of my sneakiness the day before during some storms they were already down there and it's a good thing. Shortly after that we could hear the rain kind of stop and the winds pick up. I was so scared and I didn't think it was ever going to end.

I don't know how long we were down there but it seemed like forever. Finally, my mom felt safe enough to go upstairs and check things out. Shortly after she went up she called down to us and said it was OK. Being a kid I didn't know what to expect, I guess something like what was in the movie TWISTER. Thankfully it wasn't that bad. It was a small Tornado that came through and all though it caused damage no one was hurt and no one lost their homes. We had a few large branches from our trees fall in the yard but that was it. Our neighbor across the street did have a tree branch fall through the rough of their gargae and hit their brand new corvette. After that storm my mom never got made at me for beign well preppared (yes thats what I'm calling it folks so play along).

Since then I have been through 3 more Tornado's just like that and it has only increased my fear of all storms. To this day whenever there are Tornado Warnings I gather up all the nessesities like : my purse, camera, Ian's diaper bad with Diapers & wipes, shoes, flashlight, bottled water, cell phone, and blankets. If it's during the day I try and grab somethign for the kdis to play with like coloring books. My husband makes fun of me for this but you know old habits die hard and I am a firm beliver in better safe than sorry!

Now you might be wondering why I'm writtign all of this and I will tell you. Last night at about 11:30 I was woken up to the sound of the Tornado sirens going off. They kind of came out of nowhere. Of course I instantly sprang into action. We turned the local news on and while Dave listen to that I grab all the stuff I needed and took it to the basement. When I got abck up the meteorologist was staying that he thought the National Weather Service may have jumped the gun on this storm. So Dave and I sat and watched the stomr moving through the city. About 30 minutes into which was at midnight one of the other metorologist came into the news stuido and said that he saw a wall cloud on his way in and just as he was saying that you saw the hail cell of the storm get that hook pattern which means there is rotation. The storm was alos moving right towards us so we decided it was time to get eh kids up and go to the basement. The kids and I sat in teh basement for the next 30 minutes until the warning ended.

Somewhere between downtown and our area the storm died down and lost the rotation and there was never a touch donw. After it was all over we went back upstairs and the kdis ended up in bed with Dave and I because they didn't want to go back to their rooms.

Since this affected so many of us we ahve been talking about it here at work and everyone thinks I'm nuts for getting the kids up like I did. This is really bugging me because what if I hadn't got them up and the storm didn't die down. You never know with these things, they have a mind of their own and it's not ricking my life or the lives of my kids. I actually think the people that didn't do anything are the crazy ones becasue one day that attitude may come back to bite them in the butt.

So here's the question, do you listen to the warnings and seek shelter when you should or do you ignore them?


Apple Joos said...

I keep a watch on the skies. I've been through so many false alarms that unless the weather is REALLY bad, I don't duck and cover. I keep a close watch on to track the storm as close as what street we're on, but no, I think in all the years I've been alive, we've gone for cover maybe twice. There are so many other signs that a tornado is coming that a siren just isn't enough for me.

JWilson said...

I don't go at when the siren starts but when a verten meteologist sees with his own eyes the funnel cloud and then the storm starts having rotation, thats enough for me. Oh and it has to actually be coming my way and not just in my county.

Tiffany McCallen said...

I watch the TV like a hawk and always ask David, do you think we should go downstairs? Twice this summer during the day I've sat on the bottom step of our spiral staircase with Noah after I watched our trees bending at perilous angles.

Mom to 3 Monkeys said...

LOL!! Its kind of funny to someone who doesn't live where there are tornadoes...HECK YA YOU GO!! I mean I grew up with earthquakes and we know how to duck in a doorframe or under a table or out the door faster than most. I have now lived in places where tornadoes are rare but DO happen and I am always glued to the weather channels and by the minute updates online because I'm so freaked out about how I'll know! I always think about which room we need to go to and what I need to have in it. I call it prepared...not crazy but hey each to his own I guess. I'll take crazy prepared over unprepared any day. So go ahead call me crazy.

~Billie~ said...

Holy cow!! Where I live we don't really have alarms for things but fires. LOL! We could have an earthquake, but that doesn't have much warning like a tornado. I say go...and go fast. LOL!!

Lindsay said...

Well you know me, I don't go unless I can see the tornado coming our way. LOL! We heard the sirens that night too but they said the lightning set them off not the tornado. There was never a touchdown they just seen some strong swirls or whatever you call them. There are so many false alarms it's hard to trust these meterlolgist half the time. The worst I've seen is our front step got broken in half due to lightning when I was younger. I just watch the news closly. It was a little scary that night though because the storm was so loud. :)