Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Living in Tornado Alley


Hello again!

I've been spending my time "in the garden," not blogging, and I've missed it.

However, the past couple of days have been spent preparing for the tornadoes predicted in my corner of the world.

How does one prepare for a tornado? First, you make sure any outside decor and equipment, lawn furniture or anything that could become a deadly missile is secured or removed.

You prepare your safe room, which for me is the basement of the house. Lucky, because it's not a cramped space and there's a real bed to sleep on if required. We are advised to gather necessary supplies such as flashlights, batteries, fulled charged phones, portable radio, water, food, pillows and anything else you might need if required to stay there for any length of time.

I put in a safe place valuables -- items that can be turned into instant cash in a worst case scenario. Also, car keys, wallets with credit cards/drivers license/ -- anything that would be time consuming to replace.

Of course, one can be prepared and none of this would make a difference if the worst happened, which it did for some not so very far from where I live.

Tornadoes destroyed a boat marina just a few miles from where I live. A community just down the road from the marina was virtually destroyed -- homes, a fire station, church, school. People died. 

The hardest hit in some cases are mobile homes, as some residents don't leave them for a shelter as they are advised to do. A great number of these homes were destroyed in a park in the same community.

It unnerves me to no end watching the television weather reports as the storms progress. I realize this is a valuable tool for keeping people informed but I get upset. So finally I turned it off and went to bed, hoping the worst was over. It was.

We awoke to a new day -- for the damage to be assessed, for cleanup to begin, for the families to mourn their loved ones. Tonight was to be a repeat of last night but we got lucky, I think. Nothing on the horizon as of yet.

Tornadoes are just one of the natural disasters that occur on the planet. People in other parts of the country and world endure hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires, floods, droughts, as well as many many man made disasters.

At least with tornadoes, we get advance warnings because of the advancements in radar and storm projection equipment. It has not always been this way; I remember so well as a child knowing a tornado was in the air by looking at the sky and the way the air outside "felt." We had no basement or storm shelter; we simply huddled in a corner of the house and hoped for the best.

Once again we have been spared property damage or worse.

What kinds of natural disasters are you required to prepare for? What preparations do you make?


  1. we do get some tornadoes around here. tupelo, miss, isn't far from here, and they were badly hit by the recent storms. we are taught to get to an interior room without windows. we don't generally have storm shelters or basements here. you are right about mobile homes. they aren't usually anchored well enough to help in a storm that bad.

  2. Sanda, I am so sorry to hear of the damage and fatalities in your community. We have had no information that this is happening in Alabama (love the cartoon, by the way). You sound very organised with the basement and equipment. We are more likely to suffer from loss of power after violent storms and floods, but here we would not get the high winds that move buildings (I hope!). Preparations are similar to yours, with emphasis on food and water, as we have been marooned a few times, unable to leave until flood waters recede.

  3. Hello Sanda:

    This is all very alarming, if not terrifying. We do so hope that all will be well with you and that the predictions will prove to be far less severe than originally thought.

    Take care.

  4. Sanda,heard on the news the terrible destruction inflicted on parts of the USA.Thinking of you, and your family,not forgetting furry friends at this sad time in your community.

  5. Having grown up in Oklahoma without a basement or shelter (but apparently with a great deal of luck) I must admit to being guilty of nonchalance. That said, I wouldn't consider living in a mobile home in tornado alley nor would I love in the various places people seem to stubbornly reinhabit after they've been demolished multiple times. Here in Britain the worst disasters appear to be floods. Since we live on a sight hill (finger crossed/ touch wood) we haven't particularly been afflicted. There is an occasional bit of ice on the roads that shuts down the roads because people are unaccustomed, but since we're retired going out isn't generally required anyhow. I hear that Oklahoma is now developing earthquakes, which seems a tad unfair. The last of (so far) violent weather is one of my favourite things about England (along with the absence of poisonous insects and only one type of poisonous snake).

  6. I too have seen pictures of the destroyed areas in your tornado areas. Horrible.
    To me, the preparations made, sound like getting prepared for a war. Horrible.
    And there is nothing to do to prevent the tornados.

    A mighty thunderstorm is the only nature disaster, which might occur here.
    When I was a child, windows were closed and everyone packed inside a small WV with rubber boots on. The car was in the garage, partly under the house.
    Nothing ever happened.

    Oh, I almost forgot, we have had several severe storms, during the cold winter months, no lights, dark and cold. Without electricity for 23 hours at one time. The whole house cooled down pretty well, brrr.
    Hoping, that you have survived your latest event with only a fright !!

  7. It was so unnerving just waiting all day for them to arrive! It was bad with so much lost for people we know not to mention all those we don't know! Thankfully we were spared but have to stay prepared. You did some things i never thought about doing! Good ideas.

  8. I would be so frightened if I heard we were having a tornado, but so thankful to learn that you have been spared and suffered no damage.

  9. How scary. Just the anxiety of waiting is enough to put one into a fine state. We have earthquakes, we have two large plastic garbage cans full of earthquake supplies, DH dates them and rotates stuff. We could probably get by for awhile - that is if nothing actually fell on us. The supplies are next to the garden shed so we should be able to get to them.


  10. I live in an earthquake zone. This last 7 years we have had a few..very small ones.. but i experienced 2 that gave me the fright of my liife. Never ever having been through such a frightning time. They come so quickly.
    When building, we have to use a lot of steel in the house structure.
    We get no warning. They are as I say not on a big scale.
    I dont think i would like to be in a Tornado.. I have seen them on Tv..
    I am glad that you are ok Sanda, and all is ok.


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