Monday, June 3, 2013

Back In The Tornado Shelter

“Max, please, don’t be like this. We have to go.” I reached my hand under the bed and grabbed for him. He backed away and tossed me a silent meow.

He told me off. My own cat told me off when all I was trying to do was SAVE him. Did he not hear the tornado alarms?

“Max, I’m leaving. If you want to risk getting swept away, that’s on you.” I wiggled myself further under the bed and came face to face with multiple dust bunnies. Yuck. I needed to clean. And I would, if our home was still intact. “Come here!” I managed to touch his paw—which immediately swiped at my hand, leaving a scratch. “Fine! Fine. You stay there then.” I slithered away from the bed and rushed downstairs.

“My friends are ready!” Natalie said cheerfully. She stood holding an armful of stuffed animals. Glittery shoes were on her feet.

Tommy had his Nintendo DS, plus the charger.

“You know there is no plug in the shelter,” I reminded him.

He shrugged. “I know. But in case our house is blown away, at least I’ll have the plug with me.”

That made sense. Only I hoped our house wouldn’t get blown away. The tornado alarm was wailing and that meant a tornado could potentially hit our area. We clambered down into the tornado shelter and waited. I watched the local news from my phone. El Reno was hit, which made me sad, especially when I heard that one of the fatalities was a mother and child. Nothing was close to us and then…

…suddenly I heard that a tornado was in our path.

I didn’t panic. I couldn’t panic. Both kids would watch my face, wondering what was about to happen. So I had to smile and say, “Isn’t this an adventure?” while I kept thinking, “Oh please, oh please, don’t hit.”

We stayed in the shelter for an hour. Then our alarms went away. We were in the clear. The only thing that was going to hit us were severe storms.

Those severe storms caused awful flooding. You might have seen pictures online or on the news. I always know it’s serious when we make it on Fox News or CNN.

The thunderstorms lasted from midnight to 5 AM.

I did not sleep.

I’d drift off and then BOOM! Thunder.

I’d drift off and then WEEEEE WEEEE WEEEE my emergency alert from my phone would go off, warning me of floods in the area. It would startle me each time. The high pitched screeching reminded me of Justin Bieber singing. Awful.

I’d drift off and BOOM.

Drift off and BOOM. CRASH. FLASH! (Lightening. No one flashed me, thank goodness.)

It went like this for 5 hours. I was surprised Natalie didn’t run in. She slept through the entire thing.

Max the Cat did not.

He was getting irritated on being disturbed so at 2 AM I heard him go, “MEEEOOWWWW! MEEEEOWWWW!”

He also reminded me of Justin Bieber. Or Justin Timberlake. Maybe I’m not a Justin fan, period.

I was in the middle of sleeping when my phone rang. I didn’t get to it on time. I saw it was Tom’s sister. She left a message saying Tom was worried because I wasn’t answering his Facebook messages.

Oh for—I was sleeping!

So I grabbed my phone and sure enough, I had messages from Tom asking if I was okay. I replied that I was and that I was SLEEPING because of the stupid storms.

“Sorry. The last thing I read on your Facebook was you telling the storms to piss off so you could sleep and that there was floods. I was worried,” he said.

Aw. That was sweet.

(And yes, at about 3 AM I had enough of the storms and ranted about them online. I am not pleasant when my sleep is disturbed. That’s why my kids learned at a young age to NOT wake me up at the butt crack of dawn.)

So that was our storm adventure. Again.

Tornado season is still here so I imagine there will be more.

(Although when the thunder and lightening went off for FIVE hours back to back I sort of was hoping that the display was the grand finale of the crazy tornado season. Sort of like what they do at Disney at the end of the day with fireworks..)

(Wishful thinking?)

I'd also like to say that the families of those who lost people in the latest round of tornadoes are in my thoughts.


  1. Do you have a storm shelter IN your home?? Very nice if so! Please stay alert and don't always get a lot of warning.

    I came thisclose to a tornado while stationed at Offutt. Very scary stuff!!!

  2. Gosh, I just cannot imagine having to live with that constant stress. Thank goodness, y'all were safe, but it still sounds like a nightmare. Am impressed with your son and his forward thinking with the charger! ;)-Ashley

  3. We were hit by a tornado last year that destroyed the town. We are still trying to rebuild. I hope tornado season ends soon. I am tired of watching the sky.

  4. I couldn't imagine having to deal with tornadoes and storm warnings, I am such a scaredy cat!
    Glad to hear you guys are safe.
    My thoughts go out to the town that was hit.

  5. I wish we had a tornado shelter in our house... we don't even have a basement, so we're stuck in the closet or laundry room. The bathroom isn't even safe because it's an outside wall and the tub is all plastic...

  6. It is so scary. I had a tornado phobia when I was little. It was so bad I told my parents to take down our wind chimes because wind made me think a tornado was coming. They didn't. I lived in New Jersey so it was never really on our minds..although we did get hit by a tornado while visiting my grandparents once. We ran to their basement and I was petrified. Everything was ok except their umbrella stand blew away and never was found...and I got over my phobia. That doesn't mean I got over my fear. We just don't see them around here often.

  7. Ugh. It took us a while to be able to get the dog out of our house when we heard the sirens last week. I'm not sure if he felt us panicking or was scared of the siren himself, but he almost got left behind. Glad you're ok!

  8. Oh my goodness!! So glad you're all ok. Those storms sound CRAZY! Thinking of those affected!

  9. You guys just can't catch a break this season. Glad that you are okay and hopefully these extreme storms settle down!

  10. Glad you are safe once again.

  11. Oh boy! That's just insane and damn cat! Why does he have to be such a pain in the ass? Hoping Tornado season calms down for you girl!

  12. I hope you come thru this season without any major damage and without losing anything. I could never live on edge like that, even if it is only a couple/few months out of the year. Then again, I think every city, town or generally populated area has their weather issues to overcome.

  13. I am not sure if you guys live on Tinker...but when I heard on the news that Tinker was in the path, you and the kids were the first thing I thought of, and I hoped you would be alright. Glad you are safe!

  14. You were one of the families I immediately thought of when I heard the storms were brewing around up there on Friday. My SIL's family all lives in OKC and her grandmother lives in El Reno. Their bowling alley had some massive flooding, but everyone else is safe and sound as well.

    Nothing like Oklahoma during the spring season.

    Move to Dallas, we still have storms but not quite the level you guys have them. Can't the govt relo you guys here? :)

    Glad everyone on your end is safe and sound and SO GLAD to learn you have a shelter to retreat to.

    American Bridget

  15. New reader as of 2 weeks ago.
    I have a couple "dumb" questions. When does tornado season end? and two you can hear the alarms in your shelter? I live in the North East we don't usually get tornadoes
    You are so BRAVE!

  16. Yikes! We don't have a shelter to go in. We've hidden in the bathroom more times than I can count.

    Glad you guys are okay...not glad your sleep was interrupted.

  17. Thank goodness you all were safe! It must be so scary. We were hit pretty hard by hurricane Sandy and that was probably the scariest night of my life. Stay safe.

    Stopping by from SITS

  18. Glad you all are staying safe. Praying for some good weather for you!

  19. I had forgotten that you live in the part of the country where they are quite frequent. I'm glad you've been spared!

  20. Whew. Glad you are all OK and also good to hear that you can stay a cool cucumber for the kids. Hope you stay safe. When is your trip?

  21. I'm glad you and your family is safe. I know everyone from all over the country is thinking about all the victims and other people who have been in harms way.

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  23. So scary. I've never heard a tornado siren. I would probably freak out. I will take a blizzard over a tornado any day of the week. Stay safe!

  24. Grand finale. Between that and the Justin stuff, this post cracked me up. But then I've always had a twisted sense of humor.
    I'm glad you're safe!

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  26. Terrifying. How do you do it? My thoughts to everyone as well.


  27. I've never lived in a town where tornadoes hit. Good luck with that! (I think I would be a little nervous every time I heard the alarms go off...)

  28. Storms are stressful and draining. I hate the ones where the thunder and lightning just never seem to end. Isn't it amazing how kids just sleep through the whole thing? Or they rush into your room, scared. It's a toss up.


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