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24 hours after the Tornado... Heroes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Well, the last 24 hours has been gut wrenching... but we'll survive. We always do. I live in Norman, Oklahoma which is right next to Moore. Moore Medical Center is part of the Health System I work for and I had employees there when the tornado hit. My friends and family live all over Norman and Moore. i have countless friends who are now homeless and two cousins who lost their homes as well - but not their lives... and as horrific as it is to lose all your possessions.. they are just possessions.. stuff.. replaceable.. They are safe. Their children are safe (although we had some very close calls!).

Those employees who worked at Moore Medical Center were true heros.. this is the result of what happened in less than 15 seconds

Despite how horrific it was... there were no employees... no patients.. and one of the 125 community members who sought safety in our walls who were hurt. NONE. The employees drill for this since tornadoes aren't unusual in Oklahoma.. over and over.. we talk about where we'll go to be safe, what's the secondary back up, what's the tertiary backup... how to handle hysteria.. how to lead and project confidence so that others will follow.. and those employees rose to the occasion.. and saved lives as a result.. many lives.

A friend of mine described bracing himself against the door at one end of the hallway while another held the door at the other end... as the building "breathed" with patients and community members huddled between... one of the doors was ripped open and the employee holding it flew out while others in the hallway began to tumble down and out the door.. still others held on while their ears popped and the pressure was almost unbearable.. still no serious injuries! Unbelievable.

Once the tornado had passed the danger wasn't over. These employees had to find a safe passage to lead everyone out to get to medical assistance and away from dangerous gas fumes. They did exactly what they had trained to do. Exit #1 was blocked by debris. Exit #2 was blocked by debris as well. Walls collapsed. Debris dropping from everywhere but they found their way out and were met by the first responders (another group of Heroes).

Here's another friends car

Most of our employees live in the area they work... and they have families they were worried about as well.. but they never left.. not until every last patient was transported to the Command Center where I was located in the wee hours of the morning.. so much commitment to the community we serve..

So much sorrow.

And yet, so much pride.

One quarter of the residents of Moore have lost their homes. ONE QUARTER. If you can and would like to support the residents of Moore, the easiest way to help the Red Cross support the people of Moore is to donate money online at or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 (the text will automatically donate $10)

It's been a wild 24 hours.. and I"m going to bed. Thank you for your prayers.

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