Ever since having been relocated here, I have dreaded the possibility of dealing with a tornado.
I grew up in CA so I am just fine with wildfires, landslides, riots, and yes, even earthquakes. I lived for the last 20 years or so in the Northeast so I became accustomed to hurricanes, blizzards, and ice storms.
But this whole death from above thing wigs me right out.
I am well aware that tornadoes can be severe here:
And they briefed us at work about how to prepare for such things.
It doesn't help that in the Delta region the water table is right at the surface so there aren't basements or underground shelters. Either they would leak or they would pop up through the ground. Even the fuel tanks in gas stations have to remain filled to a certain level or they become too light to stay below the ground.
Aboveground shelters do exist but I'm renting the home I live in (the one I own in NY hasn't sold yet) and there would be no way to install one here. There are no city shelters. So the only option is to go into an interior room and hope that's good enough.
So I was not super thrilled when my cell phone started honking at me and I saw the following message pop up:
I grabbed the computer and the phone and their cords and called the cats, and like good little pets they came like they are supposed to, and we all went into the bathroom to wait.
I'd texted the message to my bf who still lives in NY and he called so we talked on the phone while I hunted around for maps and information on the internet to figure out what was going on.
And I was not terribly thrilled to find this predicted track, where there were not one, but two potential tornadoes heading to my location:
So we hunkered down in there and I could faintly hear sirens and then I heard something really loud, and I think it was rain but maybe high winds too because the house creaked a little. About that time there were reports from the municipal airport of 68mph winds.
It got kind of hot in there because it's a tiny bathroom. To kill time I scooped the litter box and cleaned up the dry cat food they scattered around their dish (this is the guest bathroom so the cats own it).
Eventually at 9:45 the internet said the danger had passed but that there would be a watch until 2am. Lovely.
So now I've finally been through the drill. Things to remember for next time:
1) Put the radio in the bathroom and get batteries for it
2) Make sure there's TP for me in there (I usually don't use that toilet)
3) Have some cat treats in there, and protein bars and a couple bottles of water wouldn't hurt
To people who are used to these things I probably sound silly. Especially since I'm thousands of times more likely to get injured or killed driving back and forth to Little Rock than I am by a tornado. But the idea of sitting there in a stuffy little bathroom waiting for it to come and get me still wigs me out.