Since I’m Okie born & bred, I consider myself an expert on tornado safety. Let me share some advice I’ve picked up over the years.
Get in the hallway or the most central located part of your home. Stay away from doors & windows. Make a pallet and put a mattress up against the wall where you can kick it down on top of you when the storm hits. This is assuming you have ample warning.
Gather family and keep them from panicking. Try to eat beforehand and have water close by in case you get buried. You live in Oklahoma, your neighbors would dig you out before too long anyway. Have cell phones and devices nearby, with chargers.
Do not attempt to keep stuffed animals alive by throwing them in the bathtub. Stuffed animals are not in fact alive.
You will hear the wind ripping and tearing. It will sound like the ground is opening. You will feel pressure. Now it’s time to kick the mattress down. Pets are people too. It’s not always comfortable under a mattress with your child(ren), hubby, and 2 guinea pigs.
Try to relax and don’t get claustrophobic. You will be there a while. It is likely that someone will fart while under the mattress. It will take all your willpower not to kick their nasty ass out to the mercy of the tornado. Don’t. You love them. Your just hot & miserable.
Listen to the television. It will be muffled under the mattress, but at least you’ll know what’s going on. Until you’re power goes out. Now you’re screwed.
Make a documentary under the mattress. It will distract the child who is now panicking full blown.
Listen helplessly to your house being torn apart.
When the wind subsides, send the husband out to check if its safe to come out. Prop you’re mattress up so that you can get back under if necessary.
Check to see if the whole block is out of power. Crap, it’s the whole city! Resign yourself to the fact that you will be without power for 1-3 days. Dammit.
Light some candles. It’s dark now. Go to the refrigerator. Stick a spoon in the ice cream gallon, tell your child to eat as much as they want. If they are too scared to eat, remind them that it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Try to convince family members to gorge themselves on milk, cheese, and any other items that will have to be thrown away. Convince yourself that you are allowed to pig out too. Diet schmiet.
Try to locate all family members. Typically, your phone won’t work at the same time as theirs. Text rather than call. Try to find someone with power, who can tell you if any more cells are heading your way.
Look outside to see that there are small objects floating down your street. Great, a flash flood. Resign yourself to the fact that you are without electricity, cell service, and you may not be able to leave your neighborhood for days.
Take photos. It will make good material for your blog. You are gonna get so many hits. But hurry! Conserve your battery!
Call a family member 3 hours away to see if it’s safe to go to bed. Put a mattress against the window. Sleep with husband, child and guinea pigs. You never know what will happen. Hold sweaty child so she doesn’t get scared when thunder shakes the ground and lighting fells more trees.
Lay awake all night because you can’t sleep without your iPad. The battery is long dead by now, so you are charging it in the truck. Mourn.
Get up and fumble around. You have a headache, so dig in the medicine cabinet for Excedrin. Use the light of your cell phone. Oops, that didn’t taste like Excedrin. Was that stool softeners?
Yup, it was stool softeners. A couple sweaty hours later, you will need to poop. Hold it as long as you can. Your cell phone is long dead now, & it is certain that Freddy Krueger is behind your curtain.
After another hour, realize that not even Freddy will want to witness what’s about to go down in your bathroom.
Wait for daylight. Go outside and check on your neighbors. Take more pictures. Wait for hubby to set up generator.
Try to muffle the sound of your generator. Everyone will hear it and knock on your door with cell phones in hand, asking to bum electricity. You will oblige, because you are an Oklahoman, and you help people. But the selfish monster inside you wants to hoard the electricity all to yourself. Remind yourself that these are the people who would dig you out of your home if you had been buried. They are Oklahoman too. They would’ve ripped you’re house apart, nail by nail to make sure you got out safe.
Prepare yourself to take a shower without light. The generator can only power so much, and with 15 cell phones, the fridge & TV- you will need to bathe in darkness. Remind Freddy what you are capable of.
Maybe you guessed it? We got hit by several tornados last night. We are all okay. 80,000 including myself are without power. Only in Oklahoma can your state be hit with something like 29 tornados in 24 hours.
Update: Still no power. I’m milking this tornado thing, loving all the attention :) But I haven’t been able to get around much & visit blogs. I’m powering the iPad from the phone, and it’s just too slow. I’ll be back soon though, don’t give up on me!!!!