No Messing with Mother Nature

Last week at this time the hub, the beast, the cat-son, and I were all snuggled up in the basement, watching news coverage of what they were calling the worst storm of the season here in the Midwest. With all the build up of storm coverage leading up to last weekend, it occurred to me that we weren’t very well prepared in the event of an emergency. We got lucky and avoided the brunt of the storms here in Omaha this time, just getting hit with a ton of rain, but we got ourselves prepared just in case.

It’s inevitable that we always have storms this time of year around here. The tornado sirens go off a few time every summer, but even though I’ve lived in tornado-alley my whole life, the power of some of these storms can be pretty scary. Here are a few photos I took after our worst storm last summer.

Luckily we didn’t have any major damage to our house. The branches in our backyard (the first photo) took some cleanup, but the twisted trees belonged to some of our neighbors.

I’m going to go off on a little tangent here and describe the two types of people in tornado alley. There are those who know that hearing sirens is no joke and have a tornado plan and supplies in the basement. Then there are those who like the thrill and love to watch the storms build from a vantage point somewhere outside. I guess I am a little of both.

I know, it is certifiably insane to belong to the latter group, but there is just something so fascinating about watching mother nature rage and feeling so small in comparison. What a rush. Here is a photo of a tornado I took a few years ago from the back deck of my dad’s house. Just to prove my crazy I guess.

As I get older though, and especially since becoming a parent, I’m less interested in the thrill and more interested in the safety.

So yes I went around Saturday morning assembling an emergency pack in an old duffel bag. What did we include? Well, here’s the breakdown:

• bottled water (3 bottles in the bag, plus the rest of the case in the basement storage room.)
• canned food (2 cans of mandarins oranges and two cans of green beans with pop top lids- easy to get open and stuff I know v can and will eat)
• dry food (box of crackers)
• cat food (can’t forget our other kid)
• a change of clothes for each of us, including a hoodie
• slip on shoes for Brett and I (in case we have to run down there in the middle of the night, or in case we have to walk over glass or debris)
• an old shower curtain we sometimes use as a drop-cloth for painting (aka, a waterproof tarp)
• a small pack of diapers and wipes
• a homemade first aid kit with some basic supplies
• and at Brett’s request, a roofing hammer (the kind that looks like half hammer, half hatchet)

There are still a few other things we should probably put in our kit. Like copies of important documents in a waterproof bag. And possibly some extra cash. But for the most part we’re as prepared as we could be. As, I said, we missed the brunt of the storm, but I felt better knowing that we were ready. Maybe we’ll never have to use our little kit, but you never know.




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