Our family moved to Oklahoma a little more than a year ago, and the main thing people would say to us when we told them where we were headed was “you know they get tornadoes down there, right?”
So, can you blame us for being a little disappointed to have made it a year before we experienced our first real tornado scare?
In fact, it seemed like the meteorologists cried wolf more often than not. It was actually a little annoying.
So here we were again. I kept the local news on all day, watching storm chasers tracking the storms. It was fascinating, watching the storm cells, swirl and occasionally touch down for a few seconds, before dissipating once more.
I did decide to take this warning, a little more seriously, since, well, a lot of people were freaking out.
All day yesterday, I cleaned out our interior closet; got some snacks together, a change of clothes, extra diapers, first aid stuff, the works.
By 4p, I had as much together as what I thought we needed, but it seemed like it would be another wolf-cry. All the surrounding schools canceled, or got such poor attendance, that they couldn’t actually count it as a school day (SERIOUSLY!).
Roads were closed. People were sent home from work. And I kid you not, we didn’t see a drop of rain. Talk about over-reaction. At least, until the evening hit.
Around 11p, we finally got rain. And it wasn’t just rain, it flat-out POURED, the wind whipped around, thunder clapped so loudly our house shoot, our poor dog coward in our closet. I laid there and thought, “DAAAANG.” It was a rain like no other rain.
At 4:00a, my husband and I were jerked awake by a terrifying sound. Tornado sirens.
Call to action: We hopped right up, grabbed our three kids, and the dog, and hunkered down in our closet for an hour, while the wind whipped viciously outside.
So the things I wish I would’ve known two days ago were this:
1. Stores will sell out of crank radios.
I guess, just because you live in tornado alley, doesn’t mean everyone already has a crank radio. Don’t wait until the day of the storm to try to track down a radio that does not require an outlet. I ordered one from amazon, that should be here in two days. It obviously was not helpful last night, but it will be helpful for future storms.
2. Keep a bag packed. Just in case.
I feel like this one is said all the time, but if the storms yesterday would have hit when they were supposed to (11a), I would not have had my family prepared.
Luckily, I had time to spend the entire morning (and I really did take ALL morning) to get everything prepared.
3. Meteorologists Don’t Cry wolf for No Reason.
First of all, this is their job. Thousands of people rly on their information for safety. What they report can literally mean a difference between life and death for people. Storms change in a single instance. It is better to live by the thoughts “better safe than sorry”
We now know more for next time, and I’m sure the longer we live in Oklahoma, the more we will learn, and adapt.