Valarie's Blog

Friday, April 07, 2006

More tornado deaths in Tennessee... :(

It was just on Sunday that my county (Dyer County) and several other west Tennessee counties, along with several areas of southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas, got hit with several tornadoes. I think the last body count in my town was 16. It was really bad. Entire families died all over the area, and even brick homes were destroyed.

You hear about people dying because they stayed in their mobile homes, and then people shake their heads, saying that they should have been in a sturdier structure. Well... this series of tornadoes (3 here in Dyer County, they think, all F3s) definitely made me change my mind about that. Like I said, several people died who were in "safe" "sturdy" brick and mortar structures. I guess that just goes to show all of us that nothing is really a safe shelter.

Whenever a storm approaches now, I start worrying about what I should do - go into my bathroom, which is supposed to be the safest room in the house? It's right between a gas water heater and a gas heating unit. I have a feeling I might be flambeed. Oh, and there's the 50 year old pecan tree leaning over that end of my house too. What do I do? Sometimes I think I'm better off staying in the living room, watching the weather alerts on the tv.

Today I seriously considered driving to the school where I work, and going into our teachers' bathroom in my team area. I'd be surrounded by cinderblock walls and plumbing that goes probably farther into the ground than what's in my house. Somehow I'd feel safer in that room at the school than at my own house. The school, at least, was built with earthquake standards in mind (we're due for a catastrophic earthquake any day now). No, I don't see any point in sitting around worrying about this stuff, because fear just makes you unable to respond appropriately in an emergency. But let me get back to the point.

We knew there were more storms coming today, and were glad when we heard they'd miss us, and go to the south. I just saw a news bulletin that said at least 10 people died in the central part of the state this evening because of those storms and the tornadoes that they spawned. I feel terrible. What is it that's causing Tennessee to get slammed with tornadoes all over the state this week? The only part that hasn't been hit has been the eastern third.

Well, I came across this article, and I think it's worth reading. I've been putting together some emergency kits at home and at work, just to ease my paranoia, for about the past year and a half, but this one discusses some points I hadn't thought about.

Don’t Freak Out
Top 10 Tips for Surviving a Disaster in Your Vehicle


  • At Saturday, April 08, 2006, Blogger RayneScraps Designs said…

    oh sweetie I know how scary it is from living in indiana 10 years! I am so glad you are safe but know it's an ongoing thing many summers so just have your preparations handy and do the best you can and follow your gut instincts in bad weather. Hugs Jo

  • At Sunday, April 09, 2006, Blogger Sue Jones said…

    You know, I couldn't imagine living with that kind of fear. I often wonder just how we'd cope if a really severe cyclone hit us here but we've been pretty lucky - we're too far south for most of them (and slightly inland as well).
    I think the plan of the school is a good one Val. But then I'm really into self preservation. LOL

  • At Saturday, April 15, 2006, Anonymous Jan said…

    Val, I thought about you when all the storms hit over there. Glad you made it OK. It was a long week and luckily we were spared this time as well. These Tennessee storms are getting scarier by the season. Stay safe! Jan


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