Early Warning is Key, or It Just Ruins Your Day

In a small town in Mississippi, meteorologists are following a super cell storm on radar with a classic tornado-indicating hook.  They issue warnings to the people of that small town, begging citizens not to drive and to get into a safe place immediately and wait out the storm. 

The meteorologists know that early warning is the key. They set out to warn other people in the path of the storm.  

One girl heeds their warnings and prepares for the worst...

Two states over in the metro Atlanta area, a man comes home from a late night working at his job at a restaurant.  He pulls his car into the garage and enters his home.  He gets concerned as he sees blankets and pillows strewn through the downstairs hallway.  Immediately he thinks of his family.   Are they okay?  Did someone break in?

He then sees his son asleep on the couch and walks over to find his wife on the adjacent chair also sleeping.  He breathes a sigh of relief.  Then he notices that the television is on Weatherscan.  On a hunch he follows the path of blankets and pillows over to the hall closet where he finds more pillows and blankets in the closet along with a flashlight, three juice boxes, two packets of oatmeal and a phone charger.

“There was a tornado.” His wife is now awake and filling him in from her chair.

“Where?” He asks knowing that he just drove 45 minutes home and didn’t so much as see a raindrop in that time period.

“Mississippi.  But I didn’t know how fast it was moving and we needed to go to sleep but I wanted us to be downstairs in case we had to move to the closet in a hurry.”

“And the juice boxes and oatmeal?” 

“In case we were buried under debris for a few days.  I didn’t want to live through a tornado only to dehydrate or starve. Honey, you have to be ready for emergencies in life”

“With packets of oatmeal?”

His wife stares at him. "Well, we were out of granola bars."

The husband stares in silence for a few seconds.

"I’m going upstairs to take a shower and go to bed.  Remind me to never follow you into battle."

With my incredible fear of storms, you would have thought I'd had a Helen Hunt, Twister-type trauma in my childhood, but no...that would make sense and, even if it were true, it still doesn't explain the packets of oatmeal.

Friday night when all the weather went through Georgia, I sent my friend, Courtney a text.

Rachel: How many severe weather apps are too many?
Courtney: 7.
Rachel: I have 5. Okay thanks.

I had all necessary weather channels programmed for easy television surfing, all alerts on my phone activated and I was actively tuning out my son who was begging and pleading with me to put on Scooby Doo.  At that point, there were tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and he had no idea how much more dangerous our situation was getting as the minutes ticked by.  That's why God made parents after all.  We are there to destroy our children's carefree life with minute-by-minute prediction technology and our silly will to live.  

"Mommy, can we go outside."

"No Samuel, there are storms outside."

He glanced out the window, "It's sunshine." He seemed confused.

Children.  They have such a simple way of looking at the world.  They see sunshine. They think you can go outside.  What they don't know is that only four states over, storms are racing through towns, wreaking havoc on anyone standing in its path.  Nope, its best to stay put and see how the next 8 hours unfold. 

"We need to be ready, sweetie." 

I can't be certain, but I think Sam made one of those kid 'mental notes'.  The ones where they narrow their eyes when you are not being fair and decide to return the favor when you're dependent on them in a nursing home.  

He will grow to learn that his mommy hates storms.  He will grow up and learn to go to bed when his dad does while mommy stays downstairs with her bloodshot eyes glued to HD Storm Tracker 2 in the off chance that circulation is detected in the general vicinity of where they live.  Mostly, he will learn to roll his eyes at his mommy like the rest of the family when it comes to severe weather outbreaks. 

A few years ago, I forced my mom and a then newborn Sam down into the basement when a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was just entering Villa Rica (I do not live in or near Villa Rica).  We had just settled in for the long haul when we heard the mower start up next door. 

“Rachel?”

“Yes Mom”

“Why are we in the basement while the landscapers are still working on the neighbor’s yard?”

I shook my head, “I wish people would respect nature.”

Mom patted me on the shoulder, “I’m going back upstairs.”

1 comment

anything but LoKEY said...

Bahahaha!! You crack me up, Rachel! :)