Are you prepared for a disaster? Because I can speak from experience, I was not. I was living in what was considered a safe location. It was only 20 minutes from a major city, not quite considered countryside, but not a city either; it was just a quaint hamlet. The location was not considered a flood, tornado, volcano, or even a quake zone. The closest thing to a natural disaster was a forest fire and even that would have been remote considering it was mostly flat farmland.
Then one day back in 1987 it happened; one of the worst tornadoes hit. Hail the size of baseballs poured down, eventually coming through my windows and winds toppling trees that fell through the roof. I had no idea what was happening and at that time we had no warning sirens to warn against natural disasters. There I was stuck with a one-year-old and a two-year-old with no way to reach the car. We were trapped in a house alone so I took the kids downstairs and we hid in a small coat closet. All we could hear was a roar that sounded like a freight train was on top of us, then an eerie silence. I tried to open the closet door but it wouldn’t budge, something was pressed against it. No light, no food, and no water, nothing but a few coats to make a small bed for the little ones to lay down and stay warm. I had no idea how long I might be trapped in the basement but I figured my husband would eventually come home to find us. At that time I just figured it was a bad storm, I had no Idea it was a tornado and it leveled our house with us in it.
My husband was in the city and the highway was closed that led to our hamlet, only emergency personnel were allowed through the blockades and only the houses that were partially standing were searched first. Three days went by and finally I heard voices, I told the kids to scream and make noise, we were finally rescued. Dehydrated, hungry and with minor cuts we were pulled out and reunited with my husband. The devastation was nothing I could ever have imagined.
Since then I always have a preparedness kit ready, nothing too big or fancy just some basic need items. I have an old child’s backpack that the kids out grew. Inside I keep a small basic first aid kit, a box of alcohol wipes (individual packages) unfrozen freezes( water and little sugar) being a diabetic it’s good to have on hand. Some water, and a variety of dehydrated vacuum packed fruits which I make myself. Some trail-mix which contain high protein nuts, batteries, and a flashlight. One of the scariest moments after the commotion was being trapped in the dark. Every year on the anniversary of the tornado I refresh the supplies and batteries even though nothing has happened in a way of a disaster since that fateful day.
Scientist and meteorologist claim it was just a freak of nature that an F5 tornado would have hit our area or even the region for that fact, but I will never be so naïve again to think it could never happen to me because honestly, it could easily happen to anyone. Nature does not recognize boundaries, cities towns, it just does what it does, when the circumstance and elements seem right.
Disaster awareness and readiness are easy for everyone to prepare for. Use the internet to educate yourself. Be safe and Be prepared.
USA and Canada
Writer, Blogger, Mother