Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hit me like a hurricane

We had a tornado scare last night. And by "scare," I mean a "tornado watch that progressed to a warning with actual tornadoes touching down within a few miles of our house while we got lightening, thunder, and golf ball-sized hail." So, we implemented our tornado disaster plan...and found the holes in our tornado disaster plan.

Step one: head to the innermost room on the lowest level of our house. For us, that meant our guest bathroom. In we headed, with pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, and our 72 hours emergency kit (full of clothes and food and supplies) with our hand-cranked radio/flashlight. I then realized that I could not fit into most of the clothes I had stored away and dumped them in favor of less ill-fitting options and a pair of flip flops, since I had forgotten to pack shoes.

Step two: realize we have a child now and reassess rapidly what else needs to come in with us for him. Run around the house quickly gathering formula, bottles, water for bottles, diapers, extra clothes, the diaper bag, etc.

Step three: realize that we have to keep Jacob entertained while we are in the bathroom. The husband ventures out to get the baby's bouncy chair, to the sound of howling wind and vicious hail. We also decided I would camp out in the tub, with the bouncy chair in reach, and Matt would jump in, grabbing the baby on his way, should we hear the tell-tale "freight train" sound of a tornado

Step four: hunker down in the bathroom. The warnings came around Jacob's "bedtime," so he was fine for a while and then tired and cranky. And it got hot, really hot in the bathroom. So he got hot, really hot. So I got hot, really hot while nursing him to sleep. It was doable but unpleasant. Next item on the to do list for our new and improved disaster plan: buy a battery operated fan. We never lost power but turned off the computer that acts as our tv anyway to save it from power surges. Fortunately, our hand-cranked radio worked like a charm (thanks to the husband's parents for getting it for us for Christmas!).

Step five: wait out the warnings. Eventually, the winds died down, the hail quieted, and the national weather service decided we were in the clear. So we all trundled out of the bathroom, where we got Jacob back to sleep and headed for bed ourselves. Right now, our bathroom still looks like an emergency bunker out of the 50's, with supplies everywhere since we were too tired to clean it up at the time.

In short, it was good practice for a more pressing emergency and a helpful primer on the new considerations that confront us as we plan around Jacob for all our future endeavors. As far as our disaster plan, Jacob clearly needs his own bag, filled with all his necessities, updated frequently since he is growing so quickly any clothes or diapers we put in will rapidly become obsolete. Who knew?


Jess and Heather said...

i'm glad you guys were ok! That's pretty scary we had a few warnings when I was in Kansas with my parents they're so scary!!

joyful704 said...

wow. i need to update my 72 hours kits, thanks for the inspiration!