Friday, May 27, 2011

What's in your tornado kit?

I know we moved to the midwest but the reality of being in "tornado alley" has only just begun to sink in for this solidly northeastern girl. 

While Michael was still at work on Wednesday in his nice, cozy basement office (I'm not sure he feels that way on normal weather days), and while Pep and I sat at home, a string of very severe weather began to make its way through our area. The meteorologists has been predicting it for days, telling St Louis residents that the conditions were "very favorable" for tornadoes. We were placed in the "high-risk" area on the national map and I was ready with the TV on, to watch the action unfold. Unfortunately, nothing else was prepared. 

You see, up until this point, while we had been under tornado warnings on past bad weather days, and the sirens had blared before, there had never been anything resembling a tornado heady towards our house. And as I am sure you are all aware, the terrible tragedy that happened the past week in Joplin, MO has scared everyone into being a bit more diligent.

Wednesday was a different story though. I had the TV blaring while frantically cleaning (the nervous energy of tornado warnings makes me a great cleaner!) when I heard that there was rotation in the atmosphere and a funnel cloud had been spotted just a few miles south of our house in the shopping area that I frequent daily. At this point, the TV announcer suggested that anyone in the path of this particular cell move to the basement, naming our neighborhood in his list. 

Then I thought, "Oh, Crap! I have nothing ready!". Thankfully, we were still a bit away from the funnel cloud, and the TV was predicting that we would have 17 minutes before anything would be close. What better time to prepare an emergency kit, really?

So, here's my 15 minute tornado kit ended up looking like:

1. Sneakers (with the nasty pair of socks that I've been wearing all week to work out in. Sorry, I only own two pair, so new pairs are doled out sparingly.), cause shiny gold flip-flops just won't cut it.

2. Water
3. Food (a banana and a granola bar)
4. Mag Lite flashlight (I hope Preston isn't reading this, and if you're reading this Cayley, don't show it to him. He left it at my house 8 or so years ago and I never got it back to him.) with a pack of extra batteries.

5. Money, credit cards, insurance cards, etc
6. Phone
7. A sweater
8. Kitten in his carrier

9. Kitten food and treats
10. A book (specifically Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated)

Funny story about Pep and the carrier: 
He actually jumped in the carrier as soon as I pulled it out. While he doesn't like being shut in it the carrier, he does think it's quite a comfy bed to lay on (as you can see in the picture above, taken later in the evening before I got around to putting it away). So after he willingly jumped in his carrier I zipped it up and continued with my frantic packing. I opened the door to the basement to get a baggie of his food out of the stairwell closet and heard a loud "Meow" fly by me down the stairs. It seems that Pepin was worried I would forget him in the shuffle and figured it was every cat for himself! I was worried at first that he had ripped through his carrier but in reality, I had simply forgotten to fasten the clasps after zipping him in. 

I probably should note that Pep is slightly obsessed with exploring the basement and probably just saw his chance with the door wide open and me paying little attention (thinking he was contained.)

All ended well though. That particular funnel cloud never touched down and while the severe weather lasted a few more hours, it mostly involved heavy rain and some hail.

The moral of this stupid story is that we need to get an actual kit together so we're not scurrying around and nearly losing the kitten in the scuffle.

And also, I may have some unhealthy anxiety when it comes to tornado scares.

On a Happier note:

This happened two years ago yesterday on a cliff in Hawaii.

We celebrated with a movie and sushi and I have to say that I am so happy with the little life and little family we've made (minus the tornado alley thing). 

Two wonderful years down, and here's to many, many more to come!


  1. I'm so impressed by all this! Most of all that your work out shoes have been used all week! You go girl!

  2. Glad nothing touched down! Include a battery-powered radio in your tornado kit. I feel like that could come in handy. Assuming you can pick anything up in the basement.

  3. Thanks Katie...I'm trying. Must look good in my purple dress at the wedding.
    And Laura, I'm very happy nothing touched down as well. And don't worry, I had been planning to buy a weather radio. I was just waiting for an gift card to go through, which of course, happened just today, after all the bad storms passed through.

  4. Um, socks are really not that expensive. I am a little freaked out how they must stink. In the basement, during a tornado. Just saying.

  5. Happy belated 2=year, and I hope you're enjoying the Foer novel. I know I did. We're thinking of you a lot with all these tornadoes flying around!

  6. Thank you Anonymous person for the comment! To clarify, the only time i wear short socks is to work out since i am either a sandal person or a long sock person. And it's not like i subject anyone else to the socks since I work out at home. I hope you aren't too disgusted to return to the blog!