Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Prepare: Real Tornado Insurance

If you have been watching the news, a massive storm rolled through the middle of the U.S. last night (February 10) and made all sorts of havoc.

I live in the area affected and hoped I was ready for whatever came.

We knew the storm was coming around 8:30 - 9:00, so after dinner I checked outside. I made sure there was nothing which could "go projectile" was left outside or in a dangerous location.

That included tools, kids toys and lawn furniture. Other than that, there is not much more you can do to stop or make your home prepared for a tornado, high winds or damaging hail.

When the storm hit, my wife was in the den watching the weather updates with the baby. My two older kids were in bed. I stepped out the front door to watch the storm roll in when the emergency sirens went off at the fire department a half a mile from our home.

Just then I heard my wife yelling in the house and saw her shadow run past the front window as she headed to the kids rooms.

I went inside and my wife was herding the children into the hallway bathroom.

Now here is where our family's tornado insurance lies. We have a main hallway which runs through the middle of our home. It is surrounded by the rest of the house and includes access to each bedroom but also has a large walk in closet and a bathroom.

It was in the bathroom my wife took the kids and one of the dogs (for some reason, she left the other dog in the den; she never liked him much). My oldest started crying as my wife told them a tornado warning was in affect for our area and one or two twisters were possibly going to touch down.

At this time, I went for the weather radio and a battery powered lantern. After dropping those off in the bathroom, I opened the walk in closet and grabbed an extra folding mattress which I gave to my wife. If a tornado struck, we would lay down under that mattress for protection.

Time was still on my side so I went for one of my battery powered radios, an extra flashlight and some more milk for the baby.

Nothing was happening, so I checked the television in the den which stated that two twisters were possibly north of our location. I went back to the family and brought the cordless house phone (I have my cellular in my pocket as well as a small flashlight).

My wife called her father and let the kids speak with their "grampa" which helped calm them down.

In the meantime, the television reported that the twisters had not touched down and the warning was clear. Good news.

After 15 minutes or so, we let the kids go back to their rooms. I kept the rest of the supplies in the bathroom just in case. (I also added some work gloves and dust masks because I did not want to look for those things later).

We were lucky. Our neighbors to the north in Edmond, OK and other places were not. Our prayers go out to them.

The best tornado insurance is a plan and a place. Tornadoes have struck every state in the union, so none of us anywhere are safe from these natural disasters.

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