Weekending: Strong Winds

Our weekend was unusual. Our plan was to relax. Go to the gym. Visit the cat shelter. Play some Magic. Snuggle with our cats.

We definitely got to relax, snuggle the cats, visit the shelter and play some Magic. We also sat and watched in horror as towns were devastated by tornadoes that swept across the midwest as part of a large, windy storm cell. After living in the midwest since birth, tornadoes and windstorms are something you grow to expect, just not in November. They're more of an April/May/June sort of phenomenon, so waking up to friends posting about tornadoes on Facebook was surreal.

Rather than risk going out and being caught in a storm, we spent a lot of time at home on Sunday, trying to remain vigilent and be ready to shelter in our basement at a moment's notice. It was definitely a high-awareness situation, especially as we learned of EF-4 tornadoes taking out entire towns, and saw the devastation live on The Weather Channel.

As we kept an eye on the weather, read, and caught up on laundry we also texted friends who were at home, while others were at the football game as the weather wasn't anticipated to reach Cincinnati until after the game was over and the crowds dispersed. We weren't really worried until we were told the storm was about an hour out and twenty minutes later our tornado sirens were sounding, the EAS alert was blaring on our TV, and the meteorologist was saying that there was a possible tornado sighting within our county.

Then, we had to move, and quickly. The storm seemed to be moving a bit faster than anticipated as it bowed, and we had to get into the basement for shelter in case the tornado came our way. After fifteen minutes of sheltering, high winds, and rain (along with nail-biting and texting) we had an all-clear and trundled back upstairs. We were exceptionally lucky in all of this, and I am truly grateful. The storm passed quickly, and while some trees were minus a few more leaves, the affects of the high winds were limited. We know others weren't as lucky in areas near to us and across the country, with communities devastated, properties destroyed, and people's lives changed forever.

What was underscored most for us during the storms on Sunday was our emergency preparedness plan. Ours is basic, but it was there and it worked. We are going to have to make slight changes, so that if there is a next time we'll be faster at getting into the basement and taking shelter. For now, we're grateful that it wasn't worse and that we were safe.