Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lessons During A Storm

I am sure you heard about the devastating tornado in Moore Oklahoma on Monday.  Our hearts are saddened and our prayers go out to the families who suffered loss during that tragedy.  As a resident of another part of "tornado alley" in Kansas I can certainly sympathize.  We live only four hours from Moore and less than two hours from Joplin which had the most deadly tornado in modern history two years ago today.  Our community has been quick to rise to action to help in both of these tragedies and I am thankful to have been a part of that.

While we didn't suffer any damage or get a major hit by the storm we did go through it and there was some wind damage in our town.  We were under a tornado watch the entire day and for us it never went to a warning.  We did power down our technical equipment, such as computers and game systems when the storm became severe so we were down to the radio for our weather updates for awhile.  Around 3:30 in the afternoon a tornado warning came over the radio for some counties that were next to ours.  Gesserine started freaking out.  She knows what to do in a storm but it sure is scary when you hear the actual warnings and the noises that go along with them.  It was then that I realized that Gess had no idea what county we live in.

My son actually went to the county community college which has our county name in it but she never really made the connection.  She knows her continent, state, city, street and address, but we never really spent much time on the county, until that day.  We have a magnet on our fridge that breaks the Kansas map down into counties.  It has come in handy when I hear warnings for counties I may not be as familiar with, especially when I first moved here.  I quickly grabbed that map and showed Gess where were on it.  I then showed her the county that was getting the brunt of the storm which was two counties away, however the storm was moving in our direction. 

We then started talking about the other counties and I started making some mock warnings listing various counties and would ask Gess if that warning was for us or not while sometimes mentioning our county and sometimes not.  Once she knew the name of our county she was great at the game. We then went to the school room and wrote the name down so she could see and it and I had her find it on our map magnet herself.

While I am grateful that we were spared I feel so badly about it because I know that not everyone was.  I am thankful that we didn't have to take cover and go through an F5 tornado.  We have no downstairs or shelter other than our bathtub with a mattress over us for protection.  Of course I know that God is ultimately in control and will trust in Him if we ever have to use it.

I have posted this video about weather safety twice now, but it is an excellent tool for kids.  Gess still watches it and because of it, she knows what to do when a tornado comes.  Make sure your kids do too.

You will also find a link to a tornado coloring books and other tools on my blog from last year Tornadoes - Being Prepared.  Oh and don't forget to make sure your kids know what county they live in so they will know what warnings actually apply to them when you are going through a storm!

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