Monday, June 8, 2009

Sirens

This time of year, I am reminded all too often how unprepared I am. How I am supposed to have a good supply of food, water for everyone for days, flashlights with batteries that actually work placed strategically around the house, a working radio. Things that you might need in an emergency.

I always have intentions of getting these things together, and somehow it never quite happens. You would think after the whole tornado experience last year that I would be more on top of things. But, the sad truth is that I am almost completely unprepared.

We do have a refrigerator in the basement, but it mostly holds sodas and frozen meat - things that wouldn't do us much good if we were ever stuck down there for any length of time. We have, I think, one working flashlight in this house - and it's missing at the moment. We have a few radios, but none with fresh batteries, and none in the basement. There aren't any extra clothes down there. No dog food. No water.

One thing that I realized yesterday is that there isn't even anywhere down there that I can safely put the baby down. There are tons and tons of things all over the floor that he can't be touching, and there isn't any way to contain him down there.

These are all the things that I think about, it seems, only when the sirens are going off. When we have no choice but to retreat to the basement and hope for the best. The line of storms that came through yesterday missed us, luckily. But I can't, and I shouldn't, always think that will be the case. I know better. I've seen a funnel cloud forming right above my head. I know that they can happen here.

I was talking with a friend here about the weather. Both of us are from California originally, and neither of us are well-seasoned with severe weather. Give me an earthquake, and I know what to do. Been there, done that. Still have vivid memories of that infamous Northridge quake in 1994. I can pack my house in a matter of minutes if there is a wildfire nearby. I've done that before too. Things are different here though. When the weather service issues a watch here and the sirens are going off, I can't help but be scared. I'm not used to them, and I don't know that I ever will be.

There were at least 5 tornadoes here in the metro area yesterday, though none were in our town. Here is a picture of the one that hit a mall south of Denver.

Let's hope for a short, calm severe weather season this year. I'm still a newbie.

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