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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Helicopters and ambulances and sirens

I may have mentioned that the night of the tornado devastation I heard ambulances all evening and at night in bed. The next morning I awoke to helicopters and chain saws. The window ac usually drowns out all noise and distractions since I have a hard time sleeping.

Since then, helicopters are still in the air. Usually, I hear one each weeks or so. Ambulances are running more often. Is this my imagination? Possibly. Only two people were killed in our county. I wonder if people are suffering from stress-related or stress-exacerbated problems so that there really are more ambulances with sirens blaring. Or, am I extra sensitive to the sounds that were accompanying the disaster? I wonder.

Every Wednesday at noon, tornado sirens blare over the whole county. This last week, one week after the tornado, the "practice" sounding of the sirens was cancelled. I do believe that the well-orchestrated sirens and constant information about tornadoes helped us the have a low mortality rate. Plus, in the last 40 years, many people have been killed in our county.

Any tornado in the area of Smith Lake follow highway 69 to the City of Cullman. Sometimes, the tornado takes a path a little to the north of the city; sometimes the path is a bit to the north. In either of these instances, it rarely touches down.

The last tornado in 2008, I think, hit an entirely different section of town, a bit to the north and in an area with less affluent residents. This time, the more affluent areas of town were affected.

I was thinking today that our preparation, maybe over-preparation to some, accounts for the lack of a high death toll. Maybe it is like many things in life, preparation makes the difference between a poor outcome and a less traumatic outcome.

Your turn
Does your area, your family, and you take seriously the preparations and warnings for your local or area natural disasters?


  1. I think we'd be ok in any natural disaster as long as we didn't have to leave our property. Water would be a minor issue after a few days, but there's a natural spring not far from here. Just hauling it home would be a pain, but doable by horse if need be.

    Our biggest 'natural disaster' situations would be loss of hydro for extended periods, getting snowed in for days, or a possible roof cave in due to excessive snow. Then there's the risk of forest fires, and we are not remotely prepared to have to be evacuated. I keep meaning to pack emergency bags for everyone, but haven't in years. The kids outgrew everything so fast, and I was always donating clothes that had never been worn when I refreshed their bags, it seemed wasteful.

    Nothing in their bags fit, and there wasn't enough of anything either, to survive more than a day or two, when we had our house fire. Emergency funds were what we needed.

  2. Wendy, on one of the prepper blogs, I read about people who filled their survival bags with clothing bought at a thrift store.

    Almost two weeks later, water in bottles and jugs is plentiful. Loss of water would be a disaster in my home. However, since I sometimes wash the car in the rain, maybe I could just bathe in the rain. I could make something to hide behind and strip and soap up and rinse. Well, only in summer would that work.


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