It’s interesting being under a tornado watch.
We don’t normally have tornadoes here. The occasional waterspout, sure. And very occasionally hurricanes throw off a tornado or two, but being under a tornado watch is very, very rare.
After 24 years in Florida I’m used to hurricanes. With hurricanes we have days to prepare. We can buy supplies, protect our homes with shutters or boards or tape. We can get out of town if we choose, or at the very least head inland.
But with tornadoes there’s almost no warning. They go where they want to go, no rhyme nor reason. The meteorologists can tell us that conditions are ripe for tornadoes, but they can’t tell us with much advance notice whether one is actually coming – let alone who’s in the path.
So there’s really no way to prepare, other than to keep the television on, and to know where inside our home to head if things look ominous. I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz. Just head to the root cellar or basement, right?
But this ain’t Kansas. There is no basement. There’s certainly no root cellar. We’re built on the Everglades, for goodness sake.
So, we’d head to the bathroom under the stairs. The stair structure and plumbing make it the safest place in the house. But that doesn’t do us a whole lot of good if the tornado takes the entire house, does it?
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
So, my son is sleeping upstairs in his bed, and I sit here, keeping vigil. And thinking.
Thinking about how much life is affected by the weather. And how much life is like the weather. Thinking about how we think we have control of everything in our lives, but we really do not. Thinking about how sometimes we have lots of time to prepare to weather the storms life throws at us, and sometimes we do not. And thinking about the weathermen in our lives – the doctors, financial planners, lawyers and teachers – who try to steer us away from danger and help us along the way.
But the bottom line is that we’re all responsible for our own safety. I can’t control everything, but if I know a hurricane is coming and I leave my home unprotected and go stand out in the middle of the street, well, I shouldn’t be surprised when the storm knocks me on my ass.
And if I see a tornado coming, I’ll get us to the safest place and duck.
Then, after the storm is over, I’ll hopefully get up and brush off the debris. Then I’ll survey the damage and rebuild. Or move on.
Sounds like an emergency plan to me.