Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tornado Warnings

Thanks to several tornado warnings, we spent some time in the basement over the last few days.  I figured that I'd share some of the ominous pictures from yesterday's storm that were shared on a local TV station's facebook page.

Since I don't know how long the station will keep the pics up, I am posting screen shots here.  Note that I did not take these pictures.  The photographer's name has been preserved on the screen shot.  (As long as they are available, the original photos can be found here, here and here.)

My kids think that I'm overreacting when I herd them to the basement as soon as the tornado warning is called, but I hate these storms - and this one clearly was a doozy! Apart from that, it is my job to keep them safe!

With regards to getting everyone into the basement, the problem at my house is the existence of 5 cats and 2 dogs.  I most certainly don't want to be looking for cats while we are under the gun and I am trying to get the kids downstairs. 

Since we were watching the weather on TV, the last 2 storms - one in the middle of the night on 4/20 and the yesterday evening (4/22) - gave us plenty of warning.  We knew they were coming, so we stuck the cats in the basement a little prior to the actual warning.

That worked out well last Wednesday:  Two boys (Tizzy and Merlin) in the back room, two girls (Holly and Kitten) in the front room - and Smokey - despite his protests - in the cat carrier in the front room with the girls.

Unfortunately, when I started putting up cats last night, Smokey still remembered the carrier from two days prior and he was not about to go back in there.  He was hissing and spitting - and someone was going to get hurt, if they even got near him.  So he just hung out with the girls - hissing every time somebody came anywhere close to him. 

We would like to take the dogs downstairs with us, but they are afraid of the stairs and they won't go into the basement at all.  Funny thing is, they have no problem taking the stairs upstairs.  Go figure. 

We may have to work on that.... but hopefully, we won't be spending that much time huddled in the basement in the near future. 

PS: The university's alert system also warns us by text, phone call and/or e-mail, except - they seem to be a little behind the times with their warnings.  Last Wednesday, the storm had essentially passed by the time we finally got the warning from the university. 

That particular storm came across around 1:30 am, so we didn't get to bed until almost 2 am.  Too late, if you actually need to be at work at 8 am the next same day.

On top of that, the university insisted on giving us an "all clear" call.  That's nice of them, except - I didn't appreciate the text message that woke me up again at 2:40 am telling me that "the emergency situation related to tornado warning is over.  You may resume normal activity."  Normal Activity? - You mean normal activity, like sleeping, which is what I was doing before you woke me up

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