That’s right, it’s Writer Wednesday time again! Today’s topic is about natural disasters and being a Texan, I can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about our state mascot: the tornado.
Okay, tornadoes are not *actually* the state mascot but we certainly see our share of them. My son’s first soccer team was called the Tornadoes in honor of the phenomenon. Tornado sirens are a common sound in the spring and again in the winter when they test them. We take our tornadoes like we take our football–seriously.
Scarcely a spring goes by that we don’t hear about at least one or two tornadoes touching down in the DFW area. Here’s the interesting thing about tornadoes. They don’t stay on the ground very long, and in the city, they lose momentum pretty fast. But when you hear that siren, you don’t care. It’s time to get in the closet.
We have a small coat closet under the stairs and that’s our designated tornado shelter. I would put money on every resident of North Texas having a designated tornado “spot”. It’s supposed to be the most central room in the house with no windows…or a bathtub, but then they say to put a mattress over the bathtub and that’s too difficult in the split seconds that you have from the time the siren go off until it’s all over. So it’s the closet for us.
Except tornado season really isn’t that long, so the closet gets crammed with other stuff. We’ve taken to watching the weather religiously so we know when a line of thunderstorms is headed our way, and if there’s tornado potential, we empty the closet and get ready.
The first time we had to do that when my youngest son was old enough to understand what it meant was not a good scene. We were watching the news and you know how the media likes to make everything sound more dramatic than it is? Yeah. That and a four year old is not a good combination.
Then they started talking about funnel clouds on the ground. And showed videos of tractor trailers being tossed around like Lego pieces. Granted, this was in the Arlington area and we’re about fifty miles from there. But still. We even made CNN.
The thing about tornadoes is that it could be fifty miles away, disappear and reform right over you. So we sat in the closet and my son was terrified for hours. Did you watch the clip? I was a little shaky too. We only got rain from that storm, thank God.
We all still have a Pavlovian response to the sirens. But if it keeps us safe, that’s okay.
If you want to read more great stories from other authors who lived through their own natural disasters, read on by clicking the names below!
If you’re looking for something new to read, a couple of the ladies have releases this month. Check them out:
**Writer Wednesday Participants