Saturday night, I got home from work at sat down in front of the computer to catch up on the season finales of the few shows I follow. Around 11:00, I heard tornado sirens. Fortunately (?) they're RIGHT next to our apartment, so I definitely heard them. Usually I don't hear them if I'm inside somewhere. Anyway, I looked online and saw that a thunderstorm with high winds was in Gardener and slowly moving towards KC and we were under a tornado warning.
Everyone from the surrounding apartments was streaming toward the clubhouse to hide in the one windowless room- the bathroom. Yuck. I called my aunt and headed over there, thinking their basement would be better than a crowded bathroom if it came down to it. In true Therese style, the thought "oh my gosh what if I never get to come back to my apartment?" ran through my head, but I didn't have the faintest idea what to actually grab and take in this scenario. Because obviously our top-floor apartment is safe in a flood, but not in a tornado. I settled for my computer and Advair inhaler (I was tired?) and headed out.
The whole thing was anticlimactic and we sat in my aunt's living room with my cousins and watched Saturday Night Live with occasional storm updates. When the warning expired at midnight, I headed home. The point of my rambling, though, is that last night many residents in Joplin, MO didn't see such an anticlimactic evening after the tornado sirens went off.
Joplin is a town of 50,000 people and it's only 160 miles south of here. Less than a 3 hour drive. The fact that it's so close to home makes me wish for a house with a basement and an emergency-preparedness stash (I would add a metal crowbar to this list as well, in the even that you have to pry yourself out of rubble).
My friend Tiffany is married to a firefighter trained in search and rescue, so he's headed down tomorrow. He gave me the number for doctors and nurses to call if they want to help (it's 417-832-9500 but don't call until I've gotten through! lol. The line has been busy all morning). If you have a Missouri license, you can register to help at www.showmeresponse.org.