Sunday night, B and I were putting together some day bags for camping. These bags, dubbed “Bug Out Bags” or BOB, have all of our emergency supplies in them including: first aid kits, water, various fire starting devices, tinder, extra pairs of socks and other clothes, knives, flashlights, dry bags, barrel liners, etc. These are the items we may need while camping, should things go wrong.
But, they’re also items that could easily save your life, should things go wrong at home. Disaster can strike at any moment. And sure, that sounds cliche, but after Sunday night I am 100% dead serious about it now.
After we finished putting our bags together, I went to our balcony door and looked out the window. It had been storming for a good twenty minutes, and I’d wanted to look at the lightening. The wind was beginning to pick up, and then suddenly, the wind became violent. Extremely violent. It was blowing so hard, I backed away from the door, feeling unsafe. The wind continued to pick up rapidly, getting louder and louder, and we grabbed our bags and went into the bathroom, to shelter. The bathroom is the only room we have without a window.
Our lights flickered, dimmed, and struggled severely to stay on. I grabbed my phone, and noticed it was nearly dead. I’d never charged it. I immediately regretted it.
The 911 alert went out for the Tornado Watch. We turned on a weather radio, and huddled together. I’d never heard wind like that before. I’d never seen wind do things like that before. And I’ve seen my fair share of hurricanes.
I’ve never been through a tornado before. It was fast, and 30 minutes later I was sweeping up the broken and knocked over items on our balcony. We suffered minimal damage. 15 minutes down the road, houses were missing roofs. Trees were ripped out of the ground. Thousands were without power. We just barely missed an F-1 tornado, in San Antonio.
Three to four actually touched down that night. We had neighbors with broken windows, nearby businesses closed Monday to repair signs, windows, roofs. There was debris EVERYWHERE. All over the highways. Tree branches were thrown all over the roads. The traffic lights faced all kinds of wrong directions.
People didn’t have power, or roofs, or fences, or homes. Some of them were friends of ours. One of them happened to tell us that the weirdest thing about losing a roof is the amount of attic Christmas decorations that end up around the neighborhood. And thankfully, no one was killed. San Antonio did a tremendous job on getting information to the public early, and urgently. The worst, of course, came after as the rain came down. But San Antonio has always had a flood problem.
It put a lot of terrifying things into my head. A lot of “what ifs”. We made a plan, should it happen again and we get separated. Our bags are now easily accessible, as they should be, and fully stocked. It made me consider how bad off we could be right about now, had we decided to live closer to downtown. It made me think, my goodness, what if we’d had children to round up and get somewhere safe? We were in a second floor bathroom. We actually weren’t that safe.
I want you to know, how serious emergency preparedness is. You will want to consider it, especially in natural disaster prone areas. But honestly, it can happen anywhere. House fires, flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
You need to consider family meeting areas, emergency education, water, food, and finances. You may need some cash put away for a hotel room, or for gas. Your family will want water, long before Red Cross arrives. You’ll want to be in control, and safe.
Please stay safe, friends.
And think about preparedness!
I will be posting periodically on preparedness, should you be interested.