March 12, 2019 a EF1 tornado touched down in Andrews, Texas.
It was just east of our small town. An EF1 tornado has high winds that range from 86-110 MPH. Most of the damage done across town was roofs blown off, signs blown over, and a few businesses lost walls altogether.
We had kept a cautious eye on the weather all day. We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. Tino had been tracking the weather all evening so it was simply a matter of time. Around 9:30 PM, I decided to work on some cookies but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to pack an emergency bag or make dough.
I made dough.
At 9:55 we got the alert to take shelter. TORNADO WARNING. We ran to get everybody shoes and a jacket, put Gracie somewhere safe, throw stuff in a backpack and get to our church as fast as possible.
I had never been in the situation where I needed to be completely cool while I was absolutely terrified inside… but my family needed me. I assured Isla that Jesus was going to take care of us but we needed to get to the church.
An hour later, several members of the church and ourselves got the all clear and decided to head home.
Tornado 2019 was over.
On the way home I came to the conclusion that I was not prepared for an emergency. We didn’t have shoes on, the emergency backpack was empty (I felt like Michael Scott with his empty bag when he took Pam to the hospital).
After checking in with family and close friends to make sure everybody was safe, I couldn’t shake from my mind the feeling of I needed to be prepared. The words of Edna Mode from The Incredibles kept repeating in my head…
“Darling. Luck favors the prepared.”
Well by golly, I’m going to be prepared.
I decided then that I was going to work diligently to create an Emergency Preparedness Kit and plan.
I know. I know. It sounds incredibly nerdy but after living in West Texas for 30 years, you learn that the weather tends to be unpredictable. One minute you’re enjoying a beautiful day, the next you’re hunkered down in the bathroom listening to hail bounce off the roof.
Working for so many years at Head Start, they really encouraged emergency preparedness so it always sits in the back of my head. We had kits and we had a go plan. Everybody knew it and we all trained on it. In the event of an emergency everybody had a roll to play and a job to do. We were never NOT prepared. So I brought that idea into my life at home.
This post is a 2 part post. The sequel will be coming later and I will be including lots of pictures and information about our emergency plan and kit. I’m really hoping people in west Texas can use it as a guide to safety and a tool to help them feel less stress and anxiety during crazy weather.