Yesterday afternoon while I was watching the news a tornado watch was issued for some surrounding areas, including the county I live in.
Normally I just ignore them. I know that sounds terrible, but I have been fortunate enough never to see a tornado in my area my whole life. Plus, I'm a lover of crazy summer thunderstorms.
Last night was different though. When the warning was issued I started to get anxious. I was upset because I was scheduled to work at 11 last night, & I was planning to be napping when the wicked storm was supposed to hit. DJ wasn't going to be home, & I was convinced that the house was going to be blown away without me knowing. He assured me I was crazy, like usual.
Although I slept a little, I kept having bad dreams & ended up waking up long before my alarm was set to go off.
I turned on the news, & what do you know?
The report was bad. The storm was headed to us, & would be on top of us within a half hour. People were reporting seeing tornados where it was already raining, & the meteorologists were seeing cloud rotation close to me.
When the storm was about 10 minutes away & a few towns over, the weatherman said, "There is definite cloud rotation. We can't confirm whether or not a tornado is already on the gound. It's heading for Renee's house (I know I souldn't joke about this, but wouldn't that have been funny?). You have 10 minutes to get into the basement."
And so, that is what I did. I took my laptop, knowing I would lose power & not get news reports from the TV. I just hoped the internet would hold out. It did not, by the way.
Next I trapped my 2 girl cats in the basement, which was easy enough to do with a bag of treats. Then, I had to carry my dog downstairs. She had never even seen a flight of stairs until we lived in this house, & she is not brave enough to venture down. Once that was done, I had to fight with my boy cat. He doesn't like to be held, so it was an epic battle...that I ultimately won. I essentially hog-tied my cat, covered his head with my shirt & ran down the stairs while trying desperately to hold on.
Once my fur babies were safely downstairs, I didn't dare open the door. In my panic, it didn't occur to me to grab my flashlight or candles or anything I might actually need. No, no, instead there I was with 3 misbehaving cats, a terrified dog, my cell phone & a laptop that soon proved to be worhtless when the internet failed.
In an attempt to keep myself calm, I talked to my mom & MIL periodically. I had no idea what was going on. There was no way for me to know what the situation with the storm was. My only view of the outside world was through a tiny (& dirty, because I don't clean it) basement window. I couldn't see anything because the sky was black, except for occasional pink lightening.
I'll be honest, I was pretty freaking terrified. I was also sure this was not going to end well. Thankfully, it did. We got a severe thunderstorm & nothing more. Everyone was safe.
We were without power for a few hours, so when I ventured back upstairs I lit every candle in the house & read a book by flashlight.
DJ got home shortly after the power came back on. And although I was able to laugh a little about my disaster precautions, I was still a little on edge.
In hindsight everyone will probably think it was silly of me to go so overboard, but I don't think it was. Not only did the newscaster say it was specifically headed to my town & I had 10 minutes to take cover, but I knew this was coming since 3 in the afternoon.
Call it a message, or maybe a sixth sense, but I was sure this storm was going to be bad & I needed to be awake when it arrived.
I guess the moral of my story is this: trust your instincts. They're right more often than you think.