Wednesday, May 4, 2011

After the storm

I have a confession. Last week we (and everyone else in Central/West Alabama) were witness to the worst storms and tornadoes our generation has seen. Likely the worst storms we will ever see in our lifetime. Nonetheless, I have been carrying something with me since April 27, 2011.


I am typically a happy-go-lucky gal, well at least in attitude. I am not a person who worries or has ever been fearful. I've never been afraid of being home alone, or that I will be mugged or attacked or that someone is going to get me. Since last week's devastating storms I have seen and heard unimaginable stories of survival and unfortunately,  peril.

While I am awestruck by the damage, I am equally amazed by the generosity and compassion of those helping salvage and rebuild communities all over the state. Volunteers and supplies have arrived from all over the country. Everyone I can think of has helped in some way. We were only without power for a few days and since it is difficult for me to get to the hardest hit areas with Jay I have tried to help those around me the best I can. I have cooked meals for neighbors, done laundry and hosted company who did not have power or water. Yesterday I took snacks, supplies, formula and bottles to Temporary Emergency Services in Tuscaloosa. I've done all of these things to try to overcome the fear that has followed me like a shadow for a week now. It helps temporarily at best.

I am so very thankful for my safety and that we suffered no damage from the storm, and I feel guilty for complaining--so I am confessing my secret here--I am scared.

I have evaluated my plan for storm safety in an effort to put my fear aside. Here's my new plan-

If we are again in the path of a tornado of this magnitude and have ample notice we will flee. I will drive an hour or more East or West and plan to stay out of town for 24-48 hours.

If we cannot get away I will stay in our basement (where we stayed all day last Wednesday, but now I realize that we were not as prepared as we should have been had the storm veered just a few miles to the east.) With   pants, shoes or boots on, Jay in his car seat-strapped in, flashlight, and an ax we will weather the storm. Our dogs should be in collars with their tags on, leashed on harnesses.I should have a bag packed with a change of clothes for everyone, medication, jackets and blankets. Water and a first aid kit would be a good addition, but not a necessity.

Will having a better plan help me fell better? I hope so. I hope I never have to use it and I can take refuge in God, knowing that he does not want us to be fearful in nature, but life a life of praise to glorify him.

Thanks for hearing my confession. I pray we will all be safe and live a life filled with joy and praise.
Peace be with you.

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