Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored


How NOT to Endure a Tornado…

The lightning flashed, the thunder clapped, the sirens wailed, and Swiss Tower residents spent a few hours together huddled in the lower floor hallways…watching television and popping popcorn…so American.

Our disposition as Americans is to expect the things we have seen on television—things that will contribute to cool stories and safe-but-scary visions of the power of nature. Somehow we all operate with the idea that “it will never happen to me”. And that’s a problem.

It’s the same problem that the hundreds of victims I counseled in Alabama had. Too many of them told me the same thing, ”I didn’t think it could ever happen to me.”  And their assumption led them to stay in their homes instead of taking shelter—later enduring the storm that ripped the home apart, threw them across the yard, and in one ladies case—sucked her out of the bathtub and into the tornado’s chaos.

I have said it once, and I’ll say it again. Tornados are the worst. Hurricanes and Wildfires can be predicted, evacuated, and avoided. Tornadoes come without much warning, a lot of destruction, and no one to blame for the devastation they leave behind. They leave destruction that traumatizes the people who endure them and the people who attempt to save others after the event—normal people who live life with the memories of the death they witnessed after the storm had passed.

It’s tornado season—if you’re playing the “it will never happen to me” game this season, please decide to play it safe from here forward. Get educated on the dangers, and take precautions whenever a tornado might strike. Get to shelter, a basement, or an interior room without windows, which shatter in the tornado every time—preferably the bathtub which holds the walls around it together. Wrap yourself in a blanket, tarp, or other protective wrap in case you get pelted with debris. Expect the tornado to rip off the roof of your home. Expect it to utterly destroy any vehicle in its path. And expect it to hit you!

In this case, I would definitely rather be safe than sorry…and I hope I might have convinced you to do the same.

See some of the devastation from Alabama here.

Read more about tornados here, including the facts that most tornados occur in the United States and that they have hit many city centers.

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