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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lessons from Tornado Alley

The last few weeks have been too hot for my taste.  Growing up in Chicago, I hated the hot, muggy summer months.  That’s the reason I live in California now and not Illinois.  During those months, there was almost always an impending tornado just waiting to swoop down on us.  We actually had a storm cellar and were all schooled on how to use it.  As soon as the sky blackened overhead (which was usually right in the middle of a backyard picnic) we headed down the stairs into the basement.  Yes, everyone had a basement in Chicago.  We would pool our refreshments into the cellar area and wait it out.  The cellar was different from the basement.  It was in the far southeast corner of the building supported by the foundation on two sides with heavy wooden doors that closed tight.  It was rank and musty and probably more dangerous than the tornado if you had asthma.  It did serve its purpose though.  One summer, we lost an entire block of houses just one block east of us.  Lake Michigan was east of our town (a little southwest suburb called Berwyn) and the storms would pool from over the lake and head out our way.  We’d hunker down in that cellar with a single light bulb hanging from a bare wire in the ceiling and wait it out.  They don’t build cellars out here in California but they do have something similar – in our house it’s called a “Man Cave.”   It’s the place my hubby heads out to hunker down when we have a tornado brewing.  Of course that’s usually just me having a hissy over something, not involving any atmospheric pressure or turbulence.  The cellar and the man cave serve the same purpose though.  Keeps everyone safe and cool and usually provides solace in a place that generally includes beverages of choice for the duration.  Muggy, hot weather in California also brings earthquakes, or so it seems.  I just refilled my emergency kit with all the necessities in case we have the big one.  Being a
CERT Training in Redondo Beach
Certified Emergency Response Team member, I’m always worried about these things.  So, my sage advice this month is to stock your cellar (or man cave/storage shed) with emergency supplies just in case we have an “event.”  My husband likes to help me with the emergency supplies.  I just don’t know how Jack Daniels became “medically necessary” for the first aid kit but maybe I missed that in my CERT training.  Anyway, remember – if you live in “shake and bake” country or even in “tornado alley” you need to be ready for a big event.  Don’t chance it – you can always use the water supplies and eat the canned goods later as you rotate your stock.   Nothing goes to waste – especially the Jack Daniels …it’s a Man Cave
Thing!  You might want to check out CERT training in your area too.  It doesn't hurt to know how to function under pressure in an emergency and to protect your loved ones and fur people as well. 

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