Where were you when major storms hit?

Linda Hoffman Two Cents Worth

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It is always unnerving when storms blow through but combined with tornado watches and warnings it can be really scary.

It unsettles me whenever we have any storm because I still have several large spruce trees beside my house. I never feel completely secure that one won’t come crashing down. They help keep me cool during the hot days but are always worrisome, too.

When the watches and warnings came out on Sunday, July 19, what preparations did you take? Having been involved from a distance (but still too close for comfort) in two tornadoes I get ready for a quick trip to the basement with what I consider necessary items in case I am trapped.

Back in 1979 when the big one ripped through Woodstock I was in Delhi but felt the need to get home so drove through some terrifying winds and rain to get to Otterville. I grabbed my vitamins and my Dad’s Boy Scout whistle. I know it makes no sense but I suppose in my panicked mind I thought it would keep me healthy and help the rescue teams find me. Areas in the direct path were hit hard but we didn’t experience the damage.

The next one, in 1998, didn’t come that close to Otterville either but I had a more sensible survival kit ready to take to the basement. It landed a huge tree on top of Stacey’s house in Norwich, but I was able to drive there to rescue her and Morgan, who was a toddler at the time.

Even though neither storm directly affected me, I know the possibility is always there. On Sunday I had at the ready a battery operated lantern, a blanket, my purse, which has candies, cell phone, identification, water and my face mask. I changed from my big cotton house dress to real clothes thinking I should be a bit more presentable when the firemen came to find me.

I closed the curtains to help prevent or, at least, slow down any projectiles entering the house. I had heard a weather expert say the wind will go through if you leave the windows open so it doesn’t blow the windows in thereby doing less damage. Do not know if that is true but it stuck with me so I leave as many open as I can. I suppose if the house is gone it won’t matter one way or another, will it? I just hope the tornado doesn’t suck me up out of my hiding place in the basement and deposit me in the next county.

Again, some areas got hit much harder, but Otterville didn’t even lose power, this time. It’s all about survival so it’s smart to be prepared.

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