Weekends in my life are one of the toughest two days of the week next to the other five before it. Many of you know that I work all day on both Saturday and Sunday, I do not wish this punishment on anyone. This past weekend was extremely tough as a series of events prevented me from seeing the Kid for almost 48 hours.
My dad asked me to go to a baseball game with him and I will obviously not pass up that opportunity. I love baseball and spending that time with my dad is our way of bonding. As a result of going to the game I left work at 5:30pm and went straight to the game without going home. Hot Mama was then in charge of the Kid for the full day. It happens on occasion when one of us has the Kid all day. I was prepared then, not to see the Kid until about 5pm on Sunday.
Some how though, the Gods were against me and they did not wanting me to see Hot Mama and the Kid.
For those of you who have not been following the news, or do not live in the Midwest, or have not been following my tweets, you know that here in the Midwest we were under the gun on Saturday night for some tornadoes. The outlook was so strong that I even question whether to go the baseball game with my dad so that I could stay home and keep the family safe. However, we were not supposed to be hit by the storms until over night, so that is why I went to the game.
The downside of working in the media is that once a Natural Disaster strikes we rush to the scene faster than the Red Cross can even get mobilized. I had received a phone call that I would be need to be in early over night if something were to strike our area. No big deal, except for when you have storms coming to you with a history of producing tornadoes and you have family who live in a city where tornadoes have already hit and went over their house. I end up going to sleep at midnight and having to wake up at 3am to get into work.
What is my assignment once I get in at 4:30am, drive 3 hours and cover the storms that went through and devastated a neighborhood. No big deal again, we can get our story done and get heading back so that I can leave by 5pm.
Nope, the Gods struck that down too!
I find out around 11am that I am staying on location until after our 5pm show. UGH!!! I will not get back home until at least 9pm now. As this is going on I am texting my wife, who is now using my iPhone after an unfortunate mishap (another blog post for another time). One of the things that I like that she does, is she sends me videos and pictures of the Kid and her as I am working because she knows I miss them. Which yesterday, made things a bit tougher on me.
5pm rolls around, and Hockey decides that Overtime in the playoffs is a good idea, (does anyone watch that sport anyway?) so that means we may not go on until 5:30pm.
Seriously, Gods, you are starting get me really upset!!! (I am putting that nicely so I do not upset them)
We get our show done, 6pm rolls around and time to head home. I will not bore you with the details of the drive home because no one wants to hear about how reporters fall asleep in the car while the photographer who has been up since 3am is driving and has worked twice as hard as the reporters have all day.
I finally get home about 9:30pm at which point the Kid is asleep. All I want to do is wake him up and play with him but I know that is probably not a good idea. What is another 8 hours right, I will be sleeping anyways?
7:15am Monday morning and Hot Mama woke up early to get the Kid ready, as I was out like a baby, and brings him into our bedroom. I look up and what do I see, the Kid with a huge smile on his face because he has not seen my in 48 hours!
Upon hearing the news about the deadly tornado outbreak in the southeast U.S. it started making me wonder what have we done as a family to prepare for such an event.
Our Emergency Kit
My wife hates, and I mean HATES, even just a thunderstorm so when we were looking to buy a house made it very important that we buy one with a basement. Here in the midwest why you wouldn’t buy a house without a basement is beyond me. When we were looking at this house there was something that she liked that put it over the top for her, there was a tornado shelter. We live in a town where the west side was hit by a tornado in May of 200o so in the newer subdivisions most of the houses have basements. It gives my wife a sense of safety which I was willing to pay more for.
We also have two weather radio’s down in the shelter… why two? I enjoy having a sense of redundancy! Not only do we have those weather radio’s but we also have our iPhone which are outfitted with weather radio apps! So we will be able to monitor four weather radio’s at the same time! All I need is 4 tv’s to monitor all four over-the-air networks and I would be set! Now that I think about it… that might not be a bad idea!
Now we have a very sophisticated emergency kit! Extra clothes, formula for the chipmunk, water for us… oh wait that’s not for us that’s for the chipmunk when he needs formula, and shoes (I told my wife that if there is a storm, more than likely I will be up with shoes on anyway even if it’s the middle of the night). Thanks to the hospital for providing us with changing pads (those blue folded items in the picture) which came from when we were in the hospital (I’m sure most of my women readership know exactly what they are) and also we had some dry baby wipes that are activated by water (from the hospital) that we stuck in there. I’m starting to think that we might need to put a case of water down there or else I won’t get any water.
We are still building this kit but atleast we have something down there ready for us. Maybe we need to add some big canned food items down there just in case we need to “survive” for a few days… but then in about 15 -20 years we would end up eating it so it doesn’t go bad (The office, Dwight… anyone, anyone).
Greensburg Tornado Memory
I feel for the people in the southeast and I hope that we never have to deal with something to that nature. This is something that no one wants to have happen. I have personally seen the effects of a tornado on a town more than once and it is absolutely devastating! I remember the night of the Greensburg, Kansas tornado. It is one of those things that I remember where I was and what I was doing. I was watching KWCH out of Wichita in our TV station at Fort Hays State University (I was actually there if something happened in the city we were in to cover it for news), and I remember when the meteorologist came out and said “We now have a Tornado EMERGENCY for the town of Greensburg, now is the time to take shelter!” I come from the area of the U.S. where when we hear Tornado warning and we all go outside to see the thing, but if I would hear Tornado Emergency, (which for those of you who don’t know… is much worse than just a Tornado Warning) I would seek shelter IMMEDIATELY!
I remember looking at the radar and seeing the hook in that storm and I was freaked out. My dad who was actually heading back home (needing to go through Greensburg) from a softball game. He called me to ask if they should just wait out the storm in Pratt or if they would be good to go. I told him and the team to wait in Pratt it doesn’t look good for Greensburg. I’m so thankful I said that because when they would have gone through Greensburg, the tornado hit the town.
My experience with tornado’s don’t compare to what they are going through in the southeast… but I want everyone down there to know that my thoughts are with them!
- Tornado Emergency in Alabama (skydancingblog.com)
- Killer Storms Rake the Southeast Again (minx.cc)
- Particularly Dangerous Tornado Situation – Miss, Ala, Tenn (stevebeckow.com)