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An Alaskan Girl’s [irrational] Thoughts On A Southern Storm

This Alakan girl does not do good in “bad weather.”

And by bad weather, I mean storms – like thunderstorms and crazy wind….and basically any time the words tornado or hurricane are mentioned I go into a mini panic mode and hide in my bed.

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Seriously, weather.com text alerts will be the death of me. At least I learned the difference between a tornado “watch” and a tornado “warning.” I used to think before that it all meant the same: that a tornado was coming to my house and I needed to seek shelter ASAP. (I know, silly Alaskan).

I mean yes, I have withstood 60 below zero (F) and dense ice fog; and I can drive in a blizzard with no problem-o; and I’ve experienced some crazy earthquakes; been flooded into my house for days (we lived on the river growing up); and been temporarily evacuated for a forrest fire – but dammit when it comes to a torrential downpour, house shaking thunder and lightning, I am a gigantic wuss. I know, I know, I knew the risks when I moved to the south.

So for fun, I figured I would share some of my [irrational] thought processes before/during a storm.

Thought 1: WHAT will I do if a tornado is coming?!
(This one isn’t really irrational by the way – but this is extremely rare in the particular area we are in, but it is one of my biggest fears)
We live in a 2nd story (top floor) apartment! Get in the bathtub? go into my walk in closet since it is an interior room with no windows? Google says I can protect myself with a mattress? What.the.eff. who has time for that?

Thought 2: We should probably make an emergency kit.
After a year and a half we are still yet to have a decent one…It includes a weather radio, flashlights, protein bars, dog food, and a bottle of wine.

Thought 3: WHAT if something happens while we are gone and poor Kona is stuck at home alone?
Kona typically does not wear her collar in the house – I take it off when we come in from outside (she likes to be nakey). However, when it is “stormy” weather I will leave it on her in the off chance that something happens and she magically escapes the house (because I figure if in danger, maybe she will be crafty – or grow thumbs – and find a way to escape), that way if someone finds her wandering around they can identify her and call us. Yes, really.

Thought 4: I have anxiety that I will get struck by lightning while walking a few yards to my car.
Not kidding. I sprint. This is the only time I actually take running seriously.

Thought 5: WHAT would happen if we had to save just a few things and leave?
What would I grab? Oh wait, I would grab my momento boxes (with pictures etc), important documents, oh and my new MacBook… and wine., for the road.

**An additional note on this – like I said above, I have actually been in this situation before. When I was a teenager there was a forrest fire coming toward our house (we lived 60 miles out of town) and the fire department told us we may get notice to evacuate in the next few days if they didn’t get it under control. I drove around to school and work with all my “important” belongings packed up in my car in case I got the call and didn’t have time to get home first.

Thought 6: Anything plugged in is going to blow up.
Seriously, if a storm is coming I will hurry up and try to charge all my stuff, phone, laptop, etc and then unplug EVERYTHING because I am worried it would short out/blow up/etc. One of the first really bad, house shaking storms we had when we got here, I unplugged everything and I made Torrance play cards with me because I wouldn’t let him watch TV. (He loves me).

Thought 7: WHAT kind of food can I eat in the house if we lose power for days?
Let’s be honest, this really is one of my first thoughts, since food is always on my mind, but I hate that I can’t use an oven, stove, or microwave if we lose power. Sometimes I like to play a game of what sort of interesting meals could I make out of dry goods in my pantry that I don’t have to cook? (The answer is “nothing great,” if you are wondering). Good thing we have a little propane grill in our camping supplies. God forbid I can’t heat something up.

Luckily, since I have an attention span of a fly, these thoughts fade quickly and they don’t lead to long term anxiety issues. Typically after all of this, I simply just resort to hiding under my blanket with a glass of wine while Torrance laughs at me. So don’t get all worried and suggest I need Xanax or anything. Actually… now that I think of it, maybe Xanax would be a good item for the emergency kit?

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  • Is there any weather you are afraid of or really don’t like to deal with? What kind of “bad” weather do you have to deal with where you live?
  • Ever been in a situation where you lost power for days, had to evacuate, took cover form a tornado/hurricane, etc?
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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rachel #

    You.r.killing.me!!!!

    January 31, 2013
  2. Wow I didn’t know you lived that close to me. I’m only an hour from you and the weather yesterday definitely sucked. I thought the wind might just pick us all up and blow us somewhere new. My boyfriend is on the fire department in our town and he was running calls most of the night for fallen trees. At least all that scariness is over and now we can look forward to a nice weekend. 🙂

    January 31, 2013
    • Yeah! We are right outside Winston! 🙂 aww I bet he was super busy last night! Hopefully nothing too bad!

      January 31, 2013
  3. Why are you getting alerts for Clemmons? I thought you were near Charlotte? My bad. That is where my in-laws live. We used to live in Winston and Greensboro and went through tornadoes several times. One actually bounced right over our house (tornadoes in NC bounce). We had the dogs leashed and ready, a plan on how to handle the cats and grab the backup hard drive. That was it. Everything else can be replaced.

    The Kidless Kronicles

    January 31, 2013
  4. Eek weather is a B. I hate rain when it comes to driving. Full blown panic attacks have sent me to being pulled over on the side of the road. I have a history of my cars hydroplaning. LAME.

    January 31, 2013
  5. I live in Oklahoma City and have been through hundreds, if not thousands, of tornado scares. I was in the May 3, 1999 tornado where the highest wind speed on earth was recorded. So here’s how we handle this type of weather.

    One, our master closet is the “safe room” during inclement weather. In it, we have a MASSIVE dog crate (hard crate, not a soft one), an emergency backpack with dog supplies, batteries, flashlights, one change of clothes, and some things like bandaids, etc.

    I ride a motorcycle so when bad weather comes, we take the motorcycle helmets into the closet. You could do the same with a bicycle helmet.

    It probably won’t make you feel any better, but we don’t worry about the “Tornado Watch” notifications. That means there’s a “possibility” of a tornado being generated. When you need to freak out is when you get a “Tornado WARNING” notification. That means one is on the ground.

    Also, download your local weather station’s smart phone app (if you have a smart phone). Two years in a row a tornado was coming in our direction and the damn National Weather Service PREEMPTED local weather to tell us there was a tornado IN OUR COUNTY!! Um, we KNEW that! Local weather will break down the tornado to the absolute location so we watch the feed on our iPhones instead of relying on TV.

    January 31, 2013
    • THANK YOU for the tips!!!
      Oh i have like 10 weather apps and the local weather does seem the most “accurate” as far as that stuff.
      When we first got here I thought watches and warnings were all the same and my coworkers laughed at me so now i feel a little more at ease with just the watches, since they explained it like it is basically just meaning the weather is the right condition for tornados to maybe happen? haha 🙂 Im still learning!!

      January 31, 2013
      • I completely understand! Since I grew up with this type of weather, it seems normal to me now. We used to just sleep through it all. But now the city has sirens every square mile so we’re warned pretty quickly.

        January 31, 2013
  6. Ugh – yeah last night was creepy! Did you see that pretty much all of NC was under Tornado warning? RIDICULOUS. A few years ago, there were actually tornadoes in Raleigh that were terrible (and I saw one as I was driving). So what exactly were your thoughts on the great NC Blizzard last week?! PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEK!!!!

    January 31, 2013
    • HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEK TO YOU!!!
      haha we watched 2 people go in the ditch last friday which was hilarious (it was slow motion and no one was hurt so I can laugh haha) and we really wish we would have thought to have our camera set to record while we were driving HAHA

      January 31, 2013
  7. You’d better get used to those tornado warnings, welcome to the Carolinas.

    February 2, 2013

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