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Tornado Preparedness

I had several "OH CRAP" moments last night.  See, we got hit with some nasty weather.  My immediate area was spared the worst of it but the St. Louis airport (40 miles northwest) and a lot of its surrounding areas sustained severe damage from tornadoes .  By severe damage, I mean the airport had its roof ripped off, windows blown out, planes blown across the tarmac, jetways mangled, and some of surrounding neighborhoods were leveled.  We had a ferocious thunderstorm but were fortunately spared any tornadoes.  Regardless, we spent a couple of hours in our basement last night waiting for it to pass over us.  We had a radio down there with us and the reports of the damage were rolling in fast and all were terrifying since we didn't know if we were next.  As we sat in the basement, I evaluated our emergency preparedness.  Let's just say I found it lacking.  Now, on the diabetes front, I think I get a grade of PASS because I had a full insulin pump with a fresh battery, my meter remote and my travel diabetes supply bag which included a back up infusion set, extra test strips and lancets, a cartridge, tubing, active vial of insulin, and glucose tabs.  I remembered to grab both my iPhone and my landline phone.  As far as the "normal" life stuff, I'd grade the situation as a D-.  The only thing keeping it from being a total failure was that our stupidity didn't result in anything except temporary inconvenience.

For instance, as I looked at my pantry overflow shelf, I was pleased to see we had plenty of ready-to-eat food....until I realized most of it was canned veggies and we didn't have a can opener.  The next thing I realized was that I was damned thirsty and short of opening the freezer and licking the ice crystals encrusted on the wall, I had no source of liquid.  These were slightly irritating issues but we weren't planning on being down in the basement for longer than a couple of hours, so no biggie.  Then, I realized I had to pee.  But we don't have a bathroom in the basement.  We've talked about putting one down there and there's a rough in from when the previous owners built the house, but I never bothered with it.  But, again, not a seriously pressing issue and in light of having to pee, I decided that maybe not having water wasn't a bad thing at that particular moment.  The real "We're too stupid to be grown ups" moment came when the power went out.  And it was pitch black in the basement.  And we DIDN'T HAVE A FLASHLIGHT DOWNSTAIRS.  We both said "Oh shit, this sucks."  Then I remembered exactly where the flashlight was, it was sitting on top of the dryer in the laundry room.  To be honest, it was impressive that I knew where it was at all but at that particular moment in the pitch black of the basement, well, that didn't do me a lot of good.  Eric had his Nintendo DS and I had my iPhone, so we were able to use as a light source and fortunately, we got the all clear not too long afterward, so our batteries didn't die.  But, this morning I decided that I needed to make a storm preparedness kit which meant I needed a list.  Here is my list, in order of import:


  1. Flashlights to remain permanently in basement
  2. Batteries for flashlights and radio in basement
  3. Manual can opener
  4. Case of bottled water
  5. Call my friend who owns a construction company and get an estimate for a bathroom.
If anyone else has any helpful storm tips, share them!!  

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