For Hurricanes and Wildfires, evacuation orders are ideally given at least a day or so before the actual event, and you can get a pretty good sense of where it’s going to hit and know where your home falls in danger’s path. With tornados, we luckily get a day or so warning of the POTENTIAL, but even then, your house could be fine but your neighbors could be destroyed. And you only have minutes (if you’re staying weather aware) to get to safety. So! I usually spend the hours before sweeping out our hidey-hole (a part of our garage that is more like a basement as our house is built into a hill), getting out the bicycle helmets (if you’re hiding from a tornado warning, WEAR A HELMET!), and packing my tornado bag.
Depending on the time of day, the Tornado Bag will be a tad different, but it’s always a backpack by the door to the basement so I can throw it on and wear it the entire time we’re sheltering in place. It stays ON MY BODY, that’s the key. The bag always has my purse in it, Donnie’s wallet, my external hard drive (with years of photos), my bullet journals, and the dog leash. Last night it also had socks and shoes for the kids as I knew if we had to head downstairs, they would be barefoot and – GOD FORBID – if the house was ripped off over our heads, they would need footwear.
The one “silly” thing that’s in there but stays in it for every storm, is my stuffed Ewok. My Dad gave it to me for my 10th birthday and I’m still so emotionally attached to the damn thing that I fear for my sanity if it were lost/destroyed. So, with the financial stuff and the files and the digital archives, you’ll find a very beat up stuffed animal in the backpack.
Our house is essentially three levels. The basement/garage is on bottom. Since our house is built into a hill, part of the garage is backed by the hill and covered by the house, so that’s where our hidey-hole is. Not exactly a basement, but the part we hide functions as one we were thinking of getting the hidey-hole made over, something like this basement renovation in gta but the practicality and function is all we need honestly. The kid’s bedrooms are on the top floor and the Master bedroom is on the “ground” floor that looks like the ground floor from the front, but is actually above the garage. When the tornado potential is while we’re to be sleeping, we usually all sleep in the Master Bedroom, me on the floor with the kids. That’s what we did last night.
Storms can have devastating consequences and can wreak havoc on the foundations of your home. Some friends of ours live in Canada and had to call out a foundation repair company after a leak appeared in their basement following a particularly bad spell of weather. Thankfully, they were able to get everything fixed, but this is why I do not like to take chances and try to be as prepared as possible!
The sirens are basically across the street from our house. I always wake up when they go off so I don’t fret too much about sleeping through the storm. Luckily, last night, they didn’t go off even once. I woke up a few times with the storm and – of course – sleeping on the floor isn’t that restful. But we made it through the night safe and sound.