The Night I Survived a Tornado

Okay, okay I didn’t actually survive a tornado, but let’s be honest, that title is way more exciting than “The night I received my first tornado warning on TV but only ended up getting Thunder and Lightning.”

I got home from work last night and, after taking my dog for a walk and eating dinner, resumed my usual spot on the couch for some evening TV. I’m a sucker for reality TV reunion shows (whether I’ve watched any previous episodes or not) and last night was Real World Portland’s. Around 10pm warnings started appearing at the top of the screen for tornados in my county. What the fruit cake??

I wasn’t real nervous, but I realized, I have absolutely no idea what to do in the event of a tornado. Hurricanes…I got you….Blizzards…Ain’t no big thing…but Tornados?? I’m shit out of luck.

I did the one thing every 20 something year old would do…I tried calling my parents. It’s an hour later for them though and it was already 10pm my time so those neglectful parents didn’t pick up. Left to my own devices this is what I came up with:

  1. I took Henry out for another walk. I didn’t think it would be appropriate to take him out to pee during a tornado (if we got one later) and I definitely did not want to be trapped in an apartment during a tornado with a dog that had to pee.
  2. I put a water bottle next to my bed. Gotta stay hydrated.
  3. I put my car keys next to my bed. Figured I might need to drive away from the tornado. You don’t want to be searching for lost car keys when you’re trying to flee a giant wind tunnel of death.

Side Note:  I can imagine how mad my dad would be if my mom (who misplaces everything) couldn’t find the keys when they were trying to escape death. That would be a kind of funny story to tell in the afterlife though. “How did you guys die?” “Liz misplaced the key AGAIN and we got sucked up into a tornado.” “Larry, I didn’t misplace the keys. I put them in a very logical spot while I was cleaning up after you AGAIN and now I can’t remember where that spot was. They keys are not lost, they are just put away…somewhere.” God, parents are the best.

  1. I looked for a flash light, realized I didn’t have one, and then gathered my electronics that glow and put them in my nightstand so I could use them as flash lights if needed.
  2. Got Henry and went to bed.

Such resourcefulness. I think I was definitely prepared. I should write a manual for everyone in Texas.

I talked to my mom this morning…when I woke up and had survived…apparently you don’t really have to do anything until you hear sirens. When you hear those you are supposed to put on a helmet and hide in your bathtub under something soft and something hard. That’s if you don’t have a basement or a shelter thing.

Side note: did you know those really exist? I thought those were just in movies like Twister.

Another side note: do not watch the movie Twister if you have recently moved to Texas and could experience tornado warnings.

She did suggest that getting an actual flash light would be wise.

A few things I would like to know:

  1. Do they make helmets for dogs? How selfish of me if I get a helmet, while Henry has to chill defenseless.
  2. Are people without the shower tub combos (you know the ones that are only showers…the stand up ones…I don’t know how to describe this well) pissed that they have much less space? I bet they are rethinking so many design choices in that moment.
  3. What about the people with glass door showers? I bet they are even more mad! “Arhhhhh this glass will shatter all over me in the event this tornado touches down right in my neighborhood and destroys my house and stand up shower.”

So long story short. We got really bad thunder and lightning and some decent wind, but no tornado. Henry and I lived!! Henry did stay up the entire night barking every time there was thunder and lightning so that really sucked, but I shouldn’t complain- there was a town where the tornado did hit and I think people did actually die so I’d be a real arse for whining about my dog not sleeping through everything.  But seriously, it was really annoying.


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