This weekend held some pretty severe storms in the Illinois area. J was working all weekend, which meant I had to pay attention to the weather reports on TV. For the first time in almost 9 years, I actually felt confident in my knowledge of tornadic activity.
I'm a city girl, from the Toronto area. I can explain the difference between about 20 different kinds of snow and talk for hours on snow storms. I remember the Blizzard of '77 and the Blizzard of '78. Tornados? Uh-uh.
But something happened on Saturday. As I sat in my 4th floor loft, listening to the news bulletins, I finally 'got it'. I knew the difference between a tornado watch, and a tornado warning. I knew if a tornado really was coming our way, the kids and I would need to go to the main floor, in the hallway outside of the storage room. I knew to do a Google Maps search to find the unfamiliar cities and towns the weather team reported on. I knew to look at our distance from those areas, and to map the route of the storm.
This is in stark contrast to the woman who sat in a closet with her 1-yr old son, for almost an hour, with all of the TV sets turned up loud. Or the woman who thought a tornado was coming on a sunny, summer afternoon, at Noon, when the tornado siren went off - only to find out it was a daily test. I don't regret being that woman. It was through her mistakes that I became tornado aware.