What to Do When Natural Disasters Strike

When I was a little kid, I had an irrational fear of tornadoes. Some of my earliest memories involve an unshakeable fear that a giant twister would creep up in the night (because obviously tornadoes are totes known to be quiet, sneaky things), possibly while looking like the Hamburgler, and suck me out of my bed. I’d be tossed into an oblivion, probably with a lot of airborne cows. (Tornadoes always involve flying bovines, right? RIGHT?) As I got older, that irrational fear morphed into a general wariness of Mother Nature. Imagine me standing next to Mother Nature while doing this:



Anyways, back to the present day: DC is expected to get a round of hardcore thunderstorms today. It’s not supposed to be like the derecho we experienced around this time last year, but these storms are supposed to be some gnarly beasties that will involve a lot of wind, torrential rain, flooding, hail, and possible tornadoes.

Soooo…given my irrational fear of tornadoes, I figured I’d illustrate my extensive understanding of disaster planning efforts (by which I mean “the stuff I hear people say about disaster planning”) and what I fully expect will be my reaction if, God forbid, we encounter any sort of imminent threat from a tornado. Obviously I am a mature, capable adult who remains calm and focused in the face of meteorological danger.


Tip #1: Watch or listen to the local news to keep apprised of the situation.



Tip #2: Make lists of the things you’ll need if you have to shelter in place.image


Tip #3:  Prepare for power outages by ensuring that all your devices are charged, while also stockpiling batteries and flashlights. If the power goes out, grab a flash light and stay cool.



Tip #4: Most imortantly, it’s critical that you stay calm. Panic is contagious, but so is calm — so, if disaster strikes, lead by example and remain calm, cool, and collected.


Obviously, I’m precisely the sort of person you want to have around in the event of a tornado. I’ll be the calm, uber-prepared one, chillin’ in the basement…by which I mean, I’ll basically be doing this:



13 thoughts on “What to Do When Natural Disasters Strike

  1. andieduncan444 June 13, 2013 / 7:44 am

    Thanks for the lift! We’re getting a light sprinkling of rain ourselves in Toronto right now … sweet Mercy, AAAGHHHH!!!!

  2. jessielovestorun June 13, 2013 / 7:57 am

    Sending many prayers and thoughts your way!! Wish I could put you on a plane right now to Kuwait so you could avoid the rain & come to sunshine!!

  3. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama June 13, 2013 / 8:54 am

    Growing up in Georgia, we had regular tornado drills at school, and my family spent many nights in our basement. Thinking about you and hoping the storms fizzle out before they reach DC!

  4. Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness June 13, 2013 / 9:00 am

    Hahahahaha love this. your fear of tornadoes sneaking in your bedroom at night reminds me of my anxiety attacks that would happen if all my toys weren’t out of the tub by the time the drain was pulled, because i was positive they’d be sucked down those teeny. tiny. drain holes. ha-ha kids are weird. anyways, stay safe during the storms! avoid the roads if you can, make sure you have candles are a gallon of water on hand!! (i dunno if DC is like boston, but im more likely to lose water than power. the sewer systems in boston are so old is absurd)

  5. Dana June 13, 2013 / 10:03 am

    I may have just peed myself a little bit at my desk. For reals. ALL of these clips had me dying! I’m in South Jersey….about 3 hours from D.C , right? I don’t know, I visited there two years ago but didn’t drive and fell asleep so I am not sure of the exact time frame we made it there in. But I hear ya with this crazy weather. Currently it’s pitch black outside with random sounds of “angels bowling” as my Grandmother would say. Happy Thursday! 🙂

  6. cookingfortheotherhalf June 13, 2013 / 10:38 am

    Yikessss! Tornadoes scare me too. A couple years ago, there was one in the Boston area and we kept watching the news as it was projected to approach our suburb…but it diminished before it reached our neighborhood. However, it really did a ton of damage out in Western Mass…so scary!! Stay safe!

  7. IHeartVegetables June 13, 2013 / 10:56 am

    I’m down in Richmond and I hope I can make it home from work before they hit!

  8. Melissa June 13, 2013 / 11:08 am

    I tell myself that I would be the calm one in a disaster situation, but deep down I know I’d probably be a Patrick. Sigh. The worst storm I’ve ever been in was when I interned in DC – props to you guys for dealing with those things regularly! Stay safe (and may your electronics stay fully charged)!

  9. Becky @ Olives n Wine June 13, 2013 / 12:24 pm

    Okay, so tornadoes don’t scare me… maybe it is because I grew up in the Midwest? The things that TERRIFIES me, however, are hurricanes. I don’t think I could ever live in Florida for that very reason. I am slightly panicking just thinking about it now!

  10. aftertheivyleague June 13, 2013 / 5:52 pm

    Hahhaa! I loved reading this post. Laughing at yourself is seriously one of the best things ever. I hope you survived those storms!

  11. Alex @ therunwithin June 13, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    um so these stormsss…. what a bust. I kind of wanted a killer storm

  12. musingsoftheamusingmuse June 13, 2013 / 9:38 pm

    Don’t worry much – we had that round of tornadoes yesterday and I went out to dinner. Fo’ shizzle.

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