Skip to main content

Tornado Thoughts (A Break From the Nerdy)

The other night was special for the F's bro Michael...he received a scholarship from the Elk's lodge here in town, and we all went to the reception to cheer him on. It just so happened the guest speaker was Huntsville's Mayor! And his little speech got me back thinking about those tornadoes a month ago.


From the Huntsville Times
 Now, I have had some first hand experience with my own natural disaster back in 2006, and my grandparents shared stories of the Cedar Rapids flood, but the tornadoes here were something different; something I really had never experienced before. So, here are some of my thoughts, 1+ months later.

The first night the tornado went through was very chaotic...cell towers were down, communication was limited, and no one realized how wide spread the power outage was (in fact, we were contemplating an Outback Steakhouse dinner as we were cleaning up Pam's house....HA!). It was not safe that first night...all the traffic signals were out and people were in "panic" mode to buy supplies, except there were no stores open.

After that first night it was better. Communication was restored via radios, the streets were being cleaned up, a few grocery stores opened on limited power supply generators, and a curfew was instituted. The crime went from 12 break ins on the first night to 0 on the second night. People actually listened, the curfew was followed, and we all hit the bed at 8pm because we really had nothing else to do. The next few days were even better...children were actually outside playing, neighborhoods were having "grill everything that's in my freezer" cookouts and by night time it was so quiet and dark...the BF (at the time) and I laid in the backyard (remember we live in the middle of the city) and counted a dozen satellites in about 20 minutes. It was calm and peaceful, a much different feeling than the night of April 27.

We were transported into a new sense of reality. Sun up, wake up...sun down, lay down. Grill, grill, grill. Work, work, work. Community, community, community. No one could go to work, so volunteers came out in record numbers. The effected areas were filled with the sounds of chain saws and heavy moving equipment. We took sponge baths and braved the less-than-hot showers. We conserved fuel and water and food. We camped out, prayed, and broke in a few decks of cards.

And after a week of the new reality, the power came back on. Kids went back inside to play video games, neighbors were back to doing their own thing, and people were driving all over just to get out. The Mayor mentioned in his speech how he has been approached by several citizens asking if we could institute a "power-free" weekend each month, just to get a little bit of the community feeling back, to see the kids outside, to encourage people to volunteer and help out. Maybe a week without power was not such a bad thing after all.

Comments

  1. this is really well written and I'm glad for a positive view.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

International Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Whew! Back from one international trip and on to another next week! I will admit my eyes roll every time I get the "we're gunna need to pat you down" talk at TSA, but international travel is a whole different animal. I thought it might be fun to see what goes through my brain and into my bags for these types of trips!


I wouldn't be a NASA Flight Controller if I wasn't good at planning, the key to international travel as a T1D is PLANNING!

3 months prior

Assess supplies. Mine come in 90-days supplies so I like to inventory at least 3 months prior and make a plan to order more early if the trip is going to coincide with the end of my 90-day stock. In my experience supply companies are usually pretty good about adjusting orders as needed if you tell them the reason for the early request - just mention you have an international trip coming up and want to make sure to have plenty of supplies (and backups!) in time. Request a loaner insulin pump. It's likely the comp…

Type 1 Diabetes - IT life.

Nine years ago (9 years ago?!), I was still waiting for the black-box-doctors at the FAA to clear my Class III medical certificate - a requirement for my then-job flying on experimental Army helicopters. To 'pump' up my diabetes-dejected ego (ha), Dave let me tag along with him for his MH-47G proficiency simulator runs. That tiny taste into helicopter flight dynamics gave me so much appreciation for him - hovering is literally the.hardest.thing, I was tense the entire time and constantly felt like I was one small cyclic movement away from losing control. Even though I knew in the back of my mind we were in a (moving) simulator, my senses got lost in the weight of the flight controls, the movement on the screens, and the hard thumps when I hovered right into the ground.

At the end of the runs I asked him how he has the stamina to pilot this monster of a helicopter for literally 15 hours straight (these special ops versions can mid-air refuel). He sort of laughed, but his answer…
01 09 10