Surviving a Tornado-The Aftermath

The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long. Deuteronomy 33:12

My disabled neighbor's home
My disabled neighbor's home | Source

I realize there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about tornadoes. So why have I written this one? Because I have recently experienced one myself and hope to offer a personal objective that will pass this hard won wisdom on to others. Not only have I learned how to survive the tornado but what to do and not do afterward.

How does one cope with the power of a storm like a tornado? What happens after it passes, leaving shocked people and uprooted lives? Recently a tornado came through our neighborhood and left us all reeling and many homeless. But good can be found in terror, positive birthed from tragedy and we learned what we did right and what we did wrong. I will share those lessons here in the hope they will be beneficial to others.

200 Year Old Oak Tree Uprooted In 30 Seconds


A tornado is a mass of violently whirling wind that twists itself into a funnel shape and travels over land at a high rate of speed. It is always destructive, ripping apart buildings and lives without discrimination. Many people lose their homes and lives to tornadoes each year in the United States alone.

Many people (including my family) do not keep the television or radio on and are caught unprepared for a storm or other emergency. Most local television and weather channels have a phone application so an alert is sent in the event of severe weather. I advise everyone to take advantage of this free option. I now have a text application on my phone to warn me of any emergency alerts.

Know the difference between a tornado Warning and a Watch. A watch means conditions are positive for a tornado to form. A watch means one has been sighted and all precautions should be taken.

I did not have an alert or warning when the F2 tornado hit us that evening. We were caught by surprise, thinking it was only a bad storm until too late to seek safety in the basement. When the wind hits one has no doubt about the difference. The roar is like a jet engine upon takeoff and hail, debris and other matter is thrown against homes, trees and all structures. It uprooted 200 year old oak trees seventy feet tall and we never heard the crash because of the wind volume.

My Neighbor's RV


Scary? Yes, indeed it is very frightening. Should a person be caught in a tornado, seek safe shelter in a downstairs area. Underneath the stairs is one of the safest spots in a home or under a heavy table to protect oneself from falling walls and roofs. If this option is not available, get into an inner closet, a narrow hallway or the bathroom. Get in the bathtub and curl up in a fetal position unless the tub is near a window or outside door. The main objective is to get as far away from windows as possible. Try to grab pillows, cushions or the like and protect the head.

Put as many barriers between yourself and the storm to prevent being struck by flying debris or being sucked into the vortex as it passes overhead. If possible, strap babies and small children to yourself with a belt or other secure material to prevent them from being sucked away in case the roof is torn off.

An old myth says opening a window or door will release the pressure and allow the building to suffer less damage. This is incorrect. Never open a window or door during a tornado because it allows the wind, once inside, to lift the roof right off the house. It also increases the danger of being struck and injured by glass that is shattered by the wind or objects thrown against the windows.

Do not remain inside a mobile home if possible to retreat to safety elsewhere. They are not constructed to withstand tornado force winds or objects thrown against them at 200 plus miles per hour. If ripped apart, the metal siding can become blades capable of slicing through flesh and even through other buildings. A couple on the next street had one tied down and it still lifted and they "rode" the tornado. Thankfully neither were seriously injured.

If caught outdoors in a tornado, keep away from trees and other tall items such as light poles. Get into a gully, ditch or depression. Do not try to drive away from the tornado. The perceived distance is deceptive and the consequence deadly as the vehicle can be lifted by the wind and flung about. Do not seek shelter under an overpass. They can become a virtual wind tunnel, placing the occupant in danger of flying debris or of being sucked into the air.

Hang onto a cellular phone for dear life as it may indeed save your life. The electrical power and telephone lines will most likely be compromised for an unknown period of time.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Taken several weeks before the tornadoAfter the tornado
Taken several weeks before the tornado
Taken several weeks before the tornado | Source
After the tornado
After the tornado | Source

Now What?

The storm has passed leaving shaken but unharmed people to wonder what just happened. The power is out and the extent of damage to one’s home and loved ones in other areas is unknown. What should one do first?

WAIT before going outside. A tornado can spawn others and one may be following closely behind the first. There may be downed trees with branches still falling or precarious. Power lines may be lying on the ground pulsating with electricity that could injure or kill anyone who touches them. It is best to wait for emergency workers or police to arrive before venturing outside especially if dark.

Call out to any other people who were in the home, gather everyone close and assure everyone is safe. If separated, get everyone in the same area but do not climb on fallen areas. They may be unstable or contain live electric wires. Tend to any wounds if necessary and possible. Keep everyone calm and stay close together.

Use that cell phone to call 911 and report your location and the status of any injuries. Roads and highways may be blocked by fallen trees and other objects but injured people will receive first response but emergency personnel want to know about those without injuries also and about people who may be trapped inside their home or on their street.

If safe to move about, fill sinks, tubs and buckets with water. Get some flashlights or candles immediately (even during daylight hours) and keep them close. Even if your home was spared, the power and water may be off for hours or even days.


Vultures Attack!

Once the roads are clear and emergency workers allow access to the area impacted by the tornado, all sorts of people arrive like cockroaches on a leftover sandwich. Dozens of roofers, tree services, contractors and anyone else who could remotely find any sort of work descend on the stunned survivors. Each touts their own company as the single one that can provide the best service. Do Not Agree To Or Sign Anything! Some of these are reputable and indeed do a good job. Others are looking to take advantage of the situation. Take your time to settle down and perform due diligence before choosing a repair service. Have the insurance adjustor out and get his/her report and monetary estimate before committing to repairs. Simple tell the people you will take their card to review and will choose the right one later.

It can be overwhelming and one’s desire is to fix their home as soon as possible. Restrain and refrain from doing so. Most insurance companies severely limit resources for down trees and other damages. By committing to a contract, you will be responsible to pay out of pocket for any excess expenses. Take time to stabilize thoughts and to make a plan.

Charitable foundations will come by to offer assistance. In our case, Samaritan’s Purse was out early the next morning. They are well known and have a spotless reputation. They will assess the neighborhood and individual properties and may be able to help for no charge.

Their services include reestablishing water, gas and electrical services as well as tree and debris removal. This can save the homeowner hundreds to thousands of dollars that can go toward structural repairs of the home.

Samaritan’s Purse also will secure contractor grade tarps on damaged roofs for free while professional roofers want anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Some unethical contractors will offer to do this (“it will not cost you a penny.”) then later inform you that it must be filed with your insurance company to recoup their costs. Do not fall for the scams. Ask to see state licenses and accreditation.

One such company in our case showed up in a van that proclaimed disaster relief, went about handing out bags that contained water, ready to eat meals, first aid supplies and other essentials. Turns out they are just another company wanting to contract for repairs. Two of our neighbors fell for them and now are stuck paying out of pocket for services they unwittingly agreed to.

Local churches will most likely set up pantries for food, clothing and household goods. Do not feel bad about utilizing them. These goodhearted people ache to help in the only way they can. They like knowing victims are fed and clothed. Many times they can provide resources for shelter also. A scripture in Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Allow the brothers and sisters in Christ to soothe the process of recovery and to provide spiritual and physical needs.

Just be cautious not to act while in shock. So many of these people swarmed our neighborhood that the police closed the streets to all but residents and ones they personally escorted in.

(Let me state that I know people with businesses need to earn a living and provide for their own families. That is understandable and I do not intend to take away from legitimate owners who act with respect and integrity.)

Working On The Downed Trees


Our Personal Story

We often go days without turning on the television or radio and almost never watch the news. On the evening the tornado struck, we had finished dinner. I was washing dishes and my son was studying on the computer. I saw lots of lightening and got out of the water (duh!). I went into the living room and looked out the window. What I saw stopped my breath!

The sky was dark and greenish and the trees were whipping down to the ground. Just then hail started hitting the house with hurricane force and something slammed against the back. I heard glass break and called my son to come to me. He obeyed instantly thank God because just then we heard a sound like a jet plane taking off or a freight train. It was loud, powerful and mighty. We have a brick house and I do believe it shook!

I knew it was a tornado and, clutching my son, turned toward the basement stairs. But the power went off just then and it was pitch dark. All we could do was stand there and hold each other while placing ourselves in the arms of God. It was over before I could think what to do. I opened my cell phone so there would be a bit of light and retrieved candles from the hallway closet.

I lit several candles and opened the curtains hoping to get light inside the room from outside. I know the Holy Spirit led me to do that just as He kept us safely upstairs during the storm. A twelve year old boy across the street was home alone when the storm hit. Something slammed into the room he was in and pushed the wall in. He ran and hid in the living room until the wind passed. Then he looked outside and saw my lights burning. He grabbed his little poodle dog and ran to us for safety. He was shaking all over so hard it was almost convulsions.

I brought him inside and we used my cell phone to call his mother who had intended to be gone only fifteen minutes. She was out of her mind with worry and could not get into the neighborhood because of downed trees but walked up the hill carrying her two month old baby. The next morning, we saw the downed power lines and thanked God that she had not been electrocuted.

The aftermath was just that. It felt like we had survived a war or a tragedy, which it was. President Obama refused to declare this a disaster area because no one died in the tornado. Dozens were injured, fifteen homes were totally destroyed and dozens of others damaged. Some required only a few thousand dollars in repairs; others will be 20 or 30 thousand dollars. Estimates are over 15 million did dollars in damages where the tornado set down in a 4 mile span. Our Governor did pay us a visit and after seeing the wreckage declared a disaster area here.

That hopefully will provide assistance to make repairs after the insurance money is used for greater damages. Our own home was virtually unscathed and the damage is about $7,000. Insurance covers that but allows nothing for all of the trees that fell. My heart already yearns for them and I intend to contact the Arbor Day Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. They may provide interested parties trees and several neighbors and I want to hold an Earth Day tree planting ceremony and get new growth started.

Puppy Found Unharmed Under Destroyed House

What Do People Need After A Natural Disaster?

We need prayers.

  • My heart clutches when the wind picks up and I must force myself to relax. I know God is my protector and I trust Him. But just for a minute I go back to that moment when the wind struck our home. Pray for my mind to instantly be at peace.
  • My son has brought out his little sleep toy again and carries it everywhere. He asked if someone he knows was killed in the tornado. He wants me to sleep with him so I am close in case it comes again. Pray for him to forget that night and be at peace again.
  • Pray for my neighbors who lost everything that all will be restored and they can be in a home again.
  • Pray for the injured that they make a full recovery.
  • Pray for trees to be replanted. That may sound minor but it is very important for our spirits. We need them for air quality, beauty and to protect our homes from the heat of summer.
  • Pray for everyone who gave of themselves so unselfishly to be rewarded and to receive that love back a hundredfold.

The Lord's Prayer by Andrea Bocelli

More by this Author

Comments 60 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 3 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello moonlake. We just got the last tree stumps removed this week. The back yard is so bare. It breaks my heart but I intend to plant lots of trees and flowers. Tornadoes are very rare in our area. This freak tornado will live in everyone's memories for many years. Hoping you get a break in your own weather very soon. I love cold weather but 2 degrees is a bit much for this lady!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

What a story so glad you were safe. I know there are already tornadoes in the south but it will be awhile before they start here. We are 2 degrees right now a few days ago below zero. Voted up and more on your hub.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi teaches12345. That must be frightening to hear sirens. We do not have them here because tornadoes are rare. We are doing well. The roof is repaired and the windows are next.

I do appreciate your kindness. Yes, God is very good indeed.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I lived in the midwest most of my life and experienced many tornado warnings and the elements that go with it. Sometimes the sirens ignite fear in individuals when they have no need to be afraid. As you wrote, know the difference between a warning and watch.

Your comment about waiting to sign any contract is good advice as contractors do tend to jump at any possibility of profit after these storms.

Glad you made it through the tornado, sorry about your losses, but you have survived and come out on top. God is good.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Sharyn. I also am very far behind in my reading. We are doing well. The new roof went on last week and that was a relief. The neighborhood is slowly looking better. Now we just need some trees! I know several people who plan to plant lots of trees so that makes me feel better. Thank you for your sweet heart.

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Dear HB ~ You have really shared from your heart here as a result of this tragedy. Thank God everyone is okay. The way you presented this is beautiful and will no doubt help others. I am so behind in my reading and certainly hope that a couple weeks later, that things are much calmer now. You are in my thoughts!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Eiddwen. It was a few minutes of unforgettable horror. Much love has been poured out though and I am very thankful that we are safe and the little guy from next door came to us. Every time I see his face now, I thank God for him. I truly appreciate your comments and friendship.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Brenda I am just stopping by for a second time as i couldn't remember if I had commented on this amazing hub However I had but I don't think you will mind a second visit will you ??

It tugged at my heartstrings even more that the first read; yours and your son's emotions I could almost feel; the little boy from acroos the road and the little pup safe and last but not least that beautiful rendition of The Lord's Prayer by Andrea Bocelli .

An amazing hub by an amazing writer and person.

So proud to be your friend.

Take care and enjoy your day.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Sunnie. We are getting better. The roof tiles were just delivered today and the repairs should be tomorrow if the weather cooperates. I do appreciate the outpouring of love very much.

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Brenda,

I am not sure how I missed this but I know we had been in contact after this happened so I knew the Lord protected you. It still hurts to know that you and your family had to go through such devastation. Until you see the pictures it seems almost unreal. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to reading this but you have been in my thoughts and prayers during that time. I pray the commnuity heals and are able to rebuild speedily. You have such a gift of servanthood that I know you are so busy helping and bringing love to those less fortunate.

Much love,


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you friend lyricwriter. I appreciate your kindness so very much.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you dear Eddy.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Suzette. I sure hope your niece finds peace. We are still a bit nervous but getting settled more. Thank you for every good wish.

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

All Hyp, I am so glad you wasn't hurt. Our prayers are will you. This has to be such a burden on the entire community. Pure devestation. I am glad you wrote this so people can be educated about what to do if and when this happens. At times such as these, the community has to become a whole, help one another. Events like this stick in your mind forever. May the Lord watch over you all. So sorry Hyp.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Amazing Hyph; you have that special knack of breathing life into your words;each emotion is felt and each step shared.

Take care my frind.


By the way I love the new profile pic.

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM

Hyphen: My prayers are certainly with all of you. I shall say a special rosary tonight for you and your family. I hope your son soon forgets that horrible night. I have never been that close to a tornado. My sister and niece were in one, not even as strong as the one that hit your neighborhood, and my niece to this day (she is 26) is afraid of storms/tornadoes, etc. Her bedroom window was knocked in by the storm, but fortunately she and my sister where safe in the basement of their home. They had minimal damage to the house, but the damage in your neighborhood is awful. The trees uprooted break my heart. I hope you all are able to get them replanted. Your photos are heart-wrenching, Hyphen. Mother Nature really takes a toll and there is nothing we can do about it. We are at her mercy. I hope and pray you all recover from this disaster as quickly as possible.

A special thank you for sharing your experience with us. You give some good advice, and mention some things I had not thought about. I'm sure this was not easy to write. Take care!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

hello dear Mar. We are slowly recovering and have had time to think now. We have each other and the community has been incredibly supportive. Thank you for the encouragement. It is appreciated more than you know.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

My dearest Lily. Your heart is loving and true. Thankfully we have homeowners insurance and it is all covered except the trees and the $1,000 deductible. I am calling the Forest Service to ask about new trees. They may even cut up and remove those huge trees from the yard. The roof should be repaired Monday if the weather permits and the broken windows by next Friday.

I love you so and thank you for your incredible offer. It is so much more than people close to me have done. I shall never forget your spirit of charity and love. Neither will our beloved Father God.

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Hyph,

I am humbled to read your account, grateful to God that you, your son and your community are essentially OK. There is no doubt you have all endured a heart-stopping traumatic experience.

Just like with grief, trauma doesn't just 'snappily heal/ go away.' You will all remain close in my thoughts and prayers for continued spiritual and emotional supports for as long as needed.

Hoping you have a peaceful weekend and it is so good to have you back. Love, Maria

lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Dear soul, how wind could uproot such trees... or collapse buildings, or make toythings of such solid objects, but love, you are in one piece.. I get paid in a week, and just say the word, and it is yours, to try and fix this horrendous damage... all my love, lily

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Susan. It was pretty scary and we will never forget that evening. Thankfully, we were not injured or worse.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I had a feeling something was going on with you. Don't know why but .... I am so glad that you and your son are safe.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

North Wind, this a lovely and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it. Your prayers and kindness are appreciated so very much.

North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

Hyphenbird, I am glad to know that you are alright. I cannot imagine what going through the tornado must have felt like but you have done a good job in helping me get there.

Looking at the trees and the grass around it, I am reminded of a story I once heard about a great majestic tree that thought to itself how mighty it was. It looked at the grass and scoffed for it was just a blade.

Then a great storm arose and the tree and the grass was tossed. When it was over the tree lay on the ground uprooted. Its majesty completely destroyed but the blade of grass had bent with the wind and weathered the storm and when the wind ceased it stood straight again.

I cannot help but wonder at the power behind the tornado and what wind can do. But you made it through like the blade of grass and I will pray for all you asked.

God bless you,

North Wind

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Will. My neighbor has one and I may get one. I do now have the text alert on my phone so that I feel safer now. Thanks for the info.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

You can buy a weather alert radio for few dollars that sounds a siren whenever the weather bureau issues a tornado warning for your area. You don't even have to have it on!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Movie Master. Yes, we are grateful that no one died in this mess. We are getting back to a new normal. Thanks for your well wishes. They are welcomed and appreciated.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi mckbirdbks. I am so incredibly pleased we could assist the little boy in that time of need. I will be more prepared with flashlights in the future though. I am glad to finally give everyone the story. Whew!

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Alastar. We already are doing better. A local nursery is selling me some trees at 50% off. I already purchased 4 Leland Cypress and will get more as funds allow. She has a dogwood for me and some fruit trees also. I am so excited. Thank you for letting me know this was good information. I want to help others who might go through such a thing.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Tamarajo. That is great advice about candles. Since we do not have gas service, I never thought of that. Having this monster appear in January was very rare. Everyone was caught off guard. Like the area you describe, this neighborhood will never be the same. Thank you for the well wishes. We appreciate that very much.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello always exploring. What a terrible experience for you. I have also been very cautious and just signed a contract for repairs today. As much as we want to get back to normal, patience must prevail. I also was thrilled to know that tiny puppy survived. An organization called Damien's Vigil was here searching for lost animals and reuniting them with owners.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Flora. I appreciate the well wishes.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a terrifying experience, thank goodness you and your son are alright and the 12 year old boy as well, he must have been so frightened to experience it on his own, and so very pleased to see you.

Best wishes Lesley

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Hyphen thanks for the complete story and update. You have had such an emotional few weeks. I am glad you and your family are safe. It is good that you had saftey supplies handy, as in the candles, etc. The 12 year old was smart, he knew which direction to run. The pictures do tell a story.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Ms B thank goodness you and your son came through that tornado alright. Relieved there wasn't much damage done to your home too. I know how you love nature and will miss those wonderful old trees, but am sure you'll replace them and enjoy watching the new ones grow. Your family and community will be in my thoughts and do hope all will receive what is needed. The information here is superb, and you can definitely consider yourself an expert on what to do before, during and after a tornado now. Hyph my friend, bless you and your son. Knowing your strength of character and solid faith there's no doubt the emotional scare will ease up before too long for you both.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Thank God you made it through that terrifying experience What an odd time for a tornado...January.

I love the ministry of Samaritan's purse. Seems like they are all over the world serving.

In looking at your photos, the tree in particular. It is amazing that such a large tree is able to be uprooted.

One note on the candles. I once worked for drug store that I was managing and had a tornado event where we had to move all our customers to the basement. I passed out candles and was later told that flashlights were recommended in the case of a gas leak. It never crossed my mind.

In 2010 an F4 ripped through a neighboring rural community and the damage was incomprehensible we still see the shredded trees,almost 2 years later when we head down interstate 90. Whole houses were totally missing and Pictures were found 30 miles away.

Sorry you and your family had to go through that especially your son having to overcome the fear of it all. Bless you as you heal, recover, and clean up.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi James and thank you for the prayers. I hope this recounting helps someone else cope and even saves lives.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello girltalksshop. I understand your feeling about strong winds. I think I will remember that sound forever. Tornadoes are very rare here, only 5 in 60 years. And for it to come in January is even more unusual. Thanks for caring. We appreciate it very much.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I have said prayers for you, your son, your neighbors, and your trees. This was a terrific story. Your advice is duly noted. Thank you. God Bless You.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Frank. We are incredibly grateful that no one died in that mess. Some were severely injured but recovering well. Thanks for the well wishes.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Happyboomernurse. I so appreciate that. Today I spoke to the owner of a local nursery. She is giving me a great price on trees. Some 5 feet tall Leland Cypress are only going to be a few dollars and last years fruit trees are only going to be $5. I am SO excited.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Hyphen, I am so thankful you and your son were not hurt. Your infomation on actions before and after a tornado is priceless. So many people still believe that opening a door helps save their home. If you remember last May we had a tornado hit my little town, destroying many homes. My home was damaged to the sum of twenty five thousand dollars. I lost an old oak tree. The insurance would not pay anything on the tree because it did not hit the house. It cost me eight hundred dollars to get it cut down and hauled away. When i wrote about it on hubpages, i had someone contact me offering a discount for repairs. I did not touch anything until I called a friend who was a contractor. He was here when the insurance adjustor arrived. I am positive that is why i received such good care. I must say that i am still frightened when a storm is coming, as i am sure you will be too. Your pictures tell the story so well . I was so happy about the little puppy. Take care my friend and blessings sent..

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Thrilled to hear you are all alright.

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girltalksshop 5 years ago

Oh how I remember those days of terror! Tornado warnings, green skies, hail and the sound like that of a freight train. I grew up in MI, so we knew to go to the basement on such occassions. Very scary!! I hate the sound of any heavy winds to this day, whipping around the house, even though I now live in the Pacific NW. We have had a few small tornadoes randomly here, but they are nothing like what I knew as a girl. I enjoyed your hub and relived the fear with you, as you shared your story. Voted up and useful! I was happy to hear you and your son, with the neighbor boy and his dog, were okay.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

my prayers goes out to you and your family.. you gotta be a strong person.. I've never expereinced one.. hurricanes are the only things we have up here.. but thank god no one was hurt Frank

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Thank you for sharing this informative and heartfelt hub that makes the reader feel they were right there with you and your son.

I have already started saying prayers for you, your son and your community and for your ongoing emotional healing as well as the repairs to property and replacement of trees.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Vellur. Yes, it is a terrible monster that destroys without remorse. We are very thankful for God's protection and for the love shown us afterward. I will never forget how sheltered we have been by people who don't even know us.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Senoritaa. It is slowly coming back together. I appreciate your support.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Molly. Thank you for your prayers. The neighborhood and we need them. That look when all the trees are gone is frightening isn't it? It really looks like the area was bombed and is unfamiliar. I know we can get lots planted and I am praying for supernatural growth. Thank you for your compassion.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello justateacher. Yes, you described it perfectly. I am so glad your home was spared. There have only been 5 tornadoes here in 60 years. This was the most fierce and destructive. It is an unforgettable display of power, isn't it?

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello hazelwood4. I do hope this helps others who are traumatized from a natural disaster. I was shocked how many people came to take advantage and honored by how many came to help. Thanks for reading and your comment.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 5 years ago from Dubai

It's a terible monster -the tornado. God is always there protecting us. I think we must believe and go on and on. You are very strong and brave. Kindness and charity makes the world go on and on.

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Senoritaa 5 years ago

So sorry to hear you had to go through all of that, but really glad to know you and yours are safe. I pray for those who have lost in the disaster.

mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 5 years ago from The Shire

Brenda, I'm so glad you and your son are okay. The Lord put his hand over your house. I'll remember your family and your neighbors in my prayers. Thank heaven no one died!

We get a lot of tornadoes down here too. One of my cousins died when a tornado hit his mobile home. And you're right about the trees -- after a tornado mows down all the trees the earth has a sad, "shaved" look, like it's been bombed or something.

Your hub just confirms my admiration of Samaritan's Purse. They have a wonderful ministry. I'm so glad you got the help you needed after this disaster!

Stay safe, and thank you for posting this important information.

justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

Hyphenbird - My prayers are with you and your town...I know first hand the horror of in Kansas it is a part of life...when I still lived in my hometown with my daughters and ex - we were in the path of two tornadoes...luckily our home was undamaged both times...the trees are very important - things look better in the summer with all the leaves, but in the winter you are reminded once again about the horror of the tornado once again...

Things do get back to normal though...

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello LABreshear. The tornado hit on January 11th about 6:15pm. I didn't put the date in the Hub to preserve the information as "evergreen". Thanks for the prayers. We are grateful and feel very blessed though still stunned.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Becky. It really is bad and the neighborhood will never be the same. I see houses that I never knew existed because the trees hid them. Like you said though, no one died and that is the greatest blessing. I will spend every extra dollar on trees. I see evergreens surrounding the yard and fruit trees, oaks and even a weeping willow in the future. I will get heavy drapes for the windows this summer. I have never put them up before because the trees shaded the windows. Thanks for coming by this sad Hub.

hazelwood4 profile image

hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

We had a horrible tornado in Owensboro, Ky in 1999, and thank the good Lord there were no lives lost here either. Thank you for sharing this helpful guide for preparing for and after a tornado.

LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Wow! So glad you are all safe! I might have missed it, but when did this happen? Sending prayers of healing and gratitude that nobody was hurt!

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Brenda, I am so thankful that no lives were taken. I am thankful that you got away from your living room windows. The damage was nothing to what that glass can do to you when it breaks. This is tragedy enough. The pictures posted on here are so heartbreaking.

I can see where one of the things that is needed are trees. They do so much to alleviate the heat during the summer months. Those who have never suffered through a Southern summer do not see this but I do.

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