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The Good and the Bad Side of Life

Updated on September 30, 2014
Mom at my sister's bbq
Mom at my sister's bbq

My mom lost her home in a recent storm. A tornado dropped a tree on her apartment when she wasn't home.

Mom is almost 80 years old. She is on a fixed income and lives in public housing. She’s not into material things, so by choice she owns very little.

I can’t help but wonder how she really feels at the loss of the few things that she has. Mom is not good at expressing herself. I have no way to know how upset she is because of the loss of her possessions even though she was planning to give them away, anyway. I imagine, although she won’t say so, that it must have been a blow to her sense of security and an affront to her independence.

It makes you stop and think. Mom was at a concert at her church when the storm hit her area. I can literally thank God that she wasn’t home at the time. And I can also thank God that she has so many children, so that we can care for her until things straighten out.

I am reminded once again to pray for the thousands of people that have become homeless recently by violent weather.

It is amazing how each action of the universe provides us with equal reasons to be mournful and thankful at the same time.

Oklahoma Tornado - Scenes of devastation from the Moore (22.05.2013)

By Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

5-20-2013 Moore Tornado Coverage (KWTV)

Oklahoma Tornado Damage (Moore, Oklahoma - May 20, 2013)

By NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


I wrote this page about my mother a while ago, but in the wake of the stormy weather over the past few years I think there is something more to say.

My mother was lucky. In her case, there was only one small tornado. It lasted only a few seconds, and instead of destroying an entire neighborhood it only ripped out a tree that landed on one apartment building. No one was hurt. The outcome actually turned out well for those involved because they were given a better place to live.

Over the last few years, we have survived tornadoes and hurricanes that have left mass destruction. For those who managed to survive, the extreme good and the extreme bad of such situations could not be more evident. They are lucky to be alive, but very much was lost. There will be a tomorrow for these people, but it won't be the same. Some things they can never get back. The future is what we make of it, so let's make it the best we can.

As for those of us who did not experience this devastation, we need to realize that we are not exempt from the possibility of suffering a similar fate in the future. Let's plan now to give our survival the best possible chance.

Here are a few quick tips to give us a leg up in case disaster strikes our area:

  • Get to know your area. Know what your community is susceptible to and be prepared in case it should strike.
  • Go through your insurance papers. Make absolutely certain that you understand your coverage. Ask your agent to explain in detail any clauses in your contract that are not clear to you.
  • Develop an escape plan. If you are in an area prone to flooding, make sure you are able to listen for the weather warnings so you know when to evacuate. Get a boat. Get life jacket. If you're in an area prone to tornadoes, you also need to be aware of how to listen for the warnings. Know where to go and what to do should a tornado drop in front of you. If possible, put a shelter in your basement. The best way to survive is be to be actively informed.
  • Make sure that you know where the shelters in your area are. Know how to get in touch with agencies that will reach out to survivors.

Most of all, remember that if you survived the storm you have the best gift of all. You have a second chance. Reach out to those around you and make the best of it.

By Mark Wolfe (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Mark Wolfe (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Things You Need

Are you Prepared?

  • Do you have enough water?
  • Can you get to any life-saving medicines quickly?
  • Do you have a generator? If not, do you have enough batteries, lanterns, and battery operated communication devices?
  • Do you have enough stored food for each person to last at least two weeks?
  • Do you have some sort of storm shelter where your survival gear is kept?
  • Do you have a way to keep small children calm? Do you have few books, coloring books with crayons? Perhaps you have a few toys?
  • Do you have enough blankets to keep out the cold?
  • Do you have an escape plan?

© 2010 Vanessa Kristovich


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    • purpleveil profile image

      Vanessa Kristovich 5 years ago from Vineland,NJ

      How have the recent storms affected you living situation with your elder relatives?