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Has the storm prompted you to take emergency preparedness more seriously?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 14, 2006

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Photo of Evan Charles

“Yeah, I’d say it has. We don’t have a basement, and I woke up with no time to get anywhere else.”

Photo of Nora McCullough

“Hopefully it will. I always think of it right after, but then I don’t follow through on it.”

Photo of Shawn Jacobson

“No. I’m from Kansas man - come on.”

Photo of Elizabeth Newman

“Yeah. Now we’ve got our basement all set up and are ready to go down there at a moment’s notice.”

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outoftowner 9 years, 6 months ago

hey lj, it's getting to the point just living in Kansas we need to learn Spanish. Been to Emporia lately? Or Dodge City? LOL@oldenuf2byurdad - maybe your cats can share a carrier in an emergency!

kansas_prairieland 9 years, 6 months ago


Please! There's no place is this country that has "freak-free" weather. What happened here in Lawrence this past Sunday could happen (and I'm sure has happened) anywhere! And if it's not some sudden burst of wind...then it's a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, torrential rains, enormous hail, etc. etc.

badger 9 years, 6 months ago

For those of you concerned about coffee in the wake of the storm, I have three words for you:

Unbreakable French Press.

Z's Espresso had them a couple of years ago for less than thirty bucks, and Amazon carries them for less than 20. I have two for camping, and it's less hassle than trying to turn your coffeepot analog and MUCH tastier than instant or the coffee teabags (which often contain some real coffee and a fair bit of instant). Also for camping, I have one of those coolers that will keep ice frozen for five days. The last time my power went out for more than a couple of hours, I loaded the meat and dairy into it with the remainder of my ice and set it in a cool room. The meat was still hard-frozen the next morning.

Most of my 'disaster prep' doubles as camping gear. When the SO and I were facing the possibility that Rita would kick the heck out of Austin, we took an inventory of what we had on hand. With our hobbies of backpacking, car camping, and avid reading combined, we can live quite comfortably for up to a week without power, remaining clean, fed, caffeinated, and entertained. If the water is running but not potable, we can go two weeks, easily.

However, given that this is Texas, we probably should have more ammo on hand...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 6 months ago

We are going to buy a second cat carrier so we can get both of our kitties out.

We have no plan for saving the humans.

avhjmlk 9 years, 6 months ago

You guys are KILLING me!

We can stuff two of our kitties into one carrier (that way they can snuggle), but since we have 3, we actually have 2 carriers. Granted, considering the sizes of the behinds of my cats, I'm not sure I could carry two carriers plus our 3 cats at one time--lardbutts!

verity 9 years, 6 months ago

A flashlight you can recharge by winding is really handy. Don't have to worry about batteries going dead.

avhjmlk 9 years, 6 months ago

You can get flashlights now that will take AA, C, or D batteries. My parents have one. They're pretty nifty!

sunflower_sue 9 years, 6 months ago

And my family made fun of me when I brought my unbreakable french press camping!!! (And, yes, I got mine at Target). I should have just not let them have any but since we were playing our own little version of "Survivor," I was a little worried they might vote me off the island.

Chrissy Neibarger 9 years, 6 months ago

Too funny! Did LJW actually put that up as a legit pic of storm damage?!?

OldEnuf2BYurDad- I'm with you, one of our kitties had to be hauled in a duffel bag while the other got the comfy cat carrier. Needless to say we all know which one was in a better mood once it was all over.

What does one actually need for a "tornado kit"? A tornado will hit so fast that the you really dont' need anything while it's happening.. Is it just stuff to use while you're sitting in the dark waiting for it to happen?

Linda Aikins 9 years, 6 months ago

OMG - Thanks for leading me there. It was hard to find, and it is a hoot!

Kathleen Christian 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm from the East - personally I don't know how much more of these storms I can handle. There was no warning Sunday. I had just woken up and sat down on my couch to turn on TV then the power went out then I heard the wind whistling through the windows. As I went to close my storm window a blast of air hit me and knock the wind out of me. I knew then it was serious and grabbed my kid, the animals and headed to the empty apartment downstairs. Only after the worst of the wind did I hear the siren. Had it been an actual tornado instead of the downdraft I would not be here telling you about this.
Also, I was shocked to realize that poor building materials and structural building of the houses in this town. The place I live in was built in the 70s and I'm sure tornados existed then so why weren't these homes built with a shelter of somekind?
I'm thankful the house and the big tree in my front yard withstood the burst of wind that hit us, but I'm ready to pack and go back EAST. We never had weather like this back there.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 6 months ago

Katybleu - most people who have been in this area all their lives never experienced anything like this. I'm sorry you are wanting to move because of this. I think no matter where you run, there will be the natural disaster of the area. I'd much rather live here than face earthquakes and hurricanes.

And as you follow these more closely, you will see that no material is really safe. Look at the bricking on the church, or the huge trees uprooted. It's just a matter of bad luck, I guess!

massst 9 years, 6 months ago

looks like i missed the storm....hope every body was fine.

classclown 9 years, 6 months ago

Informed... I went and bought some of that coffee that comes in a tea bag like thing. ... For emergencies.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 6 months ago

Where is the picture of the pedestrian under the sign? I've looked seconds and seconds for it...

neopolss 9 years, 6 months ago

Yes, I am more prepared now. Last time I nearly missed the storm trying to get to my lawn chair in time. Next time, I will be ready, with a mini fridge, lawn chairs, weather radio, camera, cell phone, case of beer, balloons, a pit bull, fruitcakes, cigerettes, a wood stove, and some discreetly hidden marijuana.

YourItalianPrincess 9 years, 6 months ago

We have ours all ready to go. Big plastic box of this and that for about 3 to 4 days. A bit of cash set aside and a 5 inch tv/radio. I won't live anywhere in Kansas without a basement, so I'm glad we have one here.

The weather is crazy here.........its supposed to rain/snow this coming weekend. Haven't we had out six weeks of winter since the 2nd of Feb? Silly old ground hog and the weather people predicting the weather that way.

Does anyone know who jesshull is on Larryville. I would like to purchase the daycare things, but alas I can't get back on there. If you do post in Larryville, can you include your email address for those of us who can't seem to get back in there.

Have a great day everyone, the suns out and its going to be a nice day.

trinity 9 years, 6 months ago

i wanna ride a storm out with neo! my kinda preparations! :)

sunflower_sue 9 years, 6 months ago

Helllooooooo! What could any of us have done to be prepared for Sunday? That thing was here and gone before we had time to blink. I used to own a weather radio. Still do except now it sits at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. It went off at all hours of the day letting us know that there was a possibility of rain in such and such county. Horrible thing! Anyway, I have a place to go in the basement and if I have time to grab my kiddies, I'll go there. I guess I should have some emergency water and peanut butter down there but seriously, how many times has someone's house been taken away by a tornado and the people inside were heard to say: "Thank goodness we had that emergency tornado kit in the basement!" I do feel bad for those who lost power. That truly is a bummer...especially with little babes. (Been there, done that.)

I have to commend Brian Busby...who never once broke into my Sunday night TV shows with updates the way "We're all gonna die" Katie Horner does. Thanks Brian! You're the man!

juscin3 9 years, 6 months ago

Hubby and I talked about being prepared Sunday night. I woke up about 8:05am Sun. morn., heard the wind blowing, turned on the boob tube, hubby asked what the noise was, told him it was the wind, then told him that we were in a t-storm warning. Went to the front door, looked out, seen how windy it was, heard the sirens goin off. Turned on the weather radio, called father-he's a weather-storm spotter, said that he was callin in a tornado, hung up, got the kids and headed for shelter. We don't have a basement, and from the time we left to the time we got to shelter, it was really bad. Wind was blowing like crazy, of course we all seen what it was like. Trees were down, peoples belongings scattered everywhere. I think that we need to have some extra things stored away so we can just grab it and go. Can't do like what we done on Sunday. The thing that still bothers me is that it just happened all of a sudden. Hubby was shaking so bad he couldn't drive a block over and a block down. He said this was worse than a couple of summers ago. It wasn't nearly as bad. So yeah, we are goin to be prepared from now on. Can't wait till its too late...again.

Purell 9 years, 6 months ago

I loved the photo with the person under the sign. Thanks LJW!

tir 9 years, 6 months ago

I always dash for the basement when I hear sirens go off, but not just because of a severe thunderstorm warning. The sudden wind gusts on Sunday caught me off-guard, though, because it didn't look like the storm was even that close to where I live when the big blast hit. Maybe I'll have to run for the basement sooner next time.

But I think I'm going to invest in a generator big enough to power my fridge, a space heater and a few lights, because my neighborhood always seems to be near the bottom of Westar's list for power restoration whenever there's an outage. Freezing in the dark for two days while all your frozen food thaws out and rots gets old pretty quick.

badger 9 years, 6 months ago

As far as 'tornado kits' go, I have The Stuff I Grab While Running and The Stuff I Need if Citywide Power Fails.

The Stuff I Grab While Running is always in the same place, usually just inside my bedroom closet:

Keys/Wallet/ID with as much cash on hand as I can afford to keep (usually about 50-100 bucks depending on my solvency, but sometimes less), bag or backpack with 1 change of clothes and sample-size toiletries (which is actually just my 'grab and go' road trip gear in a clever disguise), insurance cards and policies as appropriate (in backpack), sack for stuffing the cat into (or carrier, but she actually seems more comfortable in the sack), sturdy shoes I can slip on and run in. I made copies of keys so if I set mine down when I came in the house there'd still be a set in my Grab Stuff bag. The cellphone lives next to my bed when I'm in it, and on my person when I'm awake, so that covers the basics for me.

It's also known as my The House is On Fire Kit. Mind you, I only ever grabbed it once, though I took the cat to safety a few times (During tornado-esque events I put the cat somewhere safe so I didn't have to try to find her in a hurry). My response to the sirens, once the cat is immobilized and sacked, is to (because I am a Midwesterner to the bone) run outside and look at the sky. I still have the Grab Stuff bag, but it's more for The House is On Fire now because tornadoes are a minimal worry.

If a tornado hit my house while I wasn't in it, I figured the cat would have to fend for herself and I'd have to do without spare pants until I could get some, but I did make copies of cards and policies and leave them with my mom, who lives in another state.

My post-disaster kit is my camping stuff if my house is OK, and friends and family or the Red Cross if my house is gone. Not having had a basement for most of my adult life, I never bothered stocking up with enough in a storm kit to provide for myself if the house went away as far as food and stuff. The last thing is that I try to keep at least 1/4 tank of gas in my car, because most pumps are electronic, and if citywide power goes out, I want to be able to get somewhere if I need to (and can) drive there.

Do other folks have Grab Bags? What do you keep in them?

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