Monday, September 24, 2018

Effects of a Tornado, and Realizing We Need To Be More Prepared

(photo taken by my husband a few months ago, not from September 21)
Living in the Ottawa area, I have always felt pretty safe in terms of natural disasters. The part of the city we live in isn't near water, so flooding isn't likely to happen. We get the odd earthquake, but nothing super big and damaging. There has been a random tornado warning over the years, but other than a little bit of high wind and hail, no touchdowns or real damage.

Until now. Last Friday, there were tornado warnings for our area. Late afternoon saw some pretty high winds and rain, and a tornado touched down just a bit North of us - 20 minute drive away. It was categorized as an EF-3, and it touched down in 3 areas (Kinburn, Dunrobin and Gatineau). A little while later, an EF-2 touched down about 15 minutes east of us.

Many areas of the city were without power for hours (some for less than 8, and others 48hours +). We were "lucky", and only out for about 22 hours. Other than some minor inconvenience, we were totally fine.

Seeing the footage of the areas hit by the tornadoes is heartbraking. Knowing that people lost their homes, vehicles, and pets. Hearing about the people that were hospitalized with injuries (thankfully, I haven't heard of any deaths yet, but there are some pretty serious injuries) - is absolutely devastating.

Many I have spoken with felt the same type of security as I did, and likely did not take the tornado warnings as seriously as we should have.

It has also made me realize just how important it is to be prepared.

We had lots of propane for the BBQ, so were able to make breakfast on the side burner Saturday morning, and boiled water for a neighbour so they could make tea.

We had lots of non-perishables that we could eat (crackers, bread, cereal, peanut butter, potatoes, rice). May not be the most nutritious meals, but food to keep us going. We made sure to not open the freezer, so that hopefully all the meat and food we had in it would stay frozen.  The fridge, we didn't open until the next morning, when we knew most items would have to be tossed anyways. Our eggs were still super cold, and the butter was still fine too.  We tossed the pepperoni, cheese and a few other items that we were worried about.

We were able to use our phones as flashlights, and since we had gas in our vehicles could power up to make sure we didn't lose charge.

What I do need though, is an emergency preparedness kit. I plan on putting together a small bin with flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, some bottled water (our water supply was fine, but depending on what happens, it might not be), blankets, matches or lighter).

If you want to contribute to those that have been affected by the recent events, you can donate to the redcross.

As hard as it is being without power (when we are so used to it), it really is just a minor, minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. The hydro workers and first responders worked so hard this weekend to get things cleaned up and power restored. It does NOT go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am sure that their families were missing them, and also worried for their safety while they were trying to get things restored for the rest of the city.

3 comments:

  1. I've also realized that we need to be more prepared as well! We need to get an emergency kit and keep it in our basement! And we also need one for the car

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  2. Debbie White-BeattieNovember 15, 2018 at 10:27 PM

    I've got an emergency kit that I put together with the emergency list that they have on the RED CROSS website. I hope I never need it but I'm covered if I do. I even have one for our animals.

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  3. It is great to be prepared, you just never know when something bad is going to happen, we were without hydro for 3 days and lost a lot because of our sump pump we ended up with a flood in our basement also, that was a big eye opener!

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