Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stormy Night Social Night

I'm sitting here tonight with intermittent power, listening to the rain and thunder crashing outside. It's night two of a three-day long tornado siege that is raging across the South. Twice so far tonight I've huddled the kids into the bathroom as tornado sirens wailed and winds howled around our home.

The irony is, I moved to Tennessee six years ago when I was fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Had I known then that I was running from a hurricane state to a state known for tornadoes, I might have kept going.

I'm staying logged on to Twitter and Facebook as much as possible because it's the best way to keep in touch with friends and make sure everyone is safe. And since the satellite TV signal goes out in even a slight wind, I can track the storms and tornado paths and know when it's time to run.

Stormy, scary nights have become social media events.

Earlier this afternoon I posted to Twitter and Facebook "tonights yoga practice is knowing that teaching class isn't worth going out in dangerous weather & not being bothered by those who disagree." Most didn't disagree with me and my students were glad I let them off the hook to go out and drive in this weather just to get to yoga class.

The storm texts began about dinner time.

"You guys OK up there? No power down here"

The TV wasn't working anymore so I logged onto Facebook from my iPhone. There was our local weather channel tracking the tornado heading my way. Once the kids were safely huddled in the bathtub I went out on the front porch with my oldest to watch for the funnel cloud.

"Do you hear the sirens? R those for us?"

Yes! I texted back. Grab the baby and get to the bathroom. But put your shoes on first in case you have to walk over broken glass.

Darn Southern newbies! By next year they'll be standing on the front porch watching the storm roll in too.

Once I decided it was time to get off the porch and get in the bathroom, I saw a Tweet from a friend that the river was beginning to overflow and they were moving their electronics to the upstairs of their house.

"Hard decision -if tornado hits want stuff downstairs, flooding upstairs."

You gotta go with upstairs. If a tornado hits you can just kiss your iPad goodbye. But if it floods maybe it can be saved if it's upstairs.

The tornado party continued on Facebook once power returned.

          "Power lines down on Highway 51."
          "Half-dollar size hail down here."
           "Power out thru most of Millington and Arlington"
"Alright I'm off to bed. Someone call my cell phone when the flooding starts in Atoka."

We've got another 12 hours or so of this so I'm off to try and rest between thunder bursts myself. I'm not worried about missing a chance to run for the bathroom - I'm signed up for automatic weather alerts. If a tornado is in my immediate area every phone in this house will ring and alert me.

Social media and technology take a little bit of the unknown out of the storms and provide a little bit of piece of mind.


  1. Storm watch has become high drama, I hope some got a canoe or kayak from Santa this year, stay safe!

  2. Ha! Yes! I made the list of things going on of fb last night. I normally don't join in the weather talk during the storms. But you're right, when the tv goes out it's the best way to know what's going on with the feed from friends and news stations. Plus, it's nice to see that everyone updating in and some trying to make light of the situation. Makes it less scary to feel like you're surrounded by others.

  3. i remember that stuff from living in nebraska. power of the Earth is a great reminder of our smallness. And it also makes for fun family nights!