Blizzards, floods, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, wildfires, and thunderstorms all add to the memories. Not all family history or folklore needs to be amusing. Did you have any family rituals associated with preparations for tornado or hurricane season such as drills or rotating the emergency food supply? We used to keep our hurricane kit in the hall closet in a big plastic garbage can (a new one, of course) and rotate the canned food once a year. If we were ever in a position where we were depending on it we didn’t want it to be hopelessly out of date. It also got the kids involved so they understood the concept of preparedness and also added some suggestions to the food involved.
I knew a family who spent a hurricane gridlocked on the freeway after waiting until the last moment to evacuate. I never forgot that vicarious experience and made sure when subsequent severe storms arrived I was one of the first ones out. A month after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Hurricane Rita was bearing down on Houston with all the delicacy of a freight train. Did we stick around? Ya think? Nope, we were enjoying lakefront living in the Hill Country watching miles upon miles of backed-up traffic on satellite TV while those slower to decide sat stuck on the freeways.
What storms or natural disasters have you experienced? What did you learn from them? What experiences will stay with you forever? What bonding took place with others sharing the same event? Did it bring out the best or the worst of mankind? If you lost everything, what was the recovery like? Who are the ones who helped whom you’ll never forget?
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