To be honest, on Christmas Day, the tornadoes headed our direction kind of freaked us all out. Anna June is now old enough to understand what we've been talking about all these years. She's seen some (but not a lot) of damage here and there over the years, riding around town, and it is starting to sink in that, in a split second, everything, including us, could be gone.
So we cheerfully put on our helmets, got under pillows and blankets in our hallway (our safe place) and kept our eyes glued to the iPad screen while we watched the broadcast. Tears were shed when AJ had to use the bathroom - she did not realize that her bathroom is part of our safe place, too. I had to accompany her, and she was fine in a few minutes, but it was just hard to hear her ask, "Is it OK if I just pee in my pants?"
Sometimes, we need things that can make us feel safer, like helmets and weather alerts. Sometimes, we just need our mom and dad. In our case, we had all of those things, and we were as safe as we could possibly be.
I will admit that, although we have basic things like flashlights, candles, matches, lighters and some food in our pantry and some portable grills in our closet, we don't have a completely fleshed out emergency kit. But recent research at UAB has indicated that helmets help save lives or at least prevent serious head injury, so we visited the thrift store and invested in some inexpensive helmets to give us a little help in this area.
I hope your 2016 does not require a helmet, but get one, in case it does.
Do we want to be another Atlanta? (vote)
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