As a lifelong Midwesterner, I’ve always had to deal with the specter of tornadoes. I grew up with tornado drills at school, and the occasional midnight jaunt to the basement.
But it wasn’t until I moved to southern Indiana that the threat really began to seem real. We are right smack in the middle of tornado alley. During the spring and summer months, almost every major storm brings with it a tornado siren or two. And we routinely get reports of touchdowns far too close to home for comfort.
And people? It all freaks me the hell out. My vivid imagination can all too easily picture this happening to our home:
Off the top of my head, I can think of five reasons why a tornado siren turns me into an irrational pile of gibbering goo:
You get no warning. The only good thing about hurricanes? You usually know when they’re coming days before they get there. With a tornado? You’re lucky if you get five minutes. That doesn’t leave much time for rounding up people and animals and corraling them all in the bathroom.
Those without a basement are out of luck. Our town is built on top of a bed of limestone. Which means basements are not easy to find (at least in our price range). So the only “protection” we have against tornadoes is a half bath, no bigger than a closet. And honestly? I’m not sure it would do any good at all if we got a direct hit.
There’s nothing you can do to prepare. Again with the hurricane example: When you get the news that one is on the way, you can board up your windows and secure supplies. Not so with a tornado. All you can do is huddle together and pray.
They always seem to strike at night. I know that’s not strictly true, but it seems to be from my perspective. And there’s nothing scarier than being kicked out of bed by the sound of a tornado siren. Plus, waking up a baby? Is hell on earth.
The weather that surrounds a tornado warning? Is almost as bad. House-rattling thunder. Tree-flattening winds. Flooding rains. Golf ball-sized hail. It all adds up to one hell of a mess—even if the tornado comes nowhere near you.
So, yeah. I hate tornadoes. And there’s really no point to this post except to complain about how much I hate tornadoes. Sorry about that. So now it’s your turn. What’s your least favorite kind of weather?