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Open Thread for discussion of Oklahoma Tornado

As I write this, it’s too early to know how extensive the destruction in Oklahoma is. Property damage is immense, but there aren’t any reliable reports of casualties yet. Hopefully all Man Boobz readers and their loved ones in the area are safe.

Use this thread to discuss the disaster, and anything else that’s been concerning you of late.

EDITED TO ADD: The death toll has now reached 51, and is expected to rise. now stands at 24.

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thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

They are sounding sirens here in Joplin.

Aaliyah
8 years ago

@thebionicmommy

I hope you’re in a safe place wherever you are! =[

Aaliyah
8 years ago

Seconding what pecunium said about earthquakes being somehow less scary than tornadoes, and I’ve been through all the big earthquakes in S CA since the late 1960s. I only lived through one tornado warning when I was a kid visiting relatives in the upper midwest, and that nervous waiting part really stayed with me.

Yeah, I’ve experienced a few minor earthquakes here in N CA, and none of them have terrified me as much as the tornadoes I’ve seen from a distance.

AK
AK
8 years ago

My thoughts are with all you guys in tornado country. I hope everyone is okay.

Putting them in some kind of cage is the best thing one can do to protect their cats, dogs, etc.

For dogs at least, if you crate train them properly, it can also give them an added sense of security during a scary time. It can be pretty amazing too. I had to train my dog to ride on a motorboat (we’re called to do water searches fairly often, so she really had to learn to relax on a boat) and after several unsuccessful attempts, we decided to put her crate in the boat and try that. She was totally relaxed and after a few goes in that, she was able to ride outside comfortably as well. Now she works on boats regularly and it’s no big deal. That’s the most dramatic example I can think of, but I know my old dog has developed a fear of thunderstorms as he’s lost his hearing and now when they blow in, he goes and sleeps in his crate. If he can’t get in there for some reason, he whines and paces in fear until the storm passes.

AK
AK
8 years ago

NBC News is saying at least 10 deaths confirmed by the OKC medical examiner.

SpleenyBaggage
SpleenyBaggage
8 years ago

Best wishes to everyone who is in harm’s way – I’ll be thinking of you and yours from here in Sydney, AU. Big warm internet hugs to those who want/need them.

La Strega
8 years ago

I went to school in Kansas, so I’ve seen a tornado. Thankfully, we were able to get into a cellar. I’m up in the PNW (earthquake country). I’m not sure which is scarier.

cloudiah
8 years ago

CNN just said 37 deaths, 7 of whom were children from the elementary school in Moore that was hit. My heart goes out to all their families.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@cloudiah

Oh fuck. I was hoping it’d be a lot less (more of like none) since first thing I heard was ‘no confirmed deaths’ and idk being optimistic. That’s terrible 🙁

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

My parents and brother are all okay. Their storm had a funnel cloud, but it didn’t go down to the ground. Joplin did okay, too. A tornado in Ottawa County OK was heading NE towards us and Neosho, but I guess it roped out or lifted. They had the sirens go off three times here and we just came out from our closet. So I am happy that all of us are safe and the squall line is now east of us. I am worried for anyone still in the path, though.

For Moore, the newest death toll is now 51, and still counting. I hope they can get more of those trapped children out as quickly as possible. I could never imagine the fear of the parents of those children, either. I’ve already heard reports of teachers using the bodies as shields for the students, and I’m proud of them for being such heroes in the crisis.

I wish I could be there already and bring some food or clothes to the people who’ve just lost everything, too. I relate very well to what those folks are going through.

Aaliyah
8 years ago

For Moore, the newest death toll is now 51

That makes it the deadliest tornado in Moore since 1999. =[ How horrible.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Glad you’re all okay, thebionicmommy, and thank you for updating us. I am sure the teachers and other adults at the school did everything they could to keep those kids safe.

Is the Red Cross the best place for donations, you think?

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

@cloudiah,

Yes, I’d say at this point it would help the most to donate money to Red Cross either through their website or via text message. I am sure than in the coming months, we will hear about specific needs they have about rebuilding, too, but for now they’ll need money for search and rescue efforts. I’ll try and see if people set up charities for survivors’ medical needs here in the next few days, too.

The first needs will be money for search and rescue, medical costs, and funeral arrangements. After some time, they’ll need money to rebuild infrastructure, schools, and hospitals. If you hear about congress people discussing FEMA spending, it’s also helpful to contact them and let them know you want them to vote yes on helping disaster victims.

Some other great disaster charities are Convoy of Hope, Operation BBQ Relief, Camp Noah, and their local food pantry run out of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Moore. Some of them are operated by evangelicals, but they still do a great job reaching out to the victims and making their lives better.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

Oh my mind and heart are with those poor families. I was only in a tornado warning area for a warning once, and it was terrifying.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I have found out more information about helping Moore from my local news. A team from Joplin is already on the way to Moore to help their city officials handle all of the duties they have right now. I remember city officials from New Orleans did the same for us in 2011.

If you live anywhere near Oklahoma City, the Red Cross is trying to get as many volunteers as possible to help them run their shelters for displaced residents. You can get more information or sign up at Four States Homepage The charity Restore Joplin is now printing Restore Moore T-shirts. You can buy one and they give 100% of proceeds to recovery efforts. Restore Moore shirts

katz
8 years ago

Hang in there, everyone in tornado country. Especially you, Kendra; I know how traumatizing it must be hearing about all this.

katz
8 years ago

When I was 9-years-old, I got severe lilapsophobia (irrational, excessive fear of tornadoes and hurricanes) as a result of being “teased” by some of my family members. They instilled in me the fear of a tornado killing me, my loved ones, and my cat. I found that thought so horrific that they were amused by my reaction, so they continued to bully me until I gained a fear of tornadoes so severe that it quickly became a full-fledged phobia. I still have it, although it never gets triggered these days because I now live in California, which pretty much never gets tornadoes.

Aaliyah, I can never get over what assholes your family are to you. When I was little, I was afraid of volcanoes (I lived in Seattle), but my parents explained to me why I didn’t have to be afraid. I can easily imagining it turning into a phobia if they’d tried to exacerbate it instead.

Aaliyah
8 years ago

Aaliyah, I can never get over what assholes your family are to you.

I understand why you feel that way, but honestly, I don’t have any grudges towards any of them (except my father). After a while, the family members I was around (my mom and my older siblings) did try to comfort me when my phobia was triggered. I remember when my mom got me a weather radio for my 10th birthday. And my mom used to get upset at my brother when I was begging him to check the weather on his computer and he wasn’t letting me. And eventually after all of that they became more sympathetic and sensitive.

Granted, they never actually tried to help me get rid of it via counseling or something similar (what I actually needed). But I personally don’t want to label them as assholes so easily. While I’m trying not to be too apologetic, I’m sure that they had no idea how to deal with my phobia because it’s rather uncommon to find someone with lilapsophobia in Colorado (where I was living at the time), given that Colorado isn’t very tornado-prone. Like most people they probably believed it was a phase, not a real phobia. Or maybe they didn’t want to admit to themselves that I had a real psychological problem at such a young age.

Moreover, while two of the three people who caused my phobia definitely deserve some blame, my brother, who was the other person, probably didn’t realize how damaging it was for him to join in. After all, he already was used to teasing me for fun. And I know that everyone who mistreated me during the worst of my phobia has apologized at least tacitly. I know they recognize that they mistreated me – I know for a fact that they are remorseful – and for me that means that I can’t bring myself to call them assholes.

Anyway, I hope I’m not coming off as upset at you or anything. It’s true that I have a lot of reprehensible family members, but my mom, my siblings, my step-dad, a few relatives from my dad’s side of the family, and my mom’s side of the family are all wonderful people and I cherish all of them.

Aaliyah
8 years ago

@Me

I understand why you feel that way, but honestly, I don’t have any grudges towards all of my family members, even the ones who (unintentionally or sometimes otherwise) exacerbated my phobia.

Fixed

BigMomma
8 years ago

All the hugs, I feel sick just reading about this. Keep safe, all of you xxx

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Internet donuts, gluten free if you need them, hugs, kitties and baby photos.

I was three and a half when a tornado grazed my family. I don’t think the funnel cloud passed closer than a mile from us, but it tore shingles off the roof and knocked down this beautiful shade tree in the back yard. Nobody got hurt.

I seem to recall there was another tornado when I was in elementary school. I certainly remember heading for the basement of the dorm building when I was a freshthing at college.

Despite the fact that tornadoes have not hurt me or my loved ones, I am scared witless by them.

Earthquakes, meh. Earthquakes happen to Other People. I grew up in the Bluegrass, the closest fault line hasn’t been very active in eons, and I live in Tennessee. We get temblors that barely register.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@Aaliyah: I can’t tell for sure, but is your new Gravatar Lina Inverse?

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Thanks, Katz. I do think its kind of unnerving to hear all the storm stories and see the pictures of destruction coming out of Moore. I know it will be more intense going there this weekend, too, but I can handle it. It’s much easier to be on the side of helping other people with their disaster than to be the person dealing with the disaster.

Last night, my son wrote his own meteorologist report after we got the all clear. It says,

“Weather Report
This was at night.
Please be saif.
looks like pepol in oclohoma herping from there tornada ef5
joplin seek sheter be safe in your sheter
if you have baby kip hem safe
Branson keep safe in your hotell”

I thought that was really sweet that he’s concerned for people and made a report to try to help. He says he wants to be a meteorologist when he grows up, too.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

@Pecunium,

I can still recognise, “tornado sky”, and when one started to form right above the quonset huts were were outside of (summer ’93, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri), I was as scared/nervous as I ever got at Basic Training. People shooting next to me/over my head (which included other recruits) and tossing grenades didn’t bother me as much as the (short-lived) dark nipple reaching down from the clouds, only to change its mind.

It’s a small world. My dad did his basic training in Ft. Leornard Wood in the 60’s. He did the ROTC program to help him go to college.

Yeah, if I were alive in an earlier age I’d be making sacrifices to the god of tornadoes.

No kidding. I’m the same way. I even have some superstitions about them, even though I know superstitions don’t help.

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