I’d like to start by saying: We’re OK! We really appreciate the emails, texts, Tweets, Facebook messages, and so on. We made it out with little damage and are really counting our blessings. Many in our neighboring communities did not fare so well. My beloved state and home is hurting right now, and there are many who did not make it through the storms. My heart goes out to all affected by yesterday’s destructive weather.
Gardendale made it out OK for the most part. Our sister city, Fultondale, looks like a war zone. Had the tornado that hit Birmingham been just a few miles northward, that would’ve been us. But it wasn’t, I have to keep telling myself. We were really lucky. We have many friends in other affected communities: Cullman, Tuscaloosa, Prattville, Warrior, Huntsville, downtown Birmingham. This particular system hit all the way up and down the state, leaving massive destruction in its wake. We had plenty of warning, but how do you prepare for an F5 tornado?
It just goes to show that no matter how prepared you think you are, it’s never enough. I’ve found that a smart phone is no replacement for a weather radio or battery-operated radio and stock of flashlights. That said, I have to give kudos to ABC33/40 for their nice weather app. I’m a big Fox6 fan, but found 33/40’s easier to use when we lost power. I was able to still get streaming video and weather updates …
… at least until the cell towers died. :tongue1_tb:
But seriously, there’s still a lot of folks sitting in the dark right along with us; or worse, have no home to come back to. Please keep my fellow Alabamians in your thoughts and/or prayers. And for anyone looking for resources to help (or for help), here’s what I’ve found so far:
To donate to disaster victims in Alabama:
- Online: go to www.alredcross.org and click on the “donate now” link on the homepage
- Call: 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and you will be prompted to a menu that includes financial donations
- Text: “Red Cross” to 90999. A response will include two options for donations, either to Japan or for Disasters: domestic and spring storms.
To get in touch with local chapters:
- Northern Alabama http://www.redcrossrelief.org/
- Mid-Alabama (Birmingham) http://www.alredcross.org/general.asp?SN=8618&OP=8619&IDCapitulo=DRGYJ0Q5XZ
- Central Alabama (Montgomery) http://www.montgomeryarc.org/
- Southern Alabama http://www.redcrossalcoast.org/
Find a Red Cross shelter near you:
For storm survivors: Register yourself as “Safe and Well:”