Mostly because my Mitten List is pretty much just a really long list of microbrew beer from Michigan I feel I need to drink. Which reminds me: I need to drink more beer.
And because, well, I never knew surviving (or not surviving) a tornado was even a possibility in Michigan. Before I moved here, I had no idea Michigan even got tornadoes. Isn’t Michigan too far north for that kind of thing? I mean, we’re practically Canada! I thought tornadoes were reserved for states farther south – you know, states where you can wear flip-flops year-round and order stuff like grits and fried alligator off the menu.
And then I spotted this sign in the geology building at the university where I work.
At first, I thought it was just a funny geologist joke. Not that it was particularly funny. But, you know, how geologists can be.
But then I asked around and found out that Michigan does, indeed, get tornadoes. I feel like geography really duped me on this one. I mean, sure, I expected some bad weather in Michigan – but, you know, like, snow and stuff.
I know snow. Sure, I don’t particularly like snow, but I know what to do when it shows up. (Basically, use it as an excuse to buy lots of boots and drink your body weight in hot chocolate. You’re welcome.)I don’t know anything about tornadoes. In fact, until this weekend, my working knowledge of tornadoes was based entirely off of The Wizard of Oz.
And then I woke up on Sunday to the news that there was a fifteen percent chance that Kalamazoo was going to be hit by a tornado.
At which point I started to do some research.
And by “research” I mean “Facebook.”
After posting a number of Facebook status updates about how I was totally going to die, a number of people responded with helpful suggestions on how to survive a tornado.
One friend suggested I drag a mattress into the hallway of my building and lie down underneath it. This seemed like a fun way to make a first impression on my neighbors, many of whom I haven’t met yet. But I wasn’t too keen on dragging my mattress anywhere as it’s huge and heavy. It’s also the most expensive thing in my apartment as it’s the only thing in my apartment that wasn’t found in a dumpster.
Another friend suggested I wear a helmet. I asked him if a laundry basket would do.
Other friends told me to get far away from any windows and bring lots of food and drinks.
Hide in a dark room with food and drinks?
This I could do.Once the wind and rain started beating against my windows, I grabbed a bag of mini-pretzels and a beer and headed to my bathroom where I sat in my bathtub with a laundry basket over my head.
So, basically, your typical Sunday night at home.
Luckily, we never did get hit by a tornado.
I didn’t even lose power.
Probably the worst thing that happened was when the public radio station I was listening to switched back to its “regular programming” and I had to listen to some financial guru discuss 401Ks for half an hour while I waited for updates on how I was totally going to die. (Hint: if the public radio station is giving you financial tips and not “GET UNDER A MATTRESS RIGHT NOW” tips, you’re probably not going to die anytime soon. Just saying.)
But, still, I think this means I can wipe tornadoes off my Mitten List.
Which means no more tornadoes are allowed in Michigan while I’m here.
You hear me, tornadoes? I won’t allow it.
Besides, I need to free up some of the space on my Mitten List for more beer.Have you ever experienced a tornado? Got any advice on what I should do in case the tornadoes don’t listen to me and show up again?