FIRST PERSON | DALLAS -- Today, I heard the thunder first. Then, I heard the sound that no one, especially not a new parent, wants to hear: the tornado siren.
You see, we live in a high-rise apartment building, and I am a stay-at-home mom. This was the first time since the birth of our baby that I've had to deal with a dire weather situation. And, panic set in as I realized that it was something that I would have to face alone. As a resident of downtown, I tend to pay attention when the sky grows dark over the city.
I grabbed my Blackberry to text my husband, but he had already texted me. He said that he was in the stairwell of his office building at Energy Plaza. It was at that point that I knew I had to go somewhere safe. My mind raced as I tried to figure out where to go. The stairwell of our apartment building locks as soon as you go in, so I didn't want to risk that. At 19 floors up, you have to figure out where the safest place is. I didn't want to go to the bottom floor because I didn't want to risk getting stuck in the elevator on the way down.
So, I settled on planting myself and our baby in the dining room of our apartment since it is an interior room with no windows. I grabbed the laptop, the phone, and a pacifier for the little one (hey, you've got to keep everyone happy, right?), and I logged on to two weather websites: weather.com and intellicast.com. It was my only way of keeping up with the tornado warnings while staying in a safe place.
Meanwhile, my mother in Florida called to check on me, and my husband called to find out if I was OK. It was a scary time for about 30 minutes, as I kept refreshing the websites that I was dialed into. Once the tornado warning deadline passed, and I took note of the direction in which the grounded tornadoes were headed, I felt that it was safe to leave the dining room.
I took a look outside and couldn't believe that people were walking around downtown. Then again, the tornado siren was no longer going off, so why would anyone be worried at that point? I felt increasingly safe as I read online that the tornadoes were moving towards the Fort Worth area, west of Dallas. All I kept thinking about was how glad I was to have gone grocery shopping early in the morning instead of waiting until the afternoon! But, really, what difference would that have made if a tornado had torn apart my building?
Read more first-person accounts of the tornadoes from the Dallas area:
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