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Letter to Kate: Natural Disasters

In my lifetime, I’ve experienced wind and ice storms, flooding and a devastating tornado. In all of these cases, I’ve had to deal with the cleanup, and in some cases, the loss of electricity.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a home or a loved one because of a natural disaster. My heart goes out to those who have had that experience.

The worst disaster I’ve experienced was a tornado that ripped through my hometown when I was 9 years old. My family and I had just finished supper when the sirens blew. The reporter on TV urged everyone in town to take cover. We’d had tornado warnings before, but this time, the threat was real.

I remember huddling under a piece of plywood in the basement with my family. My dad was listening to the weather reports on his transistor radio, and when they reported which direction the tornado was headed, my mom asked if that meant us. My dad said it did, and I panicked. I thought it was the end.

After the tornado passed through our area and the “all-clear” was sounded, we ventured outside to inspect the damage. It looked like a bomb had hit our neighborhood. Fortunately, our house was spared major damage.

In the aftermath of the storm, neighbors and a nonprofit organization came with food, and relatives came to see if we were all right. We were without electricity, so a neighbor who had power offered to keep our perishable food.

It was a devastating experience – one I will clearly remember for the rest of my life – but the thing I’ll remember most is how everyone came together afterward to help those in need.