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Tornado Survivor Prepares For Severe Weather

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, April 13, 2012

American Red Cross is urging people to have a disaster preparedness kit ready in a safe room in case of severe weather.

Glenda Carpenter is ready in case those warning sirens sound off. She lived through the 1999 Haysville tornado that destroyed her home.

"It was devastating. Even now, after 13 years, you still think about the things you've missed, all your keepsakes. You come up and there's just nothing left," said Glenda.

She remembers the evening of May 3rd, 1999, when an F-4 tornado wiped out the heart of the city of Haysville.

"I'm one of those that used to go outside and watch. Now, as soon as it starts showing on TV or the sounds, I'm already down in the safe room," she said. "I don't take it for granted because we only had a few seconds last time."

The photos of the aftermath reminded Glenda to put together her emergency preparedness kit.

"I've learned that you only end up with one pair of shoes some times so I had some extra shoes and stuff for my husband and I," she said.

Assembling a kit and having a plan have been noticeable differences that the Red Cross has seen when they respond to disasters.

"When we go out after a disaster, we can tell a noticeable difference in the people who had their supplies versus those who didn't," said James Williams, American Red Cross spokesperson in Wichita. "Your whole world is turned upside down after something like a tornado."

Although Glenda hates the thought of living through another tornado, she is preparing for the worst, while still hoping for the best.

"I just didn't want to take the chance of losing those keepsakes again so they're in the safe room. They'll be right there with me and the family," said Glenda.

For emergency-specific preparedness information, click here.

For a tornado safety checklist, click here.


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