Tag Archives: Tornado Alley

The Drag Test

When I worked at summer camp, not revealing how many years ago, we had a swimming pool. Lifeguards did the work they needed to do. Camp Yorktown Bay, where Michael worked this summer, has a nice lake and therefore they had to practice and perfect the Drag Test.

During training week, the staff were required to find the “dummy” drowning camper nicknamed Luke Skywalker within a certain length of time. As with all drownings, every second counts. Assuming the camper was underwater for two minutes prior to the alert being sounded that a child was missing in the lake, the staff now have only 2 minutes left to find the child before permanent brain damage and so forth takes over.

Michael described in detail the work of the staff divided into three groups: divers, swimmers and walkers. Staff were assigned to their appropriate group based on their skill level in the water. Michael, of course, ended up as a walker. His description of the walkers linking arms and going through the shallow part of the lake step by step searching for Luke Skywalker definitely made me feel like I was there experiencing it for myself.

The precision and efficiency the staff is required to achieve before campers actually arrive is impressive. What if we put such practices into our parenting? When was the last time your family did a fire drill – and took it seriously? If you live in Tornado alley, or even if you don’t, do you know what to do? We expect summer camps to protect our children and to hire competent staff before we entrust our precious offspring to their care. Is there a need for a “drag test” in your home?

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Safe

Their house was destroyed.

Tuesday morning, I finally got in contact with one of my aunts in the Oklahoma City area to learn of the family. My aunt and uncle lost their home. My cousin and his family rode out the twister in their cellar. Their house sustained damage to the windows and such. It was so good to hear they were alive!

As I watched reports later that day, officials said please make contact with your families to let them know you are safe, so we aren’t looking for you. We need to concentrate our efforts on those who really are still missing. How important it is to let someone know you are safe!

I took this information to heart and added a tornado app to my smart phone as I also live in a Texas section of Tornado Alley. Last night it was our turn to listen to incredible storms and sit under a tornado watch, waiting to see if one would touch down. It is important to be prepared. It is important to stay connected.

Maybe you haven’t been through a tornado. Maybe you haven’t even seen so much as a bolt of lightning lately, but is there anyone you need to connect with? How long has it been since you took the time to tell some distant relatives, hey, I’m okay. How are you?

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