Friday night's storm in St Charles, MO

I'm sure that many of you heard about the 3 tornadoes that hit my hometown on Friday night. We lost internet service after one of them took out a tower but they got it up and running last night and we are just fine! The sirens went off in the evening just as soon as I pulled my chilles for chilles rellenos out of the oven so we grabbed the kids, a few blankets and ran to the basement.

In the Midwest, the sirens go off all the time so it's a natural Midwestern thing to step outside and see what the commotion is about. Many of us will stand on the front porch and see if we can spot a tornado or wait until the barbecue pits are flying to take cover. It's absolute madness! When Daffny came to visit me last year, we had a tornado in St Louis and of course, we sat around watching the news like it wasn't that big of a deal. She's from New York and I'm sure she thought we had lost our damn minds.

On Friday night, 3 tornadoes hit St Charles. A tree went through my grandpa's roof and his front porch is collapsed. He doesn't have a basement so he did his best to stay safe. He said he could hear the tornado go over his house. Over 100 homes have been declared uninhabitable. These photos were taken Friday night and yesterday.

We had no damage at our house, just hail, strong winds and a lot of noise from the thunder but not far from home, in our old neighborhood, entire subdivisions were ripped to pieces. The purple dot is where we live now, the pink is the area of the worst damage.

We drove through the area yesterday. Huge sturdy oak trees were snapped in half, many landed on roofs. Almost every house had a tarp on the roof to protect the area that was damaged. I bet that every store in a 20 mile radius had sold out of chainsaws. Police and utility companies were working to keep streets blocked off and there seemed to be a lot of volunteers with gloves on to chop up the fallen trees and clean up debris. I saw several older ladies with tables set up for drinks and surprisingly a lot of smiling faces as they worked to get everything cleaned up. FEMA is on their way to assess the damage and help with clean up efforts.

Make an Emergency Plan Today
I write all of this today because if this hit a few miles down the road or decided to take a slight turn, this  would have been my neighborhood and it could happen to any us. Living in Missouri my whole life, I've seen plenty of homes of people that I know be hit by tornadoes. I ask everyone to please  take 10 minutes to make an emergency plan if you don't already have one. Most regions have natural disasters to deal with, be it flood, earthquake, hurricane, blizzard, etc. Sit down with the family and make a plan to keep safe and survive if the worst should happen.

Pj is a bit of a doomsday prepper so we have a lot of survival gear but the most important in our survival kit being flashlights, water, food and a couple of big hammers and hatchets to break down drywall, windows and climb out of debris. Also keep a neon colored flag or something in your kit so if you can't climb out, you may be able to make a hole in the debris and stick the flag out so search authorities can find you. Practice basic survival skills and take a first aid class. You don't have to build a bunker or anything. There are a lot of good ideas on the internet for a 5 gallon bucket survival kit, which can be tailored to be appropriate for your family and your type of natural disaster.

We are all thankful that no one lost their lives on Friday night. Only 8 people were injured and it was all minor. Houses are just stuff and stuff can be replaced.  Be smart, take cover and be prepared!

I recommend reading:
and check out some of the awesome survival skill boards on Pinterest.