I've been reading the blog, Bless Our Hearts and the author describes how preparations are being made for an upcoming hurricane and I got thinking about how, depending on where you grew up, or where you live now, there are storms you may never come in contact with.
People in Florida might be boarding up windows, or filling containers with water, or worrying about losing power. Here in Ontario we don't worry about hurricanes (obviously, our proximity to the ocean is too far away), the same way that Floridians don't worry about white outs. I worry about people being out on the roads in a blizzard and getting caught in a white out where they don't even know what side of the road they are on, where they are afraid to stop because other people can't see them until it is too late, and where they could end up in the ditch without a hope of being rescued until the blizzard calms down.
Some people live with a fear of flooding. When we were driving around in England we commented on how the roads are so low with hedges or stone walls on either side. If they got heavy rain, the water would just end up making the road into a river (I would imagine, although I am not certain if it is a real threat or not, however I do remember flooding in the U.K. a couple of years ago). Our roads are raised up higher than the land around them so that rain runs off, and snow can be removed and left at the sides of the road and in the ditches.
There are some areas where tornadoes are a big concern. When I was about 12 years old, a tornado (or perhaps tornadoes) ripped through where we lived. It skipped over our house, but took out farms, bushlots, hydro towers, trees around us. It was fairly widespread and there hadn't been a tornado like that for a long time. It was quite newsworthy. It has caused me to watch the sky in certain circumstances and to respect the weather. I can't imagine what it is like to live in the area deemed "tornado alley". A colleague has a brother who lives in Missouri and apparently tornado sirens go off with some frequency. Many of these houses do not have basements. I know that I would head to the basement if there was the threat of a tornado, so I can't imagine what you do if you don't have one.
What about other parts of the world? Are sandstorms an issue for some people? Lightning strikes? Freezing rain? When bad weather hits frequently, do you become complacent? Do people ignore the tornado warnings because it has become like the boy who cried wolf? Do people choose to tough it out, rather than evacuate? Even though snow storms and bad driving conditions are a very real part of our lives here, I must admit I do not have an emergency kit in my vehicle. I don't have a flashlight, or flares or water (it would freeze!). I do have a blanket, but not a great one (left over from cool evenings at the side of a soccer field). I almost always have a hat and mits if I should have to get out and walk any distance.
What about you? What is your bad weather? What is the worst you faced? Are you even prepared?
I certainly hope that those people who are affected by the impending hurricane are fine, don't have too much damage, don't loose power for too long, and know that their family members are safe as well.