She raced up the basement stairs. Breathlessly she threw open the door and greeted her husband.
“We’re under a tornado warning, Bob. Better come to the basement,” she announced with alarm.
“Yeah, I know,” he responded as he leapt from the pickup truck. Looking around, he said,
“I don’t see anything.” With confidence, he walked into the house. Charlene returned to the safety of the basement. She sat alone for several minutes, listening to the weather radio. Finally, she concluded, “If he feels safe enough to be upstairs, I guess I’ll join him.” Reluctantly, Charlene climbed the basement stairs.
For many years Charlene feared thunderstorms and tornado watches and warning. She had good reasons for her fear. She’d lived through a couple of tornadoes. Her husband didn’t seem concerned with the watches or warning. Charlene felt foolish for fearing the storms. She’d prayed about it, but she still had the nagging fear.
As she reached the main floor, she noticed Bob was warming his supper in the microwave oven. She walked to the living room. Still quite concerned, Charlene looked at the window. Swirling across the bean field was a funnel cloud.
“Basement!” She yelled and she was almost to the door.
“What?” Bob asked nonchalantly.
“Basement! Now!” She shouted. Charlene watched her unperturbed husband place his plate on the table, walk to the window and look out.
She was half way down the stairs when she heard Bob, a man of few words, calmly exclaim,
“Yeah.” That being said, he joined her in the safety of the basement.
One would think after this experience, the Foster family would make preparations for a disaster. But no, they didn’t.
It was May 10, 2003 when the need for disaster preparedness was quickly brought home to them. A tornado touched down south of town and again east of the town. Many people lost their homes. The Fosters learned their friends had lost their home, their nephew’s family house was destroyed, their brother and mother’s homes sustained heavy damage.
After observing the grieving the loss of their homes, personal possessions their friends experienced, it became apparent that they needed to prepare themselves for disasters.
“Charlene,” Bob began. “I want you to buy a fire resistance safe and file all our important papers in it.”
Charlene thought, “Boy, he is really serious about this.”
“Okay, what do you consider important papers?” She asked and she was taking notes.
“I think you should include wills, insurance policies, deeds, copies of our credit cards.” He paused, and then continued, “We should keep a list of our medications, the dosage, prescribing doctors, insurances, etc. in our wallets, too.”
“You certainly are being cautious, aren’t you?” Charlene was surprised he was taking this seriously. When she’d mentioned it several years earlier, he’d laughed at her suggestion.
“Oh, yes. I saw what the Holmes families had to go through and I don’t want us to have to do that, too. I think we should do a household inventory, too.”
“Ugh!” Charlene thought, “I’ll probably have to do that.”
“How do suggest we do that?” She asked, dreading his answer.
“The easiest way would be to video tape our belongings. Everything.”
Dismayed, Charlene asked, “Everything?”
“Yes, everything. And, we need to keep documentation of what we buy. If anything ever happened to our home, we’d need the documentation for insurance purposes.”
Charlene was overwhelmed with the tasks that lay ahead, but she knew Bob was right. God had protected them. The tornado that destroyed their friends’ homes was a wake-up call for the Fosters. The next day she and Bob began preparing their home and their lives for a disaster they prayed would never occur.
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