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Wednesday
Sep082010

Civil Defense

We continue with the great fun of hurricane season here in The Humidity AllSpark.  So far the misses have been satisfyingly close, but I must say I could do with a good old-fashioned tornado warning.

Not while I'm driving, of course, but ain't nothin' like an utter pants-crapping freakout by all four local meteorologists.  Back home in Cincinnati, there are no hurricanes to worry about, nor tsunamis or volcanoes, so everybody makes do with tornadoes and the occasional light flurry activity ("STOCK UP ON ESSENTIALS GATHER YOUR LOVED ONES AROUND YOU AND PREPARE FOR THE WHITE BLOWY DEATH.")

Warning technology has improved since I was nephew aged, although I couldn't have possibly imagined an improvement on the crack warning system my grade school used, which consisted of the principal blowing an air horn into the PA microphone.  This was our signal to proceed to the cafeteria, where we balled up, hands on the back of the neck, and awaited the end of the world.

We had to remain absolutely silent during tornado drills, which was painful to my classmates, who actually enjoyed one another's company, but fine by me.  I had no desire have a period placed on my existence to the sound of Bryan Connelly calling Nate Hice "generic."

The firm belief that silence effectively counteracts funnel clouds has extended to the next generation; the first time Jim The Child Nephew encountered a tornado watch, he ventured to speak only in whispers until somebody finally explained that this was only necessary while fending off F5 winds with a plywood cafeteria table and the nearest folding chair.

Then again, perhaps we're the lucky ones.  I cannot imagine what  nuclear attack drills must have necessitated.  Two folding chairs?

ducking and covering at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (3)

Nuclear attack drills at my school consisted of marching out into the hallways and standing face first against your lockers with your head resting on one forearm and the other over the back of your head. This might be by those stand-in-the-corner dolls creep me out. We stood two rows deep while the classic siren went off from the top of the building. My husband reports that they did much the same thing only they got under their desks.
Once I actually knew something about nuclear explosions I can't imagine why anyone thought that would do any good.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

We had earthquake drills in Southern CA. We were to get under our desks with our hands over our necks. We also had smog alerts where we had to stay inside instead of going out for recess. Heads Up, Seven Up, anyone?

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne from Iowa

Ah..MB, lest you forget, we had our own little hurricane in Cincinnati just two years ago yesterday. I never in my life dreamed that I would use hurricane and Cincinnati in the same sentence. We were without power for 8 hours, we were the lucky ones. Many of our friends and neighbors were "off the grid" for up to 4 days. Schools and offices were closed, neighborhoods hummed with the sound of generators, and we all stood around and scratched our heads at what had happened. The kids and I spent an entire day cleaning up the debris that was left in the yard. There are still some houses in my area that have tarps on their roofs where shingles need to be fixed, kinda puts New Orleans into prospective.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCuz
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