Tornado Troubles & ‘Fixing’ #Dallas

 Yesterday, good ole’ Mother Nature decided to throw a weather tantrum in North Texas.   It’s evidently world-wide news, as evidenced by my Facebook wall where I was messaged & tagged by friends checking in, from Canada, Europe & South Africa saying they’d seen reports of the tornadoes on the news.

There was a lot of damage.  But let me start with this:  we were lucky & it could have been a whole lot worse.  To quote Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings,  ”The big headline is that we dodged a big bullet.  We’re saddened by the damage the system did, but we’ve got nobody that’s dead and no significant injures. It really is a miracle.”

I spent the storm in a safe outlying area; though there was a half-hour of concern when I got a prank text from a neighbor saying there was rotation headed into the neighborhood & the siren was broken.  That person, BTW? Got blocked from my phone & cut from my network.  There are some things that if you don’t have the good sense to know you don’t joke about?  You don’t deserve to be part of the club.   That’s one of them.  My friend Carrie Corbin was still in town from speaking at TalentNet Live Social Recruiting Conference at JC Penney’s Headquarters in Frisco the day before.  She’d been through true Tornado-Related devastation before; so, just tried to be as light-hearted as possible about the whole thing.  Threw some wine into our make-shift ‘tornado shelter’ and made sure there were plenty of plugs for our electronics & the nebulizer we’re borrowing from our neighbors, Al & Melinda Green. (1)  Then I started thinking about my friends:  Martin & William, both whose families live in Arlington area.  Matt, whom I’d just dropped at the airport.  Marianthe & her family who just did not need one more thing to have to deal with, Craig who was supposed to be flying out somewhere; Jeremy Roberts in Denton, and my Racker friends who were holed up in a bathroom somewhere in Grapevine… I hoped we’d all be safe.

Fortunately, we all were.  While I had a couple of friends who took some damage to their property; none of my friends suffered total losses, nor injury.  I’m grateful.  But not everyone was as lucky.  600 people were displaced from 475  homes yesterday.  They have needs. We can help.  For those in the DFW area, we have the ability to actually pitch-in & volunteer through the Volunteer Center of North Texas:   just click the link, register & you’ll be put to work immediately.  You have to sit through a training course that’s a couple of hours long – but then you’ll be able to make a ‘hands-on,’ immediate impact.  They’re looking for volunteers now; the need is there. :)  I’m tying my social life to it, actually; want to go out on a date with me? That’s where we’re going to go for the next couple of weeks.  I may end up dateless; but I’ll at least feel good about how I’m spending my time! Ha!

If you’re not in DFW or the ‘hands-on’ thing isn’t your thing? You can still help.   The North Texas Food bank could use donations; you can drop off cans, pledge money, or go and help sort them out.  The kids & I will be doing this together in the next two weeks; it’s not a good idea for Lindsey to be out with all the dust & debris.. but I want them to be involved.  This is a good way to teach your children civil responsibility/philanthropy & I don’t want them to miss out on it.  You can also help simply  by texting RED CROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Don’t forget to confirm the donation by responding with a “Yes” text after they text back. :)

Forney and Royse City Tornado affected families also need help.  Here are a couple of ways to do that:

  1. Forney: Contact or friend City of Forney Facebook page for updates; C-Life Church @ 204 FM 1641 at 972-800-9709
  2. Royse City:  Contact Lions Club or drop off @ G Stephens CPA on 305 E Main St.

Both Places need basic supplies and Walmart gift cards (Terrell Walmart was giving $25 coupons for the cause if you shop there, ask a manager)  Let’s show these commuinities our support!

I was also struck, once again, by how quickly & deeply social media was used to communicate during this episode.  American Airlines first announced their cancellation of flights via Twitter.  Friends & loved ones checked up on each other via Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn.  Authorities tweeted weather warnings & people shared photos of the weather and wreckage wonderment.    Wouldn’t have seen this five to seven years ago… but I’m grateful for it now.

Anyway, this morning it was “full steam ahead” to repairing the damage & getting back to business as normal for Dallas/Fort Worth.  We’re determined to fix what was broken & I’m grateful for the opportunity to help.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nufu8BJl9xk&w=560&h=315]

(1) Thanks Al & Melinda!!

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