Tuesday, May 24, 2011


For all of you who have e-mailed me to see if I am okay, yes, I am.

The tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri is about 70 miles from where I live in Springfield, Missouri.  When we heard about the tornado, we readied our bathroom so that we would be ready to take cover if we needed to. Our house is a single story ranch, so during a tornado you try to go to the center of your house and away from windows….for us, this is the little bathroom.  If you have a basement, you go to the basement.

Kenny put a dog bed on the floor and one against the wall and then put a quilt over the glass shower doors.  Luckily, we didn’t have to take cover.

I was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri and tornado warnings are just a fact of life.  Sad to say, we have them so often, that a lot of times we kind of blow them off and think, “oh it will just go on by us….it rarely hits close to home”. 

Growing up, when we had tornado warnings we headed over to our Grandma Schulze’s house and got in the basement with a lot of our aunts and uncles and cousins…sometimes even a pet or two.  It didn’t matter if it was in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.

At work, we have tornado drills and when we have actual tornado warnings we herd all of our patients downstairs.  I work in an outpatient facility, so most of the patients we work with are fairly mobile.

I have never seen the amount of devastation like the tornado that hit Joplin.  I spent my freshman year in college living in Joplin and attending Missouri Southern State University and I still have a few friends from college who live and work there.  My husband’s cousin lives in Joplin and it blew the roof off of their house, but they are okay.

I’ve heard that we have 90 patients from Joplin at the hospital that I work at (the building I work in is connected to the hospital).  When I walked over to the hospital the other day they had grief counseling rooms set up and you could hear people sobbing……it was so sad.

I’ve seen pictures of the tsunami in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti, but somehow this is more personal to me, because these are my  neighbors.  These people could be me.

I found some before and after pictures of the tornado.

This one is an after photo…..I’m guessing that you know what a Home Depot store normally looks like…..



This is the hospital before

and after

I think of how hard it is to get our outpatients downstairs,  but getting patients who are in ICU and have oxygen and multiple IV’s into interior hallways with about 5-10 minutes warning is incredible. 

So much devastation…..

I try to be positive on my blog, but this just makes me so sad……so many people have lost their lives, lost their homes, everything.  So what happens when a tornado hits and destroys your home and say it destroys the place where you work as well?  What happens?


  1. What does happen??? There can't possibly be enough housing for all those homeless people in Joplin. And where are they tonight? It breaks my heart. Peace, Jan

  2. Oh Tammy, I had no idea that you live so close to Joplin. I'm so glad that you are OK.

    I'm sitting at the computer looking at the devastation with a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I look at the pictures on my screen. It's hard to believe my eyes. Such devastation.

    It sure puts things in perspective as to what really matters in our lives.

    We really have nothing to complain about as compared to these poor people who have lost everything.

    Thanks for sharing this Tammy. My prayers for the people of Joplin. JB

  3. Unbelieveable! Wow, you hear about this on the news and it makes you so sad. But, to see actual pictures from someone "living" it....makes it so much more real! I am so sad for these people, but am so thankful that you and your family and friends are safe! So much devastation! Thanks for making this real to those of us that aren't affected! Blessings to all that are living this horror!

  4. Tammy,
    It's very hard to watch this happening and wondering how these people can possibly rebuild and recover. One rescue person said on Anderson Cooper's show that this is America. We will rebuild.
    I'm glad you're safe and have been wondering about Sheri and other bloggers who may live there and in the southern states affected by this.
    I hope these storms settle soon. You should think about digging a hole for a safe room somewhere in your house. Things are changing and these storms are getting more ferocious. All the past warnings and sirens need to be rethought and people need to really start preparing on a deeper level.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you Tammy and your family and friends who are enduring these difficult and horrific disasters!
    Much Love,
    Cathy G

  5. Tammy, I agree with you and Jan. The President is going to Joplin on Sunday. He stated we will not stop until all the homes and businesses are rebuilt. Like you said, unless you've seen tornado destruction in real life you can't know what it really is. These people aren't thinking about when they're going to rebuild their home. They're wondering where they're going to sleep tonight and where their friends and family are. They say 1500 people are still missing. 800 injured and 123 fatalities. 10,000 people are still without electricity! I put a link on my FB page of a place to donate money for the people. It's called Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery. I think you can just go to FB and type that in. They say cash is what they need right now. And prayers.