Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 30 of 2012 – Sirens, tornado sirens and other official warning devices..

“This is a drill, this is a drill” I remember it being yelled over the loud speaker at our school! Then it was followed by instructions, “Please get under your desk and remain there until the ALL CLEAR has been sounded” You would see small children scrambling to get under their desk. I do remember having one or two drills while I was in Elementary School. I believe it may have been practice for tornado alerts. I remember being worried that the boys could see my underpants!!!! I also remember that the floor was really cold. I remember wishing that the all clear would sound in a hurry because I did not like it under my desk. Sitting on the cold floor made me afraid I would wet my pants! I do not remember this event being an annual thing. I do not remember ever having actual tornado alerts while we were in class. I really do not remember any bad storms which may have frighten me either. I am sure that we had some but they were not memorable to me and the teachers or school official never had to take any kind of action. 

This is not me but I do remember doing this in Kindergarten and 1st grades.

We had fire drills once or twice a year. Every one was to WALK single file out the nearest exit and away from the building. As I recall, the teacher was the last one to leave the room after all the students left which meant there were times when no one of authority was really watching the kids from the time they left the classroom door until they got to the nearest exit. So for some kids that meant “ It was a race to the door or a bathroom break or it was time to do what ever you wanted!” ...Some walked, some ran, some goofed off ,some marched, some skipped...but if a hall monitor or the principal were near by then you straightened up fast! I always thought it was funny that they always happened on a sunny day and of course today I know that was a part of the plan! 

Once I started, Jr High and High school in Imlay City, things got a bit more interesting. We had our usual fire drills but every once in a while someone would decide to pull the fire drill alarm box in one of the hallways as a prank. And then we would really have an unplanned fire drill. We also had several bomb scares. We always presumed that the bomb scares were called in by someone who was not prepared for class. You could be almost guaranteed that it would take a couple of hours to evacuate the school and search all the rooms and the local police were usually involved. Sometimes this would be the end of your day. You never left your purse in the class room when it was a bomb scare or you might be waiting a long time before you could go home.... 

As a teenager we began to see weather alerts more often on the TV but still nothing like we see them today. Mom watched her “soaps” in the afternoon when we moved to Imlay City. When there was a “weather bulletin”, she was as cool as a cucumber. She never got excited and often did not even go look outside to see what was happening. In the big old house in Imlay City, we did have a basement but it was used for storage. I do not ever remember going down in it because of a storm. Since Mom was relaxed about storms, so were we!

We did not have a basement in Romeo so there was no where to go if a tornado was coming... I do not remember her ever telling us to go to the bathroom or the inside hall. I do not remember instructions at all. I remember her telling us that if we ever got caught outdoors and you see a tornado coming, find a ditch and lay flat in it! Thinking back on that advise...when ever we had storms, the ditches would rage with running water. So it would not have been the safest place after all. My belief was that she just did not want us to try to hide under a tree. Thankfully we never had to worry abut it. 

As I began to spend more time with my friends and other families, it became obvious to me that my mothers calm composure was not the norm in most households.  When I first started dating Gary Tietz, I realized that some families really did heed the warnings as they were sounded.  On more than one occasion we were escorted to the Tietz basement during bad storms. This kind of activity was unheard of in our house. These are stories for different blogs I guess. I wish I could get Sharon to tell us her Tornado warning story when she was visiting at the Warren's.  (the house next door to our home!  Maybe she will take time to do that one of these days....

Hope you enjoyed....

Love,  Jan

1 comment:

  1. The drill you are talking about was Duck and Cover. It was in preparation for a nuclear explosion. For tornado drills we went out in the hall with a book over our heads. Such memories!