Tornado Warnings and Restroom Friends

As you are probably aware, there were tornadoes all over Alabama, Florida and Georgia on Sunday.  Several tornadoes caused deaths and all kinds of damage.  I am praying for the families that lost loved ones.  Tom and I are in southern Georgia right now and we are located in the paths of the storms.  So Sunday, instead of being a relaxed day off was a day filled with Tornado Warnings.

Tom and I live in an RV and tornadoes have a special affinity for Mobile Home parks.  When tornado warnings set off the alert on our phones, we don’t waste a lot of time sitting around the RV.  We head for the nearest shelter.  On Sunday, the first tornado warning came about 9 a.m. when we were getting ready for church.  I packed up my “go bag” and we headed to the Visitors Center, which is the only non-wooden building in the park.  None of the buildings here have basements so we settle for interior bathrooms.

We got up to the Visitors Center and discovered everyone was in the restrooms.  There were five of us who are staff at the park and four guests.  One couple had stopped only because they were driving and needed shelter during the warning.  It turns out that they had been RV National Park Volunteers.  I spent the half hour until the warning passed getting better acquainted with them.  It made the time pass quickly.

Once the warning was over, Tom and I headed off to church.  During the announcement time, Rev. Patton told us what to do in case of another warning during church.  There weren’t many people at the service.

The second tornado warning came about 1 p.m., shortly after we finished lunch.  Again, I grabbed my “go bag” and we headed back to the Visitors Center.  But we were a little more relaxed about the warning and just ended up in the Visitors Center reading the Sunday paper.  We didn’t have any guests so we didn’t evacuate to the restrooms.

The worst line of storms came on Sunday evening.  A tornado was spotted just west of I-95 in Brunswick, which meant it was less than 15 miles from us.  Tom and I decided to head for shelter before the rain hit us around 7 p.m.  Because the Visitors Center closes at 5, we went to the Seasonal Housing.  Although this is a wood house, it has two interior bathrooms without any windows.  Shortly after we arrived the other three RV volunteers showed up.

Herb, Nell and Randy in the bathroom

This time, when the tornado warnings went off, we all headed to the restroom together.  To the same restroom.  All five of us.  Herb sat on the toilet – he got the “throne” because he broke his foot on Friday.  Nell, Tom and I sat on the floor in the corners.  Randy sat on the rim of the bathtub.  Tom grabbed sofa cushions so we could cover our heads.  Then we talked, and laughed, and texted family.  It got a little hot with so many of us in such a small room, but being together made it fun.

After the warning lifted, we lingered in the bathroom for a bit before we left.  It was still raining like crazy, so we stayed in seasonal housing and watched the football game for a while together.  As we were heading back to our RVs, Nell said “I’ve never spent so much time in the restroom with so many people!”

  • Kristine Moye

    People take these warnings lightly sometimes, glad you and Tom are being smart and safe.

    • revkaren54

      Hey – we live in an RV – aka “tornado magnet”! Not taking any chances.