2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes- Day 1 – I Found It!

When I got off the plane in Oklahoma City, I got a text message from an unknown number telling me to go to the Avis rental cars desk and the staff would be waiting for me to give me a car. (My first thought was: Finally I’m being sent on an undercover CIA mission!). So I did and they knew who I was and gave me a car. I was then given an address and told to go there. Here is a picture of some of the devastation I could see from the road as I was driving. And who’s hands are those in the picture?  Just some guy named Rusty -or something like that- who showed me his Red Cross badge at the airport as I was leaving and hopped in like this was all normal.

Rusty (or whatever his name was) and I then got to a huge building with tuns of Red Cross people everywhere.  I had to fill out a tun of paperwork and was given a sleeping bag and pillow and debit card(!) and dorm room keys. This picture looks so much calmer than what it was- PURE CHAOS!  And super fun.

I also met John, the program lead for my Childrens Disaster Services (CDS) team and he said he wanted to rush me to the disaster hub- building because there were more kids than expected and they were desperate for help.

I grabbed the lunch of champions and followed John in my rental car (still unsure why I had a rental car at that point) to West Moore High School where I got to jump right in with the other CDS volunteers providing child-centered play for the kids….my dream come true.

The other volunteers are amazing and we had great stories to share together afterword about the benefits we saw and the stories the kids shared with us unprompted. A few of the kids (siblings) sang a song for me that they sang during the tornado to distract themselves. It was a song about buttons popping off a sweater. I had never heard of it before but they made a whole dance to go with it.  There are more much more vulnerable stories the kids shared and it was amazing to help them begin to process those thoughts, memories, and on-going fears.

Our team cleaned up by 7pm and got dinner together (which tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten! Ha!). We saw more signs of some of the devastation just driving from A to B and we’re told this isn’t the worst of it.

We got to our college dorm rooms at Oklahoma university’s campus and made our plan for tomorrow before calling it a night.
What a crazy day (crazy awesome!)!  But after all this I think I’ve found it…without even looking for it, I think I’ve discovered that my super power is: Living By the Seat of My Pants !  LOVE IT!!

 

4 thoughts on “2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes- Day 1 – I Found It!”

  1. Katie! I love that you are keeping this blog and am SOOO excited you are there – yes also comes in some jealousy 😉 I was cracking up reading this because I could just imagine your "ok, whatever" reaction when Rusty jumped in…hilarious! I can't wait to hear about everything you learn…keep up the good work!

  2. First off, "NeesDisaster"? #Hellofablogname. Second, stop stealing my super power. Does this mean we've traded and now my super power is your old one; planning carefully and executing perfectly? Wish I could watch you in action!

    Also – love the part about Rusty…hehehehehe

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