It is all over now, but the three tornadoes that passed through Suffolk, Norfolk, Brunswick County and Colonial Heights have left these areas in a state of emergency. I could not believe the damage that some homes here received, it was really an incredible sight. Thankfully I live about 30 minutes away from where the tornadoes touched down in Suffolk so I was not personally affected, though my thoughts go out to all those who were injured or lost their homes, businesses other personal property during yesterdays freak event. Thankfully, there are no missing persons and at the present time there are no fatalities. This is very good news and hard to believe for those who saw the extent of the damage caused by these twisters.
I had never seen anything like it in my entire life. Homes lifted completely from their foundations, some dropped on top of other ones, cars launched into the sides of buildings and roads closed except for emergency and medical personnel. It really is humbling to see what Mother Nature can do when she exercises her muscle. We are fortunate to have such excellent emergency personnel who were ready at a moments notice to help evacuate the injured. My thoughts go out to them as well, especially my son who is a police officer in Portsmouth and will be assisting Suffolk police for the next few days.
Unlike hurricanes, which are relatively slow moving and very predictable in comparison, yesterday’s tornadoes gave absolutely no warning before striking. This led me to think about contingency planning. Could we help to reduce the number of those who are injured during natural disasters by planning? By having a contingency plan for when tornadoes touch down, can we as a community help to reduce the number of those who are injured? Tornadoes are highly rare in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and this may be the reason there is no official plan of action for residents of these areas when a tornado strikes.
For more information, you can call the following numbers:
American Red Cross: 539-6645
Suffolk Emergency Management Hotline: 514-7587
Navy families who need assistance in the Hampton Roads area can call 1-800-FSC-LINE or 757-444-2102.