The Washington Times-Herald

March 10, 2012

Preparation is the best form of protection

Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — As the local schools’ call to parents of early dismissal last Friday sent parents into panic mode, we kept an eye to the sky hoping and praying for the best. Thankfully, we were spared damage in our immediate area, but we mourn for those who lost loved ones because we, too, know the devastation and heartbreak twister season can bring all too well.

Seeing the devastation left from last week reminds us of the deadly 1990 tornado which leveled Petersburg, and the twister in 2005 which hit Daviess County leaving more than 75 homes and businesses extensively damaged.

Last week’s tornado outbreak — 50 on Tuesday and 85 more on Friday — serves as a grim reminder to mindful that we live in tornado alley and we should brace ourselves for such severe weather as the season progresses.

We appreciate the efforts of local administrators as the decision was made to dismiss early and not put our children on buses during a time when the storm was expected to hit. We understand the disruption it causes and confusion for parents in their daily lives, but in the end it’s worth it to know a child is home safe and in the care of a loved one. Henryville High School only had a handful of students still in the building when the storm hit, but we can only imagine the heartache if school officials there wouldn’t have heeded the warnings to dismiss early.

Donations and kindness of all kinds are pouring into southeastern Indiana as the rebuilding effort begins. To date, 1,752 people have registered to volunteer, including some from our area planning to make the trip today. Several efforts are under way in our area to provide support for our friends in need. We encourage everyone who has the means to do so, to help in some way. Reaching out to those in need can be our way to “pass it on,” as we remember the ways others helped us in the past.

And, may be reminded to always be vigilant when weather warnings are sounded. We should never forget that it could be us next time.