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TORNADO Continued from page 21


help—they don’t throw up roadblocks,” says Debby. Friends offered temporary housing, food and clothing—even cat


food and kitty litter. So many things needed to be done—calling the insurance company, canceling credit cards, canceling checks, replacing IDs, etc.


Their insurance agent told them what they already knew—the house and cars were a total loss. “[When we were allowed back in], we had a whole crew of volun- teers with pickup trucks, chain saws and all sorts of tools to try and recover things. People with chains and bulldozers pulled the wreckage apart,” says Debby. “Virtually every stick of furniture was destroyed, except an antique architectural blueprint fl at fi le. It was so sturdy, it was holding up a roof beam and part of a tree. The


draw ers were full of artwork that I rescued. Some of the pieces will be in a show in May at Mainsite Gallery” in Norman, May 13 through July 2.


Mike and Debby miss their country home; they now live in a charming older home in Norman’s historic “Silk Stocking” district. “[The tornado] was the most amazing time of my life,” Debby says. “I hope never to experience it again, but the good that came out of it overcomes the hard parts. I saw the fi ner side of human- ity. When a disaster happens, it brings out the best in people. [This disaster] was the absolute heroic demonstration of it, and it was so uplifting.”


Debby credits the tornado shelter for saving their lives. Storm


Safe, who installed their shelter, gets Debby’s whole-hearted endorse ment. Shelters, which include both underground and safe- rooms, run from about $2,500 to $4,500. Not having a shelter, Debby says, is false economy. If you’re lucky, you’ll never need one. If you’re luckier, you’ll have one when you do. OL


 


NECESSITIES: 


Weather radio, hand-cranked or battery-powered





Lantern or fl ashlight


 Extra batteries  Bottled water 


SHELTER


Bucket or container for personal needs


Heavy leather gloves


Heavy tool, in case debris has blocked the door


 First aid kit  Cell phone 


Take personal ID, credit cards


 Wear sturdy shoes www.MidAmericaSteel.com


If you must shelter in your house, go to an interior window- less room. Take heavy blankets and perhaps bicycle helmets, for protection from falling debris. If you have a shelter, make sure it is registered with local authori- ties—call your fi re department for information.


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