The weather forecast yesterday called for “unsettled” weather.
Around 1pm, the base’s early warning system started sounding. Normally, this occurs at noon, first with a loud message assuring us that it is only a test and then a short burst of the siren.
This time, the wailing of the siren lasted a long time. I walked out of my house, across the street to get Pumpkin Girl in for lunch, all the way back home, checked the computer for severe weather alerts and picked up the phone to call Philip who wasn’t at his desk, then called a neighbor to confirm that Boo was safely in her house.
That’s a long time for a siren to be wailing. When it stopped, the Big Voice announced the all clear. Phew.
Then the siren started again. This time when it stopped the Big Voice proclaimed that a Tornado Warning had been issued for the National Capital Region and all personnel should take cover immediately.
I promptly lost my mind. After all, just because it is clear in the area around my house doesn’t mean that a funnel cloud of death isn’t bearing down on us.
I turned on the Weather Channel. The cable company’s informational blurb temporarily blocked the space where weather alerts scroll by and on the rest of the screen was the swirling vortex of red and yellow torrential rain and doom that was…Hurricane Dolly. The local weather blurb became visible – nothing but heat and humidity.
The Big Voice was now alternating between telling me to run for my life and to begin recovery efforts.
I was not amused.
At no time did the Big Voice assure me that this was only a test.
It may be me, but don’t you think that running a test of the “tornado coming, we’re all going to die” announcement, without saying it’s a test, in the middle of the severe weather season is an egregious error of the highest order?
Don’t you think someone in charge of the base owes me an apology and perhaps a box of Godiva chocolates?