had been raining and storming most of the day. We needed rain,
but we didn't need all the severe lightning and thunder. I was
especially tired that evening and decided to retire early and
get a little extra rest. I was soon in bed and in la-la land
when a loud noise woke me up.
I sat straight up in bed. It was not thunder;
this was an alarm ringing. I thought it was the smoke alarm!
The house is on FIRE! Good Lord! I jumped out of the bed and
slid down the hall looking for the fire, still half asleep.
But there was no smoke or sign of a fire anywhere, and the
noise was not coming from the smoke alarm.
What was that noise and where was it coming
from? Something had to be wrong. Maybe it's the security
alarm? We have an intruder! "BURGLAR! Wake up, and
protect me." That man could sleep through the end of the
world. But the sound was not coming from the
Still feeling hazy and unable to think, the
noise sounded again and I realized that it was coming from my
cell phone. Only one reason an alarm would be coming from the
cell phones, a severe weather warning. TORNADO! We are in the
path of a tornado! "Run for the basement before we are
blown away." -- except, I don't have a basement.
"Wake up, wake up! We need to get to the
bathroom before the tornado strikes." My man snored away.
How he could sleep through a tornado is beyond me. "I
guess he will be blown away, but I'm getting in the
By now my mind was awake enough to think about
checking the phone message to see how much time we had left to
live. I didn't know if I had left the volume turned up
on the phone, although I found out later it doesn't matter.
Even if you leave it on vibrate, an emergency alarm will
override settings and come out at a blaring volume.
It is one of those Wireless Emergency Alerts
that Internet carriers send to get the word out to the public.
At this point it didn't really matter what it was. When I
looked at the screen, it said: "Flash flood alert."
Flash flood alert? I don't live in a flood area. "You
mean they woke up everyone in the blasted county for a flash
I was more than a little aggravated. If I
lived in a flood zone, I might feel differently about flood
alarms. I suppose I should be thankful that big brother is
taking care of us and watching the sky 24/7. At the time,
however, I didn't feel very thankful. I went back to bed and
tried to go back to sleep -- fat chance of sleeping with my
adrenaline pumping the rest of the night.
I get messages all the time about weather, but
they come in the form of a push text message, not in the form
of a fire alarm. I don't think there is any way to unsubscribe
from WEA warnings, they are automatically sent to everyone.
Besides, what if was an actual emergency? What if it really
was a tornado? I would want to know.
There were a lot of grouchy people the next
day that didn't get enough sleep and I was one of them. I
didn't hear of anyone who was saved from disaster by the
midnight warning. All I can say is, "Thanks a lot for
waking me up in the middle of the night and scaring me half to
death. I really appreciate it NOT.”