Like others in the community, Dee and her family continue to have anxiety when serious storms approach. She’s prepared a tornado bag for the children that includes a flashlight. The kids have even gone to bed with their shoes on in case they need to run for cover in the middle of a storm night. And when bad weather is imminent, it’s not unusual for the neighbors to phone each other to warn of the risk.
“Everybody up here is a family. No matter what, we’re going to be a family. This almost took us down, but it didn’t,” Dee Jackson said. “If it ever happened again, anyone around here would do it again. That’s what came out of it for me, that I realized how many people were in the community that were actually generous and caring people that don’t ask for a whole lot.”
More than anything, Dee Jackson said she misses the old houses her husband and his family grew up in that were destroyed. She wanted her kids to see and really know their family history. The newly built houses just aren’t the same in that respect.
She added that much can be learned from the devastation caused by the March 2, 2012, storms, especially regarding the virtues of patience and perseverance. Also, after seeing the carnage, other communities might take severe weather warnings a bit more seriously.
“It’s a wake-up call that this can happen anywhere,” she said. “I think communities even outside of our communities had seen what we went through. It’s a wake-up call for them. This can happen.”