Remembering April 27th 2011

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of the historic super outbreak on April 27th 2011 . A day that forever changed thousands of people . A day when 218 tornadoes were recorded setting the record for most tornadoes in a single day . Deaths were reported in Mississippi, Alabama , Tennessee, Georgia and Virgina .  317 people were killed on April 27th 2011 making it the single deadliest tornado related day since 1925, 243 of those deaths occurred in Alabama alone . Destruction was spread far and wide and to this day the landscape across the southeast remains scarred from that day.

There were stories of heartache , stories of heroism and stories of complete strangers giving the clothes off their backs to people who lost everything . Communities pulled together in the days and weeks following the outbreak . Volunteers gathered by the thousands to help in the aftermath.

There were so many incredible survival stories across the southeast that day. Some families were completely  trapped after their house crumbled ontop of them. Survivors were being pulled from the rubble hours and hours after the storms passed . For me personally I remember grabbing my wife , a few sofa cushions , the dogs and running into the bathroom to cover take cover . We were lucky as the tornado passed a quarter mile south of our house but I will never forget the sounds from outside as we could hear the tornado and hear debris pelting our roof. We were very lucky , others were not.

April 27th 2011 is Day the Southeast will never forget . The experts say we won’t see another outbreak of that magnitude in our lifetime.  Regardless , its important to remember as we look back on this day that it does not take an EF4 or EF5 tornado to cause death and destruction. In the last 6 years society has become complacent to severe weather threats as they are sometimes described as ” not as bad as April 27th 2011″ . Please remember that all severe weather threats are dangerous. Don’t ignore a warning because it’s ” just a severe thunderstorm warning”  Severe thunderstorms kill people every single year . Don’t become complacent to a ” slight risk ” of a ” brief ” tornado as that brief tornado regardless of strength could end up being your April 27th 2011. Have a safety plan , PRACTICE your safety plan and make sure everyone in your household knows what to do and where to go.

We’ve learned a lot in the years since April 27th 2011. We’ve learned from tragedy, we’ve learned from mistakes and we’ve learned from each other.  It’s important that we keep learning from that day , it’s important that we keep moving forward and it’s extremely important that we always stop to reflect about the events of that day . Buts it’s just as important not to fear the next storm and to make sure your plan is in place in case one day you experience your own April 27th.


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