At work the other night we took 63 calls, almost all of them storm related, in a five hour period. It's not unheard of for us to take only a dozen calls all of third shift this time of year, assuming no winter weather comes in and there aren't a lot of traffic stops. (I work in an emergency communications center.)

I'm still so stressed that every muscle in my body is tightened up. I feel like if someone sneaked up behind me right now I'd get a concussion hitting the ceiling. But I've learned a few things I'd like to pass on to you:

If a stop light goes dark due to storm damage, the law says you're supposed to treat it as a four way stop. I learned this in driver's ed, but apparently they don't teach that anymore. So my advice to you is that if the traffic light is out you should stop at the intersection and, if you see anyone coming the other way, turn around and take the back roads. Yeah, if the other guy hits you after you stopped and proceeded it'll be his fault, but you'll still be hit.

If you're got a trampoline, anchor it down. Apparently they make great sails until they get to a road, then they make great roadblocks.

If you see a utility line on the ground and can 't tell if it's an electric line, a TV cable, or a phone line ... it's an electric line.

Speaking of roadblocks, if a huge storm goes through at night and you have to drive somewhere in the morning, treat every hill or curve as if it's the wrapping of a huge present waiting just out of sight. That present may be a utility pole, or a tree, or a trampoline, inviting you to party with your insurance agent. Not the greatest comparison ever, but still.

Straight line winds aren't nearly as sexy as tornadoes, but they can still rock your world.

Being in a building hit by lightning is very exciting.

Sometimes exciting is not good.

If you're a 911 dispatcher, don't drink. You might never stop.
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