Recovering from Severe Weather: Learning from those affected


“You just don’t know what to expect. When you think you’re okay, you’re not; you know“, said Angie Abel, November 13th tornado survivor.

If you lost it all, where would you turn to get it all back?

“If it wasn’t for all of our friends and family and even people we didn’t know come forward and help us…I don’t know what we would’ve done”, said Abel.

Recovering, it starts with a pair of shoes; it starts with a simple bath towel, and when it comes to rebuilding a life, Abel says,”thanks God for small towns and communities.”

The Abel family will tell you, it sometimes starts with at a set of stairs, with a whole lot of help. Now the storm that leveled their home has since passed. They’ve started that recovery process, but even with a surrounding that feels safe, the memories of that day are still vivid.

“When we seen it, and it was 4 to 5 miles away, you don’t realize how fast that it can come. It doesn’t stop to cross the road, or stop for traffic or anything, it’s coming straight for you and it is going to get there quick”, said Abel.

Now the Abels are under a new roof surrounded by a new shelter. But they’ve also seen that shelter completely destroyed and they’ve had to recover piece by piece.

“The Red Cross actually helped us a lot the first few days. They helped us with immediate food and clothing, that type of thing”, said Abel.

Now the wind is scarier and the idea of another severe weather event triggers uneasy feelings.

“Thankfully when we had that last bad storm with tornado warnings, we were all together, because I didn’t know how that would be. It ended up being okay, I’m not sure how it would have been if we were separated, but I know if my husband was away at work, he would have raced straight home to see how we were”, said Abel.

The Abel family have some advice in the event of a storm, they say put on your shoes when there’s a warning. After they were hit by the November storm they found glass and debris in their shoes and it was nearly impossible to find a pair safe enough to wear.

The Abel family also say be aware of how you might be covered “after” a storm. They say because they are renters they don’t qualify for all of the benefits and aid that “homeowners” do. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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