The Longest 30 Minutes of My Life

By Michele Maki, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross

“There was about 30 minutes where I didn’t know if my kids made it through the tornado or not.  That was the longest 30 minutes of my life,” said Deann Ramirez of Rowlett, Texas. She wasn’t home when the tornado hit.  “The sirens went off where I work.  So I called my kids to tell them to get to safety, and before I could finish, the line went dead.”

Deann stops for a moment, to collect herself and continues, “By the time I was released from work, a good 30 minutes had passed.  As I was driving home, all I could think about was my kids.”

When Deann finally arrive home, she was relieved to find her children did all the right things: they sought cover and safety inside the bathroom inside the middle of the home.

“That had to have been the longest 30 minutes of my life, but it was worth it to find my children, all three of them, safe.  My home is damaged, the roof needs repair, but I’m so thankful.  I wasn’t going to come to the MARC (Multi-Agency-Resource-Center).  I felt that there are folks who need those resources more than I do.  After all, my home is still standing.  But I was encouraged to come by the Red Cross. It’s hard to accept help, but I’m having a hard time processing all of this, you know, everything that happened.  I was told that the Red Cross has specially trained professionals to help me through this.   I’m so thankful for that.  The Red Cross has been amazing.  They are compassionate and caring. I know now that there is help available and most of all, my children are unhurt, safe and we are all together.”

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