Last Sunday was the scariest day of my entire life. As some of you may have heard on the news Joplin, my home town, was hit by an F5 tornado and was one of the most deadliest tornadoes in US history. As surprising as it may seem even this detestation connects with video games and Destructoid for me. Everything started on Sunday as I headed over to my friend Isaac's apartment for some Super Smash.
It was around three or maybe four by the time I arrived. We preceded to do as we typically do and play Smash for hours on end. Super Smash Bros is a series that has always brought me and my friends together, its the one game that we all have in common. I can't even tell you how many hours we spent last summer playing the original on N64. Smash and Pokemon are a big part of my childhood and still are a big part of my life today.
After about two hours of Smash time we noticed that the weather had taken a turn for the worse. We paused the game and watched the clouds for a bit. Our friend Jason was supposed to be on his way so we sent him a text asking where he was. He said the tornado sirens were going off and he was going to stay home and wait for a bit. I replied “Pussy”. You see, here in Joplin were used to tornadoes. Tornado warnings are a very common thing this time every year. What came with this warning was something no one was used to.
We all went downstairs and stood outside and watched the storm, from where we were it was mostly a lot of wind and rain with some marble sized hail thrown in for good measure. As we watched the storm we made our jokes and threw hail at each other. The storm passed and we thought that was that so we all went back to Smash. After we finished our game we decided to go to Wendy's for some dinner, thats when we realized the impact of what had just happened.
When we first arrived the workers at Wendy's just looked stone faced and in shock. As we ate we over heard stories of damage and other customers talking about how they didn't have a home to go to anymore. It all just slowly hit us … this was a very serious situation. About then is when all the calls and texts came pouring in. I simply cannot tell you how many times I've had to answer the question “Are you ok?” this week.
We headed back and decided we should all head back to our homes. What typically is a 15 min drive for me had turned into a three hour voyage to simply make it back to my family. I was turned away at almost every single road I tried to take home. To make matters worse, every single traffic light was out along with all of the street lights. There was traffic backed up for miles, and I was stuck in the middle of it with tornado damage all around me. It felt like driving through that scene in Call of Duty 4, you know the scene, where the nuke goes off and the entire city is gone.
The one thing that comforted me and made this three hour drive bearable was Podtoid and The Electric Hydra. I had some episodes on my phone that I hadn't listened to yet. I've been listening to The Electric Hydra since episode 1 and Podtoid for almost as long (I don't recall what episode I started on, just remember that one girl was still on there with Anthony, Linde, and Samit I think?). Podtoid and The Electric Hydra are always one of the highlights of my week so they really made passing through all of the ruble and debris much more bearable.
I eventually made it home to my family where our water and power were out. It was that night through Facebook and Twitter that I found out the total damage of this disaster. Over half of my town is gone, there are around 125 people dead and more missing, I have some of my friends in the hospital with serious injuries (just found out one of them is getting his leg amputated). I feel guilty for how blessed and lucky I have been during this disaster. I still have my job, I still have my home and most importantly I still have all my family.
The point of this blog was not to bring anyone down, I don't mean to be THAT guy. The point here is simply to bring awareness of the situation to others. The secondary point of this blog is simply to give thanks. I really want to say thank you to those of you who have already donated. I also want to thank the Dtoid community has a whole for just being as amazing as they all are. Destructoid has always been my online family and I've always felt so connected to the staff and the members.
Just a few nights ago Jim Sterling was kind enough to quickly respond to my request of RT'ing out on his and the Destructoid twitter accounts me asking people to consider donating $10 to Red Cross by texting RED CROSS to 90999. Seeing him act so quickly and then seeing others RT it as well really meant a lot to me. I know, Jackal27
another Destructoid member, was more affected by this tragedy than I was. His family lost their home as well as the Chick-Fil-A his family owned.
So thank you Destructoid community, I love you all and everything you guys have done so far to help us out has really touched me. I hope none of you ever have to experience a tragedy like this one, but don't worry, were a strong community ad we can overcome this and we will. Also, cocks.