From my second floor bedroom three weeks ago, I listened to flood sirens and nursed a stiff drink while my 2 year old clung to my chest. When they started, I was settling in for a quiet evening and thought I was imagining things. It didn’t take me long to remember the insistent tone of the protocol we’ve heard each flood season since we moved here: “If you hear the sirens, GO UP”, and so I did.
The city tests the sirens once a month and whenever they do, my 2 year old runs for the nearest warm body for comfort. That night, I found the two of them huddled together, my daughter quietly soothing her little brother, half asleep herself. Ushering them into my room, I felt grateful to have brought my drink upstairs with me.
I didn’t sleep much that first night, concerned for those I knew to be in much more precarious situations than we were.