When I found out that one of my cousins — now 88 — had hidden from the Nazis in Amsterdam, just like Anne Frank, it was a revelation. It made me want to know more about my cousin's life and story.
"I like to analyze what happens and to put it in writing; that gives you neatness in your head, and that is what I'm after," says my cousin, retired Judge Suzanne Hoogendijk. She was 87 at the time, and was talking about why she loved being a judge. But delving into her personal past was another matter.
When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.
In Moore, for the many people whose homes were destroyed, the top priorities are finding a place to stay, some clothes to wear, and food to eat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has been talking with survivors in Moore, and he sent this story.
WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Jamie Martinez(ph) is a retired police officer who still does security work, and that's where he was when the tornado slammed into his neighborhood yesterday.
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It has been an emotional 24 hours for the people of Moore, Oklahoma. Their city is now a federal disaster area, shattered by yesterday's deadly tornado. Meteorologists have confirmed that the tornado was a rare EF5, with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Entire neighborhoods are unrecognizable, trees splintered, houses gone.
President Obama said today that the people of Moore, Oklahoma, should know that their country will be there for them as long as it takes. The president issued a disaster declaration hours after the tornado struck, and he dispatched officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Oklahoma. NPR's Brian Naylor has this story on what role FEMA can play.