As I walked up to their home, they were searching through the rubble, looking for anything they could salvage. Mr. Daniels smiled at me and said, "Ryan, you were the last voice I heard before it hit". They had taken cover, but they still had their TV turned up to hear the latest information.
As I stepped on to their foundation, Mrs. Daniels walked up and also had a smile on her face. (It was amazing how many people can smile in the midst of tragedy.) She shook my hand, but then quickly apologized. She still had some blood on her arm, but I didn't care a bit.
She pointed at a brand new (busted) HD television and said, "you were the last thing on that TV". . . .It was one of the oddest feelings I have ever had in my professional career. I was speechless. . . .I did not know if I should cry or say "thanks for watching", like we typically tell people at the grocery store when they say they watch KAIT. Even now, I'm still at a loss for words.
Mrs. Daniels then gave me big hug.
It's an honor to get a compliment like the one I got from The Daniels family, but I never know what to say. I have never been the type to accept a compliment well. I always try to match a compliment with another compliment or I just brush it off.
The picture below is where The Daniels Family took shelter. They were in the hallway, right by the open door. They were covered with a comforter when the walls started coming in on them. It sure was great to see them with only a few scrapes today!
There are many other families that are not so blessed this evening though. Please continue to keep them in your prayers and continue to pray for all of those that are picking up the pieces to their life this week.
This was the deadliest tornado outbreak in 11 years for our state. The next time we have a tornado outbreak like this one, I want NO death. That will be my goal every single time I am on-air. If we prepare people and educate people better about tornado safety ... we can avoid deaths.
Have a good night,