Giving Thanks for These Eight Dramatic Stories of Survival

Giving Thanks for These Eight Dramatic Stories of Survival

 

Aleah Crago Bridge Creek Tornado

Bridge Creek-Moore Tornado, May 1999 - 302 mile per hour winds. A 38 mile long path. 36 people killed and thousands of homes destroyed. Over one billion dollars of damage. This was the worst of the worst for tornadoes.

Deputy Robert Jolley saw something next to a tree. It was moving, and as he got closer he saw that it was brown curly hair just barely sticking out of a thick layer of mud. He dug through the destruction and found eleven month old Aleah Crago, not crying, her mouth and nose packed thick with sludge. "I just started removing and removing dirt... then she cried," Jolley said. "I never thought I would be so happy to hear a baby screaming."

Aleah was found about 100 feet from the closet where, when the tornado whirled through, she was ripped from her mother's embrace. After Jolley found Aleah he waited for emergency workers until he couldn't take it any longer. He jumped in his vehicle with the baby in his lap and her head on his chest and drove. "I just kept telling her to keep crying," he said. About 45 minutes later he found help at a makeshift hospital at a school. Today, a teenager and healthy, Crago had this to say: "It was luck and God wanting me to be here on this Earth today."

Chris is the owner of Disaster.Com, along with being a business consultant and entrepreneur. In addition to working 80 hours a week on Disaster.Com, Chris is spending another 80 hours a week building a small business consulting company called Fair Winds Strategies. When he's not working, you can find Chris hanging out with his wife and kids, or on his sailboat (which he spent two years living on and cruising down to the Bahamas from New York, and then back).

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Discussion
  1. Nice article! I'm really impressed with humanity even though some of us have a mean streak. Even in the worst of tragedies, we have the ability to pick up our feet and move forward with our heads held high. It's really sad that we're not spared of pain. But when you think about it again, only humans are strong enough to go through such disasters. There are times when no matter how much you prepare, you can never really prepare enough. So being able to survive, it's one of the best things we can do.
    Although I admire sensing these stories of survival, most survival stories had or will never be told, and this is what makes ponder a lot of all the nameless people who had disappeared into the ether after surviving great struggles. Can you all imagine, the many many people who faced death defying odds and survive, but never had their stories written down or passed onto others?! Well, it's a good thing you shared these survival stories, but it will give inspiration to people who view it and make effort to learn from the successes and losses of others.
    Thanks for sharing, I have always used other persons stories as my motivation. Even when the greatest disasters are about to hit, they give courage and strength knowing all things are possible. I remember when I was younger and heard the story of the man that was swallowed by a earthquake then came out alive, I was shocked but then felt like it was an awesome story and no matter what happen, there is always a chance of survival. By the by,that happened in Port Royal, Jamaica several years ago. Will try to get a link to the full story and share it with you guys.
    Amazing how the Katrina was already almost 10 years ago, I think that the US and the world were not prepared for this sort of situation, it just proves that no country is above nature, nature is still the unique power of the world. Thanks for sharing all those stories labatt, it does make us put things in perspective.
    Objectively, I find the human race to be a very admirable species. Sure, we have a disagreements now and then, but the fact is that when some disaster does happen, that just brings us so much closer together. We will always find people that will help. We will always persevere and overcome. I mean, look at how many of those incidents were earthquakes? We knew there were risks of settling down near these places, and yet we do so anyway. We are a hardy species, and we are capable of so much greatness.
    Unfortunately that's what we see over and over and over again, when disasters happen we are capable of uniting and working together beyond borders to face them, but in the absence of disasters we are just selfish, does this make any sense?
    What an awesome article. I love and hate reading stories like this -- love because it's amazing to see how resilient people are and what they can survive through, hate because it's awful that people should need to survive situations like this to begin with. I agree with Gelsemium: It's so beautiful to see communities and even nations work together in the wake of tragedy, but I wish we could foster that sense of community even in times of calm. I wonder how much our response to disaster would change if we were always that interconnected and compassionate.
    I always find stories of human survival against all odds exceptionally inspirational. It is truly amazing how the human spirit is able to triumph over catastrophe. It sometimes makes me wonder just how much one can take and what lengths you can be driven to, yet still survive. We are all different and each has his own threshold and limitations as well as strengths.
    Gelsemium
    Unfortunately that's what we see over and over and over again, when disasters happen we are capable of uniting and working together beyond borders to face them, but in the absence of disasters we are just selfish, does this make any sense?


    Could be worse, we could be selfish and mean even in the direst disasters!

    Which is often what people think would happen in a catastrophe --everyone turning against each other to save themselves first -- but I think it's very inspiring how this usually turns out not to be true.

    I imagine that in every day life, people aren't as immensly helpful because, in the absence of a greater threat, they are so focused on their own little business and not as prone to helping others.
    Gelsemium
    Unfortunately that's what we see over and over and over again, when disasters happen we are capable of uniting and working together beyond borders to face them, but in the absence of disasters we are just selfish, does this make any sense?


    Second that..!!

    I don't know if i am wrong but this has often occurred to me.People dont make an effort to co-operate with other citizens.. but once there is something like a bomb blast people start many protests and which goes on for more than a month.. the unity can only be seen there??

    Looks like disasters/terrorists are better off at uniting us rather than any other thing that is required to
    Hi -

    I know it is an old reference but the article seems defunct now. I can see the short-code there. Looks like the site owner has uninstalled the slider slider plugin. Do you want to alert the owner of the article? Or if you have any other references to the article or a cached copy of the article, that would be really nice.
    I really enjoyed this article. Some of the stories I had heard about, but not all of them, My favorite was the one about the Japanese baby after the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. It is amazing the heroic things that people do in the face to tragedy that many of us never get to hear about. More stories should be told and these heros should be put on a pedistal for their bravery and being kind spirits.
    bala


    Second that..!!

    I don't know if i am wrong but this has often occurred to me.People dont make an effort to co-operate with other citizens.. but once there is something like a bomb blast people start many protests and which goes on for more than a month.. the unity can only be seen there??

    Looks like disasters/terrorists are better off at uniting us rather than any other thing that is required to


    We unite at disasters because in those situations our humanity appears, it's a survival situation and no one gets indifferent. When things are more or less ok we just tend to be selfish, it's a strange situation, I think that is what society and capitalism teach us.
    It all gives us hope really. We all know that "stuff happens", whether that's man-made circumstances or natural disasters. But human beings have a propensity to survive and thrive, and heroic acts like those outlined in the stories certainly give us all something to think about in our daily lives.
    Gelsemium


    We unite at disasters because in those situations our humanity appears, it's a survival situation and no one gets indifferent. When things are more or less ok we just tend to be selfish, it's a strange situation, I think that is what society and capitalism teach us.


    That's very true, sadly. Sometimes I wish an alien invasion (weak aliens hopefully) would take place so that humanity can join in forces and be united!
    LOL, I am not seeing that to happen and in fact we don't need to think about aliens, we just need to put people happiness and well being as the goal of society instead of making money and things would start changing.
    calicer1996


    That's very true, sadly. Sometimes I wish an alien invasion (weak aliens hopefully) would take place so that humanity can join in forces and be united!


    I doubt humanity will join forces. Just see what district 9 has to say...
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