Tornados and thunderstorms swept through much of the south on Tuesday night. West and Middle Tennessee were particularly hard hit, bringing back painful memories of the April 2006 tornado that touched down at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN. I spent that day in April of 2006 helping students to safety and reuniting family members after the storm. It was a day that I would rather forget. Tuesday night I was in my own basement, instead of my college office, but I didn’t feel any safer. My immediate friends and family are all safe and the college was spared from any major damage, but the surrounding area was not so lucky. There are currently 32 fatalities in Tennessee, but the number continues to rise. My XTERRA training calls for an easy recovery day tomorrow, with only some light lifting. I’ll be spending the day doing a different kind of recovery as I work with a team of volunteers from the college on tornado recovery. This fall I participated in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and now I get to put this training to work. The training covered search and rescue, basic first aid and counseling, assessing structural integrity of homes and buildings, and proper emergency response to disasters. Here are some pictures from the 2006 storm.