It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 2

It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.12

     challenging words:    bono, candlelight, corny, flicker, generator, light-up, manmade, noooo, opening, pointed, portable, spears, airborne, backup, million, boomed
     content words:    Five-year-old Colton, Hannah Girl

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It's Not about Me - A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     About a million other people had the same idea we did. Traffic was heavy. Dad was focused on the road. The weather guy on the radio talked about Katrina. She was coming in like a freight train, he said. The storm had lost a little of its power and was now a Category 4 instead of a 5. So we were about to be flattened by wind going 145 miles per hour instead of 175, I thought. Did it matter?
2     They were saying the storm would reach land in the morning. It was evening now. A steady rain had begun to fall. Thunder boomed in the distance. I pictured the hurricane swirling around our house. I was glad Dad had fastened the storm shutters tight.
3     I remembered when we'd moved here Mom had gotten hold of a booklet on hurricanes. We should have a family disaster plan, she said. (Mom and Dad are really big on family activities.) Mom had us make a plan to follow in case of a bad storm.
4     She'd kept us all busy. She didn't want our little brothers and sister to feel left out. She had Hayden and I help them with a corny scavenger hunt. They rounded up all the supplies we'd need in an emergency. We got water, food, a first aid kit a whole list of stuff. Of course, the little kids loved every minute of it. We checked the smoke detectors. We put fresh batteries in the portable radio. We chose the den downstairs as the safest room in the house. We're all supposed to go there if something bad happens.
5     Mom was happy. No one on earth was more ready for disaster than we were. At the time, I didn't see what all the flap was about. So far, hurricanes had been pretty tame. Now, with Katrina knocking on the door, maybe Mom's plan hadn't been so silly after all. I reached up and touched her shoulder. She turned her head a little and put her hand over mine. I found myself praying everything would go smoothly for her and the baby.
6     Finally, we got to Peter's house. We all stared. What a place! It was like a palace! A little short woman spoke with Dad at the front door. He came back and got us all. We hurried inside. The woman smiled timidly. "This is Mrs. Bono," Dad said. "She works for Peter."
7     "Welcome," she said. She seemed nervous. I don't think she was used to kids. This place didn't look like a kid had ever been within a mile of it.
8     "I must get my wife to the hospital," Dad said to Mrs. Bono. "I'll be back as soon as I can." He turned to us. "Everybody give Mom a hug. She can't go have a baby without hugs." We all said goodbye. My littlest brother, Jake, wanted to stay with Mom. His face was all set to melt into tears. We had to distract him quickly.
9     Mrs. Bono came to the rescue. "Follow me, children," said the little woman. "I have cookies and hot chocolate for you." We trooped after her. She led us through a living room the size of a wheat field. Toward the back of the house, we entered a big, brightly lit room. Pots and pans hung from the ceiling.

Paragraphs 10 to 23:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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