Dear weather warning, you sound the alarm instructing us to put away deck chairs, lower umbrellas in the event of a gale. Onscreen, clouds of many colors move across the map, thick patches of red-orange driving heavy rainfall from Georgia to the Carolinas to Virginia. You rouse us from sleep with a hallucination of sound: an onrushing train for which we will need to remember, in our panic haze, whether or not this is the time to stop, drop, and roll or the time to climb into a bathtub and drag a mattress for putting over our heads. Dear red flag, dear signal of our coming distress—there is only so much we can pack into a cooler or a backpack or the trunk of a car. Should the ocean crest its barriers or fire leap from mountain to mountain, licking the roofs of houses before exhausting its unpredictable career, some of us will be part of an exodus glimpsed from the air as a slow- moving chain of bodies. Some of us will stay, not knowing where else to go but into the eye of the storm. Dear tragedy, dear heartbreak scenario, I understand that. I too would rather be plunged quick and whole or even unlimbed into the depths of the sea, rather than under a schoolroom desk, cowering as a fury of bullets picks out targets one by one as if our children were nothing but toys.