Last night at 4:05 a.m. here in Chicago, I was sleeping soundly and having that dream where my ex and I scream at each other in a Mexican restaurant. Then, all of a sudden, a terrible screechy alarm woke me up.
Like I do in all times of uncertainty, I looked to my cat. She was on full alert at the foot of the bed, crouching and staring wide-eyed at my iPhone.
My iPhone? I distinctly remembered silencing my iPhone before bed with the fantastic "do not disturb" feature. But the phone was lit up and beeping at me. I flipped it over to see the following:
"Emergency Alert: Flash Flood Warning this area til 12:00 PM CDT. Avoid flood areas. Check local media. -NWS."
I looked out my window, and sure enough, it was raining. Many areas of the city did indeed flood overnight. But why, National Weather Service, did I need to know this at 4 in the goddamn morning?
The only people who would really need to know about the heavy rain at that exact moment are the people who were awake, and driving around in the middle of the night. But I think those people worked out the situation for themselves, using the five senses that nature gave them. I personally could have waited until 10 a.m. when I intended to wake up.
So, I am turning off emergency alerts. That's right, I'm going to be totally unaware next time a child goes missing from Texas. And if I happen to see someone restraining a kid and hissing, "I'm your mommy now" on the L train, I won't know to be concerned — all because the National Weather Service doesn't respect my sleep schedule. I hope they are happy.