What started as a normal day for Nicole Seymour quickly turned into her worst nightmare. On Tuesday morning, she woke up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work as a nurse at Teague Elementary School where she has worked for the past 26 years for Pasadena Independent School District. As she was driving to work the rain began to pick up, she quickly made it into the school parking lot and ran inside. As the day continued, the rain became more intense. About 2 p.m. Seymour realized that this was no ordinary rain but something more serious- she turned on the television and realized there was a tornado coming.
She ran to the principal’s office and all she could hear were phones ringing over and over. As she helped answer them, she heard the voices of concerned parents wanting to pick their children up from school. She immediately jumped into action and started to help get the children ready for their parents. As they stood outside loading the children into their parent’s cars, she noticed that the rain had changed patterns and made a circle. Having experienced a tornado before, she knew that this was not normal, and that the tornado was close. They immediately all ran inside and closed the door.
“As we were sheltering inside the building all I could hear was a very loud noise like a train was heading straight for us and that is when the tornado hit us,” Seymour said.
One of the walls in the building that they were sheltering in collapsed.
“The children immediately began to scream and cry, but I knew I had to remain calm and get them out of harm’s way.”
As soon as the tornado passed, we were able to take the children safely outside were anxious parents returned for them.
Seymour then left the school, knowing she had to help her community. She arrived at a location where the American Red Cross was handing out supplies to those impacted. She jumped straight in and started loading cars that stopped by for help.
Seymour is not just a hero at her school, but she has also made a positive impact in her community. When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Seymour was one of the people that was affected. Her home took a tremendous amount of water and she lost everything. She recalls the feeling of anguish that she felt when she saw her home destroyed but then also the glimmer of hope when she saw the Red Cross arrive.
“It was like night and day to me, right as I was thinking how I will ever recover, I saw the Red Cross drive down my street and I was able to breathe again,” she said.
“The Red Cross did so much for me that day that I knew I had to find a way to give back, and as soon as I could, I signed up to volunteer.”
On Tuesday, Seymour once again helped her community in their darkest days. After her horrific day at school, she showed up to bring hope to others experiencing their worst nightmare.
Just like Seymour you too can be that beacon of hope for those that have been affected by disasters. Please sign up to be a volunteer in your local community by going to redcross.org/volunteer. To help those affected by these tornadoes you can also make a donation at redcross.org/donate and select your local Red Cross.