Every parent can attest to the fact that sometimes our jobs interfere with our family lives, but one meteorologist and father of two recently experienced that very thing to a very intense degree.
Doug Kammerer, chief meteorologist for NBC Washington, was live on-air Thursday reporting on the weather (as meteorologists do), sharing a report from the National Weather Service with his viewers—a tornado in Maryland was brewing.
When he realized that the path of the tornado was headed directly for his house, he stopped what he was doing to call his family right in the middle of his live broadcast.
“I gotta warn my kids because I know what my kids are doing right now,” Kammerer said. “They are probably online gaming and not seeing this.”
His son answered the phone, and Kammerer wasted no time in giving him instructions to stay safe.
“Hey Kent, are you there? I want to make sure you get down to the basement,” he says to his son while on camera. “Get downstairs as soon as you can.”
He advised him to go into a bedroom in the basement and wait for 15 minutes or so. He then hung up the phone and returned to the broadcast.
What’s really amazing about this moment is that any parent watching probably feels that anxious knot you feel anytime your kids could potentially be in danger. Kudos to Kammerer, who remained cool as a cucumber during the entire exchange. Parents know kids will pick up on your energy in any given situation, and trying to remain calm and in control when you’re also scared is one of the hardest parts of parenting. Trying to remain calm as a meteorologist—who knows probably everything there is to know about tornadoes and the havoc they wreak—and a dad is a true feat.
Kammerer himself commented about the ordeal on Twitter later that night.
“Yes, had to warn my family! Kids were home alone and I knew they were not watching me on TV!” he said. “They are safe. Thank you! Scary moment for me though, I was freaking out inside a bit.”
As any parent no doubt would! This dad handled things like a total pro, though—as a meteorologist and a parent. And we’re glad to learn that his entire family is safe. Whew, what a moment!