Five years ago today, a devastating EF-4 tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, killing as many as 65 people and injuring 1,500. Author B. J. Hollars, his wife, and their future son endured the onslaught this tornado. There, while huddled in a bathtub in their Alabama home, mortality flashed before their eyes. With the last of his computer battery, Hollars began recounting the experience, and would continue to do so in the following years, writing his way out of one disaster only to find himself caught up in another. He collected these writings on disaster into his new book This Is Only a Test. You can read more about his experience during the tornado in this excerpt from the book.
Check out this video of the Tuscaloosa tornado to see what Hollars and other residents witnessed during the storm: