"When I was your age Eli, we didn't have missiles, we had tornadoes. It's pretty similar." I told one of my six-year-olds as we left the bomb shelter at the mall the other day. We’d jettisoned the car in the parking lot moments before in what can only be described as the worst parking job ever. And the two really are similar. It starts when the news forecast gets gloomy and the atmosphere gets menacing. Then, someone, somewhere spots one. Sirens go off, you grab your family and run for shelter. You call people to make sure they know to take cover.Sirens wailing, you do things to keep calm, like think about statistical probabilities. Must be tiny, right? Really, really tiny. Infinitesimally tiny.Then you pray a bit that it misses you this time because even infinitesimally tiny probabilities happen to some poor schmuck and you'd rather not be that poor schmuck. At least not this time. You got lots of things to do this afternoon, and well… it really would be pre-mature. You hold your kid’s hand a bit. You exude nothing less than total confidence. Smile. Gleam in the eye. Remember those probabilities.You listen to the news on the radio (or, today, your iPhone). You try to hear what’s going on outside. Was that boom close? Sirens end, you leave your shelter wondering if the house next door will still be standing because you know that one poor schmuck's house can get destroyed while his neighbor’s goes unscathed. In retrospect, surviving those tornadoes, it gives you grit. Surviving things builds resilience, even if surviving just means getting yourself to a shelter and keeping it together. And surviving gives you a healthy respect for probability charts too. I think my boys are walking out of this with a bit more grit. It is by no means the sort of thing I thought I’d be passing down from one generation to the next. But then again, I truly doubt my parents had “give kids grit” on their “to do” list either.Cameron S. Brown is a Neubauer Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, Israel. He grew up in the small Midwestern town of Woodstock, Illinois.