Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane off the Port Bow!

Well, Starboard actually if you're facing North.

But it's the quote from the Little Mermaid and as we're either going to have to hunker down in place or evacuate, (more likely the former as it seems to have readjusted overnight away from us a bit more) it seemed appropriate. 

As a life long veteran of Hurricanes, they don't phase me but I don't take them lightly either.  I've seen my home town ripped by Hurricane Rita, Francis, Amelia, Danielle, Bonnie and of course the curse it forever, Hurricane Ike of 2008. We've flooded (multiple times), lost cars --my brother's, had trees fall on our home (twice), and been without power until we had to leave because the heat and funk was too much.  During Rita (2005), my folks were part of a slow evacuation that had everyone hearing about it from afar as terrified as those stuck on the road.  They got an hour from home before the car ran out of gas from edging along for nearly 24 hours.  (Thankfully, some good Samaritans took them in).  So I know the damage and destruction these storms can wreak.

I've also seen many of those places I love (phoenix like) return, but not all.

So I put on a brave face, but I know the extent of damage one of these sucker storms can do.

If you are on the shore, now is the time to consider visiting friends and family that are inland. Really.
Take a sick day and count the blessings of being able to turn a possibly very bad situation wonderful.
Hurricane Irene has already given me a bonus, two more days with my parents --making the visit feel luxurious and slow and I am savoring it.  I was pining that it was too short, to hassled with the needs to get ready for back to school, and now it is none of those things. 

Tips for getting ready if you are in the path of the Hurricane but are not having to leave. Hurricanes are kind of a hurry up wait disaster type scenario. You spend a lot of time preparing.  You spend a lot of time talking about the weather.  When it comes, it's fascinating for the first few minutes, then it's time to fix food, play cards and keep the radio on in the background.  When the power goes out, there will be a momentary fluster of activity and worry.  Then the candles are lit, flashlights secured, radio re energized and the card game continues.  The size of the Hurricane determines the size of the wait.  The biggest issues are usually flooding, wind damage and power outage based. 

1) Fill up your cars with gas (top off both).
2) Batteries and flashlights.
3) charcoal and matches.
4) a generator if you have critical machines that must remain on.  (Every time just before a hunker down scenario I know, we should consider....and then the disaster happens and we emerge back online and the thought goes away with the remnants of whatever it was that sparked the idea that we should buy one).
5) Water. (Diet Coke and Beer don't count).
6) Easy to eat no cook foods.
7) Paper plates, cups and throw away utensils.  No one wants to do dishes in the dark, by hand.
8) Boredom killers.  This is where an operational deck of cards comes in handy. Searching through the junk drawer for the 8 of spades and two of clubs so you can get a game of hearts going is even less interesting and successful when the power is out.
9) A working radio, with the right sized batteries.  
10) A bit of actual cash.  Why?  Because if the power is out, you will have to pay for things with cash.  It's useful. 
11) a phone charger for the car. Charge your phones prior to the storm event, but this is your back up in case the situation takes days not hours to rectify.
12) Diapers, formula, personal supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, medicines, anything that might run out that you would hate to not have while waiting for life to turn to normal.

Not on the list but critical: A sense of humor. You're going to live like Frenchmen for a few days. Cold showers or none at all, the same people every day waiting to be able to go to work, food that is odd, more wine than usual and extra naps for all. Laughter makes even the most stressful of situations easier to weather.

One final note: even if you think you are an Iron man and can handle the storm, if the authorities say go, you go. The worst that happens is the authorities overreacted and you got an unscheduled impromptu day trip with the family.  Seriously, everyone stay safe and hopefully, this will be an overblown new weather event rather than an actual problem for any.  


Natalie said...

Anytime we know the power might go out we fill our our ice chest up with deli meats and cheese and condiments and maybe some freezer items to keep things cold. If there is room we put actual ice in too. =)

MightyMom said...

I hope you weathered it well.

I DON'T like hurricanes...or tornados...or earthquakes....

I really like my world to be stable actually. I'm funny that way.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!