We're one week into Hurricane Season here and so far very exciting. We had a named tropical storm even before the season began (don't those weather systems read schedules?). Thus far nothing has aimed its pointy little beak at us, but they promise us that this year is our year.
Thanks. I am really glad that potentially deadly storms not only read schedules, but are also good at taking turns and sharing.
This season brings about a certain giddiness among locals, especially natives. For example, my husband. He loves a good storm. Looks forward to a potential hurricane. Employs words such as, "Cool!" and "Exciting!" He fondly recalls the hurricanes he has "ridden out" and animatedly describes the feeling of the house shaking on its foundation and then the utter amazing stillness when the eye hits.
(Honey, I love you and this is why I am getting you the help you need.)
As a young person, I am sure this is all very awesome. As a parent and homeowner, this is not at all cool.
Plus, my one and only hurricane experience---my first season included Katrina and Rita---was an utter disaster. Panicked people flooded the roads, blocking us in the city. We---one dog, two cats, one baby, one toddler and two adults---spent over two days in our car, rationing the remaining cheerios and granola bars, and the few bottles of water left. The children were pink cheeked and listless from roasting in the humid heat and relentless sun. The baby---Persistence---never cried again after the first fifteen hours. At one point my husband nearly hit the end of his rope, "I don't know how to take care of my family under these conditions," he said, and his eyes were the most telling. We did run out of gas, we were one of the families trapped in the middle of a highway in the middle of nowhere. We were the abandoned people, advised to "ride out the hurricane in our car" as the officials refused to send out any help or assistance, including an ambulance for the very ill woman in the car next to us, who was missing her chemotherapy for stage 4 cancer, or for my listless baby running a raging fever. Yeah I'm not still angry or bitter.
So you can understand, then, why we will be the people the coast guard must rescue from the attic because we will very likely never evacuate again. That was a more deadly process than the hurricane.
People always ask, why didn't people just leave? Huh, are they stupid? That's just being obstinate, and putting others in harm's way. Jerks.
This is why: evacuation SUCKS and is DANGEROUS and in some cases DEADLY. Yes, we saw death. That was SO COOL. More people died evacuating than in the hurricane.
Okay reining in the anger and bitterness.
Where we live, wind is not so much our concern as is water. We are surrounded on three sides by water.
So...now is the time for getting ready, just in case.The city has hurricane preparedness meetings (all of whch I've missed so far, unfortunately). We are officially Hurricane Evacuation Coastal Zone A. This basically is a guideline for the order of evacuation and the route (as in what inland town you are to go to...where they are supposed to have shelter for you).
But let's talk about what really interests me: all stores, especially Home Depot, are over-run with items you MUST buy for hurricane preparedness. As a gadget geek this is very exciting to me and every time we go shopping, I say, wow, maybe we need these iron clips, or hey, that hurricane lamp is cool. Are you sure we can manage without a generator?
My husband scoffs.
He doesn't however, scoff at my anal retentive organization of important stuff. For example, essential photos and documents are permanently stored in easy to grab and go plastic totes.
I am a planner, an organizer. I love things like warranties and insurance. Safety nets make me feel, well, safe.
This is why I want 14 new pieces of plywood, a new (hidden) flashlight (that the kids can't find and run down), and some sort of large insulating bubble forcefield/shield to wrap around my house. (Did I got too sci-fi channel for you there?)
Scoff as you must, but I keep a toiletry bag packed all the time, and a full pantry of non-perishable food. Next shopping trip I will begin stocking up on bottled water. If I have one commonly used item in use, I have a spare in the pantry just in case.
I am a big believer in just in case planning.
If you happen to peruse the ready.gov disaster preparedness site (and if you've never been there, it is an interesting read...it has a guide for every type of conceivable disaster and what to do, including biological and chemical threats and nuclear explosions---in which case, as a person most likely dead, I figure neither is my problem), then you will find I am actually not at all above and beyond my duty here. I am barely halfway there.
I do not have the first aid book or a dust mask. (Put that on the list.)
I don't have copies of medical prescriptions and my match supply is sort of pitiful. (Put call doctor and eat out at nice restaurants to build match supply on the list.)
Plus, I need to reupdate my thumb drive backups of files.
Preparing is costly and time-consuming, if you do all the things they say you ought. However, it is worth it to me, and I'll do it all, in case someone else isn't. That's right: I'll take one for the team. Because you know what all of this planning and preparation really is, right?
It is hurricane repellant.
If I carry an umbrella, it won't rain. Right?
P.S. For those who have already written their Hump Day Hmm post, I am collecting URLs. I said I'd do a Host Post this week out of courtesy to those who already did the post by the original deadline (and you seriously ROCK!) but I think Chani is the only one who actually posted hers up already. So I'll just collect URLs, hope you are all of a forgiving nature, and do the Host Post next Wednesday. Chani, I will put you on the top of the list when I do the Host Post. Next week I will put up a new Hump Day Hmm topic for the following week. Obviously you can post yours whenever you have time and space, just send me the URL and I'll put up the Host Post each Wednesday (with the links to the previous week's topic). I hope this makes sense? Ask me if not. :)
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert