Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Preparation’

…thus sayeth the clerk to me. And, just for the record, I was NOT shopping at a sex toy store. This line was earnestly delivered at the checkout in front of God and everybody at a regional grocery store chain early this morning after I joined the stampede which was wiping out displays like this one:

Elsewhere in the store, and at all the Piggly Wigglys and Winn-Dixies, shelves were already starting to look like this as early as 8 am:

I forgot to check the beer/wine and the beanie-weenie aisles, but their contents usually go missing, too. Another couple of hours, and most the shelves will be bare. So goes the hurricane prep.

And all the good people of this world were asking, “So, do we go to church this morning and pray, or get in on the supplies while they still have ’em?”

This won’t be as bad as Katrina and some of the other bad boys we had 7-8 years back, but a Category 2 is nothing to sneeze at, either. So best to be ready.

Today the boards are being placed near the windows they may have to cover, supplies are being readied and made handy, the generators are getting a thorough oiling and test run, families with children are pouting about the likely loss of a full week of Thanksgiving vacation due to storm days possibly being used this week, and the grating chorus of chain saws is echoing throughout most neighborhoods as dead limbs are hastily trimmed. Boats are being moored upstream or brought up onto neighbors’ lawns. Neighbors are checking in with each other and exchanging walkie-talkies. Hospitals are reserving rooms for their on-duty staff and their families. And the animals, young children and frail elderly are starting to act positively wiggy.

Technology is so very fab: the sky is clear blue and our only weather clue is a soft whisper of a steady breeze…so it’s nice to be able to anticipate. Radar rocks.

The hardest part is the dilemma we face in trying to ready our home and family while the endless stream of phone calls pours in from concerned, sundry relatives around the globe who tend to watch – and believe – everything they see on The Weather Channel. How many times must we pause to stop filling the containers with water and placing the boards in order to answer the phone, when we’re under a strict timeline? Besides, it’s not cool to get gasoline gunk on the phone…And yet, to not answer the phone and steadily tend to the preparations is to leave the worried world wondering, their imaginations running amok.

It’s like being pregnant and being ready for the same, rote questions: boy or girl, due date, name, blah blah blah. Except in an approaching storm, everyone wants to know is it bad yet (no, it’s sunny, and will be for another day or two), are you ready, what’s it like, ride it out or evacuate, blah x 3. Why do the distant relatives from the northeastern sector of Neptune have to wait until now to decide to come out of the woodwork? Not complainin’, just sayin’.

You want to reassure the masses, but at the same time, the reality is, it’s a crap shoot – you never know until it hits, and our experience is, even when it hits, you can’t tell which trees you heard falling where until it passes and only then can you assess the aftermath up close and personal. But then you can’t notify anyone outside of the mess, anyway, with no way to communicate. So best to provide some brief reassurance ahead of time. I’m putting my phone on speaker so I can do the reassuring and the prep protocol in my usual multitasking mode.

Helluva time to have a houseguest flying in from the west coast today, too…this should be extra fun & games! Nothing like a little local show & tell to the Xtreme. Southerners like to do it up right, no matter how bad things get.

And when the clouds blow away and the power’s out for a week or more, it is a sight to see the block parties going on – mutual sharing of time and resources, neighbors coming together to clear the debris, and everyone’s stash of stuff in the freezers being barbecued and jovially snarfed so it doesn’t go to waste and nobody goes hungry or uncared for.

Yes, I look forward to these disasters not only because of my addiction to a high level of adrenaline, but because it forces people to remember the ABCs of humanity and what is important in life, such as loving thy neighbor. Thanks, God, for bringing us back to the basics of Your will for us.

I’ll catch y’all on the flip side of the eye of the storm…and yes, dear friend, we’ll be just fine.

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