As Hurricane Florence approaches and we've tried to figure out what we need to be ready I thought I'd write down some of the thoughts running through my head.
Normally I feel like we're reasonably prepared. We have food storage and water and the like and if we had to weather a storm at home we'd be ok. You know, like a blizzard or something. But right now we're in a darn hotel and all of our stuff is packed up. We realized that we may need water and a light source if we lose power here so we were out last night and learned a few things about preparedness. They aren't new - they were just reinforced. The immediate lead up to the storm is NOT the time to prepare. There was no water anywhere. Fortunately we had bought a case on Saturday and right now we're just refilling any bottle that we drink. We looked at 3 stores before we found a handheld spotlight for $35. We have that and some fresh batteries for flashlights in our cars.
Also, just like with a blizzard, bread is one of the first things to fly off the shelves. It must be a comfort thing.
Here are some things that have come to mind:
· If we lose power, we have no way to charge our phones which means we have no way to communicate with anyone.
o We need a hand crank and/or solar cell phone charger. If the cell towers are down that may not be much help immediately but having a charged battery once towers are up is important.
o I’ve thought about getting a NOAA weather radio before but haven’t done it. It’s on the top of my list. Especially since we’ll be living in the country. We'll be reliant on satellite for internet and TV and that's almost always knocked out with a bad storm so a NOAA radio could be helpful to get information from.
· If we lose power, we’ll be eating a lot of junk food because we won’t be able to cook anything. And fruit. We do have fresh fruit and carrots.
o We need an alternate way to cook. And fuel for that cooking method (i.e. propane for a grill, etc.). We'll have this once we've moved but what if we couldn't grill for some reason. Just something to think about.
· We have one case of water. Water is essential to life in so many respects – drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing…
o One of the first things to build back up in our food storage once we’ve moved in
· Cleaning – I don’t think Clorox Wipes are a good solution for regular cleaning, however, in a situation where water is at a premium I think they would be a good temporary solution. They would be good enough for short term cleaning so it would be good to have fresh wipes in storage.
o Also, I think having some dry shampoo would be a good thing. I do have some – just not with me…
· Light – having light diffuses tension in any situation but especially in a scary one and especially if you have kids (we don't have little kids but we still need light)
o We have a bunch of lanterns and flashlights (currently in storage) and when we get moved in I need to be more intentional about where I place them and also need to check regularly that their batteries are changed/fresh
Why do people wait? I have to say that I was surprised to see how calm people were. No one has been nasty or impatient in the stores even with the long, slow-moving lines. And it’s also amazing to see how much people have to buy. Dave noted that normally we wouldn’t have to go to the store because we have what we need. I’ll also note that that exact point drives me crazy! We really do try to be prepared with food and water and equipment we would need but all of our stuff is packed up and honestly, it never occurred to me that we could be looking at this while we’re staying in this hotel. We’re praying that the Lord will be merciful to us and we won’t have a power outage or flooding. That said, I'm also pretty sure that we're the most prepared room in the hotel at this point. ;)
I’ve always marveled at the pictures of people running to the hardware store to buy plywood to board up their windows when a hurricane is coming. If I lived on the coast I would have plywood and tools in my shed or garage because you know someday you’ll need them. I’ve always wondered why they wait and rush at the last minute?
Which brings me to another wonder. Why do some people refuse to evacuate? There’s no way they don’t know it’s coming. I’ve always wondered that from afar but now I’m here in the general vicinity and let me tell you, there’s no way that you could miss it. The news is everywhere! The evacuation orders began going into effect last night and today which should give people time to get safely out of town but there are always some who stay. Why? And, as cold-hearted as it may sound, why should someone else be expected to risk their life to save yours because you were being stubborn and refused to leave? That’s not right. (It's different if someone *can't* get out but that's not usually who they parade on the news - it's the macho guy who thought he was bigger than the storm.)
Anywho, the latest models show the storm taking a more southern route and hitting North and South Carolina the hardest with southern Virginia getting a wallop (we're in central VA). They're still saying we'll likely have one heck of a rain party up here but not nearly as bad as it could have been. The problem for a lot of this area (VA, NC, SC) is that rainfall has already been really high this season and the ground is saturated so we'll be looking at major flooding in some areas. Hoping and praying we can avoid that - both here are the hotel and at the house that we're closing on on Monday!
The good news is that I do have books to read during the day if the power goes out! :D