So, it’s hurricane time where I live.
My daughter asked if I had ever been through a hurricane before, and the answer is a solid “no”. I grew up in Michigan, the land of snow and construction. It gets cold there, but you don’t get hurricanes. I’ve always been fascinated by them, riveted by weather reports about them, and somehow Z and Melinda both picked up that high alert to weather systems that I have. I watched the forecasts for Katrina for days out, thinking about how I would prepare if I had somehow been in that path.
I am now.
We were on vacation last week, unbelieveably on a cruise ship in the Atlantic, being chased by Hurricane Irene. The ship diverted from some ports and steamed up North more quickly than expected, giving us long, lovely days at sea that seemed blissful and calm. All the while we watched the news feed from New York and realized that when we arrived home to Connecticut, we would be sitting squarely in the bullseye of a forecast hurricane.
Now you Gulf Coasters are probably chuckling at the hysteria being created by us East Coasters by Irene, but to be fair, we don’t do this that often here. I certainly haven’t ever seen anything come on this course in the nearly 7 years I’ve lived here. We’ve seen some tropical storm force type storms, but a real hurricane, with sustained winds over 12 hours or more?
Yeah, we’re not used to that type of thing. Nor’easter, no problem. But this? We’re all kind of freaking.
So I went to the grocery store as soon as we arrived home from our lovely trip. Just like you see on TV: shelves emptied of bread and bottled water, long lines at the check out. Batteries were the stuff of dreams, emptied from their end caps in every area of the store. Mostly, people being nice and generous with each other. But a frantic look in everyone’s eyes as they grabbed peanut butter and granola bars off the shelves and into their carts.
R went to the hardware store in search of a generator. Four stops later, he gave up, and reported the batteries were a pipe dream where he’d been as well. A girlfriend posted on Facebook that batteries were still available at the adult toys store half an hour away, but no where else. We chuckled, but it’s a little creepy. Newscasters are smartly asking people to prepare for days to a week without power, which is daunting but honestly the right move. We’ll be filling up our water pitchers and containers later today (many people around here have well water, which means they lose water with power….we don’t have a well, but we’re still going to make sure we have water available just in case). We’re pulling in everything from outside. I’ve done the groceries. The biggest job is the basement; if the power goes out we’ll lose our sump pump, and likely get water in there. With eight to twelve inches of rain predicted for our bullseye location, we have to get everything up off the ground or in plastic just to be safe. We have gas in our cars and cash in our wallets, and we’re ready. Last night, we made Hurricane drinks from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe and cooked food from the freezer in our attempt at a good old fashioned Hurricane Party.
Otherwise, we’ll be hunkering down, charging our batteries and hoping for a miss. As the sun comes up Monday morning, we’ll know if we made it through unscathed or not.