Oh Irene, what a start to this years 'Water Event Season' (some of us who've lived on/near the coast for many years - and still come out on the Up side of certain storms - just don't say that "H" word outloud any longer). No need to tempt Fate. We've commiserated with friends on their losses....parts of houses, cars, outbuildings, yards, boats, farm equipment, livestock, whole houses...to those kinds of storms, and said a very reverent prayer of Thanks it wasn't us....this time. Living in the possible strike zone for these Water Events forms a bond with our neighbors like nothing else. As do the Hurricane Parties (okay, we say the H word in connection with "party") that go along with the inevitable waiting.
Living on the coast includes a couple of special shopping trips every Spring, in anticipation of the Water Event Season, laying in fresh batteries, couple more flashlights, bottled water, gas for the generator, pieces of lumber for windows, tarps, tape, cords for tying things down (HA like that really works, just slows them things down when the winds pick 'em up and turn 'em into missiles, but we continue to do it anyway, sometimes we do get lucky and the things just roll around some). Not a big deal. When the storm(s) get closer, we make another run to the stores, repleneshing dry and canned food items that can be eaten safely on day 3 of no power - no water. Fill every one of the cars with gas; put towels, blankets and pillows in 'em in case we need to drive out of the area (IF we can, IF the time comes). Everybody in the house packs their own VERY small bag/suitcase/tote bag/duffel with clothes, pair of shoes or boots that can wade through mud-muck-debris 'cause you never know what may be lying across the road, or a neighbor's house that needs your help to get moved.
Then there's the "house bag" that we pack: extra water jugs, small lantern, more batteries, portable food items, etc., plus everybody gets to put one (1) individual item in - something we can 'share' and something that we can 'do' - a deck of cards, a brand new crossword puzzle book, "games" have to be small, like Boggle, the board games are too big and cumbersome. One family-group-Christmas-shopping trip we happened across a battery powered cd player and I think it was the youngest of the kids who immediately saw the potential, yelling, "Hurricane Box ! Hurricane Box!!" right there in the store, pointing to this thing on the shelf. Guess his parents singing 'Under the Boardwalk' during one of the past years Water Event Season sieges was just too much for that one. So now as Irene puts us through our paces this week, I have to figure out which 3 of my favorite beach music cd's will go into the "house bag" (aka Hurricane Box by the youngest) JUST IN CASE, despite all of our preparations and precautions, we have to evacuate. Sigh. I really need to buy duplicate cd's I think. Next week, after Irene leaves.
Ya'll stay dry, but for sure, Stay Safe.