Tropical Storm, sometimes Hurricane, Isaias skimmed by us off the coast. I am writing this on Sunday morning as we get some wind and sideways drizzle. Nothing exciting and that’s what you always wish for in hurricane season.
How the heck is Florida suppose to prepare for a hurricane when we have rampant unemployment, the $600 surplus ended, a pandemic and I know I probably left out a few other obstacles? Plus Isaias snuck up on us. Usually we have the drumbeat of an approaching storm for a solid week as it strengthens. It seemed like on Wednesday the news said, “by the way, this storm might ruin your weekend, so you might want to hit the grocery store.”
Things were a bit tense when I went to pick up my groceries. I stopped at an independent grocery to sort a bunch of coins in exchange for a free Amazon card. Walmart has the same card sorter but doesn’t offer Amazon cards – they aren’t stupid. Anyway, I walked out with an Amazon voucher for $68 after witnessing a woman simply losing it in the store. Why? I have no idea, and it was none of my business.
There is a Costco next to my Walmart pick up and its gas pumps were packed. The Walmart parking lot was packed. I felt a lot of sympathy for folks trying to be prepared. 2020 has been tough.
Meanwhile at Casa Maggie, I got a few hurricane supplies and set out to clean up my apartment because this was my weekend for a thorough cleaning. That kept me busy for most of Saturday.
My hurricane supplies and procedures are honed from 30 years of Florida storms, including Hurricane Andrew (click here for that story), 2005 which gave us 3 direct hits within 2 months (Katrina, Rita & Wilma – yes, Katrina hit Miami as a Category 1 before she got to New Orleans. Her eye passed over my neighborhood). Here is what I do for a storm:
- I do not buy water. That is ridiculous. Andrew was the only time water was an issue and that was only for a week. Hey, when a Cat 5 hits, you do need to worry about water, but most storms do not affect water supply. Instead I fill up a few gallon jugs I keep around for this purpose. Nothing fancy. If we lose electricity, I stop drinking tap water for about 48 hours in case the system needs to flush. You don’t always get the boil water alerts after a storm.
- Crackers, canned fruit and tuna, maybe cold cuts – yep, that’s about it. Nothing fancy, nothing that has to be cooked, nothing that can get moldy quickly. Bread is a lost cause. After a storm, it is unbearably hot. No wind, high pressure, it is stifling. If you don’t have electricity, you have no appetite because of the heat. Plus you will be so stressed out, that you need easy things. Now during the storm, I highly recommend mini Reese’s Cups. These are purely medicinal for your stress level. They pair well with prosecco. I do recommend an adult beverage during a challenging storm. Once again, it’s medicinal.
- As soon as you lose power, switch to paper goods. The hassle of heating up water, etc. for dishes is a wasted effort.
- Battery-operated fan, lantern(s), head lamp. This is where I was lacking for this storm. I ordered a fan with my groceries, but by the time I picked my groceries, they had run out. I knew the odds were against me. My headlamp is old and doesn’t work. I have an old mini lantern and flashlight which is fine, but with my newfound Amazon credit, I have ordered my fan and a new headlamp.
- Keep the phones charged and have a couple of battery packs. During extended outages, the nicest part of the day is sitting in the air-conditioned car charging up the phones, but you can’t do that too much because gas becomes a precious commodity.
I can go in-depth about generators, house prep, etc., but these days with my simple little apartment I don’t have to worry about all of that. I brought my chair, ottoman and end table inside early. I brought in my front doormat. That was it. I parked my car strategically away from trees and between two other cars as a buffer from side debris. That’s it. It was incredibly easy and I am truly thankful that this area of my life is so simplified. I sent a text to the kids about my plans so they knew what was up, I let my dad know and poof, I was done. I made banana bread for my storm stress eating and I wasn’t even stressed enough to binge.
Mostly I sit here this morning being thankful. Thankful we dodged the storm, no matter how weak it is. Thankful I have a small place of newer construction with windows that meet hurricane code, so I feel safe and my prep is quick. Thankful that I have a job and no debt so I can buy the things I need without stress. Thankful that I lost neither internet or power – it gets really sucky when those two things go. Thankful this happened over a weekend so I didn’t have to decide if going to work was the politically savvy decision. I think recognizing all of these things add to my overall happiness. I am truly fortunate and I know it. Thank you, Karma. Yes, I have been thinking about how to play it forward. More to come on that in the future.