**This is not a disaster preparedness post. For those coming for that, I have linked guides for actual hurricane preparedness.**
If you aren’t on the East Coast, you probably haven’t heard much about Hurricane Matthews bearing down on the eastern seaboard, the largest in a decade. For this area, I believe it’s the largest since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Since my family and my mother live on the east coast, my sister called us out of worry. Neither of us are evacuating, we are both buckling down and preparing for the storm. She told me that I seemed calm, was it a big deal.
The truth is… it is and it isn’t.
I happened to be in Florida the last time a hurricane hit Florida, Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I was scared, really scared. Coming from earthquake country, we have no forewarning, no way to prepare right before it happens.
For me, there’s no anxiety behind it. It just is. When one hits, you move quickly and within a minute, it’s over. You survey the damage and in most places in California, there isn’t much damage to homes or streets. There were the big ones, San Francisco and Northridge, but no one could prepare for that intensity.
But in a hurricane, you start asking yourself tons of questions:
- Do I stay, do I go?
- If I go, where do I go?
- Can I afford to go?
- If so, how long can I afford to stay away?
- How long do I stay gone?
- Is it better to be near your home if there’s damage than return to it and see the damage days later?
Quite frankly, most people stay, for the good or the bad. With a hurricane, you never know how hard it will actually hit until it gets here. You can watch the maps all day, but in the midst of it, a hurricane can speed up or slow down.
Last year, there was one hurricane, I can’t remember the name, which everyone was worked up over until it hit land and completely fizzled out. It was no worse than a heavy rain storm.
This year, people waited until they saw the tracking map that showed that it would almost definitely hit Florida. See, that’s how it is, an “almost definitely” is really the best they have.
Hurricane Matthew could hit the States and fizzle, or instead, get stronger. The hurricane could also turn inland or go out back into the ocean. Fun right?
The Store Run
As the news predicts that Hurricane Matthew would almost definitely hit this part of Florida, there was the run on the stores for batteries, water, food, and fuel. Water was the first to go.
But the dang batteries? You know those D batteries that don’t have a place in day to day life anymore? Well, you need those… and since you have no idea how long the power will be out, you need to make sure you have enough to last every night. Most places only sell four or eight packs unfortunately and those were sold out everywhere!
So, where did I find mine? Bed, Bath and Beyond. After posting online, someone also mentioned trying Barnes & Noble too! Gotta think outside the box when looking for emergency items.
The Hurricane itself isn’t the problem for most people. Mobile homes and lighter structures, yeah, but for the rest of us, the major concerns are:
- Flying debris (broken trees, garbage left outside, anything loose)
- Flooding (if drains clog or too much rain for the area at one time)
- Lack of Electricity (the power will most likely go out, so the real question is “how long?”)
As I sit down to write possibly the last blog post for the next few days, and listen to my husband put up shutters around the house, I think of what my major concern is.
For us parents, the biggest fear is “How am I going to take care of my children without electricity and without killing them?”
So, I’m going to sign off while grabbing some board games and using my Brita to filter some more water.
Which scare you more: hurricanes or earthquakes?
If you are planning to evacuate your home and need to seek shelter, you can dial 211 on your phone or click a link below for information on shelters in your area. If you plan to remain home, please take time to prepare your home and ensure that your family will be safe and secure.