Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things I learned from my first Real Hurricane

I'm very happy to say that myself and all of my loved ones out here are safe. (Thank the Lord) We all sustained nominal property damage if any; none of us are hurt. I'm eternally thankful.

On Friday afternoon I started a list of What I've Learned From My Very First Hurricane™ and continued adding to it as things progressed. Before anybody jumps on me for being "insensitive," let me state that my flippant sarcasm was the only thing that kept me from absolutely freaking the hell out.

Without further ado:
1. An impending hurricane is apparently an undeniable reason to go out and drink with your friends. Aside from threat of potential impending doom, hardly anyone had to work in the morning. On Thursday night I heard "I Like Ike" more times than the people who were involved in the Eisenhower campaign.

2. It is a poor idea to garner your expectations of your Very First Hurricane from your friend that is reputably Full Of It. You will end up way more panicked than is remotely necessary.

4. An impending hurricane offers the perfect excuse to putting off housework and laying by the pool. You'll be stuck indoors for a few days after the hurricane hits, so take advantage of the sunshine while you can.

5. An impending hurricane is also the perfect excuse for slacking off in front of the TV/watching movies/surfing eBay. Enjoy all electronics-related leisure before the power gets knocked out; you're going to have ample time to read/study/clean out your closet by flashlight.

6. I spent a good portion of last night wondering what sort of pummeling the city/my loved ones/myself would get from Hurricane-Thug Ike. In the following nine hours, the entire city closed down due to the imminent weather emergency; then the sun came up, people walked their dogs, and we all got the day off to lay by the pool.
The real lesson came every time I checked a weather map and saw that even though Scary Gangster Ike wasn't upon us, it was still on the way, we still had to be ready for disaster. All the bad stuff and the good stuff will come to us- each on their own time. We've just got to be ready when they arrive.

7. There's a first time for everything, including frightening weather conditions.

8. The most frightening part of the experience was not the storm itself, but walking through the bottom level of my parking garage in the pitch- dark (I cannot remember the last time I've been afraid of darkness, yet something about this gave me major heebie-jeebies).

9. Two words: Hurricane Party. Wherein I was told "You want to be sound asleep when this thing hits. Drink up."

10. It's a wise idea to wear something with pockets the night of the hurricane/hurricane party: You won't need to carry a purse, and you want to have something in your pockets to keep you from blowing away when the 30-mile-per-hour winds pick up.

11. It is very difficult to light a cigarette in 30m.p.h. winds.

12. After a storm of this magnitude, your power is going to be out for a while. I'm from up north, where thunderstorms knock out power for a few hours at most. I am a little spoiled by this, and couldn't believe that the power could really be out for more than 24 hours, right? In a big city like this?Hahahahaha. As you can imagine, I was in for a rude awakening.

13. It is amazing how much you take things like electricity for granted. It's equally amazing how quickly living Flinstones-style gets old when you're used to living the spoiled cushy spoiled life.

14. When you have no electric and no cable, your new source of entertainment is walking around the neighborhood looking at the damage and asking everyone else if they have power yet. Call it community bonding, if you will.

15. You probably do not want to check your stocks just yet. I haven't. I don't want to know.

16. Rule of thumb for your first hurricane: If you think you're prepared enough, you're probably wrong.

I am currently staying in the home of my amazingly generous and awesome employer and her family. They live in a suburb thirty-ish miles west of the city; and while public schools are closed until Wednesday they town is mostly up and operational. They have electricity, they have air conditioning, they have showers with water pressure (and internet, as you can see). Needless to say I am eternally grateful. On the off-chance they're reading this: THANK YOU! (if they are not, know that I make it a point to say this verbally as much as possible).

In other words, I did not exactly stroll through My First Real Hurricane™ with flying colors; but you live and you learn and hopefully I'll do better next time. I'll leave you with this: A storm like this comes once every twenty years. In the grand scheme of things, it's still better than having snowstorms every winter.


Tree said...

I concur wholeheartedly with your last sentence! I get 6 months of gray skies and drizzle now, but it's still better than the snow in the Poconos.

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