Friday, August 26, 2011

Come On, Irene

An earthquake on Tuesday, and now Hurricane Irene threatens our weekend. What the what?!  Hey, it's what everybody's talking about - again, might as well join in! Just like the earthquake, Irene is taking aim at most of the east coast. We're expecting her to arrive starting tomorrow and through Sunday. Though we've had several hurricanes here in my lifetime they are still not that common this far up the Atlantic. Usually even if they start out looking like they'd reach us they veer out to sea before making it here. Nevertheless, the governor has declared a state of emergency in preparation and in this household we're taking that seriously- without freaking out, of course. Of the hurricanes I've experienced, I'm pretty sure this one is the most threatening. Whether that's because I'm an adult/home owner/parent paying attention to the coverage remains to be seen.

On our side for this event is the fact that we don't live ON the coast. We're a few hours inland. We're not terribly far from the Chesapeake, but no where near close enough to experience flooding from a storm surge. In fact, it's rare for our area to see any flooding beyond a very saturated yard. In a hurricane though, who knows. So far in any major rain we've had our basement has stayed dry. Fingers stay crossed for that trend to continue. Our biggest threats, I believe, --ok, more honestly, my biggest fears are power outages and broken windows. I can deal with a power outage as long as the house stays in tact. I'm just worried that with such high winds all sorts of things become projectiles. I don't trust my neighbors to have properly secured all of their crap. That's not to mention trees that can break and cause debris to go flying about. We also have a patch of very tall, very skinny trees (mentioned in a previous post) right behind our house. They scare me every time there's a big storm. I've seen them do some serious waving around in the wind so I'm pretty nervous about them in a hurricane where 50-85 mph sustained winds and 110 mph gusts are expected. They're right outside our bedroom so the current plan is not to sleep in there on Saturday night.

So what are we doing to prepare? We are of course bringing in our outdoor stuff except the grill and table. We'll flip the table upside down (glass flat on the deck) and secure the grill as best we can (bungeed to the deck, maybe?). Inside we're using a Rubbermaid bin as our "emergency" container in which we'll put our essentials and anything vital we wouldn't leave the house without. This way if the house is damaged and we have to leave, we can just grab the bin and go without rushing through a mental check-list. We have cash on hand in case we need supplies before power is back and we'd be unable to use our debit card. We have gas in the car if we needed to leave the house/area due to damage. We have bottled water and plenty of things to eat that don't require cooking/refrigeration. The governor has suggested being prepared to be "on your own" for a 72-hour period. We also have a radio, flashlights, candles, all that good stuff. I think we'll spend at least Saturday night camped out in our dining room-turned-play room because it's in the center of the house as far as one can get from any windows. It has a foam mat on the floor, so we'll put the futon mattress down on that and feel like we're sleeping on a cloud, I'm sure. Our pack n play is also in that room already because my nephew naps there so our Bebe can sleep in that and be right beside us should an emergency happen.

In all likelihood we'll be fine and just get to watch an awesome storm. That's what I'm hoping for. I'm glad we're prepared and taking precautions, but we probably won't need them. We'll just have a fun night of camping out on the floor of the play room and playing with flashlights. Sadly our roomie (my SIL Jennie) has been roped into staying at her parents' (my ILs) house for the weekend. They volunteered her to sing in church on Sunday but somehow the impending hurricane and high chance of church being cancelled is no excuse for her not to spend her weekend at their house.

As long as we have internet I might try to post pictures or videos of anything cool going on around here over the weekend. Otherwise I'll probably be back on Monday... or whenever our internet comes back. All the best to anyone else prepping for the storm. Hang in there! :)

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