Severe Weather Preparations

Sometimes I wonder if we will ever learn….We got lucky as far as it goes, as Hurricane Bill turned and actually wasn’t much more than a tropical storm with lots of rain and wind, by the time it made landfall at home.

Some folks got blasted pretty hard, but all and all, it was less than expected.

It got me thinking about preparedness. Within the last 9 years we have been hit hard by Hurricane Juan and the following winter by a major snowstorm, known locally as “white juan” Both of those weather events found us unprepared, us and lots of other folks just like us.

I said at the time, particularly after Hurricane Juan that I would always have flashlights and batteries, propane, and if possible, a generator.

I also said that I would never be in a hurricane situation again without a new chain for my chainsaw, and lots of oil and gas, not to mention making sure I had cash and gas in the vehicles.

I had to wait three days following the last hurricane to get a new chain for the chainsaw to clear the fallen trees in my backyard.

So when the weather warning came out for Hurricane Bill, which was expected to hit us this past weekend, you’d think I’d have all that stuff ready…but no.

Instead, Wendy and I took off and went camping….camping….in the face of a hurricane warning. Yes, we had some propane and proably a couple of flashlights but…My car had little on no gas in it, I wasn’t carrying much cash money. My chainsaw needs a new bar and chain, not to mention oil and gas, and yet, there is sits, at the cottage, miles from home. Absolutely no use to me if the big tree in the neighbors yard had fallen over into our driveway.

The propane we had we were using up on our camping trip for the stove and lanterns, and the gas in the van we were burning up driving out of town to go on the campout. There wasn’t much food left in the house, as we were between grocery shopping days, and when it comes to flashlights, the couple we had wouldn’t have lasted very long.

We had some bottled water on hand, but most of that we were using on the camping trip, so it would have been severely depleted by the time the storm hit. Even at the cottage.

There are several old fir trees that have died in the last few years in our woodlot. I have looked at them a hundred times and said, “gotta cut them down before they fall down and do some damage” but I didn’t do it, and they were the first thing on my mind when the weather turned bad this weekend. Fortunately, they stayed up. But another storm and who knows?

So….even with the warnings telling us to get ready, even with the past experiences, of struggling through two major weather events, we still were not really prepared for an emergency of any length.

Sure, we could have lasted a few days, but not too many….Talking to my neighbors today, and some of my coworkers, I wasn’t really surprised to hear several of them say similar things. Many weren’t any better prepared than we were. Most had not made any severe weather preparations. A few had gotten things in order, which impressed me, but most, well they were kind of turning the same blind eye to what could have been a serious situation.

I guess it is human nature. We tend to follow the “it won’t happen to me” philosophy.

I wonder if we will ever learn….How about you, are you prepared?

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