Friday, August 29, 2008

Adventures in Hurricane-ville

The kids and I took a walk tonight and I noticed everything outside is so calm. I wonder if the birds, and trees, and insects know what's coming. The can't flip on The Weather Channel, but they should have a "sense", like everything is nature does. If not today, they will in the next few days. They call this the "calm before the storm". I've seen it many times in Southern Wisconsin were the big storm cells from Iowa roll in. There's a sort of quiet balance before nature unleashes it's fury. And oh what furious wrath can be brought down in those storms!

I have yet to experience all the glory and wonder that is a full-grown hurricane. Moving here to Louisiana, doorstep to the Gulf of Mexico, I knew our time would come. And come it may. A deadly Gustav may, or may not, bear down on us in a matter of days. The locals don't care about the "may not", they are buying supplies off the shelves as if they'll be stranded for weeks after. It's happened before, and many people here remember it. A week after Katrina made thousands flee from New Orleans, to our neck of the woods, Hurricane Rita slammed us from the other side and left our town and army base without power and water for at least 10 days. That's no power, in 100 degree weather. No air conditioning, no fans, no ice, no way to cool ourselves down. Well, themselves, as I didn't live here. So the people here know. We may be "Central" Louisiana, but we can still get hit hard enough to suffer. No one here is taking any chances.

On Wednesday a friend called and told me if I needed gas, to go now because they gas stations were limiting purchases to $30. Apparently there was a run on gas and people were filling up all their vehicles, as well as multiple gas cans. Thursday all the gas stations on post were out of gas. Go figure. Today I went to fill up and they had only re-supplied low-grade. No mid, or premium. Not that I use anything but low, so it didn't matter to me! There's also a run on everything you'd need to hunker down for a hurricane, followed up by a potential 1 week power outage, such as water, batteries, coolers, flashlights, propane, canned food..... I have not been to many stores yet, but the one I did go to today had lines so long I just left my cart and walked out. I hear that is common right now in most of the local stores. I don't have time to stand in line for 30 minutes, or the patience to sit with Hunter while I do.

I have lists and checklists and all sorts of advice on how to get ready for Gustav. I'm praying hard that it peters out over the Gulf, or moves somewhere else, but if it does come our way we'll be ready. I'm not going to panic about it, though. People made it through Rita, I can make it through this!

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