This damn hurricane. I have never felt a sense of panic in my entire life as I do right now waiting for this storm to come. On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to get out of town and arrived in Austin late afternoon. This is my first visit to Texas so at least this is a slight distraction. I am traveling with a dear friend and her children, one is the cutest baby ever so that is also keeping me distracted but every time I look at my phone and see the posts on Facebook, the panic returns.
My trip was decided rather quickly and I didn’t have too much time to thoughtfully deal with everything in my condo like I would have liked. I put some photo albums and important papers in bins and put them in my bathroom. I closed my hurricane shutters in my bedroom but my living room sliding glass doors don’t have shutters. The lock doesn’t work on those doors so I had to tie-wrap them shut. I used 4 tie wraps so hopefully they hold them shut. All the furniture was moved away from the windows and doors and I unplugged all my electronics.
Now from afar, I can’t do anything about it but wait and hope and pray that my condo will be there when I return. I personally think we through the terms “thoughts and prayers” around too much and they lose a little value over time but I am seriously praying that things do not turn out for the worse. I hope it turns just enough to spare my pretty town of disastrous results. Please pray for us!
If there is any silver lining of this storm it is the feeling of community something like this brings. I have heard from so many friends and family members offering me a place to stay, calling to see if I was ok or if I needed anything. On Facebook, tons of posts with helpful hints like putting really special papers in your dishwasher for safekeeping, which gas stations don’t have horrific lines and words of support from people all over the country. It is really something.
The company that I work for, Royal Caribbean, has really been supportive and wonderful during this crazy week. They secured pallets of water and gave them out to all employees on Wednesday, secured our gas truck to come to fuel up all the cars and turned a canceled Bahamas cruise into a safe haven for employees and their families for free to get out of Miami. If I didn’t go to Austin, I would be on the Enchantment of the Seas for sure. They leave tomorrow and will return when the Port of Miami reopens.
Hurricane Andrew hit Miami 25 years ago the day I left for college to start Fall semester. My Mom called my apartment in Gainesville at 6:30am the next morning to tell me they “made it”. They were up all night moving furniture around as water poured in from the roof. I didn’t realize how awful it was until afterward and my house then became the neighborhood hang out. My Dad had installed a gas water heater in our guest cottage so all the neighbors showered there and the kids all swam in our pool. They made so many lifelong friends from that storm, neighbors they would have probably never met otherwise.
That’s all for now..stay safe!!!!!!
Hurricane Watch…it’s the scariest and worst. There are two sides to hurricane watching, the positive is that you have time to prepare and get supplies, the negative is that you have days to wait in dread. After days of watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we have our own nightmare barreling towards us, Irma! I live in a solid, old building that has withstood many storms and have hurricane shutters so I feel safe there, but it is the aftermath that is hard to deal with.
The weather down here is jungle hot, so the thought of days without electricity seem unbearable. I ventured out yesterday to Home Depot with my pal Carolyn and we were like comic relief…trying to buy things that would be helpful in a storm. We got the last of the batteries and some moon shaped battery-operated lights..or moonlights. We ordered the rest from Amazon including LED flashlights, batteries, lanterns and more. I ventured out yesterday to Whole Foods and stocked up on lots of snacks and then had Prime Now deliver Diet Coke and other drinks.
So, I am stocked up with supplies, now the waiting game.
If you are wanting to help with Hurricane Harvey, there is plenty of time to still do so. I think the relief efforts are going to be ongoing for months. I follow @25Park on Instagram and she has been rallying her troops to find direct places to donate rather than donating to large non-profits where the money will not be 100% directed towards the people who truly need it. One of her suggestions is to support the Rick Anthony Athletic Foundation by putting backpacks together for students starting school who have lost all of their belongings. This is such an easy thing to do and the people who are collecting them will put them right in the hands of deserving recipients. They have partnered with 4 local Houston elementary schools which have low income students. Their goal is 2,500 backpacks and they have 605. Here is the info: