Preparedness--a word worth contemplating when facing important "stuff".  Irene is important stuff.  Yesterday we were evaluating all articles outside for propulsion proclivities from hurricane force winds.  I live among the oak trees.  These stalwarts are not wind friendly.  Because we have many trees, their numbers greatly block the wind--but their numbers and size also get a little frightening.

During Isabel, I watched out the back door as the wind bent the very tops of the trees at what seemed to be impossible angles.  Once the wind stopped, the tops snapped back and then wobbled a bit.  That alone would shake out any damaged tops.  The next wind gust (which you could eerily hear building up) would bring the same bend, snap return and wobble.  Thant wind lasted throughout the night.

We found that most of the homes that were damaged by trees came from exposures to wind paths.  There is a large farm at the entrance to our neighborhood.  Winds coming in from the east had no resistance and came roaring down the road toppling singular trees. We actually thought we had been spared, until I spied the trailer tongue of our 1977 Century Arabian boat trailer pointing toward the sky.  A large, red oak had fallen and clipped the back of the pole shed--crushing it and the back console of the boat.

Power was out for a goodly amount of time.  Irene promises to deliver quite a punch being a large storm much like Isabel was.  Thankfully, we have a generator, a private well and gas cooking facilities.  I am sure that there will be people crawling out of the woodwork to get my electrician husband to help them install a generator panel....something that develops urgency when such threats arrive.  Waiting until a hurricane is barreling down upon you to get a generator panel is not being "prepared", but rather being a procrastinator.

During Isabel, my husband was inundated, to the point that my neighbor had to step in and tell people who were lining up in our driveway to go away.  Not only had my husband been getting our home ready, but helping several other close friends--something that he was glad to do.  But then the marginal folks--acquaintance neighbors who descended upon us.

Make no mistake, we are helpful people--lending a hand whenever and however we can.  Nevertheless, physical and emotional exhaustion take their toll on a body--and husbando had reached that point after about 15 hours.

I have wrapped up my client work for this week, so today, I am free to continue to secure stuff.  I did forage at the store yesterday before the last minute folks hit the stores draining the shelves of milk and bread.  At one place I visited, I was told that they were out of D batteries and so was Walmart.  I'm trying to be mindful that while I have a generator, it does run on gas.  An exceptionally damaging storm could impede the ability to get to a store to get more.  And even if you can get to the store, damaged roads, downed power lines can disrupt supply.  I am also reminded as to why I still keep a land line at home.

We only had a small thunderstorm last evening, and I see a large branch down.  These trees, like me, are starting to get old and brittle!  I do need to gas up the cars and get some cash in hand.  Washing clothes and other preparedness stuff.  I see that the Weather Channel is interviewing some residents of the outer banks who plan to stay.  Good luck with that.  Storm surge is not something one rides out easily as Katrina reminded.  Storm surge cannot be prepared for, rather it is endured.

Good luck with your own preparations and lend a hand where you can.


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