Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Difference in Preparation

We, my husband, friends, and I, consider this a trial run. We got through relatively unscathed. There is much we would do different. Next week I’ll be buying battery lanterns. We had light, but not enough. We will keep more than 16 D sized batteries on hand. When your radio is the only way to listen to the world and you don’t know how long 8 D batteries last, suddenly 16 seem woefully insufficient.

We will trim our palm trees down to one top shoot at the onset of the next ‘cane. We will prop up any trees we want saved, in hopes that it will help.

We received squalls for 24 hours before the hurricane actually hit. That is 24 hours of rain and 30-50 MPH winds, intermittent, not continuous. At 5PM, in between squalls, my husband ran outside to check on trees. The man who rarely utters I love you, saw the tree he bought me for my birthday 7 years ago was going down if he didn’t prop it up. It was the only thing I wanted for my birthday that year, loathing our new home without trees. I am screaming at him through the wind that the tree didn’t matter to me, let it fall. But with nails and two by fours, he propped it up before it leaned to the point of no return, then he worked his way to our master bedroom. It is the NW corner of our home and had been taking the beating all day. The maple tree was falling towards the house and the carrot wood had split and was starting to lean. He propped up the maple, but ran out of wood. We only had 2” nails. Our master bedroom was no longer deemed a safe haven as there was risk of a tree or two falling on it, so by 11:00 PM when the eye wall hit, we moved to the center of the house. The next morning, the trees he propped had stayed. The trees he never got to, toppled over. He is still hoping to save a couple with the help of a tree service.

So we will have 4” nails and 2x4s in our garage next time to stake trees.

I would buy more bread.

We now own a chainsaw.

I want those boots that come up to your knees. Boots like fishing people wear or maybe like firemen wear.

We will have a generator and a generator panel by next hurricane season. I’m working with the house budget now to make it happen.

We can make it through a Cat 3 in this home, a Cat 4 too. A Cat 5… we would be dead. If we need to evacuate, we’ll pack up and take cans of gasoline with us so we don’t end up stranded like all the other motorists.

Our house is still boarded as we await Ivan. We all know it’s not going to hit, but on the off chance… not one home in this neighborhood has taken off their shutters.


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