Storm Preppers

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

For my last post in my Irma mini-storm series, let’s have some fun with Floridians. I actually drafted this on Wednesday, September 6th, when we were preparing for a direct hit of Category 5 proportions on the east coast of Florida!

Preparing for Hurricanes seems to be an annual occurrence in South Florida. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hurricane, a tropical storm, or tropical depression, you still need to prepare. You never know when your neighbor will leave the recycling bin out after the hurricane party and beer bottles will start bouncing off the shutters.

matt-visitorsThis happened to us during Hurricane Jeanne (2004). I was so thankful we had the shutters in place! Of course my husband had to go out in the storm to investigate. It must be a guy thing because almost every guy I tell the story to totally understands this! Us women, not understanding so much! Imagine that!

Even though this was a bigger storm than I have ever faced in my life, I’m wasn’t so wrapped up in my head this time. I’m actually started watching people’s reactions to the storm. You think we Floridians would have this preparation thing down pat.  What I observed were types of Florida storm preppers.

The emergency management folks here start public notices for storm preparation sometime in April. Do we listen? Absolutely not! Most of us Floridian’s are like overgrown teenagers. Here’s my Prepper Types:

The Committed:

  • The committed preppers start in November of the year before at the end of hurricane season.
  • They check the roof, structures and safe rooms. Test the generator. Take stock of supplies and start their lists for rotations and replenishment.
  • I don’t know any of these types myself but, I have my suspicions about one friend.

 

The Chicken Littles:

  • The panic preppers started panicking when Irma was 3000 miles away. I can almost hear the chant: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling…”
  • They are the ones buying cases of water by the trunkload. I so want to tell them, you know the taps in the house have water too…
  • I just stay out-of-the-way! I really don’t want to be slapped down by the stampeding webbed feet of the Littles.

The Reasonably Sane:

  • The reasonable folks really start about 10 days before the storm might hit. Might as well break the task into manageable steps.
  • I actually fell into this category this year for the first time. Woohoo! I moved up from the Harried! There will be moments of sheer panic and last-minute searches for supplies.
  • At least the Reasonably Sane are battened down or evacuated about 12 – 24 hours before the first feeder band hits.

The Harried:

  • Ah…my old way of doing things. Procrastinate until a Hurricane/Tropical Storm watch is issued 48 hours before storm force winds are expected. Then run around and get almost everything done.
  • The Harried are the ones running around the big box store grabbing stuff off the shelves without much thought. Like the ingredients for s’mores…It’ll be 110 in a shuttered house without power. Hmmm. Do you really want to roast marshmallows? I think not. This isn’t your usual campout!
  • The harried almost always forget something or under-estimate the storm. One tropical storm was stronger than we thought it would be. We ended up putting up the shutters in the middle of the storm! Even 40 mph winds make you feel like you’re flying when it tries to grab the steel shutter in your hand! (this was over a decade ago, so don’t ask me what they named it
  • The nice thing when you’re the Harried type…You don’t even notice the heat, you’re to busy sleeping off the exhaustion!

The Partier:

  • This is the most fun type. It’s great to have at least one of your crew be more concerned about the fun. Warning: You don’t want to stay in their house!
  • The Party type may be the most fun and the most dangerous if left to their own devices.Invite them to your house and give them a healthy budget for drinks and snacks. Keep in mind if you invite more than two Partiers your home will look like frat party house before the storm is over.
  • But Hey, Partiers are needed for the 24-48 hours you are locked in the house. Enjoy the Hurricane Party my Responsibly Sane peeps.
  • Oh! and you’ll always have ice…
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Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

The Totally Clueless:

  • The Totally Clueless didn’t even know there was a storm on the radar until the feeder bands started coming across. Even then, if the storm is not a bad one, the Clueless may not even notice. It’s a lot like a really bad summer thunderstorm. Dude…
  • These are the ones roaming the big box store bopping to the headphones in their ears and buying things like strappy red stilettos or the latest video game.
  • They also express their shock at so many people rushing around the store like it’s on fire. “What’s going on? What’s on sale?”
  • Hopefully they have a mom type (Either Harried or Responsibly Sane) to take care of the details like I did for my son. Two days before Irma was due to arrive; We sat down to go over last-minute details. My son asks, “So there’s a hurricane?”

As I write this we may be preparing for Hurricane Maria within the next couple of weeks. Ah good thing the shutters are already out of storage!

So, since the world has many types of natural disasters, what types of preppers have you seen in your corner of the World? What type are you?

Talk to you soon! Peace and laughs!

Milly

P.S. I’m getting back to my regular scheduled programming. I plan to post on Sundays and at least once during the week. {Hugs from Florida}

 

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Ms. Fix It

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Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

3Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. [Matthew 7:3-5 NABRE] Continue reading “Ms. Fix It”

Fear Whips

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Irma UFO? Naw! Just a leaf in the wind!

Hurricane Irma reminds me of one of my posts called Fear Grips. I discussed my battle with fear and the gripping hold it has on me personally. I have watched the media and caring people around me whip up fear into an all consuming rush of fear while waiting for Irma to arrive.

Since I fall so easily into fear, I’ve been facing my fears lately. In writing this blog over the last 18 months I have discovered one of the biggest wedges between God and myself is fear. In my prayers last night and today I discovered fear not only grips me physically it whips my soul. The scriptures tell us over and over “be not afraid.” God also calls us to trust him and have faith.

Watching the coverage of Hurricane Irma reminds me to put my faith in God. He is my true refuge. I was reminiscing this morning of the approach of Hurricane Frances in 2004. We had already lost power. I sat on my bed with our battery operated TV watching the largest storm I’d ever seen come over our house. The media was whipped into a frenzy of dire warnings. I just remember thinking it was huge like a monster in a B-rated Sci-Fi movie. The estimates I’ve seen on Irma puts this storm at a similar size to Frances.

The differences are Irma is stronger at a Cat 3-5 and Frances was a Cat 2. Irma seems to be skirting coastlines until today. That night Frances was heading straight towards me and my little home. I sat paralyzed in fear looking at that little screen. It had been so long since a full force hurricane had hit so close to home. My Husband tried to get me to turn off the TV and sleep. It was late. I couldn’t do it. I was literally whipped into a frenzy. I could only watch in terror of the storm approaching. Finally he had to take away the TV and a lay down with me. He just held me until I was able to slake off some of the fear and sleep fitfully through a long, dark, hot, and humid night.

This time as we sit in the same home I am peaceful. I don’t want to watch the storm coverage. As long as God blesses us with power I am doing what needs to be done. Praying, laundry, cooking, spending time with my family, and writing.

When I do check the storm coverage I get angry. I see how the words chosen are meant to strike fear in the hearts of the people. I’ve been through a few hurricanes and several tropical storms now, I know the damage they are describing. At this point the words used to describe what has happened so far are sensationalized and vague. Just a couple of hours ago we watched a reporter describe in graphic detail the the downing of a street sign. Really? C’mon!

Hundreds if not thousands of street signs will be down before this is over. A street sign is the least of my worries. Last night, we watched a building burn on video of the damage in St. Thomas. From what I heard, the reporters in that story did not even acknowledge the fire. They droned on about “Devastation” and “Nuclear Storm” but I did not hear a description of what happened in the story unfolding before my eyes.

Not given the true picture and describing things in vague terms fuels the fear. We had officials stating everyone in the State, City, or County needs to evacuate. Hours later I heard some officials stepping back and clarifying that people need to evacuate to a safe place or shelter. Though my personal favorite was someone telling people to “evacuate in place.” Is that an oxymoron or what! Well I did what this person advised…I stayed home!

Fear like this might as well be a physical whip. When watching and listening to storm coverage for Frances, I felt my spirit was beaten. I did not rest well. Which made recovery that much harder. When whipping up a frenzy of fear we are beating the souls of the people of God around us. I am as guilty of this action as anybody. I get afraid and I grab the fear whip and see who I can make fearful along with me. We are all the children of God. Let’s stop whipping each other with the weapon of fear.

How can I do this? I had to think about it…Faith, Hope, and Love. I Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV) says the greatest of these if Love. What about encouragement, empathy, support, and comfort too. And what about the example that follows here – Waiting on the Lord:

I checked on my Moms today, who BTW also “evacuated in place” (big finger quotes), and my Mom said they normally would have left. But this time they waited on guidance from God. God let them both know at the same time to not go. I love what my Mom wrote, “what seems to be right is not always right just because the media says its right.”

The storm is raging outside my window and the power is flickering. I am grateful the storm has mostly missed us. I am praying for those in the path ahead. I know the fear whipping around them. Right now my prayer is:

My dear Holy Spirit.

In the name of Jesus I ask for the comfort for those in the path of Irma. May they see through their fear to You the God Almighty for guidance and protection. Keep them safe and close to you as they face the storm. Do not allow fear to whip them, beat them or defeat them. I pray for your protection of the living beings facing this very real danger. In Jesus Name, Amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

If you feel so led, unite your prayer with mine. Love Milly.

 P.S. Youngest Prince has deputized our mascot: “Deputy Fowl.”

Irma’s Coming for a Visit

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Milly’s Hurricane Mascot

Hurricane prep is kind of like having to prepare when a not so well liked relative comes to visit. Do you open to the doors and let them, in or lock up tight ignoring the pounding on the door as best you can. Or maybe dash out of town till the visit is over.  Continue reading “Irma’s Coming for a Visit”