Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes and Preparedness, Oh My!

Well, the Murray’s survived the earthquake. We had a few pictures fall off shelves and some things fell in the bathroom, but no permanent damage. And our house is still standing, so that’s good news.

Now we get to prepare for hurricane Irene. Let’s get one thing straight…I’m from Wyoming, a land-locked state. We don’t get hurricanes. In fact, I looked it up online and Wyoming has an annual rainfall of 13.31 inches a year. Virginia has an annual rainfall of 45.22 inches. Needless to say, I had never experienced a hurricane until I moved to DC. Hurricane Isabel came through just a couple of months after I moved here and I was completely freaked out. I stressed about it for days and went to the store and bought all the necessary supplies. I think I even bought 10 gallons of water, and I was living alone. I lived in a 3rd floor apartment, so I knew I probably wouldn’t get flooding, but I had 2 huge picture windows and had images of the glass breaking and trashing my apartment. If I had known then that things like that only happen to people who live right on the water, then I wouldn’t have stressed out so much. Luckily my electricity only flickered off a couple of times and I was fine. Unfortunately something happened at the water facility and the most water I could get was a small trickle, but everything was back to normal within a day. And luckily, since I was so freaked out, I had filled my bathtub with water so I had plenty of water to flush the toilet.

I hope the same thing happens with Hurricane Irene. This time I have much more at stake. Now we’re homeowners with a basement and I’d really like it not to flood. We also live in a neighborhood that seems to lose electricity far too easily. Now we have Ella and the thought of doing her bath in cold water and her bandages without light really isn’t appealing (if we lost power I’d just skip the bath and only do bandages). And unfortunately our house is entirely electric, so all of the cooking will have to be done on the grill.

All that said, I think we’re prepared. We have plenty of batteries and plenty of food. Last night we collected all of our flashlights and camping lanterns. We have some water (although we could probably use more) and we cleaned out the drain near our basement door. Fortunately we live on a hill, so most of the water should head away from us and not cause too much, if any, damage.

I’ll take snow over rain any day! I know snow. I know how to drive in snow. I understand how it works and what is and isn’t possible with snow. I like that you can go out in the snow and not come in drenched. Rain is completely out of my comfort zone. Whenever I tell people about Wyoming winters they always gasp. Sure, we get several feet of snow each year, and yes, it has been known to snow in June, and yes, we get below zero temperatures on a regular basis. That said, I would take a good snowstorm over a hurricane any day!

Alas, we live in VA and we’re expecting Irene to make her entrance sometime soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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