The tropical storm formerly known as OLGA ripped my little rural piece of the American Dream to shreds a week ago. Many people are still without power despite our line crews working nearly around the clock and often in dangerous conditions. Not their fault, or the Co-ops they work for, just the result of devastating damage.
My place was blessed to be just outside what I’ve taken to calling the Blast Zone, but it was close. Very close. I’ve surveyed some of the damage, including some only a few hundred yards away, and it was pretty bad. Hundred year old trees snapped like twigs, roads completely closed for hours as highway workers toiled frantically to open them so power crews could restore service and emergency vehicles could pass, entire roofs blown off by winds estimated to be nearing if not exceeding 100 mph. We were hit by the Northeast side of the eye wall, and it was still an organized eye when it got here, which just happens to be the worst possible area to get hit by.
Planes flipped over, vehicles pushed along parking lots until they too, flipped over, roofs from shopping centers literally lying in the road, I mean we had it all. We were extremely blessed that the death toll and injury list was as small as it was.
We were without power for a day and a half, and felt fortunate that was all it was. Again, luck of the draw as all we needed was a transformer, as we had not lost any poles or lines. We had several trees down, but all missed the wires, though narrowly in some cases.
Needless to say, I’m a bit behind in my work, since I’ve been trying to clean up the mess and assist others in doing so as well. But, I am working, and feel fortunate to be able to. Nearby towns have been damaged to the point that some areas are unrecognizable at this point. They will never look the same again with so many stately old oak, poplar and maple trees gone.
But, we take our blessings where we find them, and despite the damage, we were, overall, extremely fortunate.
Which brings me to one last point. We made out just fine because we were prepared for something like this. We didn’t suffer nearly as much as even some of our neighbors simply because we were ready for an emergency. It pays to be prepared for any eventuality. A few batteries, a lantern or two, and food that can be easily prepared on a camp stove along with a little bottled water are all it takes to ride out the hours until things are back to normal.
So take a look at your place, and imagine you’re without power for a week. Then decide how ready you are. It’s cheaper than you think to be ready, and a lot easier living when the SHTF.
And belated Happy Halloween.