surviving the hurricanes..

As i was going thru old pictures i came across the aftermath of Francis pictures. We have now gone thru 2 direct hits and one near miss, and one that just petered out in my area.. 4 total. Its a pain in the butt getting prepared for all these hurricanes. Although it is getting easier as time goes on. The most important thing is trying to get all my animals safe. And that means if i have to bring them inside i will. During wilma, i had the goats and piggy, as well as 4 dogs, 2 birds and myself in one room. Part of the storm had me a bit scared and we all hunkered down in my bedroom. My horse, brandy was outside. Amanda my old horse was here too. And they survived with a few scratches. And probably a bit sore.

I have a shed on the property that has gone thru all the hurricanes. I wonder if it will stay up for a cat 4. doubt it. Will any of the houses stay up either. These shots were taken while the storm was ending. In one of the shots there is a driveway littered with debris. and the shed area is where i keep my horse. that is now filled another 2 feet and my "barn" is on there now. The paint on the horse is permanent livestock paint. I put my address and phone number and VHS call # on her in case she freaks in the storm and runs off. I just feel safer putting it on her. Although she is becoming a real pro at these storms. They say its best to let them fend for themselves and NOT to put them up in a stall that might demolish during the storms. I would agree. and that is what i do with her.

The most important thing is being organized. It is getting easier. Hay and feed stores (as well as all stores) get a bit nuts when a warning starts. So i get my supplies delivered the minute i hear the warning. Enough feed for a month. then i get my supplies in order. hmmm. a couple of bottles of wine... and, well i'm good to go.

During Wilma, i did learn that my animals go thru ALOT of water. Almost 34 gallons a day is necessary to keep them all hydrated. This of course, does NOT include me, showering, cleaning, etc. Just them. i bought a generator but, didn't know how to hook it up to the well system. This year i hope to be more prepared. And a friend came to create a male plug on both ends to be able to hook up in case of an emergency. Hauling 34 gallons of water a day was not fun. Nor was it fun groveling for water. We were out for almost 10 days. By day 7 my neighbors did hook up their well and then it was just a matter of getting up early enough when they were using it and getting enough hoses to fit from their property to mine...

The time to put up shutters is another concern. I am getting better at that too. And luckily only have a one floor house. If two stories i would never be able to put up shutters alone. The manufacturer of the house, forgot 2 window shutters. So every time a hurricane comes, those need to go up first. They were retrofitted with lumber and metal sheeting. I have now stripped the screws that go in, so this will need to be changed. But its sort of a good thing. Because once the shutters are all up you are essentially in a coffin. No way out. No way to see. So when i have wood up i drilled holes so that i could watch the hurricane, and Brandy thru the holes...

After the hurricane is the worst. Life just stops. no one does anything and if you don't have power, a kind of martial law feeling comes over you. People are a bit more wary. Everyone is in a take care of your own stance, and things are just a bit weird. It's funny how the dynamics change when people lose power.

I did get the generator to work with my computer. And since phone lines were up in about a day,i could get news from the outside world. Yea! i could email, read the news, see what stores were open. So the generator was well worth every penny.

It takes about a month to get back to normal. But when another hurricane comes on the tail of each other like it did with Francis, what a mess. I lose work, people are slower to get back to normal. and there is a general malaise that seems to happen. Mentally you're just whipped. Physically, too. Everyone is a bit meaner. And the animals are really stressed. I always wonder about that. Do they know what is going on? I know that piggy slept thru the whole hurricane... never made a mess in the house. Can't say the same for the goats.

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