Friday, August 26, 2011

My first hurricane...

and it already feels like old hat. I'm reminded once again that my time on Guam (and oddly California) prepared me well for natural disasters. This week has been a doozy for Southern Virginia. We've had a huge wildfire (in the Great Dismal Swamp no less) that has been going on for awhile now and this week the winds were blowing the smoke our way to the point where we had smoke clouds resting below our second floor. Then we get the BIG ONE. Or at least the big one for this area. As a native Californian I thought I was just going crazy. My initial thought was "Oh, an earthquake....wait....HERE??" Once I heard the pot rack clanging downstairs I realized I still had most of the tools in my shed and it was in fact, an earthquake. I love that the top complaint on the news was of wine bottles tipping over.

So that brings me to the hurricane bearing down on us. I just came in from a walk with the dog and the humidity is ripe and ready for action. While no direct hits during my time on Guam we prepared for more than one typhoon. I think we had at least four close brushes the first year I was there. Scary enough that the entire island went into TYCOR 1 (island speak for lockdown), meaning everything from the lawn mower to the lawn furniture and BBQ were shoved into our houses, our typhoon shutters (no plywood here!) were locked shut on our bunkers and generators were gassed up. Trampolines and swing sets were chained to palm trees and our blenders were ready for margaritas. We were like a bubble that year, for some reason every storm bounced off our little landmass while managing to hit neighboring islands and then proceeded to hurl itself into the Philippines or Japan. Considering the last major storm to hit Guam was Super Typhoon Pongsona, who's eye plowed right over the island and winds topped 175mph, we were lucky! Still, we were always stocked up on batteries, water, flashlights, candles and gas for our generators. The island has been known to go without power (and sometimes water) for months after those storms. Nothing to mess with.

So I suppose that is why I'm not freaking out about this hurricane. We live in a well built house, away from the coast and far from any of the area's flood zones plus we have the supplies we need (water, batteries, beer and know, the basics). We figured there was no reason to take up an inland hotel room from people who are under mandatory evacuation orders. If we get tired of the power being out next week, we'll head up to my sister's house and bunk with her for a few days. She doesn't know that yet but she always appreciates a visit from her fun little sister. =)

For now, bring it on Irene!


  1. I am pretty sure than more than 1 bottle of wine is needed for an hurricane

  2. Hope you are safe! I love your blog and became a follower! :) Erin

  3. Great post - Is it off topic that I want to see the pot rack? I have always wanted one of those...