Normally I’m first out of the starting gate when it comes to stocking up on hurricane supplies. There I am, on or about June 1st, piling the Publix cart high with bottled water, batteries, and Spam–yes Spam. Hurricane season is the perfect excuse for eating Spam, which I would be too mortified to eat any other time of year.
For some reason, though, this year, I’ve been exceptionally lazy about it all. You’re always advised to stock up on your hurricane supplies early, because if you wait until the last minute, you find that the items you need are all gone. It’s not at all uncommon to see grocery shelves stripped of all milk, bread, beer, Spam, and batteries–well, at least the size you need, which is most likely D. If I were in charge at Duracell, I’d be investing a boatload of money into R&D of a portable TV that would run on AAA batteries.
Another reason not to wait until the last minute is that wherever you go, it’s a zoo. The place is packed, the employees are harassed, and little old ladies are smacking children in the face with their purses for reaching for that last loaf of Wonder Bread.
Today I discovered another reason not to wait until the last minute: you have to carry all that stuff you bought into the house in the frigging pouring rain. After every load, I was smacking myself upside the head with the umbrella for being so stupid. Of course, I still feel smarter than that guy who was kite surfing and got slammed into the side of a building. The website where I saw the video of it said he was in critical condition, and therefore, the Darwin award is pending.
So far, seven people have died in Florida as a result of the storm, four in traffic accidents and one of carbon monoxide poisoning. They didn’t say, but I suspect that’s a result of using a portable generator indoors, since it happens every year. Maybe they will let him read the directions for its use in Heaven. The other two died of drowning, and I’d like to point out that neither of them were from Florida. We may be the state that created hanging chads, but we don’t go swimming in the middle of tropical storms.
So now here we all sit (the dogs, the cat, and I), hunkered down, waiting for Tropical Storm Fay, which will be here in a matter of hours or not, and which will have been downgraded to a Tropical Depression or not, and which will bring relatively high winds and a lot of rain, or not.
The biggest problem we face here in Tallahassee, where we’re roughly thirty miles inland, is downed power lines and falling trees. That’s my biggest worry, because my house is literally surrounded by trees, all oaks or pines. The oaks will usually stand, but they can drop some powerful limbs. The pines have shallower roots and can fall over surprisingly easily, especially when the ground is saturated. So I’m thinking of saying a prayer and making a sacrifice to the Tree Gods. Wonder if they like Spam?