Mother Nature unleashed her powers, miraculously we remain unscathed! ?✌️
Listening to howling winds roaring like jet engines, flying debris, & fierce rain smashing against our home, time simply stood still. And in that pitch darkness – there are no words to adequately describe the fear one experiences and no place to HIDE – it leaves you paralyzed, helpless, and powerless; forcing you to affirm what matters most in one’s life.
Allow me to clarify, the driving force behind this fear was not the loss of property or belongings. The trigger word “unknown” is not the safest word for a person who runs 24/7 with military precision.
The one thing which got me through these harrowing 48 hours was the consolation of having our loved ones under the same roof and FAITH. I accepted “you can’t control everything”; what I can do, is have faith that things will work out and that catastrophe will bring the best of human nature. After all it is faith that can move mountains and doubts which creates them.
Popping our cherry with record breaking storm – Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the 1st major hurricane to hit the state of Florida since Wilma in 2005, go figure. While life was blissfully flowing by in rest of the world, here’s what what warrior queen Irma left behind in our little corner of the universe:
- 6,300,000 people evacuated Florida, potentially the largest in American history.
- 1,300,000 people without power in Florida.
- 15 feet storm surges.
- No storm on record has maintained winds 185 mph (37 hours total).
- 70,000 square miles of tropical storm winds = larger than the state of Florida (65,000).
- 95% of buildings destroyed in Barbuda.
New found respect and admiration for each and every brave person – meteorologists, media, first responders, city officials, health care workers, and volunteers who worked tirelessly, round the clock, jeopardizing their lives to keep us humble folks safe and updated.
We have compiled a short list so YOU can be well-prepared for some of life’s most darkest moments. And remember to be KIND; we are ALL in this together.
- Be AWARE of your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. FEMA & NOAA.
- Prepare a list of emergency contact information – county public safety, law enforcement, local hospitals, utilites, and emergency management offices.
- Fill a carry on bag with important identification papers such as passports, birth certificates, bank information, school certificates (wrapped in ziplock or waterproof container) for both humans and fur babies. Bag your irreplaceable jewellery. Also include ALL prescription medicines and glasses. Infant formula, diapers, and feeding kit. 3 day supply of non perishable foods, water, and manual can opener. A change of clothes for entire family. Pet food and extra water for pets.
- Reach out to your neighbors and friends and confirm their land lines and cell phone numbers.
Supply Kit: Stock your home with emergency supplies for at least 7 days in case of power outage.
- WATER – one gallon per person per day. Fill all cooking pots and plastic storage containers with water for cooking, drinking, and sanitation.
- FOOD – Non perishable goods – Bread, canned meats and vegetables, peanut butter, powdered milk, chips/pretzels, cookies/biscuits, canned juices/fruits/coffee/tea.
- POWER – Flashlights, candles, match sticks, lighters, batteries, fire extinguisher.
- COMMUNICATION – Cell phones with chargers and portable chargers.
- SANITATION – baby wipes, hand disinfectants, and garbage bags. Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water.
- DISPOSABLE – paper cups, plates, paper towels. Pens, pencil, and paper to write on.
- TOOLS – wrench and plier.
- FUEL – keep your car tank full and portable containers filled.
- COOKING – portable grill and propane gas.
Prepare Your Home:
- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
- Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
- Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks).
Hurricane is knocking at your doorstep:
- If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are. Check in with friends, family, and neighbors via social media and texts.
- Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
- Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
- Stay tuned with TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. LISTEN to the authorities and FOLLOW instructions.
- Keep your cell phone on FULL charge, in case you lose power.
After the Hurricane:
- Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
- Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
- Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
- Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
- Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
- Be PREPARED for the NEXT calamity.
Primlani Kitchen Log 9.11.217: Wine cellar couple of bottles lighter; Me couple of pounds heavier. ?
Our hearts go out to all affected by warrior queen Irma – “Hell has no Wrath like a Woman Scorned”. Were you impacted by Hurricane Irma? Tell us your experiences and how you survived record breaking storm to hit United States.
Resonating Governor Rick Scott’s message “remember we can rebuild homes, but we can not rebuild our lives”. We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us. In the meanwhile, we all can do with a little bit of Love and a lot of Kindness in the coming days. ??
Resources: FEMA, VOX, CNN, Weather Channel.