About half of the authors here on Main Street are preparing for Hurricane Matthew. Mona, Carol, E., Gina, Stephanie, and Susan all live on the Atlantic coastline. Susan is the least apt to see more than maybe some rain as she’s our most northern author. Mona probably is already feeling the effects of the storm because she’s in Florida. She’s been very quiet so she’s probably super busy.
East coast folks know what to do. If we are told to get out, we do. Otherwise we keep lots of batteries on hand, a heavy stack of paper books to keep us company, a few candles, etc. They are all part of being prepared for such a storm. I have the pet papers on one spot, you know those papers that say they’ve had their rabies shots, etc. I know where the car title is and my insurance papers. I might even go to the bank and grab a little cash. I have plastic but real money is important. My gas tank is full.
Preparation over the years has changed somewhat. Yet in many ways it hasn’t. I won’t bore you with the details because just about every TV station on the east coast has a hurricane preparedness guideline and lists. I might get stuck in my house. The rivers and roads around me might flood. But unless something terrible happens like that big old pecan tree in the yard behind me, falls on my house, probably the most I will cope with is lack of electricity and being stuck in the house. But I’m too close to the coast to ignore, yet far enough inland to feel somewhat secure. My biggest problem is that I’m in the middle of a set of edits and I need to get this ms to the next editor. That editor is also in Matthew’s path.
But I think hurricanes are easier to face than tornadoes, tidal waves, and earthquakes. We track hurricanes and watch them. We prepare for them.
A few years back, we lost a car during a hurricane when a tree fell on it. We were one of about a dozen people in my area who lost a car to a falling tree. If you drew a one mile circle around that car, there were plenty of limbs that had come down and a few trees that had fallen, but we were the only family to lose a car. Although a neighbor did wind up with a very large tree in his large in-ground swimming pool. (Do you know how to swim while using a chain saw? It’s a very handy skill!)
Maybe I’m lucky because I don’t have to worry about the river overflowing its banks and flooding my house. I don’t live close enough to the beach to be flooded by high tides. I’m not going to have a destructive mud slide. But I do have that overly large pecan tree that is home to a half dozen squirrels. And as many times as I’ve worried about it, it’s has also provided plenty of pecans for homemade pies and been the perfect acrobatic playground for the squirrels, and home to a variety of birds. It’s been a food source not just to humans who love pecan pies or pecan anything, but also to quite a few small animals that you might not expect to see in in town as well as a source of bugs to a few woodpeckers. It also provides plenty of shade to keep my back yard cooler in the summer. Furthermore, it’s not my tree so I couldn’t cut it down even if I wanted it gone.
The newest predictions for this storm is that after wrecking havoc clear up the coast of Florida, it will turn out to sea and go away. Hmm! I remember a little too well the storm that had downgraded into a tropical storm as it stalled off the coast of NC and VA. It wobbled and slowed and finally all the local weathermen said, it’s over. Some high system had moved into our area and the rain would come to an end. A few hours later, that storm picked up speed, turned, and slammed into us.
There is beauty in these storms when you see satellite images of them. And for some odd reason humans are fascinated with Nature’s wrath. We watch images of these natural events with total awe. We are rightfully appalled at the destruction they cause and we are saddened at the loss of homes and people in their wake. But we are humans and we persevere. We clean up and keep going. Sometimes it’s with heavy hearts, but most of us are thankful that we have survived often with nothing more than a few twigs and some leaves in the yard.
Thank you, NOAA, for providing all the wonderful images and keeping us informed.