Well, it surely looks as though I am going find out just really prepared I am for SHFT. With Hurricane Irene less than 12hrs (at the time I write) from impacting my neck of the woods in Virginia (New Kent) I am just about done doing all that I can do besides playing the waiting game. Food, check. Water, check. Everything put away or tied down, check. Cars gassed, check. Fuel for the generator, check. Things for the kids to do (besides get on my nerve), check. Ebay mail all done and sent out, check. Emergency contacts set up with the family, check. Batteries, check. Dogs bathed, check (there is NO WAY I am going to sit locked up in house with the winds howling and rain pouring down with 3 stinky Pit Bulls, sorry). My pop up green house is packed with flying projectiles such as plant pots, chairs, garbage cans and the like. I tied it down even though it is securely staked and then found out I can zip up the darn door to it…oh well, nothing to do about that now. Personal protection is out and unlocked. Hmm, seems the only thing left to do at this time is get ice (I am trying to hold off until the last minute on that) and the gutters cleaned out. We are ‘ready’ (I think and am crossing my fingers!)

There are mandatory evacuations in place where floods happened when Isabel came through and I am seeing ‘strangers’ at the gas station and grocery store. Yesterday while at McDonald’s I saw a LOT of cars that had tags from New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts and some very unhappy looking people in those cars…I cannot imagine being forced to leave my vacation down in NagsHead only to travel home just in time to deal with the SAME stinking hurricane as soon as we got home…ugly…Yesterday while at the grocery store one last time to pick up some bananas and other odds and ends that I didn’t get at the beginning of the week (I have been working on this SHTF situation since I caught wind of it Monday…lesson to learn…trust your instincts!) I saw a woman with twins, about 8 months old and a 2 year old in tow…she told me her husband was out of town on business (first time all year) and of course it had to be the ONE weekend with a hurricane coming…it seemed to me she was trying hard to hold it together and stay focused.  The water was all but gone as yesterday morning at the grocery stores in my town and the day after the earthquake saw the water disappear from the ‘local’ Walmart’s. I am so grateful for my prepping lifestyle today…I won’t be out there with the horde’s who are just now waking up to reality…I have heard a lot of denial going on around my town and minimizing, this worries me. At the local gas station, the guy who owned it said he had just gotten gas in that day and it was already half-gone, ice was being delivered this morning as per the usual. Batteries are but gone around town too and I noticed aLOTof generators sitting in the back of pick-up trucks this morning when I went out. Traffic on the highway is heavy going towardsRichmond, but it seem down in the Hampton Roads Area it is snarled badly with people trying to get out at the last minute. That area is supposed to experience the full thrust of Irene, with the eye most likely passing over Norfolk…I pray they get out of harms way before it begins to rain, that area of Virginia floods like no one’s bees wax even on a good day.

My other half lost the keys to my truck yesterday…ran around like an idiot looking for them. Thank goodness I have two sets to everything otherwise I would have been SOL trying to finish up prepping yesterday. I did find the set he lost though, somehow they wound up in the freezer of the refrigerator..(don’t ask, I have no clue) I have learned that he not going to be of much help in this, he gets too wound up really, but he is good for the heavy duty lifting J I need to remember to get my hands on a prescription of some sort for him to take the edge off, or figure out some herbs or something…I am not looking forward to being locked in the house with him all wound up during the height of the storm…sigh…

We are starting to see the hurricane bands pass over now, though if I didn’t know it was a hurricane I wouldn’t think anything special was going on, just cloudy and extremely hot and humid out. The humming birds are still out and about, I suppose they are going to stay and sit it out, though I don’t see nor hear other types of birds…but the insects…woah! They are out in force, the bees are going nuts at the hummingbird feeders…I will be taking those down at the last minute tonight, and, call me silly, I did make up a gallon of sugar water for them for after the storm (yeah, I know, silly).

Oh and last night we had a storm pass through (like we needed that rain) and right before that blew through we had another aftershock from the earthquake on Monday….they say things happen in 3’s and I really don’t want to know what the ‘3rd’ is going to be at this point. As an odd thought…I having been working outside the past couple of days and haven’t seen tick one…wonder what is up with that, but the flies and mosquitoes are crazy.

I am sorry if I seem to be rambling…these are just snaps of what is going on in my neck of the woods and running through my head as I get ready for Hurricane Irene. I am trying to look at this as a dry run of ‘what may come’ as I know that things will get back to ‘normal’ sooner rather than later after Irene passes…I guess I will find out where I am good, where I need improvement and what I forgot…in otherwords my strengths and weaknesses in my preparedness plans…not to mention find out how those in my home deal with long term stress and fear. But I believe I am ready and good to go…I just hate the waiting and watching.

FYI just in case you are in the dark I reprinting a list of what you should have in your own home ‘just in case’. Of course this is just a basic list, and you should add or subtract depending upon your own personal situation.

I would like to add this note: their time frame is woefully inadequate…but a good place to start…personally I am more comfortable with a month’s supply ‘just in case’..when Isabel ripped throughVirginiaback in 2003 there were some place where they were without power for weeks…and many couldn’t even get out for a few days.

Be safe people…be safe…

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items – for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools – keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash