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Hurricane Prep

Since it is the third day of hurricane season, I thought I'd give those who give a damn a run-down on our preparations etc.

As some of you may remember, Hurricane Dennis pretty much wiped out our roof so we had to get a new one So we went ahead and got a much more expensive metal roof.  So we're hoping that will be okay. It did survive Katrina (what we got of it) so we have high hopes for it.

Also, Jim has been purchasing and placing rip rap around the vulnerable points of the house, as well as at the base of the sea wall. 

Rip rap is a certain size of rock you get around here to do such things. But just placing rip rap at vulnerable points isn't enough to hold back the sea. You also have to use 'filter cloth.'  It's function is to stop the sand behind the rip rap from being sucked out by the retreating water. If you don't use it, the base under the rip rap is scoured out and the whole purpose of the rip rap is defeated.

So anyway, we have several tons of rip rap (and a backing of filter cloth) piled around the one corner of the house that has been at risk  (and which has indeed been scoured out some) by Opal, Dennis and Katrina. It is the corner closest to the water and wave action can hit it pretty hard. We are hopeful this will give us added protection.

Also, we just got a generator.  We've had several generators before, all of which ran on gasoline. The problem with that is that you have to lay in a humongous load of gasoline to keep them going because the first thing that happens when a storm approaches is all the gas stations go dry filling up everyone's car and providing the late-thinkers with their supply of gas for their generators.  Also, once electricity is cut, that means the gas stations, even if they have gas, can't pump it out.  Also, all our gasoline is delivered by barge on the intercoastal waterway.  Needless to say, the barges find a safe port and stay there until they are given the all clear to come back and bring us some gas.

After the last two major hurricanes we had gas lines for miles for two months after the storms, as a rsult of slow or non-existent barge traffic.

Anyway, the new generator is a whole house one.  But it is not the largest you can get by far so we thought it would be big enough to run the essentials, and maybe, if we were lucky, one airconditioner so we could sleep (gas generators simply cannot run a house air conditioner - too small).

Anyway, apparently this one is big enough that we will be able to run both air conditioners!  Probably in reality we would only use one, or maybe one at a time, but the worst part of the aftermath (assuming your house is still inhabitable) is the hot and humid conditions with no relief from the heat after you've been sweating like crazy all day trying to clean up the mess.

So anyway, jim is laying concrete today to put the generator in place and he's got two contractors lined up to start on Tuesday or Wednesday to run the natural gas line to it and then the other to do the electrical wiring.

When we first moved here the county used to stop the gas flowing in the gas lines but now there are so many people here who depend on back up generators they have not purposefully cut the gas for quite a few years now.

So anyway, we should be fairly good unless we get hit by something like Katrina head-on.  We will have working refrigerators and freezers, washer and dryer (man you go through clothes, like all the towels you stuff around windows to keep 100+ mph horizontal wind driven rain from getting in) and we can grill out (which really is the only way I cook in the summer other than microwave or toaster oven anyway). And with luck maybe an internet connection and phone service (we've recently switched from regular phone service to a cable phone solution).

We always have lots of food in the house (I grew up used to blizzards) so we will be fine.  We fill up water jugs before a storm so we always have enough fresh water too.

Anyway, that's what's been keeping us broke, and busy for the last few months.


I doubt that there is much more you can do with a humanly reasonable budget...


A recent story about music helping in the aftermath of last year's biggest blow. They were on the TV over the weekend, and boy, do they "make a joyous noise"!

Hope things are a little less windy this year ... but I'm not going to hold my breath too long *wry grin*