JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: As I write this, Hurricane Sandy is already bringing tropical storm conditions to coastal North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Hurricane-force winds are expected to affect the coast from Chintogue, VA to Chatam, MA, with tropical-force gales and rain spreading out across most of the Northeast. Delaware's emptying out, New Jersey's on high alert and the New York subway system is shutting down. And up here in Maine, we're pulling in the boats and getting out the sou'westers.Living on the highest point in our area, I'm not expecting any flooding, but we're prepared for the almost-inevitable power outages: loads of candles and hurricane lamps, fresh batteries in the flashlights, water in jugs and in the tub. (For those of you who have city systems instead of wells, the loss of electricity means the loss of water. Oh, that lonely last flush as the pipes empty out...)
Ross and the kids have spent the weekend raking and bagging leaves, we're stocked up with food - well, honestly, we're always stocked up with food - and even our Smithie called to let us know she was prepared and ready to share her Maine-bred knowledge of storm survival when the power goes out in Northampton.
Over the years, our family has perfected its storm-prep techniques. We've come a long way since the Great Ice Storm of '98. We went for nine long days with no power, then; cooking on the woodstove, taking shivery sponge baths, gravity flushing the toilets. The two children bundled up and slept in one bed to keep warm, and Ross and I alternated rising every three hours at night to keep the fireplaces and stove stoked with wood. After that adventure, no storm can strike fear into my heart again.
How about you, Reds? What are you those of you on the East Coast doing to prep for the Frankenstorm? And what's the worst weather emergency you've lived through?
RHYS BOWEN: I'm currently in Hawaii, about as far from Sandy as possible but I'm sending protective vibes for my Jungle Red sisters on the East Coast. The worst weather event we ever experienced was a flood in Texas. We had 15 inches of rain in 12 hours. The river came out of its banks and joined the rainfall. We watched the water rise, went from house to house helping neighbors put valuables up as high as possible. We were lucky--the water came within half an inch of our slab. All our neighbors flooded and our lights were the only ones in a sea of black water. We sloshed through snake-infested water bringing food to neighbors for several days. Weather events are scary!HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: It's Saturday night ,and so peaceful here. Hard to imagine we're about to get battered. I feel as if I should go BUY something. Batteries.
Weather emergency? I'm a reporter..I've been in floods, hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards (so cold I curled up on the front seat of the news van, certain I'd never be warms again), nor'easters..I guess the worst was Hurricane, ah, I forget. I was sent to cover the storm on the Cape, the winds were more than 90 MPH, it was hard to stand up straight to do my stories. The sand, whipped by the wind, stung my face so hard it made me cry. There was nothing, nowhere, and my crew and I stayed at a home on the Cape that was a summer home..it had power, but no food. We ate hot dog buns we found in the freezer, defrostd and topped with canned tomato sauce and frozen romano.
ROSEMARY HARRIS: We lose power a couple of times a year due to storms. My hubby is from the "it's never as bad as they say it's going to be" school and I'm from the "let's batten down the hatches" so between the two of us we prepare a bit and then forget about it. Batteries, flashlights, candles. We never did get around to buying that generator we talked about and we never fill the bathtub One time we kept running down to the pool and bringing back buckets of pool water. (Good reminder Julia since it's October and the pool is closed!)
During last year's Halloween storm a tree limb came crashing through a skylight in the kitchen. Hope that doesn't happen again. But it was romantic making a fire and reading by candlelight - having an excuse to eat ALL of the ice cream. I've been so many places without power that it doesn't bother me too much. The only thing that does bother me is the possibility of breaking glass. My house is more glass than wood so we tend to stay away from the windows and skylights during one of these crazy storms! Stay safe everyone.DEBORAH CROMBIE: We live in tornado country, and my hubby has been involved with amateur radio for years, so we're always fairly prepared. Although, like Ro, we've never bought that generator we keep talking about... Thankfully, our house has never been hit by a tornado, but we are also prone to ice storms here that can be brutal. Trees and power lines can go down from the weight of the ice, and utility and city crews are not well equipped to deal with the damage. Winter before last we had a storm that kept us iced in for about five days. Fortunately, we had power for most of the time, lots of firewood, and we have a gas stove and oven, so could still cook.
Hoping all of you on the East Coast stay safe in the next few days. And fill up those bathtubs!
HALLIE EPHRON: I always fill up the bathtubs but I never understand why I'm doing it. Can someone 'splain?
We're supposed to get lots of rain and wind over several days, but we're not supposed to get nearly the impact that Ro and Roberta will have in Connecticut. So Ladies, stay dry and take care!
I'm very bad at preparing. I have candles... somewhere. And batteries. But where is my transistor radio (remember those?) - I have no idea. We did a grocery store run and got some canned food that I hope I never have to eat. Bought a new flashlight that I hope some of my batteries fit. Checked that our downspouts are working and connected. And we'll try to park the cars out on the street to avoid dropping limbs. Hoping for the best...
JULIA: Hallie, I don't know about everyone else, but we use the water in the tub for washing dishes and for gravity flushing. I'd have to be a much, much more thorough housekeeper to have a tub clean enough to drink from.
|Or you could fill the bathtub like this...|
JAN BROGAN: No drinking from my tubs, either Julia. Hallie, you only need to fill your tub if you are on well water. I'm pretty sure you aren't. I've got my two filling up as we speak.
I also topped off the car, got two new flashlights and batteries, found the candles and secured a promise we can go live with family with foresight to have bought the generators. My husband is determined to drive down and see how crazy the ocean is - even though the chief of police robo call tells us all to stay in our homes.
JULIA: We'd love to hear your worst storm story, your survival tips, and how things are in your town. We're hoping that all our East Coast Reds reader stay safe and dry!