Saturday, July 23, 2011
Apocalyptic Adventures Part 1
We had one hell of a storm a couple of weeks back. We were among the lucky folks who had only 26-hours without power; some folks did not get electricity restored for several days. My daughter, who lives in a nearby town, was without power for over 48-hours. She used blue-ice packs from our freezer to keep her food safe on the first day. At the end of the second day, she brought all of her perishables over to our fridge and freezer. As fate would have it, as soon as she packed everything into our house, she received a phone call from my ex that power was back on at their house.
My little generator got quite a workout. Our contingency plans worked very well; we had plenty of fuel, food, water (the public water supply went offline for a while), glow sticks, portable lights, and batteries. The generator powered our refrigerator, a few essential lights, a TV, the sump pump, the coffee pot, and our microwave oven AND had enough power to spare for use by my Westside next-door neighbor. I was prepared for other neighbors to tap into the generator but only the one asked; my policy is to grant all reasonable requests for assistance but neighbors do need to have enough extension cord to reach from their house to mine.
The storm damage was not isolated; the entire county was down and very few electrical grids survived the fury of the storm; officials declared a state of emergency which meant we were on our own. Downed trees and power lines closed many roads; traffic lights were out and slow moving cars jammed every open road. Very few stores or banks were open; the few gasoline stations with electricity had lines of cars waiting in the roadway. This was not a good day to be without supplies or contingency plans.
I told my brother-in-law that if he did not have back luck he would have no luck in his life at all. This good old boy needed some help to keep from losing his house, so the morning of the storm we were to take care of business. He had a simple agenda laid out; we would get together and I would get a certified check from my credit union and he would get a certified check from his bank and we then go to the post office and overnight-mail the funds to his debt collector, beating the drop-deadline. HEH! By midday, my brother-in-law was in a near panic. Ultimately, it took us six-hours and three quarters of a tank of gasoline before I found a branch of my credit union open and we found a branch of his bank open. To complicate matters further, all of the post offices were closed because of the power outage. We finally found a FedEx store on a grid and, thanks to $30 in my wallet, got the money shipped out just in time. I mentioned to my brother-in-law that waiting to the final possible moment to save his house was ill advised; obviously, what could go wrong did go wrong and we just barely pulled his ass out of the fire.