Hoping for the Best, Preparing for Nothing (Hurricanes)

My state is preparing for Hurricane Ilene.  I hate the name.  But that’s beyond the point.  I live two hours from the beach but based on past experiences, that doesn’t mean my city won’t be affected.  When I was undergrad, I was positive that Hurricane Fran would hit my college town (as we were right on the water).  I packed a bag and laid out clothes (in preparation for a late-night evacuation).  In the middle of the night, I heard security over the intercom say something that amounted to “move”.  I woke up my roommate, put on my clothes, grabbed my bag and headed downstairs.  The security guards looked confused.  I asked what the evacuation process entailed.  They explained, we weren’t evacuating, they were asking students to move their cars from a certain lot to higher ground as it would probably flood.

 A few days later, I found that my parents had the brunt of the hurricane.  There was extensive damage all over.  No power for a week.  People hadn’t prepared and price gouging was in full-effect.  My dad was really good-natured about the whole thing. He said that there was damage to the roof and his truck but it’d all be covered by insurance.  He lamented, the good thing was, it was time to replace the roof anyway!

Years ago, I was going to Myrtle Beach for birthday.  My friend flew down from Philly and we drove down.  We were undecided about dinner, so we stopped any several restaurants on Kings Highway.  At one point, we left a buffet and this car noticed I had NC tags, they asked if we were staying in-town.  I said yes, they fell out laughing and speed off.  Sign #1.

 We went to K&W Cafteria.  As we paid for our bills, the older cashiers, told us to be very careful.  We probably looked to damn carefree.  Sign #2.

 On the way back to the resort, the highway was lined with Sheriff’s Deputies in the medians. Sign #3

 I decide that we should stop at the grocery store.  As I pull up, they’re placing the metal things on the windows to protect against the storm. Sign #4

 At this point, I’m panicked.  I’ve grabbed a cart, I’m literally running through the aisles, grabbing things and throwing them in the cart.  I’m yelling at my friend to keep up.  I hear on the radio that after a certain time, probably 8 p.m., all the highways will be going Westbound.  I return, to the resort, I ask if there is a mandatory evacuation will they inform us.  The lady smiles and tells me yes.  I wake up the next morning to find out (via the news) that there was a mandatory evacuation in the middle of the night.  No, we weren’t called.

 The morning is lots of rain and wind.  I talk to my mom and tell her that we’re okay, the hurricane has already come through.  She corrects me, it hasn’t.  Oh.  The power goes out and my friend sleeps through it all.  I, who drug us in the this craziness, I’m awake through the whole thing.  Going crazy, feeling guilt.  When I saw crazy, I mean petrified hoping that we come out alive. I almost ate myself through a damn bag of bagels. 

 There was property damage but no casualties.  By the way, this hurricane hit on my birthday.  Happy Birthday Idiot!!!


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