The pictures above and below are both from a particularly nasty one, Hazel. The one above is from Carolina Beach, where my wife and I lived for a few years. I had my first hurricane experiences there with Isabel and Ophelia.
By the time Ernesto rolled in we were living in Hampstead, NC, which is about a 20 minute ride NE of Wilmington.
We haven't had one yet since buying the place in Leland, NC.
After the first storm I began to get a bit more serious about preparedness. Just a few weeks prior to Isabel I got my Amateur Radio Operator, or HAM, license. It sure was reassuring being in radio contact with the county emergency operation center (EOC) throughout the storm. When that first one was over Melanie had somewhat changed her opinion of how geeky HAM radio was. I say somewhat because she still thinks it's silly most of the time, but as soon as the weather starts turning nasty she's looking to see if I've got the radios working.
I also invested in a few nice to have items:
- A 5KW portable generator
- A 16" gas chainsaw
- A couple different fuel type lanterns, one propane and one oil.
- Keeping at least 3-5 days supply of easily cooked canned or dried food on hand.
- Keeping a stock of bottled water on hand.
- A ceramic hand pump type water filter.
Honestly though, if it looks like we're going to have a scary big storm I just plan on packing up the bunch into the minivan and headin' inland. The home's covered for wind and flood, so it's not like we'd lose our investment.
But still, there's a part of me that gets a bit of pleasure from a good storm. Don't take this wrong; I hate for anyone to be injured or killed, I just get a kick out of riding out a storm somewhat like it's a competition. I think most people get a kick out of coming through something like even a real nasty downpour on the highway in their car, and smiling a bit after they reach the end, as if to say "See, I handled that fine!"
Then there's the Boy Scout syndrome I get a bit of, in that I kind of like the thought of "roughing it" with camping style food and mood lighting provided by the oil lantern, if the power goes out.
Melanie thinks I'm nuts.
She may be right.
Anyways, I'm adding some hurricane type resource links to the right hand side of this journal, just in case anyone isn't already aware of these things.