Hurricane Thoughts

September 5, 2008

I had forgotten how exhausting these darn hurricanes can be...typhoons (even the super typhoons) in Okinawa were so much more relaxing. We would stock up on videos, junk food, and hunker down in our little concrete house to enjoy a day or two of serious down time while the 100 plus winds roared through the little island. We never boarded up or taped windows. Never lost electricity. And the day after the storm we would emerge to find sunny, breezy weather and a few downed branches. But hurricanes in Louisiana are a different.

Thanks to the modern technology we have many days of advance notice which prompts all of the prep work. The boarding up of windows, the clearing out of freezers, doing all of the laundry, stocking up on water and food, or in our case packing the car to leave town. And during the storm the challenge is trying to keep cabin fever at bay because the electricity usually goes out pretty early. But the hardest part of hurricanes seems to be after the storm. Living without electricity is not fun. The heat, the stickiness, the bugs...I don't know how people, especially women survived before air conditioning. Seriously, the thought of adding any additional layers to the bare minimum of t-shirts and shorts....how in the world could you wear panty hose or all of those petticoats without air conditioning?! I think air conditioning is part of the reason people now live longer than our ancestors. With air conditioning there must be fewer homicides and suicides, right? Has there ever been a study on that correlation?

In addition to the exhaustion, I had forgotten the sounds of hurricanes. Not just the sound of the wind and rain, but the post-hurricane sounds or lack of sound. During the first night after the storm I was struck by how quiet the world suddenly was...no cars on the road, no low level buzz of appliances, no tv, no phones and so dark. The day after brought the sound of generators throughout the neighborhood, rescue vehicles, helicopters (lots of helicopters both civilian and military), and people emerging from their homes to survey the damage. The third day became much noisier as we awoke to the sound of chain saws, utility trucks, and traffic.

Anyway, happy to report we survived Gustav and very happy to report we finally had electricity back last night. I feel so sorry for those in other areas still waiting for that modern miracle. Lots of clean up to be done in our yard, but feeling like we got very lucky with this storm. Could have been so much worse. Just hoping we don't get anymore during this hurricane season. And I had a good laugh when I saw the signs our neighbors put up on their house before evacuating (see above).
Corinne said...

Oh friend. I was so happy to see you had posted - HOPING that meant you had electricity again!!

Yes, we're SO glad it wasn't worse!

Laurie said...

So glad to see you post! Glad you weathered the storm and have rejoined the modern age of electicity.

Heather said...

I'm so happy to see your post and know Gustav spared you the worst! I'm also very happy that you have that modern miracle back. Do they do underground utilities in Louisiana? Seems like that would help?

Anyway, good luck with all the clean-up!

holly said...

glad you survived all right. Isabel was the only big hurricane I experienced first hand, a ways inland and that was enough for me! we hightailed it to PA with our cooler full of recently purchased meat. it really is that lack of electricity that make it so miserable. I'm with you on the AC and life expectancy.... ;)

the clan mccawley said...

Lucia,
SO happy to hear you're all safe, back home and air conditioned! Have to tell ya, I miss those typhoon days too. We had to evacuate last year for the fires and it was a nightmare. What I wouldn't give for a little typhoon and some days shut in the house with nothing to do but hang out with my monkeys!

Miss ya!
Tiff

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