A Hurricane Practice

Tropical Storm Flossie came to the islands, but missed our part of Oahu. We were prepared and waiting. And waiting.

We received texts, tweets, broadcasts saying she was making landfall between 8:45-9:45 PM. I had a flashlight and my cell phone next to me, We had flashlights and plastic tarps, food and water. But no Flossie. No rain. No wind, A huge clap of thunder to let us know she was nearby, but we went to sleep that night to the eerily still, humid night.

She was a practice run for us and that’s a good thing, because hurricane Gil is now forming in the Eastern Pacific and behind him is Henriette. I feel somewhat comforted by our preparations, but we found work to be done.

1. Our skylight won’t close.  I imagined it getting blown off and leaving us with a gaping hole in our roof.

2. I don’t know how to turn off the gas and electric.

3. It gets really still and muggy during a storm. We need a battery-operated fan, or two or three.

4. I gave myself permission to eat gluten. When the power goes out, filling food is more difficult to make. Bread can last a while and doesn’t need refrigeration. (But we do need an air-tight container.)

5. I like light. Even without power we can still entertain ourselves with games, books, puzzles, but none of that can happen if we’re in the dark. Lanterns, lanterns, lanterns.

6. A reminder from an unfortunate man on Maui: Don’t use water while a thunderstorm is happening. (He still has tingling in his hand from a lightning strike while using the kitchen sink.) Wash clothes and dishes and bodies well before the storm.

The best part of our dry-run hurricane; we connected with our neighbors. We checked in with each other and made back up plans to help if needed.  Something i didn’t have before preparing for Flossie.