Saturday, September 04, 2004


Closed for Business!

Well, it's been a struggle, but I finally got the house ready to weather the storm yesterday.

I meant to post last night and let everybody know we're doing alright, but every muscle in my body aches - I feel like I've been run over by a semi - so I let myself pass out watching the endless TV coverage.

If you've never been through a situation like this one, let me explain to you how it works.

No matter how prepared for a hurricane you think you are, when one approaches you discover there are always a few things you still need to get. Inevitably, things like drinking water, canned foods, and essentials such as milk, eggs and bread. Enough supplies to get you through a week.

Gas. The moment it becomes evident that there will eventually be a landfall, even if it's north of us, the fuel trucks stop coming down here, afraid they won't be able to drive back out. So the lines at the gas stations that still have fuel become unreal, with people trying to fill their tanks up.

Boards, anchors, batteries, drills and bits, etc.

Since Wednesday, it has become unbearably hard to hit the grocery store or Home Depot. After work Wednesday, I stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I had to park in a neighboring parking lot. No shopping cart. You couldn't move inside there. The aisle with the drinking water had been stripped dry. I threw a bag of dog food over my shoulder, grabbed a couple of bottles of wine and some cans of food in a basket, and went through the express lane. By the time I got to the car, that 44 pound bag of dog food was destroying my shoulder.

I had metal shutters fit for the house some time ago. You don't realize how many windows you actually have until you have to hang those damned shutters on each and every one. That's a lot of work! And the thing is, I never put in the anchors for the front windows (those you see in the pictures). So now I needed to purchase about 48 concrete anchors, a new drill (the one I had was a rechargeable one, and it would never make it through 48 holes), and some fresh batteries for the flashlights and radio. The hardware department at Home Depot was packed. There didn't seem to be any concrete screws or anchors left, but I found a box of 50 wedge anchors hidden away by someone in a different section. The drills were almost all gone, but I found one.

Thursday night after work, I began to drill the holes. I wasn't even halfway done when I'd stripped the new drill. I pulled out the old one and stripped that one too. It was already ten. I was exhausted. I showered and went to bed.

The following morning I went back out to Home Depot to purchase a new drill. They didn't have a single one!

I waited until mid-afternoon when my brother in law finished putting up his mother's shutters, so he could bring his drill over and help me put up the remaining shutters on my house.

Due to the fact that the storm has slowed down and taken so much longer in getting here, it's given us more time to prepare. It also looks like Frances has turned its attention up north some, so we won't get a direct hit. In fact, besides the high winds and rainfall we're getting now, we might not get much else at all.

Thank you all for your kind wishes! I expect this will all be over by tomorrow. I just hope all the Palm Beach residents get through it okay.


Anonymous said...

Mick, you and yours are in our thoughts.

And by the way, having lived through this myself before, I recall being told to crack open the windows in the house to equalize the pressure so as not to pop the roof off.


C. Fish said...

Been Praying hard for this hurricane to lessen in strength and be gentler than originally predicted when she hits. I am glad you posted to let us know how you are... we've been thinking of you.

Amber said...

Glad it's going better than expected, Mick. Hang in there! What a mess with the drill and what not...yeesh, makes me glad I wasn't born male when I read about stuff like that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at the pictures on the news. I hope you and yours are well and came through ok.


Brian said...

Hey there,

I hope you and your family made it through the storm unscathed. What a massive hassle that sounds like. Thanks for the insight.

Sarah McBroden said...

Waits quietly and patiently to find out if you and yours are all alright.

Any time NOW would be nice.

I hope everything is perfect with you.