For me, Hurricane Isaac will forever be remembered as “My First Hurricane.” Something I had dreaded to some degree and, something I have learned I can deal with again. But, I won’t lie: it wasn’t fun. I’ll take a good old-fashioned blizzard any day!
What I found most nerve wracking about dealing with a (Category 1) hurricane was the anticipation; not knowing to what degree I would have to prepare. When I did a survey of the neighborhood, I found folks boarding up windows, tying down garbage can lids and piling up sandbags but by no means was there a consistent approach to protection. I mean, take a look at the picture below: wouldn’t that business owner also be concerned about breaking glass, possibly even moreso than street flooding? How am I to know, when I haven’t done this before, what needs to be done to protect MY property?
Well, I’ll tell you that I closed all my shutters, tried to fix the weatherstripping on my leaky patio doors and moved valuable things away from walls with windows. Of course, I prepped my pantry and refrigerator for the inevitable power outage and made sure I had candles and flashlights on hand. All of these efforts proved worthwhile.
However… the one thing I never thought I would have to do?
Take the batteries out of my smoke detectors *before* the power goes out in the middle of the night and you can’t see what you’re doing and you’ve only been sleeping a couple hours at a time because you’re not sure if that bang on your roof, and then subsequently on the neighbor’s roof, was a piece of wind-driven debris big enough to cause a hole, or if all the creaking and shaking will amount to a collapse or why there is water coming in through windows you thought you adequately sealed up with every kind of spray foam under the sun?!? All four smoke detectors beeping loudly, and not necessarily in sync, was nothing short of painful.
<insert sigh here>
I hope all of you fared well during the storm! And, if you have any handy tips, products or protection methods you’ve discovered over the years, please pass them along… hurricane season isn’t over (is it?)!