Friday, September 5, 2008

Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, and White Bread

I live in Columbia, which is at least 150 miles from the coast and rarely gets serious damage from hurricanes. Usually we get rain, which we always need, because we've been in a drought for a hundred years. It's hard to tell through the kudzu, but it's true.

However, I live in Columbia, where we have very long historical memories. Selective historical memories, but long none the less. I recently spoke to someone who believes the burning of Columbia continues to adversely affect his personal economy. I think ... never mind what I think.

And so, to combine the two: 19 years ago, Hurricane Hugo leveled Charleston, then barely slowed as it headed inland, causing severe damage all the way to Charlotte NC. If we haven't forgotten a battle that happened 100 years before we were born, we sure aren't going to forget Hugo.

And so, when a hurricane whispers and blinks and looks like it might come near, we all put away our lawn furniture and head to Lowes & the Bi-Lo.

SCE&G e-mailed emergency preparedness kit lists. (It was really a nice thing, especially considering they have no competition and don't need to advertise. I guess they want to remind us of how dependent we are on electricity.)

One of the items on the list is a non-electric can opener. This is a good suggestion. My parents didn't have one during an ice storm years ago. I had seven, so I shared. The list also points out that cordless phones won't work without electricity, so you might want to pick up one of those old plug in jobs at K-mart. Get some batteries and a battery powered radio while you are there.

Then off we go to Lowes for batteries, propane grills, flashlights, batteries, and plywood.

We move on to Bi-Lo, where we can buy batteries, white bread and milk. Why do people buy milk when they think the power will go out? And why is it always white bread? I went to the store before a threatened snow storm once and there was no white bread. Plenty of wheat, rye, pumpernickel, but no white bread. I don't buy white bread, so it was ok, but I still wonder...

OK, so at the Bi-Lo, I buy bottled water, batteries, canned tuna, vienna sausages (which will sit on the shelf uneaten for many years), and batteries. Ice for the cooler and we're off. Oh yeah, get some beer and diet Coke. And limes.

The thing to remember is that if there is a storm that affects Columbia, the problems (other than a few tornadoes) will come after the storm while SCE&G tries to restore power. The water will be fine, the Hardee's will be open, the roads will be clear.

Of course, Hannah is not coming this way. We will get rain tonight and tomorrow morning. It might be windy. But it won't be a big deal.

But just in case, I'm getting my white bread and batteries. See ya.


Lydia said...

And limes - good choice. I went to the store yesterday to get things for today when Hanna is supposed to move through north Jersey. Yikes! That may mean flooding. I can still cook since we have a gas oven but I hope we don't lose electricity. I HATE it when we do. Hope you're safe and sound. :o)

annie kelleher said...

yeah you cant forget the LIMES!! we had hannah stop in over night... drenching rain and some wind but the skies are clear this am... the wind and the pressure and my sinuses are giving me a migraine... but hey... this too shall pass! stay warm and safe and dry! and hang on to those can openers - you might be in a Very Powerful Position should The Worst ever happen :)!