Friday, August 26, 2011

Can we Survive a Disaster Without Sandwiches?

It seems like the more we know about tracking storms and the faster we can communicate with each other, the crazier we all get about the weather. All day long people have been scurrying around here on the South Shore of Long Island, seemingly frenzied over hurricane Irene.

The stores are packed. People are scrambling for water and members of my family tell me you can no longer get a loaf of bread- anywhere.

Big Brother, my oldest who is entering 3rd grade this September, got a hold of a Red Cross disaster checklist. He has been listening to the Weather channel, wide-eyed and hourly checking his home weather station that grandpa bought him two Christmases ago.

"Mom, we need four gallons of water for each person and there are five of us, so that means we need 20 gallons of water."

"Uh, how about tap water?" I offer.

My son looks worried. "No, that won't be fresh when the hurricane hits," he says, making a note on the list with a green crayon. He continues.

"Mom, do we have flashlights, rain gear, insect repellent and sunscreen, a map of the area, extra cash, a multi-purpose tool, extra batteries, copies of personal documents and a NOAA Weather Radio?"

"Um, I think so," I answer, shrugging. Big Brother looks so cute when he's frustrated.

"Mom! This storm is gonna be big and you have to get the house ready. We have to be prepared and fill our cars' gas tanks in case we need to make a quick getaway from the winds. Mom, what are you doing to get ready?!"

"I'm shutting off the television so you can't watch the weather report anymore because you are getting swept up in the emotional frenzy that the evil media is casting upon you," I say, taking the remote control.

"But Mom, you work for the media and so you should be teaching people how they can get prepared for the storm."

The kid is just too smart for his own good, so I figure I better go down to the basement and find the NOAA Weather Radio that was sent to me after 9-11 that I laughed at and stuck in a dark corner.

The County Executive is recommending a mandatory evacuation of everyone living south of Main Street in my town. So I do what any strong, intelligent woman would do in an emergency. I call my dad. He lives in the "get out zone."

"Forgetaboutit! We're not going anywhere. These people are nuts," he balks. He's got the boater's email updates on the storm.

"The winds are going to be weaker here than what they'll get down south and it's a category 1. My house is three stories high. Everyone is going insane," he insists.

And everybody knows that Dad is always right. Plus, my parents' house and mine both survived the Hurricane of 1938, which was a category 3, I think. So I drive over his house with a pizza and on the way I pass this tree on my block. Apparently it had a premonition, or has been watching too much broadcast news and has fallen over in anticipation without a cloud in the sky. And then the Seventh Day Adventist church bell starts ringing around the corner. Maybe it's time to find the flashlight.

I decide that I have to at least get my camera ready for photos of the damage. As a member of the media, if Hurricane Irene ushers in Armageddon I might still have to work, and that would be a bummer. I'll probably have to get a comment from Jesus and some of the local people raised from the dead for the newspaper.

Man, I hope Dad is right and this tree is wrong. I think I need a sandwich right now.
Picture- After receiving THREE reverse 911 phone calls from the Town of Brookhaven, this tree on my street made the wise decision to fall on Friday, August 26, thereby proving that Knowledge = POWER!


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Great post! I've been laughing all week over the hysteria people are in. Everybody should have emergency supplies at all times. What does everybody need all those batteries for? Their game boys? Stay safe!

Paul G Dextraze said...

Well written, Loren. I like the photo very much. God was smiling on you when he provided you with the uprooted tree as a living metaphor. As a poet, I love details that appeal to the senses. Good job!

Daniel said...

my wife's aunt marth needed sandwiches everytime she traveled fromm toooele utah to provo utah a distance of about 74 miles<><>and of course mormons are famous for having food storage of two years, and ifin God got real mad he could put his two cents in along with the force of the storm already upon you<><><>write all this up in your treasures of truth book for your kids when they look back on this event<>><<>

Loren Christie said...

Hi Daniel. Sure, God could crush us, but just as a loving, sane parent could never hurt his/her child, I don't believe God hurts people in any way. Nice to hear from you. :)

Loren Christie said...

Hi Paul, Elizabeth, Thanks for visiting and commenting here.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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