We just got through riding out Hurricane Sally. I was working in the emergency room during the early part of landfall, and I drove home in the Wrangler about an hour or so before the eyewall landed on us. It was a maxed out category two storm. All in all, not terrible. No damage to our house or vehicles, very little to clean up on the property. Parents and siblings doing well too. We lost power for only about two days.

My wife and I are of the prepper mindset, and we like to use the large thunderstorms we get here on the Gulf Coast to shore up our preps every year. We rarely get to “practice” with cyclones like tropical storms and small hurricanes like Sally because they don’t hit as often as they did when we were growing up. We were able to check some boxes this time and make a few changes to our list. For example, drop the kerosene and get more lamp oil, because kerosene smokes and lamp oil does not. As always, need more gas cans, more propane tanks, more ammo, more rain barrels and more sandbags. Going to get a burn barrel and a tow chain. Need to get the CB radio running. There is always something you think of when the lights are out for an extended period of time, that you won’t ever think about when the lights stay on.

One thing to note is that this was originally supposed to hit much farther west of us as a tropical storm. So instead of getting a rain band with no wind, we got a direct hit from a category two storm, and it was almost a category three. Easily managed, but still a big difference. Always expect the worst. I had just told my wife that all of the storms that had come near us for the last several years always ended up west of where they predicted. This one ended up well EAST instead, right on top of us.

The way we prepare for the big hurricanes (that will come eventually) translates pretty well to how we would prepare for some other grid-down disaster. You still have to think of it in terms of hierarchy. Shelter, water, food, security. Once those essentials are handled, you move to the secondary needs, medical, commo, intelligence and transportation.

I guess I should have guessed we’d get a lot of storms this year. It’s been a hell of a year, 2020. And we still have an election left to go…