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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hunkering Down Here

(Weekend humor post directly below this one, and political posts further down. Keep scrolling)

1. Inverter (DC to AC) for the sump pump and the fridge? Check. An inverter is especially useful as it doesn't have to be ventilated as does a gasoline-fueled generator.

2. Some bottled water and plenty of canned goods, etc.? Check.

3. Prescription meds for Mr. AOW and for me? Check.

4. Cat food and kitty litter? Check.

5. Cell phones fully charged? Check.

6. Outdoor items secured? Check.

My biggest concern is downed power lines and downed phone lines. If Verizon goes down, I'll be incommunicado for about 10 days.

Thus far, Hurricane Irene 2011 doesn't look to be nearly as bad as Hurricane Isabel, which left us out of power and our main road blocked for three days here in the immediate DC area. Much worse for those in outlying areas.

And one more thing....The local media coverage of Hurricane Irene has been in the scare-tactics range. Sheesh.

Yesterday, when the sun was shining and nary a drop of rain had fallen, 7 out of 8 drivers were speeding all over the place with their headlights on. Emergency mode! Go figure.

What a week! An earthquake on Tuesday and a hurricane on Saturday-Sunday.


  1. Scare tactics are become absurd here. I've never seen anything like it. Bloomberg's going overboard. Of course last year he wasn't ready for a predicted snow storm and it turns out he was in his Bermuda home at the time while trying to pretend he was on the job. He knows he doesn't have room for failure.

    I doubt everyone will evacuate for the same reason they didn't in New Orleans ... protection of property. In most cases people are safer at home but those close to the shore should pack-up and get out.

    Now I have to go out and get more cat food ...

  2. I don't think it will be as bad as the media makes it out to be. No, check that. I KNOW it won't be as bad as they say.

    How could it? The media is better at scare tactics than at actually reporting the news.

    I managed to find batteries in spite of the run on them, but flashlights were not to be found anywhere. It's OK. We have what we need IF it's anywhere close to as bad as what the media leads us to believe.

  3. Good luck, but it sounds like you have things taken care of.

    I have a confession to make DC resident. I was a Don and Mike fan and listened on a Reno radio station. Their description of DC drivers was funny to say the least. I understand if you get a half an inch of snow cars are abandoned on the Beltway.

    Stay Safe!

  4. Jason,
    The hype about this storm is indeed ridiculous.

    You still have that beautiful cat? How old is she now?

  5. North Carolina is catching it. The people were wise to evacuate that area.

    Meanwhile, most large homeowners' insurance companies are deploying all available personnel to the shore areas on Monday so as to speed up the storm-damage-assessment process.

  6. Mark,
    All this hype reminds me of how the DC media shift into overdrive if a snowstorm is even marginally nearby.

    I hear that things at the grocery stores here have been madhouses for three days.

    I am concerned about high winds -- all the canopy over our heads, courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Act.

  7. Woodsterman,
    I understand if you get a half an inch of snow cars are abandoned on the Beltway.


    It's been like this for as long as I can remember. Drivers here just cannot navigate snow. **sigh**

  8. Randy,
    We are lucky here in that we are one of the highest points in the immediate DC region.

    If we flood, the people at the bottom of the hill in this fall-line region will be swamped.

    We've had plenty of warning about this storm. Still, I'm sure that a few people are ill-prepared. Of course, they will look to the government to help them out if the worst happens.

  9. @ Woodsterman: Sheesh, the drivers sound like Cincinnati motorists. Hell, the freak out when it rains heavily.

    AOW: Good luck and you two stay safe! It sounds like you know what to expect and are well prepared!

    Not to sound like a jerk, but here in the Cincinnati area we are enjoying a welcome break from the oppressive heat and humidity of a super hot summer because of the hurricane. We'll have four days of low temps and humidity. :)

  10. I've seen my share of hurricanes being a Floridian. It's not easy watching one of those humongous storms looming in the vecinity of your loved ones.

    I do believe the media coverage has been over-the-top, but what do they know? This storm was supposed to be a Cat 3 when it hit North Carolina, but it turned out to be a Cat 1. Like I said, what do they know? Thank God they were wrong.

  11. Yes, our Siamese cat is still talking up a storm (no pun intended) and wakes us up (no, make that wakes me up) for breakfast every morning like clockwork. How's Cameo?

  12. God bless you and stay safe! Sounds like you're prepared.

    I'm doing my best to join the millions of others who are trying to pray it away from landfall!

  13. Was thinking of you, knowing that you live in eastern Virginia. Please stay safe!

  14. Take care, though it looks like a category 1, the risks of being hit by material is stil there. Also, the main concern is flooding from a surge, so I would not downplay the importance of prudence.

    Good to know your on high ground, stay in-doors and be prepared for power outage and dirty tap water for a few days after the event.

  15. Best wishes and hope all goes well for everyone. Now headed for the Bunker, and will be back when the Sun returns!

  16. I'm thinking about you and MR. AOW. You need to invest in a generator for times when the power is out. You could have power for lights, keep your refrigerator going, use outlets for necessary items. We have one and went as long as 5 days on it once.

    Be safe.

    Right Truth

  17. Jason,
    Glad to know that your beautiful Siamese cat is still thriving -- and bossing you around. LOL.

    After six weeks of misery for both Cameo and me (Bladder stones make everyone in the house miserable!), Cameo is fine and back to her usual sassy self. She will remain on the special diet for the rest of her life so as to prevent a recurrence of the bladder stones. Fortunately, she is not a fussy eater!

    Cameo is atypical for a Siamese in that she is not vocal at all. In fact, all of our cats are not vocal. Strange.

    No sooner had Cameo recovered than Mysti developed an ear infection in both ears.

    This has been the summer of cat ailments!

  18. Debbie,
    Usually, I manage to find a nearby neighbor or relative with a generator -- if need be.

    "Events" here are so rare, and I'm not sure that I have room to store a generator of my own.

  19. Hope you'll be fine. If people keep calm minds it usually is. It will be nice if your electric,cable, and internet stay on. Call me.

    LOVE Jackie

  20. D Charles,
    High ground is an advantage. But toppling trees and the ensuing power outages remain the primary risk in this location.

  21. I have to say the low barometric pressure has made me quite groggy. Both Mr. AOW and I took a long, long nap and nearly slept away the day!

  22. Bunkerville,
    Usually the day following a hurricane are glorious-weather days. I'm looking forward to that!

  23. Cube,
    Even so, the size of this storm is something else.

    Apparently, the storm will move through the states north of the Carolinas during high tide.

  24. Brooke,
    The people on the roads yesterday were more maniacal than usual. I don't know what happens to drivers here when precipitation falls. Sheesh.

  25. Karen,
    I'm so glad that I had a lot of tree trimming done here recently. Expensive, but worth the money now!

    A few years ago, we had trees mushrooming and spreading out too close to the house.

  26. It is a bit creepy that hurricanes in this area tend to strike at night.

    The latest map indicates that where I live will experience a tropical storm as opposed to the full force of a hurricane.

  27. Jackie,
    It's raining pretty heavily here. Heavier rainfall will begin about 7:00 PM, my time.

  28. Just catching the outer bands of wind and rain where I live in VA. Haven't lost power--but son is at a friend's house that has (and he doesn't want to come home--go figure!) Hope you keep all of your utilities--and if they go--you keep your faculties! Stay safe!

  29. Power outages nearby.

    I'm shutting down the computer so as to prevent my machine getting fried by a power surge.


  30. Looks nusty on my screen!

    Flying trees killed 7 so far !
    Keep away !
    Find a hole!

    Do you have UPS ? ( DC 2 AC Converter)


  31. NYPD Police are not arresting people for not leaving their home during the storm!
    Israeli Police arrests people on the beaches for not going home during "Red Alert"!...

  32. I was thinking of you yesterday, stay safe

  33. Ah, yes, I remember Cameo's problem and glad to hear that's over.

    By now the worse part of the storm should be in your area. Hopefully, there's no problem. We worry about the tall trees in our neighbor's yard--especially the one the leans our way. We'll see by morning ... or before!

  34. "Drivers here just cannot navigate snow."
    Or slush, or rain, and if we ever got it, heavy wind. Sheesh.
    Ya, the stores be crazy, though the media craze is worse. Already 10:30 and not much wind here by DC- though its been raining all day.

    Anyways, stay safe AOW and I hope your power stays on!


  35. Stay safe AOW. Looks like my location is only going to get grazed, but I'm still set up for the worst.

  36. The power just came on about 15 minutes ago here after being out since 0about 4:30. Here in Fredericksburg, we are pretty much near the edge of the storm rather than right in the middle. That's a blessing I guess. Anyway, the wind is still gusting at times but overall, things have calmed down somewhat.

    I've learned one thing:

    I've got to get a qwerty Keyboard cell phone. Posting updates to my Facebook status on an old flip phone is extremely time consuming. Took me three hours to say the power is out. If I'd simply waited a couple of more hours, I could have just used my computer.

  37. The power flickered here around 2:00 A.M., but so far we haven't lost power.

    After I down a cup of coffee, I'll make my way down into the cellar to check on the sump pump.

  38. Mark,
    Posting updates to my Facebook status on an old flip phone is extremely time consuming. Took me three hours to say the power is out. If I'd simply waited a couple of more hours, I could have just used my computer.

    I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at that one!

  39. Alex,
    Do you have UPS ? ( DC 2 AC Converter)

    Yes. The priority will be to keep the sump pump running.

  40. Wildstar,
    The winds cranked up during the night. Waiting for sunrise here to see the damage in our neighborhood.

  41. Wow! The news coverage (local) is nattering on and on about how we're still in danger. Sheesh.

    These newscasters are on some kind of adrenaline high.

  42. Glad to see you're doing fine. With a little water in the basement we've gotten off easy. Watching the newscasters--they're still reporting impending doom. But they're showing people are out, eating at dinars, and going about their business -- i.e. ignoring the newscasters, to their displeasure. Traffic is about half the usual rate in from of my house. Take care!

  43. Well, power went out again around 1:00 AM, and stayed off until 9:05. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Fredericksburg.

    Goodnight, Irene, and good riddance!

  44. So. We has this portable, battery operated TV/radio with a spotlight, a florescent lantern, a siren, a compass, and a thermometer in it, but we had to get 9 "c" batteries to run it. As I mentioned earlier we had some trouble finding the batteries but eventually we did, and we were all ready to go. When the power went out, I hit the button to turn everything on and it didn't work. (sigh)

    I did manage to find one of our lost battery operated fans, though, so that's a good thing.

  45. And, I was right. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the media told us it would be.

  46. AOW- ya, from about 1-3 am here the winds howled, though the damage done was near zero. How did you fair?


  47. Wildstar,
    A few branches down, but not big ones.

    The roof looks fine, and the basement is dry.

    All in all, nothing worse than a huge, long thunderstorm as far as damage goes.

  48. Mark,
    You had more trouble with power outages than we closer into Washington did.

    Did you get any sleep at all?

  49. The problem with these hysterical storm warnings (storm of the century etc) is that people are less likely to take warning seriously.

    Three times we have had mandatory evactuations from Hilton Head Island and the SC coast and two of those three I didn't evacuate and it was bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. The third time I was away for Hurricane Floyd and we had a tree come down.

    Unless I see that it's a Cat 3 storm or higher headed right for me in the next 24 hours I won't get out.

  50. Mike,
    It's all about extending the Nanny State.

  51. The politicians and media need scandals to look important. It is a shame because the various departments, organisations and I guess a few serious public officials need to to take the subject seriously. Imagine the outcry if they did not warn correctly and lives or industry is lost (Katrina would probably be a good example).

    Over here I know emergency services people and they were watching with fascination. The advice for being warned worked well enough but the media did not bother to point out that it was not so much wind-damage but sea levels and flooding was the issue.

  52. Nanny state is correct. I believe a couple of (Liberal) states actually instituted mandatory evacuation. This is a violation of individual rights. Yes, it's a smart to evacuate when a hurricane is bearing down on you, but that should be a personal decision, not a Government mandate.

    As I've said many many times, we have rights to personal liberty, including the right to be stupid. If an individual wants to stay home and brave the storm, he should have the right to do so. If he suffers injury or loss directly because of a stupid decision, that's the consequence.

    Government oversteps it's authority when it mandates evacuation. Just like everything else. Let each person decide what's best for the himself and let the chips fall where they may. Just as God intended.

  53. Mark, interesting points there. I am not arguing with you but would like to tell an example of why governments will be in support for manditory evacuations though.

    I read a legal case about a type 2 storme hitting the Canary Islands a few years ago. It was passing close to one of the southern Islands and the Spanish and Island authorities ordered manditory evacuations. Some decided to stay and argued it was their right and their problem if something happens. It did and it cost almost a million Euros to organise a rescue team, helicopters and medi-vac the 12 hard-liners who chose to stay, whom also complained the help came slowly etc. I guess the point of the manditory is that it not only puts people out of the way but also would stop the expensive rescue operations that the authorities are obliged to do and whom would be condemned for not doing.

    Personally I agree with Mark but at the same time being a person who works in the court and legal system - the administration and legal world cannot accept that unless you force them to sign legal indemnities.


  54. D Charles,
    In my view, the danger is that people are looking to the government to make decisions for them instead of people taking their own personal responsibility.

    Now, the matter of the cost of rescue is a valid concern. But the idea that the government can order this or that so as to prevent future expenditure is a dangerous idea because it could be applied in so many different ways -- ways unrelated to natural disasters.

  55. AOW, I agree with your comment and sentiment, just pointing out that governments, administrations and authorities will always work with rules and regulations and when not done so, it simply (to use an American saying) bites them in the arse.

    It is certainly one of those issues that is very hard to solve and very interesting to discuss.


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