Preparing for Frankenstorm…how scared should I be?

From Radio 96.1

I’m having a hard time getting freaked out over Frankenstorm.  Oh, I know it’s coming.  That big red swoosh on the weather map is headed right for us.  We’re in the swath of massive rain and heavy winds.   And I’m not in denial.  John spent today cleaning out the French drain by our basement door because the basement has flooded with every heavy thunderstorm this year.  There’s no way we’re ignoring a weather forecast of 6″ of rain.

I survived from inside the warm house. John was outside on the tractor.

I think I’m not freaked because it isn’t a snow storm.  I have survived Snowmageddon in the Hereford Zone.  Days and days of being trapped at home, unable to escape because the roads weren’t plowed.  Survival skills involved feeding the entire clan meal after meal.  It was a party that wouldn’t end.  I came close to death by cabin-fever (that’s when I start killing everyone around me). When Hurricane Isabel came through, it was sort of amazing to realize that, hey, the power might be out, but we can still drive to Hunt Valley and eat at Panera.

I do have a full tank of gas.  We can go places.

If we aren’t blocked by falling trees.  One storm felled a big oak tree across our road.  We were able to drive under the tree (that was a little freaky) until John could cut it down with the chain saw.  Hmmm…I wonder if John has extra gas for the chain saw?  If not, I guess he’ll be siphoning it from my car.

See, we’ve been living at Maywood for nineteen years.  (Whoa.) It’s why I won’t go camping.  Maywood is camping.  Well, camping at a luxury lodge with a king-size Sleep Number bed.  (I love my bed.)  But I have paid my dues.  I’ve gone without water.  I’ve gone without heat and electricity.  I’ve been the last one plowed out in Baltimore County.  I  am perfectly capable of roughing it.  That’s par for the course out here.  Out here, we pay our taxes for county services, but we don’t sit on our duffs waiting for the county to take care of us.  We are pioneers. (Roar.) Maywood life has had me roughing it so long that the entire electrical grid could be destroyed and we’d figure it out.

If I lived at the shore, then I think I would be freaked.  The ocean is pretty daggone big.  And big waves are synonymous with destructive power.  But we don’t have the water issues at Maywood that people on the ocean or bay have.  We don’t even have the wind issues that our neighbors up the road have.  We’re kind of nestled back  here.

We do have trees, though.  They come crashing down whenever they want.  One early morning recently a huge piece of a tree came down next door at the old Maywood house where John’s parents live.  John heard it at our house.  John’s mother did not hear it.  She said she had the radio on.  Hmmm….take your pick:  (a) she doesn’t hear well, (b) the radio was on really loud, or (c) both (a) and (b).  Anyway, my point is this: trees crash down whenever they want.  There is just a higher likelihood of it happening during a Frankenstorm.  Ask any actuary.  Actuaries know risk.  (They don’t take risks; they just study it.)

So, in spite of the risk of being hit by a falling tree, I’m still pretty numb to the reality of Frankenstorm.  I want to blame it on weather hype.  How many storms of the century have we had in the past twenty years?  I don’t think I can count them all.  Even if we re-started the clock on “storms of the century” with the new millennium, I’m still running out of fingers.  I can’t maintain that level of weather angst.  And I can’t ignore it by staying off internet or tv.  Now cellphones beep emergency weather notifications.  Just last week, my sister’s phone alerted us to a tornado warning at our exact location.   Oh, the irony of being late to Wicked because of a tornado warning.  We never did get the tornado.

During the last hurricane, all the weather rope did was get wet.

Frankenstorm is coming, but my preps are not so much geared toward actual survival, as to how to minimize annoyance.  What electrically powered things do I need to do now that I won’t be able to do while the power is out?  And that is why I spent today doing laundry.  It’s why my Pottery Barn wickless candles have fresh batteries and my Yankee candles are strategically placed throughout the house.  It’s why my Nook is fully charged.  We may lose power, but I’ll have clean clothes, the house will look cute and smell nice, and I’ll be able to read in the dark.

On the eve of the storm I will fill the bathtubs and the drinking water containers.  I’ll check internet to see if there are any pro-active school cancellations.  And that is really why I’m not scared.  If I have to simultaneously prepare lessons plans and prepare for the complete shut-down of civilization as we know it, well, I’m pretty sure one of those scenarios is not going to happen.

One thought on “Preparing for Frankenstorm…how scared should I be?

  1. Ah the big storms. I hate when I prepare for them and they turn out to be duds (essentially some heavy rain and a bit of wind) Of course the first time I DON’T prepare, I have no doubt in my mind disaster will occur with marauding gangs of cannibals bashing in my door to steal my batteries romance novels and ramen pride.
    It IS decidedly satisfying being prepared for a storm though…In doors with everything we need.


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