Harvey (Day 2)


I awoke Friday morning hearing a little wind but no rain drops on the roof.  The eye has traveled North of us already, the winds have switched to reflect that and our forecast for both wind and rain has significantly dropped.  Although many people are still right in the path of the hurricane it appears that this time we have been spared the worst of what is shaping up to be a terrible situation.

That said, we have tried to fill our 2 bathtubs with water to assure emergency water supplies (in addition to the bottled water we have) and have discovered that both tub stoppers that we have do not actually hold water.  (whoever stops the tub if you’re a shower guy?) In the future (if there’s a delay in the sale of the house) we’ll seek out a more reliable drain stopper for the tubs.  (One full of water for drinking & one full of water for flushing in case there is a problem with the water supply — as has been the case for other Texas friends in previous hurricanes — coincidentally I have heard some funny stories about people making coffee from bathtub water and from the water in the toilet reservoir — which idea while sounding disgusting is probably not as bad as it sounds!  Unless of course you use those blue hockey pucks to clean your toilet bowl!  Yuck.)

To be honest the bigger concern I have is the issue of power outage potential.  We have learned that we do not fare very well in the temps/humidity we are experiencing. Earlier in our lives I think we could have managed quite nicely, but no longer and the idea of being without air circulation/air conditioning is more scary than the idea of not being able to cook (in our all electric home) So far we’re looking to be ok and all we can do is wait out the reality of what shall be.  Not good to spend your time worrying about what ISN’T going to be.  Be prepared as best you can and then just live it.

Right now the media are having a field day, of course.  As much good as The Weather Channel and other media do, there is no denying the fact that they make a bigger profit from creating a frenzy that will keep viewers tuned in so their advertisers can sell them all sorts of things. In particular I was rather disappointed at one video The Weather Channel was running which took all the most explosive words out of the National Weather Services communications and lumped them all together into one video that was clearly designed to spread fear.  There have always been problems with media pandering to our baser instincts for the sake of profit or advancing their agenda — and every media outlet has some agenda no matter how much they may seem to agree with your own personal viewpoints.  Agreeing with you doesn’t make them the best media, it only identifies their bias.  Which is all the more reason we all ought to balance our news sources so that we get a little bit of every side so we can judge for ourselves what we think to be true.  (Notice I said, “what we think to be true” — because just because we might agree with the point of view does not guarantee it’s accuracy — we all make mistakes and we all hold some invalid viewpoints.)

So, cooped up in the house for a couple/few days we’ll try to maintain a sense of balance and optimism.  And to be of assistance to anyone nearby that we can help.  But the storm (so far) appears to be light enough that no one here has structural damage and we’re happy for that. May it stay that way over the next 96 hours.

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22 thoughts on “Harvey (Day 2)

  1. We also have an all electric kitchen. We keep a stock of canned meats and fruits as well as granola bars in case of emergency. I just read that the on-site restaurant is prepared to serve a buffet with disposable plates if we have an extended lack of electricity. That’s good to know. The care center at the far end of our complex has generators but not enough space for all us independent living residents. I wonder how they would handle the influx of so many of us?

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    1. Linda, We too have a pretty well stocked pantry of dried and canned good. It’s funny that the most time we ever eat canned food is when the use-by dates on our emergency supplies get too close to expiring! We don’t use much canned food at all. But a person has to have stuff on hand for events like this, or like a blizzard when the power goes out, or an electrical outage that lasts for more than a few hours.

      I was saying to Peggy just the other day, that there really isn’t any part of the U.S. that has NO sorts of emergencies where having supplies is unnecessary. When we were on the Oregon Coast, there it was Tsunamis and Earthquakes that we were concerned with. If they ever have a Big One along the coat the only N/S road (US 101) will likely liquidize in the shaking and people will be stranded with no road or access for weeks or months.

      There is no Utopia. At least not that I know of.

      I heard today that even with emergency generators the two hospitals in Victoria are without electricity.

      I sometimes think that all of our dreams about emergency preparedness are not much more than a placebo to make us feel better until we face something horrible. If we were living the lives of the refugees for any of the countries where they are fleeing right now I’m sure we would be right behind them. The degree to which horror can multiply is astonishing.

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  2. Glad you were spared from the wrath of this storm. Just saw first photos from a friend’s friend in Port A. Not as bad as I first thought it might be, but it’s still very bad. I just hate how this is all going to impact so many people down south. Waiting to see how bad the flooding is now.

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    1. I agree completely.

      It’s really impossible to absorb just how difficult it will be for hundreds of thousands in the next months.

      We find we have to make a trip to San Antonio in the next week, “has” to be done before Friday and even though the forecast is much less frightening there it’s not a thing we do lightly.

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  3. We found the weather stayed cool enough that we did not have a problem with the A/C being off. One of our “must have” items is a generator. We used it to run the fridge, coffee make, microwave and fans. I did buy a new propane camp stove but never needed it – still boxed up.

    Glad you fared well, hopefully weather will stay in your favor.

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    1. Glad to hear you fared well.

      I was thinking about that generator you mention. Thinking about the fact that here some of the residents may be without power for days, weeks, possibly months I wonder how much fuel you need on hand to handle whatever one’s needs might be. Or propane cartridges.

      I’m not sure how well planning for emergencies works out for many of us ‘normal’ people. They estimate that 40% of the population of Rockport DID NOT evacuate even though the forecast was pretty much for a direct hit. Evacuating 10,000 people is one thing. But this morning there was interesting coverage about why NO EVAC order was issued for Houston — and when you consider what would have happened with even part of the population of the 4th largest city in the US got stuck on the highways because of rain while trying to get out of town the suffering would have been impossible to imagine.

      Clustering people together as we do creates logistic and supply problems that make the organization of an ant colony look admirable.

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      1. The traffic congestion was why we did not evacuate. We used about 25 gallons of gas over a 4 day period with constant use.

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      2. I was thinking about this the other day from the standpoint that I don’t know how many people would think to have 20-50 gallons of fuel on-hand for emergency use. Considering how long some folks have been with out power during some emergencies, even 8 days supply might be short.

        Thanks for the comment. Folks who have permanently wired standby gensets may not even have a 50 gallon supply in the tank. Not sure about that. Haven’t priced household wide gensets in probably 15 years and then they were far less common.

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      3. We didn’t have the gas on hand, we filled up with the impending hurricane a few days before it hit land. We have several large gas containers just for this type of thing.

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      4. We filled up about 30 hours before the Hurricane missed us, but I was thinking a lot about folks with generators as the line at the station got longer and longer wondering whether people standing in line would be unruly about others filling containers. Nowadays with road-rage incidents in Texas one doesn’t take civil behavior for granted and it got me to thinking…

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      5. Gas, being perishable, isn’t something you leave laying around in the garage for months on end (to say nothing of the fire hazard) But I have wondered about issues of scarcity when people have been known to fight and get shot over a loaf of bread. Wonder how one can safely handle insuring their safety (seeing as there will always be those who do not plan ahead) without risking their safety in the process.

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      6. Our situation is nothing compared to what others are experiencing now…as did happen during Katrina, it did get very unsafe for those trying to help. I’m sure there will be a boiling point as people begin to start facing the reality of their situation. I hope that help continues and that people’s emotions can stay in check as things get worse…sadly, this is only the beginning.

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  4. Happy to hear you’re safe. 🙂 As for news media – yes, sensationalism generates views, clicks, hence profit. That said, I can’t help but equate all media coverage of Harvey with that of Katrina.The Katrina debacle will forever reside on my list of most watched media marathons.

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    1. Yup.

      And many of us are glued to the tube. We try to watch one news cycle in the morning and one in the afternoon, trying to avoid tuning in during the news cycle. But after 10-15 minutes it’s all the same “news” recut and replayed so there’s not much sense. If I see the forecast track I tend to be satisfied. The suffering and non-stop edited video of “The Worst Of…” gets sickening.

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      1. I’m so sorry to hear you have family in the area hit. Have you heard from them at all. I’ll keep good thoughts for their safety and we’ll being…along with all the others who face a lot in the coming months and perhaps years. This was a bad one.

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      2. We’re staying in touch ok — they have water outside, but hasn’t breached the sills yet — a few blocks away the houses are flooded up to several feet. Hopefully they’ll escape further damage but time will tell. Bad, indeed!

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