Hillary Chybinski: hurricane irene. . . a mom's perspective

Sunday, August 28, 2011

hurricane irene. . . a mom's perspective

so hurricane irene's arrival and prediction of widespread devastation cut short my boys' camping trip with John and my dad. . .and that was just the start. . .

i typically don't cave in to the media pressure to "prepare". . .we are never "unprepared", so I rarely do anything extra. . .but after spending an afternoon watching the dire predictions with my mom, I set off to fill my gas tank. . .

26 cars in line and this was 2 days before landfall and inland.

i went to the grocery store and got the predicted bread, milk and eggs along with some jelly and cheese.  my dad had a case of water for us.

in my mind i started going through our alternative lighting situation and whether we had batteries or not.  Good thing we did because store shelves were wiped clean.

we left NJ and headed for home Friday night. . .luckily we had put a majority of our outside stuff away before we left, so Saturday morning we shoved a few more things in the garage and assessed the yard for safety.

according to the news. . .the situation was worsening by the minute. . .i've been witness to too many tragedies around the world to ever believe it couldn't happen to me. . .so i was getting prepared. . .physically and mentally. . .planning what needed to be done, and how we could handle a variety of potentially dicey situations.

a quick trip to Trader Joe's Saturday morning, then I tucked the car up next to the house, taped up the front picture window and we were in for the duration.

the kids seemed pretty calm and not overly concerned - we talked about what a hurricane is (lots of wind and rain). . .what could happen (lose power, flooding) and how we would be ok because we were prepared.

after the kids were in bed, john and i settled in to watch the latest news and see how NC had fared. . .and that's when the tornado warning rang. . .it came across the screen and on my Emergency Alert text. . .the potential for a tornado was right there in my neighborhood.  John and I looked at each other and ran upstairs. . .he said, "you get owen". . .we each grabbed a kid and a couple of blankets and headed to our basement.

our basement is not a nice finished basement. . .it's a dank 1930's basement where we do laundry and store stuff.  Luckily we have an extra couch down there and with some quick brushing off, I tucked both the kids on the couch and tried to keep calm.  with the exception of John's stroke last year. . .I'm not sure I've ever been so scared.

luckily we had nothing to fear except the water gushing into our basement from the downpour outside.  i tucked the kids back in theri beds after the alert had expired, while John got a start on the water.  between the 2 of us, and John's flash of brilliance with the pump, we were able to get a handle on it and get it cleaned up rather quickly and with minimal damage.

we returned to the living room and watched more coverage of the storm and what was still to come - Irene hadn't even gotten to our area yet.  i started to get very anxious. . .worrying whether I should bring the kids downstairs. . .if the house would be ok. . .if everything in our basement would be swimming in water. . .

about 2 am i went and tried to sleep a little - John stayed downstairs and dozed while he kept watch on everything.  i woke with a start about 5 and we switched places.  The kids were up by 7 wondering what it was like outside.

it was rainy and windy. . .but we had power, no new water in the basement, and only some small scale debris in our yard.  i know how very lucky we are. . .

i made a pot of coffee and life was good again. . .thank God.

i hope you fared well if you were in the path of Hurricane Irene.

catch you soon -

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