Hurricane Matthew just rolled through my area yesterday. Actually, the center of the storm never got closer than about 150 miles from my home. All I got was steady rain and sustained winds of just over thirty miles per hour for approximately twenty-four hours. This matched the forecast.
Naively, I thought that the worst that would happen would be flooding in areas prone to such, and perhaps a few downed trees. I mean, we get regular thunderstorms with stronger winds and significant rain. Power might go out briefly, but nothing extended. Right? Wrong!
I lost power about this time yesterday, and there’s no estimate as to when it might be restored. Over two-thirds of the county is suffering the same fate. Duke Energy (not the only energy provider) is reporting that in the state, they have over half a million customers without power. Obviously, a the percentage is higher towards the coast, but many in the central part of the state are included in that number.
Two years ago, my storage building was cleaned out, including my 8.5KW generator. That left me with a couple deep cell batteries and a 2KW inverter as my only real backup. All of which disappeared with Former Houseguest last year. I’ve been so busy paying off bills since that I never bothered to replace those losses, much less continue to build my preparedness inventory.
I have food, but my only heat source is a propane grill.
I haven’t even maintained a supply of drinking water. Fortunately, the public supply hasn’t been disrupted or contaminated. This time. Yet.
Short of being glad that my rule of “half a tank of gas is empty” last month when pipeline issues caused gas shortages, I haven’t needed any of my preps in over five years. But like a fire extinguisher or a gun, when you need it, you really need it.
Needless to say, this has been a wake-up call for me. Infrastructure is fragile. Two is one, and one is none. I have work to do.