This is our first full summer in Texas, after having arrived here on the evening of July 31, 2009. Yes, we arrived smack dab in the middle of summer…from San Diego, CA. We got in our car in 70 degree weather and got out in an oven. (I’ll have to blog separately sometime about that 2 1/2 day trip.)
So, yes, it was hot back then. And it’s been hot since April 30 this year too. Why do I remember the EXACT date? That happened to be our 10-year anniversary and we were trying to get away for the weekend to San Antonio, and it was gross. Hot, humid. Never mind we think we ate some bad beef jerky from Buc-ees on the way there. (Sorry Buc-ees, but we’re glad we didn’t try the Beaver Nuggets – whatever those are.)
I’ve been trying not to whine too much – I love a Midwest storm. But now they’re predicting a higher-than-normal number of hurricanes this year. Will Alex be our first?
Being 60 miles inland, I’m not totally worried about the full brute force of a hurricane. I feel for the coastal towns though. Especially Galveston. I didn’t see Galveston pre-Ike, but you can still see the remnants of the damage caused by that doozy. Alex is currently a tropical storm but likely to turn into a Hurricane as it comes across the Gulf of Mexico. Easily could be a category 1 or 2…possible for a category 3. Projections right now have it headed to our west – down southwest of Corpus Christi. But some models bring it right over top of Houston.
My cats already hate us for moving them to a place with regular thunder. (They’ve each found their favorite hiding places now, so I at least I know where to look for them.) We’ve had our share of storms rolling through on a regular basis. Usually last no more than an hour, but sometimes dropping buckets of rain. I need to try and get some on video. Didn’t do such a good job with the last one (missed the lightning bolt that hit about 1/2 mile up the street, which unfortunately burned 5 apartment units).
But this is different. This is potentially our first “big one”. I’m only slightly freaked out. The one thing I’ve always said about natural disasters, is that with hurricanes you at least know when they’re coming. Try growing up in California when you never know if the ground is going to shaking. But now I’m thinking, maybe it’s better that you don’t have 3-5 days to stress over whether or not it’s going to hit you. What are your contingency plans? Do you evacuate? (No mom and dad, if you’re reading this, we don’t really think we need to evacuate for this one.)
Then a friend gives me tips for things to watch for. Stock up on groceries (which I was planning on doing anyway – thank goodness I knew enough to do that). The funny part was that I needed to stock up “not because you need [groceries] for the storm, but because everyone flips out”. Thankfully my friend didn’t think I was going to be one of those people.
But then she says to be sure to fill up on gas. If the storm hits, the policy officers actually take over the gas stations. I don’t know why I was surprised by this, but I was. (Mental note: Fill the car with gas when you’re out grocery shopping tonight.)
And Houston is prone to flooding in certain areas even with moderate rains. So, I will be prepared to be holed up at home for a day or two while everything settles down. We’ve been lucky so far in the area where we live that there isn’t much localized flooding. We do have a storm run off along the side of our building though – our own little storm river, if you will. Wonder what it takes to fill that to the brink?
We’ve also got plenty of candles, a Red Cross radio that is powered by cranking, flash lights that don’t require batteries, water, food, etc. If we lose power though, I’m most worried about being hot…and grumpy. And if I then get hungry? That’s the trifecta of a bad time for my hubby.
So…yes, I will be watching the news regularly for the next couple days, and checking out the online maps of projected paths. Not because I’m paranoid or freaking out – well maybe just a teeny weeny bit – but mostly so I can be prepared, can shelter the cats and know if it does get back we can get the heck out of dodge. I have no qualms about evacuating if need be. But if we’re able to stay here and ride it out, it’ll be an interesting story to have.