On September 3, Rob and I were sitting on the couch watching channel 7, WSVN. The weather forecast was showing that a hurricane was forming and it looked like it was coming for us.
Rob told me, “Watch it will miss us.”
I think he said that to calm my nerves. Because my mind was swirling through a million of thoughts at the same time. “Where would we go?” “I have a baby.” “She needs water and formula.” “I need toys and entertainment for Averie.” Then I snapped out of it when I remembered that I went this crazy for tropical storm Erika that was supposed to land and become a hurricane when it touched Florida. At that time, Averie was barely 2 months and I literally bought ALL the unnecessary items because it never came. So, can this happen again?
I then decided to go on Facebook.
This is something I do everyday just to check up on social media news. A friend of ours, Eric posted models showing different paths that the hurricane may take, the possibility of it being a category 4 or 5 and that made me interested yet worrisome. He stayed focus on models showing that it would come towards us. I messaged him and asked him for advice. All I got from that conversation was that we should pack before the media creates a chaos!
Great, just when we were going to start; the next day the media announced to start prepping. Chaos erupted. First thing I did was to put gas in my car, it was Monday and I was late for work and lines were already starting. I told myself, “I hope I don’t need to come back to the gas station.” I always have seen people on TV making lines and I had no patience for watching that or even want to be in it. To my luck, because of work, I had to get gas again before the Hurricane hit us. I woke up at 6am and waited 20 mins. Yup, tell me about.
Next thing I did was go to the grocery store. Have you ever seen World War Z , Contagion, or Zombieland (personal note, I got Twinkies in homage to Woody Harrelson. LOL) You know the part at the grocery store? People a bit chaotic, you looking for specific item. Yup, that scene was playing in real life. Except, no zombies or viruses. Only, empty shelves. No water. No batteries. No candles. Nothing left.
At one point I did feel hopeless, finding water for Arya. Yes, I buy baby water. I know you can just boil water and it will be OK. But I normally just buy it. I went to Babies R Us twice and both times they had no water. When I asked if they were getting a shipment they said “The shipment has been stopped due to the Hurricane”. A piece of me cringed. I wondered if other mother’s were in the same need as me. I thankfully, got a full months worth of formula, just incase. Rob’s mother ended up finding us water.
We packed our bags (I over pack for all possibilities) and got things prepped and bordered at our home and left to ride the storm at Rob’s parents house.
When the storm was approaching we had light. We had prepared stations of first aid kit and a location for candles, batteries, and flashlights. Averie played as much on her tablet while we watched the news.
Right after the girls finished taking a shower… LIGHTS OUT. And they remained off during the storm. All you can hear is the howling wind gust. In the back of the house was hurricane windows so those weren’t covered. There were times that when you looked outside it was pure white. It was breathtaking, the power of mothernature. What kicked in my anxiety was the constant emergency text blasting on all the cellphones of possible of tornados in the area. The heat was unbearable. The fact that I did pack one fan for Arya, wasn’t enough. Round the clock showers were constantly made for them so they wouldn’t get fussy. I know better now.
The girls weren’t aware how serious this was. I told Averie that there was a big storm coming with lots of rain and wind. And she was fine with it. I brought her toys and coloring books to keep her entertained. Arya is to little to know what’s going on but I made sure to let her know that mommy and daddy and Averie were with her.
This experience was truly an eye opener. I have experienced it as a child and didn’t think much of it. All I cared for when I was small was no school and I could sleep in. But now experiencing it as a mother, was an anxiety whirlwind. I believe seeing Hurricane Harvey hit Texas weeks before made us feel like we could be the ones in their shoes. That devastation could happen here and it made me prep a lot more. I even bought life vests just in case of flooding. Yes, extremely overboard but safety and peace of mind is at the top of my list when prepping.
It has taken a while for me to write, as I was getting our lives back to normal and back to a routine. I am grateful. Hurricane Irma’s aftermath only left us with broken down trees and power outages. This experience has taught me that it’s better to prepare on time and that family is most important.