Water jugs frozen. Check.

    Cash from the ATM. Check.

    Gas for the generator. Check.
    We were prepared for Tropical Storm (or maybe Hurricane) Erika. Then after days of blowing (and raining) through the Caribbean, she hit the mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba, and “poof,” she was gone.
    We heaved a sigh of relief. Then got back to work.
    This time no evacuations were required and the lights stayed on.
    But it’s early September and there are swirls of wind and waves lining up off the coast of Africa and headed in this general direction. Will they make it here? It’s far too early to tell, but if any one of them does, we have many of our preparations already completed. Phew.
    Although Erika fizzled, I’m sure our local first responders don’t regret the advance preparations the storm demanded. They will now be able to more quickly act should a new storm threaten. That’s a good thing for all of us.
    So this storm was not a waste of time. It was a healthy reminder that each hurricane season we need to take stock and make plans. Each storm threat is different and basic plans should stay flexible enough to morph into what is required to keep us safe regardless of predicted wind speed or tidal surge.
    It was good to knock the cobwebs off the shutters and stow away the lawn furniture. It won’t hurt a thing to leave things secured for a few more weeks. Then, when this hurricane season is finally past, we’ll be ready to hose everything off and put it back in place all tidy and clean — and then get back to living in paradise.
    We’ll be ready for that as well.
— Mary Kate Leming,
Editor

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