We’re currently in hurricane season, which gives me reason to recall my experiences with hurricanes and why I hate them.
First of all, it gives the media a whole week before the hurricane arrives to play havoc with my mind and terrorize my thoughts. If I ever find that little guy from the Weather Channel who went from state to state standing in two feet of water at the beach measuring the winds while he “sometimes” held on to a fence that happened to conveniently be alongside the beach where he was standing (my husband insists he traveled with this fence), I will take this fence and hurl it over his head.
In preparation for Hurricane Irene, I had to go out and clear the possible “projectiles” that the 100-mile-an-hour Irene winds would blow away. Clearing them away meant volunteering my husband for this project, a man who does not like to actually do the work and would rather delegate. According to him, everything on our property could resist 100-mile-an-hour winds, so why should we move it?
It took two days to move our outdoor items to the garage, including our tables and chairs, chaises, barbecue grill, flower pots, pool toys, and storage sheds. Weeks later, all of these items were still in the garage.
I spent an entire day running from store to store to find batteries and a transistor radio (I don’t think I have used a transistor radio since I was 12 and they were all the rage). One stop I made was at Lowe’s where you needed a traffic light to navigate the lines of people wheeling out plywood to their cars and trucks to screw onto their windows and doors. Lowe’s had no radios.
I taped my windows, secured my garbage shed, and even took down my American flag. Food was fully stocked in three locations. Batteries, flashlights, yahrzeit candles, analog phone, and emergency kit were ready and waiting on the table. Window shades were lowered in case of broken glass. I even got out my father’s World War II helmet.
As we hunkered down for the storm to come, the phone rang with a message from the county telling me I’ve got to evacuate — after all this preparation! It was erev Shabbos and I wondered, “Where is it safe to evacuate? Irene is supposed to be everywhere.”
I had already told my mother to come to me and extended the invitation to my daughter and her six children, since I am 15 feet above sea level (according to a reliable source).
My mother decided it was a good time to tell me about the flood in Louisville that she went through as a child, how it reached the second floor of the house, and how vivid a memory it was for her to this day. She could have been an opening act for that little Weather Channel guy with the fence.
When we got the phone call that our satellite minyan was still on, I knew that was the sign to stay home.
I’ll end this recollection with some memorable quotes from officials who were “helping” us deal with Irene:
- Get off the beach — you are done; you are tan enough!
- If you haven’t evacuated already, it is too late and it is too bad. You will just have to sit it out in your house — just don’t expect any help from us.
- If your neighbor has electricity and you don’t, call us. If your neighbors have no electricity, we know about it; don’t call us, just wait.
Boy, do I hate hurricanes! n
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com.