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Thread: Surviving a hurricane

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Southeast Georgia, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Surviving a hurricane

    This is just my story of how I became aware of how fragile civility really is and how much we depend on others in our daily lives. I was living in Charleston SC in 1989, a 28-year-old single mother of two small children. My husband had left the family after meeting a woman and falling in love with her at work. So there I was living in an apartment, working a full time job, with two small children under the age of five, with an impending hurricane. Husband and his woman had moved to another city five hours' drive away and we didn't see him very much.

    Of course the news broadcast that the storm was coming several days in advance but they weren't sure exactly where it would come ashore. If I remember correctly, only within the last 24 hours did we find out for sure it was going to be Charleston. Businesses started closing down and preparations made. I was going to wait it out with the kids at our apartment, a 2-story townhouse about 1/4 mile off a waterway, but then started to get panicky. Twelve hours before the hurricane was to land I packed up the kids in our old car and we headed inland towards Columbia, SC. Both the kids and I had the flu, and I sat in a traffic jam with two small children, all of us ill, for 8 hours trying to go 100 miles. It was a nightmare of fearing running out of gas or something happening to our 12-year-old car.

    But we made it, and I managed to get the last room they had (I had no computer back in those days nor were there computer reservations if I recall) for the princely sum of $89, which bought us a room right by the vending machines and stairwell with a non-functioning toilet. I quickly got us squared away, thankfully we had enough notice so I was prepared with an ice chest of food and had brought my first aid kit. We wrapped up in blankets and told stories, pretending it was a fun time, until late that night and then went to bed.

    Woke up the next morning, no power, looked out the window, everything was in shambles. Storm came ashore at Charleston but as it moved inland it broke up into multiple tornadoes, one of which came close enough to pull the roof off a motel next to ours. Very scary stuff, but we slept through it all, probably because of the medication we'd taken for the flu. Car was okay, though, no tree on top of it. We loaded up and got on the road, and it took another 8 hours or so to get home. No gasoline was to be had, all pumps were closed. Trees were across the interstate so I had to use my atlas to find alternate smaller routes back. Made it home with about 1/8 tank to spare. House was fine! We should have stayed, but when you live that close to the coast you just don't know.

    We were without power for 29 days straight - it was the most frightening thing I've ever lived through. Martial law was imposed, National Guard came in to keep order in the city. My place of business had 8 feet of water from the storm surge, and my children's daycare was completely ruined and had to be shut down. It took me one week to be able to return to work and I had to find new daycare arrangements for the children; luckily, my sister's church came through for us.

    During this time, I saw things I couldn't believe, like two men fighting each other over the last $10 bag of ice at a gas station. Waiting in line 5 hours to get to the pump, cash only, with gas being $5 a gallon (this was back in 1989). Hearing the sounds of the National Guard loudspeaker at night, living with candles and lanterns for almost a month. No power - SC in September can be brutal. Trying to stay calm for my children alone in the house at night.

    Anyway, from then on I realized that we are all totally dependent on King Electricity and also just a thin veneer of civility exists when things like this happen. It made me fearful for myself and my children, and I don't like living in fear. After that experience, I started getting interested in ways to train myself to be more self sufficient and took an interest in self-defense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Sort of simplistic, but my answer to this is to move to the country. People are less dependent there. I live in a resort area, and hold my breath during the summer. Thank goodness Labor day has passed, the population is on a decline until next year. Used to live right outside NYC, decades ago, I can't imagine how bad it is now, even during peaceful times.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Southeast Georgia, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Thank you, Winni, and that is excellent advice. I've wanted to live in the country all my life but it never worked out that way for me. I've since remarried, kids are grown and out of the house, and so now I'm just waiting for husband to retire. This is his last year and I'm trying to convince him to move (he loves it here, high crime and all) but I've come to the decision that if he won't agree, we'll have to go our separate ways. Our city is high crime with a history of having a very corrupt police force that looks the other way and lies about the crime in order to protect the tourist industry. Cannot wait to get out of here...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Greer South Carolina
    Posts
    31

    Default

    All-American Gi
    Hello AAG
    Come to Look at the Greenville/Landrum area for a move.
    There is population centers here Greenville/Spartansburg urban area
    But a lot of old small farm property's for sale.
    Right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, good mild weather.
    Most all storms stay south of I-85
    National Parks are with in half hour drive or 20 mile walk of me. Good for BOL
    Other old abandoned farmsteads even closer. Some thing I keep track of when driving around.
    I have horses and pack goats to carry gear and my old but.
    Even have a modern rough country carriage (Combined Driving Rig ) and horse trained to use it.
    As the old Song goes "Go North"
    Yes, there is Gold in the cricks up here if you want to work for it Placer Gold
    Happy Trails
    hihobaron and the Troops in SC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Southeast Georgia, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Thank you, hihobaron. I've been through the Greenville area before, just driving through on I-26, never stopped and looked around. Pretty country up there, for sure. This is good to know because I really would like to stay in SC, where my parents and their parents before them were born and raised. Charleston is pretty but it is a cesspool kind of like New Orleans when it comes to crime. I might check it out this fall on the way up to NC to see kids.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    2,671

    Default

    Growing up with them is why I prep. Stupid not to...not prepping for hurricanes is like not owning a weapon for hunting season. Comes around every year.
    Trust. It's what's for dinner.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    3,661

    Default

    Great story, thanks for sharing. Nothing beats real life experiences when it comes to changing ones perspective.

    Have a read of Jakarta Pandemic. Really, really excellent read.

    Joe - NY

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    2,671

    Default

    One of the things that got me into "archaic weapons" is because they are things I could make and rely on after a hurricane. Utilizing the junk to hunt and arm myself was a survival skill long before it became a hobby.

    29 days is a hard haul.
    Trust. It's what's for dinner.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Southeast Georgia, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I found Jakarta Pandemic, Googled it and found it on Amazon. Thanks!
    Last edited by All-American Gi; 09-06-2016 at 04:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Lake LBJ, Texas
    Posts
    6,412

    Default

    Love Charleston and Columbia isn't bad if you are not wearing maroon and beat USCe. We go every other year for Aggie game to Columbia and then rent a car and drive back down to Charleston for a few days. We stay downtown in tourist trap, I guess so don't see the crime or potential.

    We play hero when storms blow in here. Yea, we wait until the last second to make sure it's actually hit and rush to board up and bail out. Probably a little tougher single with young kids. I have family in Galveston and Corpus Christi and friends in Port Mansfield. Always ready to go help out, but I keep 85 gallons of diesel in spare tank in my truck. I'm not getting in that traffic even with contra-flow without lotsa fuel and always have food and a case of water in truck.
    If I had a dollar for every time I thought about you, I'd think about you more often.


    I dream of a tomorrow where a chicken can cross the road without his motives being questioned.

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