As I type this, Hurricane Harvey has made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane. The impacts to Austin? I’m getting light rain and occasional gusts of wind, but nothing huge yet – that’s still to come as Harvey works its way further inland.
We’ve done our best to prepare for this event. I’ve also been watching those around me and how they have – or haven’t – prepared. This isn’t to chastise anyone, except maybe myself. I just wanted to share a few things learned.
Time is your friend (or enemy).
The earlier you prepare, the easier things are. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prepare.
Case in point. We knew Harvey was coming and headed to the grocery store earlier in the week. Supplies were plentiful, lines were no different than normal. Even picking up a few last minute items Friday morning wasn’t too bad. But as Friday wore on, even by mid-morning, I was seeing reports and pictures from all around Austin of empty shelves and long checkout lines.
This is my biggest hole: lack of a generator. It’s been on my list for quite some time, but it’s so rare to need it it just fell off my radar.
Now I’m kicking myself.
What makes Harvey so painful is it’s predicted to just sit – and dump rain and wind for days. It’s likely we’ll lose electricity, and then for how long?
Time is not on my side here. I didn’t use it to my advantage. And a strong consideration is not just the duration of the event itself, but the aftermath and time it will take to recover.
So while I have power, I’m going to be spending time researching what to buy. I have received a lot of good input from folks I trust, and I won’t let this happen.
Learning from mistakes
So with my big mistake of the lack of generator, what else did I fail at and can learn from?
Managing stress. Not just my own stress, but the stress of my family. We’ve bitten each other’s heads off during this, as we’ve tried to determine our best course of action. We understand, we’re over it now, but it still didn’t add to the fun.
I’m also trying to not monitor the weather reports so much. Obsessively checking reports really has driven our stress levels up. Major updates will only come every few hours, and things will be what they will be. Anything truly critical we should receive alerts about. Meantime, find other ways to stay happy and occupied.
One big thing I’m thankful for are friends like Paul Martin. He’s not only one of the kindest and most generous people I know, but he’s a serious and level-headed prepper. I’ve learned much from him over the years (and I still fall very short of the things I should be doing). I find his leadership invaluable. I see so many people turning to him for advice and knowledge, and he generously provides it. Thank you, Paul.