Preparing for Iselle and Julio: The calm before the storm

There was an eerie sense of calm today as preparations for the hurricanes got underway.

I headed out around 12:30 to pick up some basic supplies and the first thing I noticed was about triple the amount of cars on the roads.

The stores were packed – no parking to be found – so I parked in a nearby lot and walked. (It was good to fit a walk in, anyway).

We already had bottled water and plenty of food and toilet paper. Vea put me on battery, flashlight and candle duty and she agreed to pick up charcoal.

Flashlights were sold out but I was able to stock up on batteries (surely we have functional flashlights somewhere) and candles.

I also grabbed the truly important stuff like chocolate, peanut butter, Nutella, granola bars, mixed nuts, nacho fixins’ and a couple of bottles of wine.

I will admit, it was tempting to get swept up in Hurricane Fever and throw a bunch of random stuff in the basket “just because”. I literally had to talk myself out of buying a case of spam that was conveniently placed by the checkout lanes. (I don’t eat spam.) I *may* have purchased a ton of other junk food that I otherwise would not have bought because we all know that crap food has an eternal shelf life. It seemed logical at the time.


Just now, I’m struck by the ridiculousness of my purchases if, in fact, the storms do kick our asses in. We can take some small comfort in the fact that Hawea’s mom is a total badass when it comes to survival skills. (If you know Christy, then you know what I mean.)

It was a pleasant surprise that the gas station had a few empty pumps and I didn’t have to wait in line to fill up. I learned today that I’m not the only person who wonders why we need a full tank of gas on an island if you live within a few miles of your destination. And yet, we fill up anyway. Because that’s what you do!

We’ve got containers of water freezing. Tomorrow we’ll fill tubs and buckets, anchor down what we can outside and move the outdoor furniture in.

In the neighborhood this evening, sounds of screw guns permeated the silence, as plywood went up, sheet by sheet over windows. I was a little relieved to see that no houses on our street went that far (we didn’t board our windows up either) . A part of me is wondering if we will all regret it.

My office, like pretty much all state offices in Hilo, has received a closure notice. We will be closing tomorrow at noon and remain closed on Friday.

The sheer disconnect between this beautiful day-

-and the swirling mass of energy heading right for us – is a little disconcerting.

Just a few moments ago, a mellow sounding rain broke the silence.

All we do now is wait. And in the waiting, pray.


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