• Oren Burks posted an update 7 months ago

    Around 7am I got up, got wind turbine dressed and went out for a walk around the neighborhood. I had already prepared an inverter hooked to a spare car battery and she thought this was particularly good planning to have that power source at the ready.By 9am the power had been out for 12 hours and if we wanted to save the food in the refrigerator it was now generator time. Having never used this generator I pulled it out of the shed, poured a little test gas into it and it started right up. I hastily retrieved one of the really long extension cords and ran it into the kitchen and connected up the refrigerator. I was comforted seeing the light come on when the door was opened. The rest of Monday we just sort relaxed and listened to updates on the transistor radio. Before going to bed we ran an extension cord into the bedroom for a fan and we topped off the generator with fuel, in the dark, by flashlight.The wife woke me up around 8 the next morning to inform me the fan had stopped, meaning the generator ran out of gas. I refilled the generator with the last of the gas from the two 5 gallon cans. I put the empty gas cans in the car and went out to see if I could find an open gas station. I found an open gas station and it was very busy and they were queuing people up. They would only take cash and my $50 bill granted me a place in the queue. This experience left me very irritated. The remainder of Tuesday was spent picking up branches torn off the oak trees and palm trees and taking down the storm protection.On Wednesday we continued pick up and stacking branches and limbs by the side of the road. By now many who evacuated were arriving back to find no power or water and we were discussing over the radio what we knew about the progress getting power and water restored. One of the things that made this storm unique was that all the leaves on all the trees were turning brown on all the foliage that faced south. By mid afternoon my neighbor informed me the water had returned and a few hours later the power was also restored and the ordeal concluded when the air conditioner restored comfortable conditions inside the house.It was four days later when everyone had water and power restored. Hurricane Erma brought hurricane strength winds from coast to coast. The lesson learned is things go a lot easier if you prepare properly. We had candles and flashlights at the ready. I had a backup power source for my communications radios and to charge the cell phones. The generator worked like it was supposed to. I had fresh water stored and cash on hand. I also have a 100 watt solar panel that I did not need and hope never to need, but its there. If I learned anything, those chemical lights, Cylumes, do not keep. I had a bunch of chemical lights stockpiled and they all went bad. The one thing that I learned to appreciate was the help I had from my neighbors. We all worked together to help solve each others problems and it was nice to know that they were all there for us. Nothing beats having great neighbors!