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Disaster Prep Patience

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on August 24, 2018 19:00

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Sitting and waiting for a hurricane that is sitting offshore creates a high level of impatience. When all the prep is done, your mind has time to wonder and worry.

I’m born and raised in Hawaii. One of my clearest memories from my childhood was lunchtime at a park on the way home from a field trip. I was in the third grade. Suddenly the chaperones were bustling to collect all the kids back on the bus. When we got on, we entered the freeway and were stuck in traffic. Hurricane Iwa was about to hit and our families were waiting for us back at school.

 

Our bus was the last in and we reunited with our families to be hurried off to our homes to do final preparations. I remember sitting in our front room, the window taped extensively, watching the winds and rains start to blow horizontally. A boy on his bike raced against the sheet of wind and rain in the darkness. As the night went on, our power went out as a transformer blew out just across the street, sending sparks throughout the blustering sky.

 

As a kid, I didn’t have a concern at all. I would even say it was almost fun. We were out of school. It was a campout in the house and our only concerned were the family aviaries with the birds we raised getting breached and losing the flock.

 

For the past 48 hours, I’ve been in disaster prep mode. I have a ton of emergency gear, having lived in earthquake country for nearly 18 years and was an advocate for preparedness. But earthquakes are different than hurricanes. Here we are, waiting as Hurricane Lane sits below the islands deciding what to do. As an adult, life isn’t as carefree.

 

I spent most of my time yesterday not preparing my own home but preparing my grandmother’s home – actually evacuating anything of sentimental value from it. Her home is a WWI home just a few hundred feet from the southern shore. Yes, everyone is safe and we will wait and see, but that is the hard part. Waiting.

 

As a child, I could enjoy the ‘vacation time’ Iwa gave us. But with everyone being prepared and all that remains to do is wait, my mind wanders to the ‘what ifs’ of the situation and the potential harm: physical, property and financial to those close to me.

 

How do you alleviate this time? Find something to do when there is nothing to do. Turn off the news, watch a movie and let the phone provide updates as things change. Take a walk with the dog before the winds and rains get bigger. Bake and precook meals just to have something and be more prepared if the power goes down.

 

Iwa had little prep time and thus little anxiety of waiting. Lane is leaving a lot to the imagination. Wait and see…

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on August 24, 2018 19:00

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Meteorologist Travis Herzog says Hurricane Lane could impact all of the Hawaiian Islands later this week.

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