Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"They were poor. What did you expect them to do? Get a room at the Hyatt in the next town?"

I was poor. Real poor. A single mom with 2 kids. When a hurricane headed for us in Florida several years ago, I put pulled what nonperishable groceries I had out of cabinets, filled jugs with water and tossed them in the trunk with some clothes and blankets, topped off my car with my last $17, grabbed the cat and the kids and a couple of board games and books and headed west on I-10 almost two days before it was to hit. When I got down to 1/2 tank of gas, we pulled into a rest stop and stayed until the danger passed then headed home. One officer gave me grief about hanging out for two days but didn't make me leave. I told him I had no where else to go. As a matter of fact, two truckers pulled up along either side of my car the first night for protection. They even radioed ahead to other truckers and asked if they could, would they stop to check on us and to pass the word. I thanked them profusely and never saw them again.

I suppose I could have looked for a shelter, but the only ones I knew of were in town and I didn't want to be anywhere near it.

It's not that hard for anyone able-bodied and with a vehicle at all. One only has to take the threat seriously and do whatever it takes. So when people talk about having a survivor kit, I can respect that. I had no such thing but certainly found enough around the house to handle a couple days.

We didn't have Dinty Moore beef stew, but a can of store brand green beeans is damn good when you're hungry.


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