Thursday, September 18, 2008

Surviving Hurricane Ike: Saturday

8:00 a.m. I’m awake from my nap. It’s still stormy, but not much worse than a typical Houston storm. My battery powered lantern burned out while I was asleep. Now I wish I had completed my battery usage inventory. Turns out the lantern requires four AA batteries, and I only bought eight. I have to save the other four for the radio. It could be a week before I have power again, so the radio is critical. Luckily, I have another lantern that takes D batteries, so I’m in reasonably good shape – especially since I also have a couple of flashlights.
The radio says the storm may not pass until 4 o’clock this afternoon, but the worst should be over in another two hours or so.

Breakfast. The juice in the refrigerator is cool enough for today, but this will be my last day with juice since it won’t keep until tomorrow. The milk, on the other hand, I don’t trust. I have a friend that eats her cereal dry – no milk – so I decided to give it a try. It looked pretty strange, but tasted ok. A banana and some bread completed what turned out to be a reasonably typical breakfast.

10:00 a.m. The worst is over, and I’m still ok. The apartment and car are also unscathed. I used my cell phone to call my niece and cousin and leave messages to let them know that I’m ok. Now what? Priorities right now are drinking water, food, batteries, and temperature control. Luckily, it’s not July. It’s 78 degrees outside, but the high today is expected to be only 86. I can deal with that. While I may not have power for a week or more, I fully expect that within a few days some stores will be open and I’ll be able to replenish water, food and batteries if necessary.

Noon. Since my first two phone calls, I’ve been unable to get a signal. I’m not sure whether there are too many damaged towers or too much traffic. Probably a combination of both.
It looks like I have a slow leak in both bathtubs. Neither seems as full as yesterday. I have to be careful and conserve water. I remember being in New York City during a water shortage. We were ordered to flush toilets only for #2 (or was it #1? We didn’t use that nomenclature when I was a kid. However, I was pretty sure I understood what they wanted us to do.) Anyway, those are now the rules of the house until I have some idea when I’ll have running water again.

While I was thinking about it, I unplugged everything electrical that I hadn’t unplugged earlier. Sooner or later, we’ll have power again. When we do, there will be a surge that could damage electronic equipment.

4:00 p.m. There are more than 2 million people without power. I’m not sure whether that’s only in Houston, or the whole area.
6:00 p.m. I went for a walk. It hardly looks like a catastrophe. There are lots of broken limbs, shingles, and a number of uprooted trees, but the trees are relatively small (less than 6” in diameter). The local streets seem passable, as broken limbs and other debris have already been moved to the side. Of course, there are no working stoplights. Tomorrow I may venture further.
Dinner is a can of tuna, carrots, a tomato, bread and water. And cheese! My plan doesn’t really include anything very perishable. However, the cheese in the refrigerator is still good. I’m glad I have it and in the future will plan to have enough refrigeration so that I can have cheese. I also had a banana for dessert.

7:30 p.m. It’s starting to get dark. I’ll work for a while longer, and then listen to the radio for an update.

9:00 p.m. Reliant Energy says they had 2.1 million customers (not people) out of service at the peak. That’s 90% of their 2.3 million customer base. It’s worse than I expected. I didn’t hear how many customers are back on line. I’m anxious to hear so that I can start making projections on when I might have service. Not much to do now except go to sleep.

Related Posts

Surviving Hurricane Ike: Friday The first post in the series.
Surviving Hurricane Ike: Sunday The next post in the series.
Surviving Hurricane Ike: Monday The final post in the series. This one has pictures.
The picture is courtesy of Pal2Pal.
Updated 8/27/2011

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