by Judy W
My family has thought me crazy because I am what some call a Prepper. Hurricane Irma changed their minds.I have spent over 25 years learning how to be self-sufficient and not be dependent on anyone.I have read and studied on how to survive in these turbulent times.Never did I ever believe I would need the skills and strength that I have gleaned from this blog and MD’s books.
I always carry in my car supplies for any emergency you can name. Yes, I have gas masks and suits.Tools,clothes,medical supplies,tent,boots,guns,ammunition ,food,water,maps,filters,cash,some barter items,blankets,sleeping bag,bug sprays,tissues,toilet paper.I have a few sources of water lightweight.Mainstay lightweight packers are my favorite.Peanuts😊my bible😀 I update every 6 months.I have had a few times where my supplies were very handy.I have been caught in floods heat waves Water outages while on the road traveling even a small earthquake in DC causing total grid on the roads.Nothing compared what I am about to share.
My 76th birthday was coming and I planned a wonderful trip to Asheville NC. My first born son was going to meet me, and I was really excited. I did not look at the weather because I was going North.In Florida where I live Sept.is hurricane season but I was leaving Fl so I didn’t check the weather.
My homestead in Florida has food, water, supplies, garden, fish pond, chickens, cows, generators, etc. etc. As I was locking the gate to leave for my birthday trip, I stopped and prayed.I asked God to protect my homestead, my animals, plants and all living things and people.Never. Have I prayed a prayer like that, and off I went.
I had a wonderful 5 days touring the Biltmore and mountains, and then my Fl kids called and said mom you have to come home now.Irma was on her way and going to hit Fl.I was confused and didn’t get why they wanted me to drive into a hurricane.I turned on the tv and was shocked at the size of Irma.We lived through Andrew and believe me that was hell.So I decided I would get home before Irma got to my homestead. I planned to travel back and all southbound traffic was reversed and I could not get home.
I put my son on a plane back to NJ and returned to the motel, and watched Irma.
HERES the best part.
Eight family members who thought me crazy, all went to my homestead and hid out from Irma.Hahahahahaha whose crazy now.Power was out for 9 days.They had AC TV FOOD WATER ETC. MAMA IS NOT SO CRAZY AFTER ALL😉.
Now comes the worst time in my life.Irma came to NC and North Ga.
I was trapped for several days due to the wind, rain, trees falling, wires down.My son was gone, and I was stuck.I thought of some articles I read over the years and decided I could sit in the room and be scared or I could put on my big girl panties and go down to the lobby and make friends with all the trapped people who evacuated from Jacksonville.Yep changed my attitude. It was awesome. I’m a talker and storyteller and I had them in stitches
As Irma started to go west, I decided to take the back roads down to N Ga where I have a little cabin, and assess my next move.it took me 5 days and 4 night to do a 9-hour drive.My son and I before he left bought gas cans and filled them and had them in my trunk What a comfort having them was.
Trees were down wires were down stores and gas stations closed and there I am a 76-year-old lady on the road.I decided my kids were right I am crazy lol. My cell phone didn’t work GPS did not work all my detours I had no idea what state or town I was in.I drove for about an hour and saw no towns and no cars, just a few big trees down.Then a black car going the other way went by me, I did a U-turn and chased him, lol.
Grandma rides again. Guess what he was a cop in an unmarked car. Oh Lord, I love you so🙏 It seems I was going North when I wanted to go South.There was no sun for those of you thinking why didn’t I ……So this angel got me to 441 and I think I was still in NC I went through a couple of cute deserted towns, everything was closed.I was in the boonies for sure and BOOM I had to poop.Talk about poor timing.so I start to look for a reasonably safe place and find a lake and no people and I turn in and go way to back and grab supplies and yes you guessed it a car with four people pull in.
I had my gun etc but you never saw an old lady move as fast as I did😂😂😂😂😂
I got to my cabin but couldn’t go in wires down everywhere. It was late I was tired, I set myself up in semi-secure woods, had some food, from 72-hour kit and a banana said my prayers and passed out exhausted. I told God….I am too old for all this excitement! I think it’s important here to remember, I’m 76 a female, and alone – an easy target.
I think relying on my phone compass was a huge mistake, since I had no reception.The weather was wind, rain and grey skies.I wanted to keep moving, especially since I was alone.I came upon a town after driving and detours, maybe 5 hours.I was beginning to think crazy thoughts like I’ll never get home. Please know I’m a very positive upbeat person.The stress was starting to get to me. I found a motel, no power and costing 250 bucks. There was no way I would pay that even if they had power.
So many roads closed, trees down and flooded areas like I have never seen. Highways closed, all over, people stuck, with no gas. So sad. I set up in the parking lot of motel and believe it or not, fell asleep.
When I woke up, I had a meeting with myself and took inventory of my assets I had gas, food, water, guns, ammunition, cash, shelter, bug sprays, medications, and experience.
- I always carry:
- Copies of important papers i.e. Passport
- I have a small way to boil water or heat soup
- I have a multi-tool
- A sharp knife
- Good work clothes
- Masks for fires
- Boots and socks
- A lightweight foldable luggage carrier to wheel bag😃
- Underwear. Critical lol
So all I can say is my attitude almost got me destroyed before I even dealt with the facts.When I finally made it home I went immediately to my chiropractor, I was so sore, my pain cream was good but at 76 sleeping in car or tent I pushed my bones to the limit, lol
All my reading and studying and practicing got me through the worst time of my life.
My kids are wrong I am not crazy I am an aware prepared, grandma.
Thank you, Wolf Pack.
Thank you, MD.
God Bless us all.
God Bless America.