Preparing for Irma

Posted by Cassie

Cool clouds
Your normally scheduled daily beauty is about to be interrupted

We have an uninvited guest named Irma who is scheduled to arrive sometime tomorrow (Wednesday September 6, 2017). She is a Category 5 hurricane, the largest that Puerto Rico and the Atlantic has ever faced. We may see wind speeds of 175 mph along with torrential rains. It is such a weird thing to know that this horrendous monster is slowly progressing right toward us and yet it is so calm and beautiful all around us.

There’s an eerie calm before the storm

But because we all know something big is coming (just what is the question) there is an obvious nervousness, excitement and feeling of impending doom in the air. People are more polite. They are not running as many red lights as usual and they are also not as talkative.

Impacto de Irma
Get ready, get set, here she comes!

It is time to get ready. Get ready not only for the storm, but also for its aftermath which could potentially be very devastating to the infrastructure leaving us and millions others without water, electricity, phone or internet among other things. So what do you do? Here in Puerto Rico most people (including us) have water cisterns and a generator for reasons just like this.

Gas rush
Two days ago people filling up vehicles and cans of gas

Filling gas cans
It’s hard to do most anything nowadays without electricity so gasoline is a must

No water
Water means life! At Selectos in Aguada it is nearly all gone

We filled up at the gas station and then went to the grocery store for more bottled water, coffee, toilet paper, flashlights, candles and a few other things. However, the grocery store was clean out of most water.

No hay gasolina
No hay gasolina means there is no gas!

So we went back to the gas station where less than hour before I had seen a display of gallons of water. When we got there not only were the water gallons gone, but they also had run out of gas! We bought a few expensive bottles of designer water and then went to work on some of the more important things around our house like setting up the water cistern. We’ve had this tank now for some time, but haven’t needed to use it. Well, now is the time I suppose. This water won’t be for drinking (unless things get really dire), but rather to wash with and water the animals if they don’t get taken along with their coops like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. We are going to enclose them for the duration of the storm, but who knows if the coops or our shed will be able to withstand it.

Britton filled up the tank  and made an access spout for it

We also stopped at the bank to get some cash out because who knows how long that system could be down as well! While we were there, they were preparing the building by putting on the metal storm guards over the glass windows. Most people have Miami shutter windows, but any true glass windows should be covered.

Cash and cover
Banco Popular in Rincón

Huracan Kit
This meme is meant to be funny, but also accurate

Cabin today
Let’s hope that on Thursday our pretty cabin is still here!

Besides the terror of the storm itself, the inconvenience of the days, weeks or months we may be without basic services, Britton and I are also nervous for our recently built cabin! We have put a lot of our heart and soul into it and we are so scared that it could just be ripped right out of the earth like a tree. It is well-built and in a valley that has good air flow but gets no direct wind, not even a gust.  We’ve closed everything up and taken what we needed with us to the concrete cabana where it’s breezier, but huff and puff and you probably won’t blow it down. So, now it’s just a matter of waiting and trying not to freak out.

Wish us luck. It may be a while before we can post again, but I will do my best as soon as possible.

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11 thoughts on “Preparing for Irma

    1. Anonymous

      Praying you, and everyone in Puerto Rico, all weather the storm without too much hardship! Let’s hope it loses some steam along the way!

  1. Darlene

    I have been following Irma for the last few days. We have been there in Sep. past couple years but plans changed this year. Positive thoughts for you guys and all of Rincon and PR! Stay safe!

  2. adolfojp

    Wooden structures can often withstand strong winds but concrete is vastly superior against projectiles and falling trees. In the time of my parents a lot of people lived in wooden houses but they survived the storms and hurricanes in small reinforced tormenteras. You’re going to survive just like they did.

    When hurricane Hugo struck the island all of our chickens managed to survive. We didn’t have a coop so the chickens hid wherever they could. During that hurricane we lost a metallic roof and a bunch of trees, some of which slammed against our walls, but the biggest problem was the time it took for the utilities to get fixed.

    Pro tip: Chinese restaurants are always the first to open after a Hurricane. You’ll be surprised to learn how exquisite mediocre Chinese food can taste given the right circumstances.

    Good luck guys. Hope to read your post-Irma post soon.

  3. K

    Could you do a quick update to say you’re okay after the storm blows through?

    Also, if it’s not too much trouble and it you’re able, could you take after pictures of all the places you shared in this post?

    Been watching the Weather Channel and they don’t seem to know where Irma is going to go. Glad to see you’re making preparations and looking forward to reading about your experience. Good luck and stay safe!

  4. Cassie

    Thanks everyone! Adolfo, that’s good to hear. I am glad the previous owner built this cabana after what must have been a stressful/scary ride through Georges in 98. We are hopeful that it continues its northward shift and that it is not as devastating as it could possibly be. I’ll definitely write up a post-post ;-)

  5. Barbara Schutt

    Cassie and Britton, praying for you and PR! I so hope your new home is not damaged as I know it would be heartbreaking but I just hope you are all safe and well through all of this.

  6. Anonymous

    Guys, they have a chart showing the wind mph for many of the towns in the north part. Since it will be passing some 5o miles off the north your area will only be experiencing up to around 60 mph winds, which if compatible to a tropical storm and not the full force of it. Now that s good news for you. Take care…

  7. Paul

    Good luck guys! I’m sure the generator will get a lot of use over the coming weeks. Hopefully Irma’s erosion and the winds take it easy on you!


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