Enough of Charleston is back to normal that you can drive down the street without keeping a constant eye open for gas stations and open stores. This is good. Storms keep rolling through — another whopper today, in fact; and while it was nothing like the monster last Friday, it had 60 MPH winds and heavy, tropical rain. I was at work when it started and we all just looked at each other, beaten and tired, as the wind whipped around in the trees outside and the lights flickered yet again.
I've not yet restocked the fridge. I am gun-shy, and understandably so, I think. Power has been knocked out here and there since the derecho. Our gracious host (Martha's sister) who housed us throughout the outage at Rose Red has now lost her power. We are of course returning the favor as well as we can. Though she's not staying with us tonight, her son (my nephew) is so she can attend to other pressing matters.
Something has happened to me post-storm. I'm hyperaware of odd things — like how much charge my phone has, and where every possible charging cable for it is. I notice trees encroaching on power lines, and there are lots of them everywhere. No wonder the grid isn't 100% stable — they basically rebuilt the damn thing in under a week, the storms are still rolling, and the original problem still exists. I'm carrying a flashlight around... just in case. I'm drinking more water. The Pur water filter on the kitchen faucet was broken beyond repair so I finally took it off and cleaned and rigged up my old Brita reservoir in the fridge. Though the broken Pur was part of my motivation, primarily I felt it was important to have at least some fresh water stored away.
I don't think I'm going to turn into one of those hoarders or preppers or whatever, but certain things are... well, gnawing at me right now. I visited TJ Maxx this evening, the first real nonessential shopping trip I've made since the storm hit. Everyone was going about their business, looking at clothes and household doodads and such. Me? I'm looking at the durable foodstuffs and battery chargers. I don't think these people understood. This could all happen again.
With a steady multiple kilowatt power source, a bank of deep cycle batteries, an inverter, and some hardware to tie it all together, I could run this whole house forever. They don't sell any of that at TJ Maxx, of course, but I have made myself aware of some places which do. I just don't feel like I can trust this world right now.