Hey everyone!

I hope that you’ve all had a great week. This week has been pretty stressful for the Southeast coastal cities. I’m sure you’re already aware, but we have Hurricane Matthew out there and he’s making a big fuss. He’s already gone through Haiti and left devastation in a place that is still recovering from their earthquake a few years back and other back-to-back but less volatile storms this year. Hurricane Matthew (as of Thursday 11am) is a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. He is expected to hit Florida Friday Morning and Charleston Saturday Morning. The fun part (extreme sarcasm) of this is there is now a chance Matthew could be looping around again to either Florida or even to us again either 1st or after it hits Florida again……………………………………….. Aaaaaaaaaand there is Tropical Storm Nicole out there now too, but she’s not expected to join forces with Matthew (he would crush her and she would just dissipate apparently).  #DownsideOfLivingInCharlestonParadise


                                                                                                                      Rob Fowler is awesome! I’ve been watching him since I was like 4!

 

 

So needless to say… holy crap.

 

My family and I however will be staying unless things start getting ridiculously crazy. For my parents/their house, we have trees in the front yard, not the best neighborhood (so no looting afterwards) and mostly because we have 2 small dogs, 2 large dogs and 2 cats + my mom’s health is not the best for traveling, let alone with a caravan of people, animals and belongings in a Chevy truck. For my other family, I will be staying with them as it’s closer to work (if able to get back there come Sunday) than my parent’s house some 20 miles away. There are less trees there, have 2 cats there, the house is 60+ years old so it’s withstood many storms (and my uncle is a plumber, so any water related issues we’re golden!). Money for all of us and trying to find a place that wasn’t left of Atlanta or up near the Tennessee/North Carolina Border was extremely hard or waaaay too much money/hotel was already sold out. I work in hotels and I have some super secret employee resources and even those were already gone. Our hotel management company, owners and on-site managers made the decision to clear the hotel of all guests as of 11am Friday morning. Unfortunately as being a 24/7/365 hotel property, a few staff members and managers (My guy may or may not be one of those. Will find out about that tomorrow. I’m really really hoping they’ll release him) will be staying on property to ensure minimal/fixable property damage, lack of looting and that no one tries to break in. The hotel has been around since 1971 and has also withstood many storms. (I was going to stay and volunteer at first, but once the decision came out that there would be no guests and only about 20 of us would be at the hotel, I decided to stay with my family instead. Yay for what’s left of vacation time…)

 

However…

 

We are prepared at both houses. Everyone has enough food to last, enough water, generators and gas, first aid kits, tools and such, stuff to do, games to play, etc. The perks of being in such an advanced age is having the hurricane systems to know what’s coming, when and how intense it’s gonna be. South Carolina coastline was put into a State of Emergency earlier this week, which OF COURSE made EVERYONE panic on Tuesday. There were liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiines of lines of lines at the gas station, water was completely gone (I ended up having to pick up gatorade and some soda + what we already had at home).  

***what are the odds I just did a preparedness blog series…***

 

It was a madhouse Tuesday afternoon. It was highly recommended that anyone on the coast evacuate at least 100 miles out. At least this storm, the Dept. of Transportation, National Guard (they were activated when State of Emergency was announced) and local + state law enforcement was completely on top of their game (our main interstate had lanes reversed going away from the coast 3pm Wednesday onwards to probably Sunday). I would like to shoutout to all that have been working hard to prepare and assist everyone who has left and to those who will be staying. As stressful as it is trying to prepare/get out, I can only imagine the stress levels of those assisting us crazy people to make sure we get out safely and efficiently. To those in law enforcement, military (and the South Carolina National Guard), thank you for your service and sacrifice to duty, loyalty and honor. To those have volunteered to help out, thank you for your sacrifice. We have seen awesome works being done among neighbors. For example, this person/family is letting people who have large farm animals or campers come hang out as they are mostly out of the path of the storm:

 

 

I saw this and was just amazed by this. May you and yours always be blessed beyond your means and dreams. Charleston is a very strong city, especially among tragedies, whether our own (Charleston 9 Firefighters, Mother Emanuel AME Church) or towards others. Even in chaos, disorder, stress and disbelief, there is always hope. I have always been proud of my city for how we handle things. As someone put up on their Facebook feed recently, we may be kinda crazy, odd when coming to politics, but we sure know how to stick together when life happens. As always, we are #CharlestonStrong.

Well I hope that I haven’t worried any of you or have calmed those concerns if you were worried. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up to why I might not be on the next few days. I’m gonna schedule everything as much as I can in case we are down for a few days up to a week worse case. I will do an update once everything is clear/back up and running. Matthew is not expected to be staying long and even if he does come back, he certainly won’t be as strong to do much damage the 2nd round.

 

 

Shine bright
<3 Jenn

Author: Jenn Bell