Wednesday, September 6, 2017, a few of us EE people gathered around the conference room table, listening to “Rick” (not his real name) on speakerphone as he shared his breakdown on hurricane prep. Rick is what you might call a “hard-core prepper.” Former military, amateur meteorologist, and seasoned mariner, Rick is quite comfortable in a challenging situation. He has been an advisor to us regarding our products and solutions. These weekly phone meetings are always insightful, but today it was more so. Today’s call was crucial to us, somewhat perilous for Rick, and absolutely enlightening.
Rick was calling from his home in Miami. He lives at the projected ground zero for Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic cyclone ever recorded. Irma is expected to hit Miami Sunday, and all of Florida is in a state of high alert.
“Most of the smart people are already in South Carolina,” Rick laughs. But Rick was going nowhere. “I’m ready.”
“So Rick, we need a play-by-play about what’s going on right now,” probed Emergency Essentials President Shane Sullivan. “From your unique situation, can you tell us what’s happening, and what you’re doing as you get ready to ride this out?” he asked.
“I’m a Florida native. I’ve have seen a lot of storms. I know what to do. And I know you get ready way before the storm is coming.” Rick checked of his list of supplies. “Mountain House meals—I’ll be living on those for a while. I have about a month’s worth of Emergency Essentials food. Plus, I have lots of water. That’s the hardest thing to find after a hurricane, clean water. I like those 5-gallon jugs. Easy to grab if I have to leave.” Rick continued, “My storm shutters are military grade. I’ll nail those down tomorrow or Friday. I have some cool new LED lights. You guys sold me a poncho…good luck with that in a hurricane. I’ll be checking my generator, charging batteries, playing with my emergency radio, things like that. I am generally ready whenever for whatever. It’s no major deal at this point.”
Rick continues, “I’ll tell you what NOT to do; don’t go to the store!” He laughs. “That would be nuts! You see news crews at stores, reporting on the empty shelves, and the people fighting over the last can of beans. There is nothing left. Bottled water, gone. Any food in a can, gone. Batteries, candles, fuel, blankets, towels…all gone.”
Shane then asked, “So, why aren’t you heading to Georgia right now?”
“I am not in the evacuation zone,” Rick assured us. “The areas by the coast and along waterways are mandatory evacuation zones. A lot of my neighbors are heading out, but me and a few others are confident in riding it out.”
“Irma is the biggest storm…ever!” warns Shane.
“Yeah,” says Rick. “We’ll see. I’m not worried. It’ll be over Monday.”
“And then what?” asked Shane.
“If it’s like Andrew and Charlie and Ivan, I expect I’ll be outside with a few neighbors cleaning up. We’ll probably end up on my patio, barbequing marlin and tuna steaks from my freezers.” Rick made sure to mention, “Both are rated to last 5-days without power. I’m not your average prepper. I’m ready for this.”
Famous last words?
Stay tuned. We’ll report on Rick next week, after Irma and our weekly call.