Things I know now...
First let me say, I feel totally blessed, we have power now (only 3 1/2 days off) and we are safe. We made it thru but 3 minutes from our house, there is total destruction. I'm not going to show you my personal pictures, there are plenty on the internet to see.
We have friends still without power, they can't leave their houses even if they wanted to, their cars are gone, businesses are non-existent, gas lines bubbling up, no water, electric, it's getting cold, looting has begun, food is running out, no internet, or cable tv, propane is running out, just out of their reach generators are being sold on the side of the street for inflated prices. I still haven't been able to reach some of my friends, I'm worried and scared for them. I miss them and tears fill my eyes as I write this, children and animals are cold and homeless.
Something I didn't know before...
When your in a hurricane, you have no idea what is going on, while the rest of the world is watching and hearing the news we can't. All the information is "word of mouth" and as the news spreads the story changes to uncertainty.
My husband is a commercial fisherman, thank God all the boats were home. At one point we heard his livelyhood was gone, that goes back to the "word of mouth" isn't always correct and thankfully this time it wasn't. So many jobs are non-existent now, like mine.
Our phones we're and are a key source of information, that is how we saw bits of information but seeing it on a little screen isn't the same and was difficult. Calls and text messages were spotty and often didn't go thru and calls had to be short so you wouldn't run out of battery.
A car charger for you phone is a must have.
Gas up your cars AND fill up your gas cans, propane tanks. Gas stations don't work without electricity, you can't start a chainsaw without gas.
Luckily we had a friend with a generator, all the kids had fun, we shared food, concerns but when we returned to our home our daughter was scared and sad without electricity, she missed Halloween and that makes me sad.
You can cook a frozen pizza on a grill and get pretty creative with your food but hot, home-cooked meals are cozy when its nasty outside, hot drinks and cold ones with ice are a luxury. Stocking up your freezer only lasts so long without electric. You can only eat so much food at one time. Vegetables and fruit run out and are really missed, believe it our not.
There are so many people without warmth, food, dry socks, dry shoes, clean clothes, information, any comfort, toiletries are running out I have to think sanitary issues are arising.
All the people that are still in their homes are pioneers, they have to be. As soon as I have information I will let you know what they need.
Please spread the word, I miss our friends, I hope I get to hug them soon.