Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid…

Did you ever read that little story about the kid walking down the beach throwing starfish in the water, when the old man says he can’t save all of them, so why bother?  Well, that a parable for Day #2 in Irma’s impact zones.  That parable also explains why this follow-up is reaching y’all well after midnight on Sept. 13th.

[Hurricane relief work is a little like keeping a farmers schedule. As I understand it, the work schedule of a farmer extends the necessary shift until the job is done, which has entirely nothing to do with a clock…]

I said yesterday I thought that 50% of the residents of South Florida might be home.  I was wrong.  That estimation was overstated. Maybe a third of the regular residents were home on Day #1 – a few more showed up today (Day #2)…. and based on south-bound traffic observed, a whole bunch more are in in route tonight.

They ain’t going to like what awaits.

First things first.  Yes, we found fuel – it took driving past 47 empty gas stations to find one open with fuel.   More than 100 cars (easily) were around the block for this station at 8am.  We dispatched a volunteer to wait in line, and went about doing what we could w/out fuel, SCOUT.  Three hours later 40 ten gal cans caught up with us.  Oh, and another station opened around noon.

Tonight the police were not only escorting gas, but local police were guarding the gas stations upon arrival (saw it first hand).  Somehow fuel has reached such a valued commodity that even the rumor of a delivery sends the fuel starved swarm into a frenzy.  Controlling that swarm is now added duty of police.  At approximately the same time as a 3,000 gallon tanker driver removes his hose from the ground intake, the tanks he just filled run dry.  You’ve just got to see fuel piranhas in action, to believe it.

Grown women driving SUV’s, whip out 2 jerry cans and are more than willing to throw down the Mad Max gauntlet if that’s what it takes to keep their babies formula cold. There ain’t no class society structure here.  It’s beyond Thunderdome.  Hence the police directing pump flow, and trying to stave off the tired, desperate guy with a shotgun, running on fumes, who has had enough of waiting eight hours for a possible chance at gas pump lotto.

The first birds returned today.  Weird to notice a bird making a noise, then realizing you haven’t heard a bird chirp in two days.  I wonder where they go?

♦ Have you ever seen a 200 person outside line -wrapping all the way around the building-  for a possible seat in a Waffle House?  Methinks it ain’t the pancakes.  Remember, only about a third of the town-folk stayed/arrived.  Now imagine that 200 person line tripled; imagine those gas lines tripled; imagine SUVMom -vs- Mad-Max-Shotgun-Guy TRIPLED.

Two thirds of local residents, who left with ZERO prep, return to discover what smells like a rotting carcass in their fridge, and no air conditioning, ….Yeah, one might imagine the next few days could be rather sketchy nerves for more than seats at the Waffle House…

♦ When we are looking for root problems, one of the boots-on-the-ground tricks is to follow the collective hum of generators.  •Question: You got power?  Answer: No?  •Question: Do you know why you have no power? Answer: (variations of words used to describe what happens when a cow licks you square in the forehead and someone asks you why).

With most hurricane power outages you can find something, usually a tree, that has actually severed the top power line on a neighborhood grid.   If the tree is massive, with or without taking down the pole, the tree has to be removed first.  If the power company has to remove a tree before they can restore power to an ordinary residential neighborhood, they drop the priority to “some later time”, and move on to quicker repairs…  Ergo most of those without power, end Day #3 (September 13), will not see power until their rotation on the tree removal list comes up; sometime around the end of the month (two weeks away), or later.

Insurance companies (via quick claims settled to contracted tree removal), or a bunch of fast action roughnecks with chainsaws, can both deliver the identical amount of relief and speed up the process. Bob, Jeff, Phyllis, Gus, Gustav, Erik, Jose and Baby Francesca, found out today how that works.  Gustav’s tree, though he willingly disclaims ownership, took down Bob, Jeff, Phyllis and about 50 other people’s electricity service.  Jose, a young chap wrecked with guilt and a 6 month old baby, happened to be custodian of another tree that took down the electrical convenience of about 150 more.

Gustav’s tree, a well saturated Australian Pine, is about the dimension of a gasoline tanker trailer in the parts that matter.  Jose’s oak tree, one of the reasons Grandma told him to buy that specific house-while harboring visions of cradling her new grand-baby underneath it’s shade, is even more awe inspiring. Well, that is, if it wasn’t the cause of so much damage.   FUBAR.  Both jobs need cranes, slings, major league heavy equipment rental, eminent domain/easement use and two 6 men crews for two full days etc.

•Problem #1) 84-year-old Phyllis, whose kids don’t call her any more, needs her medication chilled and wears a CPAP to sleep at night.  •Problem #2) Jose family w/baby Francesca needs her formula cold etc.  = No power two weeks.  √Solution: move Mr. and Mrs Jose, w/ baby into my house to care for Ms. Phyllis who also needs power.  One generator + two family problems solved = a neighborhood.

♦ On my way North today I did see about 20 fuel tankers headed South.  Unfortunately I also saw one tanker with an armed escort being followed by a blood thirsty wolf pack tracking his cargo just to be first in line for the swarm.   Hopefully the fuel piranhas can be satiated in a few months or a million+ tanker trucks, whichever comes first.  According to FEMA as heard on radio interview, the collective power companies need 800,000 gallons per day, just to keep their crews operating in Florida…. Do the math.

I also saw a massive convoy of power company trucks headed down I-75 from the upper East Coast (they must have crossed I-4).  There’s lots of resources flowing…

Right now our priority remains just keeping people moving forward, or at least looking forward.  There are tremendous challenges in front of a great deal of really good decent people.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scope of the challenge and allow the sheer enormity of it to drown you.    Don’t let it.

Every day, every hour, every minute… the goal is the same; just one step.  Don’t look at what cannot be solved, look at what can.

Please check in on your neighbors.  Please reach out to friends and family in Texas (Harvey), and/or Florida (Irma).   Just let them know they matter, and despite the yuck of all this mess – they are cherished.  The most inconsequential of life’s ordinary scheduled tasks can seem like a daunting challenge when cast against the backdrop of these crises.

You don’t have to operate a chainsaw.  Help someone to see just the next step forward.  Pick up a prescription for someone.  Make them a sandwich.  Give a can of fuel to someone who has that annoying whir of a generator running.  Wash someone’s car, or offer to do their laundry. Pay attention to the conversations around you.  Try to do something you find of value.

Be “Starfish-kid”…

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383 Responses to Irma Recovery: Day #2 – Life as a Starfish Kid…

  1. starfcker says:

    Port Everglades is running wide open. Gas trucks coming out in pairs. More power coming on every day. Wilma put power out for three weeks. FPL is going to have the whole state done in three weeks. We’ll make it.

    Liked by 31 people

    • Grandma Covfefe says:

      –The Trump Effect–
      –The Trump Deplorables know how to MAGA–
      –Winning–
      …… in the meantime–for those of us who is unable to physically be there to help, we continue to pray for you all and help in other ways.
      —-May the Lord take care of you all and bless you all for the good things, no matter how little, to shine, like the Starfish Kid.

      –Treeper Strong–Florida Strong–Texas Strong–America Strong–

      Liked by 28 people

      • duchess01 says:

        Goosebumples on my Goosebumples – I have – Beautifully expressed and heartwarming!

        God Bless You, Grandma!

        Liked by 2 people

      • ladypenquin says:

        I’m with you on this, Grandma. The presidency of Donald Trump is quickly restoring the self-reliant spirit of Americans. it’s something too many people have forgotten in the drive by the Lefties (and GOP) to force reliance on government to survive. Just a hundred years ago, at least half of the country still functioned on minimum electricity resources, and would be without power for days after minimums of storm damage. People knew how to survive and get by. AND they helped their neighbors! I have little patience for kids of today who can’t function without their technology of iphones and video games.

        I’m going to leave this comment in today’s presidential thread, but think it fits your “Trump Effect” thought… (when the Feds are involved) I see the effects of President Trump’s ‘can do’ presidency along this line:

        “The difference between past admin, especially Obama’s, and this one is the confidence that we can have/should have – that help is on the way. The campaign slogan I was touched by the most during the primary, was a flyer sent out by candidate Trump’s campaign to Hampton Roads, specifically targeted to our large military presence and operations, something to the effect of, have heart, Hampton Roads, “help is on the way.” Knowing what I know about our military needs, it was exactly the right message. Especially, because the “not gonna happen sequester” lie was a foul deed by Obama.

        Regardless of how one feels about our military commitments around the world, our readiness is essential.

        President Trump is a builder; there’s never a moment he is not thinking about building – or in these instances – rebuilding. Reminds me of the show, “Six-Million Dollar Man” – (my modification) “we can rebuild, faster, better and stronger than before.”

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Sylvia Avery says:

    Six million Florida homes without power yesterday, service restored to two million today.

    Help is coming.

    Liked by 35 people

  3. heidi says:

    “To bring in more from other countries in a time like this would be the ultimate insanity.”
    Read it all.

    The refugee industry (the resettlement contractors and the cheap labor lobby) want you to think that the President must submit a determination of at least 50,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, but it just isn’t so!

    Tell the President what you think by clicking here to get instructions…Tell your members of Congress and US Senators too!

    America First!
    https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/consider-the-optics-mr-president-thousands-of-impoverished-people-arriving-in-the-us-when-americans-are-homeless/

    Liked by 14 people

    • Ned says:

      Our country is insane. We still have people out of work. “Dreamers” are doing the jobs legal Americans want to do. As a college or a high school student about that. Painting, cutting lawns, working in fast food restaurants have been taken over. Sorry McCain but your soft bigotry served to have people snooze through the invasion. It was also helped destroy the work ethic of our youth and helped give them a superiority complex.

      During the war, could you seriously imagine the U.S. taking “refugees” from Germany or Japan as we bombed their countries who had no paperwork? All hoping they’d love OUR country? This is what we are doing with people that made 9/11 happen. We don’t know who they are, no paperwork, been told jihadists are in with the refugees and when they come here, don’t want to assimilate and get offended by nearly everything.. At Hunter College the MSA (Muslim Student Organization) that has a presence in K-12 and colleges and universities across the U.S.,,celebrated 9/11 with a bake sale! Yes, you read that right, celebrated it. Try having Christian after school clubs in those same schools!

      I recently read the charities, Catholic Charities and a Lutheran Charity, that settled these refugees are demanding more. They profit from it and were upset at laying off people. They make MILLIONS off this. I don’t know if it will stand but a liberal judge agreed with them. How does a judge over rule the President? I have never seen such insanity before at so many levels.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Great report Sundance. So proud to know you (even if it’s just thru this crazy electronic gizmo all the way across the country).

    Amazing story. Leaving me a bit speechless. Prayers your way friend.

    Liked by 50 people

  5. nimrodman says:

    Beautiful, Sundance. Doing manly things. I bet many of the women on the scene are doing manly things too. God bless all and good fortune as much as possible in the coming days and weeks.

    Liked by 31 people

  6. Love never quits. I always liked that story and am so glad you’re able to check in to keep us updated while being neck deep in recovery mode. My husband and I will be donating to the Treehouse hoping it will help you continue to help others.

    Liked by 23 people

  7. rsanchez1990 says:

    One in a million, to have the strength to be starfish kid and then put together such a well written article.

    I am amazed my aunt+uncle+cousins were so eager to get back to Miami. In my little slice of North Florida we never lost power, although lines for food and fuel are still very long. I guess the need to know their home made it is stronger than their need for a comfortable place to stay. Some reports say 50% of Miami is without power so it’s still Mad Max times over there.

    Hopefully as people wake up again to the values of neighborhood and community in the aftermath of Irma, they’ll work on cultivating both again, especially in South Florida where everyone is from so many different places.

    Liked by 27 people

    • Daniel says:

      Not going to happen, but here’s to hoping. “Everyone from different places” does not excuse ignoring reality. It happens pretty much every year about this time. Coming from other places fails to ignore the fact these events are always national news. People plan for spring and summer and they plan for Christmas for a LONG way out. But planning for disaster? Isn’t it strange in a way? I suppose not when we face the fact that we’re so often glutinous and indulgent as people.

      Personally, I feel I am more shaped and driven by that which I want to avoid than by that which I want to have. That makes me a cautious person by nature. And I very much prefer learning from other peoples’ mistakes than from my own.

      Still, I am always shocked by what people fail to do. Shocked, for example when I lived close to DC, every snow/winter resulted in a mad run on the stores. I found it amazing and shocking. One thing I cannot say is there was an abundance of people from other places. Instead, it’s just a regional reality that people do not plan for hard times. Could be because living conditions are far tighter for so many people but mostly, I just see bad priorities and a lot of people who TRULY do not care about one another. They are the worst people I have ever lived among where one neighbor will bury another neighbor in snow without any remorse and at the same time will tell themselves and others that they love living there. I find that hard to reconcile.

      Liked by 9 people

      • Lindenlee says:

        Bingo. I have a single burner butane stove, and extra canisters, chili in cans, 2-l. soda bottles filled with water in the freezer, a battery-powered fan (will run aboutn18 hours on 8D-cells, freeze-dried storage food. Miserable without power for three days, but the cold washcloths on the forehead after being in the freezer, fresh coffee, and that blessed fan at night made things bearable. I will have a mosquito net so I can sleep outside on a lounge chair if this happens again. And a 12 gauge with fresh shells, just in case.

        I didn’t have to buy anything, I had put it aside in my tiny condo, little by little. Be prepared, save your 2 liter soda bottles, get a battery-powered fan or two, rechargeable batteries, and a genny.

        Liked by 17 people

        • elize says:

          That’s a key point, stock up slowly when there isn’t a disaster. We keep cases of water in the house and I rotate them out. We have flashlights in every room, candles, oil lamps, ice chests, heavy duty storage containers (useful in so many ways during a disaster), etc Since we don’t eat a lot of canned food I keep a disaster stash, then I donate it to the church and restock. It helps the church and makes me feel disaster prepared.

          Liked by 12 people

        • MfM says:

          Those butane stoves are great. I have gifted a number of them and a case of fuel to people who only have electric stoves. They thought I was weird until the first power outage.

          The other odd present I do is a first aid kit in a fishing tackle box. The prepackaged ones are fine but often the quality of things like tweezers is lacking.

          Liked by 12 people

          • this is a great gift idea for the new graduate or newly married couple!

            Like

          • Tegan says:

            Can’t tell you how many meals I cooked during hurricane power outages simply using sterno under chaffing dishes. Got a case of the sterno to have on hand for buffet entertaining and a couple of large chaffing dishes…cooked egg dishes, soups, etc. Point is, you can eat hot foods without power and after a few days of cold sandwiches, it certainly hit the spot.

            Liked by 3 people

      • Aparition42 says:

        Well said. I’m always amazed at how quickly all the bread disappears from shelves in the days before and immediately after a storm when all the flower and yeast stays practically untouched.

        We were blessed in Jacksonville. Barely touched by the storm really, but still over 250 thousand homes without power, and several downed trees on homes and the like. For the price of a few extra bucks a month we’ve maintained enough of a storm kit to transform what could be a devastating situation to an almost fun “camping at home” scenario.

        A few years back “preppers” we’re all over TV so that the common folk could point and laugh at the crazies. A coworker teased me about being one of them, and I pointed out how much of that paranoid “end of the world as we know it” preparation would have come in pretty handy after Katrina. Once they realized that less than world-ending disasters happen all the time his perspective changed.

        There is no reason for anyone not to have at least three days worth of water in refilled milk jugs and two-liters. An extra couple of cans of food every grocery trip over a few years will get you a nicely stocked larder. Some special equipment (camp stove, crank power flashlights, solar USB chargers, etc) every Christmas and birthday will round out the emergency kit.

        Most of all though is the skills. Ten minutes watching you tube instead of some sci-fi soap opera on Netflix and you can learn to back your own bread over a fire, learn to purify wat six different ways, learn how to properly store fuel long term, learn how to preserve food and what you can or can’t safely eat after it’s thawed, learn how to properly “batten down the hatches” for whatever unpredictable yet inevitable emergency situation your area is know to face.

        If they replaced ten percent of the time wasting indoctrination of highschool with real disaster preparedness lessons a lot of hardship could be avoided.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “Flour and yeast untouched”

          Ha! Only 10% of the population under 50 even know what yeast is!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Laura says:

            And here I posted a granola bar recipe (before the hurricane hit). I don’t think anyone actually saw it, though, so . . . . .

            Not going to post it again, but there are tons of granola bar recipes online and many (if not all) of them will keep for weeks on end. Some even have quinoa and other types of protein in them. So when all the granola and protein bars fly off the shelf, go looking for some real ingredients to make your own.

            Now, I realize no one wants to live off granola bars for days on end, HOWEVER, they can certainly keep you on your feet between a good meal here and there.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Snow White says:

            I’m one of those 😁😁😁. I love to bake bread from scratch and I always buy flour and yeast. I’ve had a pack of yeast from Costco in the fridge for over 5 years and it’s still good.

            Like

          • LafnH2O says:

            😁
            Brings back smells of Grams fresh bread.. .comin out da oven!

            Thanks

            Like

        • G. Combs says:

          Use 2 liter soda bottles. (Milk bottles are hard to sanitize) You can get them from friends if you do not drink soda. Heck buy them for parties and donate with the stipulation you get the empties back.

          Peanut butter jars or mayonnaise jars are wide mouth fairly easy to clean and they STACK.
          You can use them for storing anything small that comes in cardboard boxes such as cereal or rice or noodles or anything in plastic pkgs like 15 bean soup mix, ramen noodles…. CRACKERS! (forget bread, crackers keep a lot longer and can be bought a week or more ahead.)
          The jars helps keep the moisture and bugs out. I clip the instructions from the package and either place inside or tape to the outside. (Glass is better than plastic but tough to find now.)

          Check into the store at room temp foods like hard cheeses and sausage/salami/country ham. Again they can be bought a week or two ahead of time before the panic sets in.

          Like

          • Aparition42 says:

            Good points. A bit more extreme if you have the room, an old broken refrigerator makes a good dry pantry if the rubber seal is in ok condition (replacements are cheap) and you put some desiccant in it. Keeps crackers and cereals dry and bug free. You can usually find one free if you keep your eyes open.

            Like

      • rsanchez1990 says:

        About the only thing the media gets right in hurricane coverage this past week is showing neighbors helping neighbors. Here’s to hoping that shows people they will fare better being a good neighbor than a neighbor willing to bury another neighbor. I stressed the everyone from different places part to express hope that even if neighbors have little shared background, they’re better off building new relationships with their new neighbors than going at it alone.

        Like

    • tigsmom says:

      A month, post Andrew, the stop lights were still down in major thoroughfares in Miami.

      Liked by 4 people

      • tony says:

        about those lights, saw a nasty wreck because people forgot the rules of the road. lights out, its now a 4 way stop. nice 3 car wreck because 2 drivers didnt remember.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Daniel says:

          They remembered. They just saw it differently. They saw opportunity for less delay and thought they could get away with it. I see that crap where I live all the time even when the lights are working. I strongly suspect the police refuse to or are instructed not to enforce the laws to avoid the disproportionate amount of black people doing this. But you know what I have seen change over the years? Now it’s more white people in this area doing that. They too think they can get away with driving like an a-hole. And the moment they catch on to the fact that it now appears more white people are doing it than black people, they can feel safer enforcing the damned law again.

          Right now, where I live, you are a chump if you follow the laws and drive in a proper manner.

          Liked by 1 person

        • MfM says:

          In my area most of the lighted intersections have flip down stop signs. They are on hinges I believe. They can turn a traffic lighted intersection into a four way stop to remind people that is what you do when the traffic is out in minutes and are permanent.

          Liked by 1 person

          • MfM says:

            Four way stop is what you do when lights are out. They are permanently mounted and take minutes to ‘install’. I hate not being able to correct things after posting.

            Liked by 1 person

        • woodstuff says:

          To get a driver license, the tests require only 70% correct answers.

          Like

        • LafnH2O says:

          Sadly, purdy much skim right over that part, the dmv, they do!

          Many, don’t know from a 4-way stop!!
          Merge.. remember, MERGE.
          Now its SOP to just crame it in.

          Debit or credit?

          Like

      • elize says:

        Rita hit in Sept I believe and it was weeks if not longer before the little town we were in got electric. At the time we were renting and it was almost Christmas when the complex owners (who lived and stayed there thru the hurricane) came to us and said the city had condemned the complex due to the damage, therefore he was forced to ask everyone to vacate asap. If I recall correctly things were still in such a state of disarray that I didn’t even cook thanksgiving dinner. Our communities were still housing the Katrina folks so there was too much demand on local resources (groceries, gas, housing, etc).

        We ended up moving to CA where my in-laws lived.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. dayallaxeded says:

    Actually good news, all in all. Glad to hear you’re well, though obviously and rightly tired. Rest some; you can’t help others if you’re sick or fatigued and can’t help yourself. Chainsaws, vehicles, and fatigue–very very bad combos.

    Despite the hardships, it definitely sounds like things are on the upswing. Also re: downed trees, in addition to the local gov’t crews and power crews, we had Corpse of Engineers crews come through cutting and removing trees. It was a good while after the storm, before they came around, but they even took out a tree that the brackish flood water killed, but that was still standing (@ 45′ tall). Really smoothed out my anger toward the Corpse (and no, that’s not a typo, that’s what I call ’em still). Prayers still going up for allaya’ll!

    Liked by 9 people

  9. Lori says:

    Looks like quite the mess; thank goodness infastructure repair is on the US agenda.
    So glad that you are calm, patient, wise and smart. Prayers sent up for safety, harmony, health and electricity. ♡

    Liked by 11 people

  10. Daniel says:

    “Two thirds of local residents, who left with ZERO prep, return to discover what smells like a rotting carcass in their fridge, and no air conditioning, ….Yeah, one might imagine the next few days could be rather sketchy nerves for more than seats at the Waffle House…”

    Yeah… that feels like a win in a way. I somehow felt that it would be a quarter of local residents or less. It just seems as if these are people who have never lived without fuel/energy available and don’t know what happens when it’s gone or scarce. I somehow find that to be unlikely. What seems more likely is they are quick to forget or quick to ignore or quick to refuse to accept reality.

    If I were a political leader right now, I’d start running a campaign based on disaster readiness frequently citing “Remember Irma” or perhaps “Remeber Irma and Jose?” There must be improvements in this type of matter — especially in Florida. I just don’t see how people can be so far out of touch with life’s dependencies. I see that it happens, but I find it hard to understand how that works in the minds of those who are out of touch.

    Again, I am a child of tornado alley. I grew up under such conditions in N.Texas. On the whole, tornadoes are much more localized in effect but sometimes cause huge problems on a wider scale depending on what had been hit. I know the kinds of behaviors Sundance describes as I’ve witnessed that too many times and as a child, I saw that behavior as horrible and well worth avoiding being one of them. (I feel similarly about drugs, alcohol and the sex industry… to put it in a few words, “I don’t want to be one of those people.”) And since the effects are generally smaller, there are more people who can help and they often do. I’ve been involved in those efforts myself. It just comes naturally because it’s not hard to imagine it happening to me.

    People think I’m lacking or cold or judgemental when all I want is for people not to suffer needlessly. Again, I understand when it’s something which simply strikes without warning. But there’s no such thing today as a hurricane without warning. And hurricanes are no stranger to Florida. To me, I see two sane options — either be very prepared or prepare to leave that area. Outside of that, I find being a member of the 2/3rds group to be unacceptable. At what point should people be forced to wear the blame?

    And can we expect this to repeat? Yes. Absolutely, it will. That’s what I find the most disturbing.

    Liked by 5 people

    • starfcker says:

      Daniel. There have been problems, no question. But this is a big state, with a huge population and peculiar geographical challenges. Add in an absolute monster of a storm that ended up beating a tough forecast, where do you start? Florida and it’s residents have great institutional knowledge about hurricanes, and we’ll learn more from this one. Go back to Charley in 2004, we’ve improved everything. In 2004, generators were scarce. Now they are common. Game changing stuff. FPL has spent the last 12 years hardening their grid. In 2005 Katrina and Wilma put power poles on the ground everywhere. I haven’t seen one knocked down in Dade or Broward. Sundance is one in a million, that is a million amazing Floridians doing their part, helping those in need. Gratitude is putting it lightly. You saw it in Texas, too. We are going to fix this country. We are still one. It’s a relief to know that. Keep it up Sundance. Major kudos. I’ve got family up and down 27 and 17. Avon Park. Wachula. Bowling Green. Ft. Meade. You’re helping my people. I am deeply grateful. Thank you.

      Liked by 22 people

      • Daniel says:

        Bottom line questions: Did they have supplies? Did they have mobility to bug out? Did they have time to bug out? It’s precisely the lack of preparedness at fault for the majority and NO OTHER REASON. When did people start leaving? Not early enough, that’s when. When did people know about it? WELL in advance.

        Yes, there are improvements. The word about shelters was good to hear. Shelters is preparedness if one knows for certain they can get in… watching news stories of people who went to shelters early to guarantee they had a place to be was exactly what they should have been doing.

        And here we are with 2/3rds of the people fully unprepared.

        Depending on the government isn’t the answer — it leads to this. Government rarely does anything but “respond/react.” Are disasters funded before they happen? Is support dispatched before it’s needed? Almost never. And yet know know when and where hurricanes happen with a high degree of accuracy in most cases.

        Like

        • elleb77 says:

          The pure uniqueness of Irma – covering the entire state – made this a total nightmare. Usually, the storm heads to one general area, residents flee to somewhere inland or across the state. This effected the entire state, except the panhandle.

          The roads were also clogged by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. My daughter escaped and saw many, many cars out of gas, stranded by the highway, clearly with illegals in them. Who knows how many there are in Florida -but we know there are a lot. Of course, we don’t want them in the path of harm but they are putting the safety (and health) of our own citizens at risk.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Judith says:

          Most people have no idea what it entails to pack up their belongings and never look back. Sure, you can move into a shelter ..for a few days. But then what?

          When can you get back home? When can you get back to your life? To your job? When can your kids get back to their school? Most of us don’t live like hobos with just the clothes on our back. Most of us need a place to call home.

          Going back to that home after the storm has long passed, and finding it in ruins, is the problem here. How can people be so smug and condescending about that? Lives are in ruins, through no fault of their own, and they must now pick up the pieces. And, YES, this can happen to ANYONE. It is called a catastrophic event.

          Liked by 1 person

          • singingsoul says:

            This is a silly question do people whose homes are not damaged take other people into their homes whose homes are damaged.? I always wondered about that. Where I grew up we always had space for another person or two even though apartments and houses were not big. No one ever left people out there. Maybe its because of WWII people needed to help each other to give shelter to strangers.
            I see people in the US living in big houses but have no space.?

            Like

            • Judith says:

              Yes, they do take each other in. Disasters bring out the very best in people. Neighbors become lifelines to each other.

              I was spared the worst in that situation, only lost power for a week. Our family moved in with a widow across town who still had power, leaving our generator behind for two neighbors to share.

              Those who lost everything to the floods had a much tougher row to hoe. Took them years to recover. The elderly are especially vulnerable.

              Then there are those few, like always, looking to take advantage of any grim situation. Thieves in the night will siphon any gas they can steal and rummage through vacant homes and businesses.

              It’s the usual human condition, magnified by 1000.

              Liked by 2 people

        • woodstuff says:

          Poor people and the elderly can’t necessarily prep or bug out. Heck, not all people have high-dollar phones. Many cannot afford the newer hurricane-resistant homes.

          In the years before Irma, many could not afford to move to an inland state. Many had family and friends to consider if they moved. Traffic and lack of fuel prevented many from leaving FL after the warnings. Those who went to shelters oftentimes got their prep stuff destroyed after being under water. etc…..

          I’m not against prepping, but just sayin’ (my daughter-speak).

          Liked by 1 person

        • starfcker says:

          Daniel, you’re missing the point. As a state, Florida just did GREAT, in the face of a most perplexing monster. Sometimes there are no obviously good choices to a situation, but EVERYONE still has to make choices, and act on them, under tremendous pressure, and with lives at stake. Easy to lob spitballs. Focus on the good. There was tons of it.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Dixie says:

        I noticed in the few pictures we’ve seen of the Keys that even though there were refrigerators and freezers all over the road, all the power poles in view were still standing straight and strong. Amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Chris says:

    How do you eat an elephant?, one bite at a time,BBQ sauce helps.
    it ain’t easysomebody’s gotta get their hands dirty or it will never get done.
    Once some resembalance of the new normal takes shape,
    .. folks will begin the resume life patterns after IRMA. New patterns
    Take care all..Be kind to one another
    Help spread some of the love I’m sending your way
    GodBless

    Liked by 11 people

  12. Kathy says:

    Reminds me of Katrina. Power lines were downed by trees that fell after strong winds. No gasoline or very little either because of no electricity to power gas pumps or no gasoline at pumps. Long gasoline lines.
    We had a family member die of cancer right after Katrina hit. A wonderful friend donated a generator. Getting gasoline just to get around was awful.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. FL_GUY says:

    Thanks for taking the time to give a ground report. I know it is a stressful time and you are very busy. I hope the recovery goes quickly and smoothly.

    Liked by 17 people

  14. Smoked Joe says:

    My daughter,son in law and 7 week old baby granddaughter are heading back to West Palm Beach Wednesday. I wish they could wait a few more days. I sent them your report. Thanks Sundance.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. no-nonsense-nancy says:

    Thank you, Sundance. Middle of the night and I can’t sleep, a not unusual night for me, Checked in to see if you posted anything. Very glad you are ok. You are such a good Samaritan to all those close to you. Did you really take in the elderly lady and the family with the baby? Amazing guy! I would be so proud to call you my son if you were.

    Liked by 16 people

  16. chrystalia99 says:

    Thank you for the update, Sundance. FYI I went to send an extra donation this month and discovered that our bank account has been hacked, and wiped out, so had to cancel my subscription (and my paypal, which was also hacked at the same time). As soon as I can arrange a new means to donate I shall do so, and make up the difference. May The Lord protect you, yours, all treepers, and everyone else dealing with hurricanes and other issues at the moment.

    Compared to what’s going on elsewhere in my large circle of friends, my other half’s recent kidney surgery, my health problems, and having our financial matters destroyed seems to be rather minor, all things considered 😉

    Liked by 16 people

    • Lindenlee says:

      So sorry that you got hacked! Honest to God, ifnth3y find those people (unlikely), they should punish th3m the way the Saudis punish thieves.. Cut off their hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • chrystalia99 says:

        I have some friends who are pretty good at tracking down hackers and doxxers… It was the third time around sadly. Occupational hazard when you annoy leftist loons…..With luck they will get tracked down and something will happen. In reality, filing all the paperwork with various LEOs and banks etc is usually just checking off the boxes. Luckily we have no credit cards etc to worry about LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dixie says:

      None of this is minor even though there are more destructive things going on, and I sympathize greatly with you. When you get your financial situation resolved, join Lifelock as it has given me peace of mind for 7 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • chrystalia99 says:

        Already doing so, since this is the third time in 2 years. Being a professional writer, a conservative and political tends to draw enemy fire :-). They are a good service–as is my Symantec Endpoint antivirus protection–the hack was entirely internet based, so my Endpoint protection wasn’t needed (this time). First stop after the bank was online to my Symantec account to add the Lifelock to my Endpoint. To anyone who hasn’t tried one or both–YEP. to both. I always like to hear from people who are happy with a service, even if I know about the service already, so knowing you have used it for 7 years are happy tells me a lot. Out of curiosity, when you contact their customer service for “ordinary” things–like billing questions, etc–are they reasonable to deal with?

        We’re switching banks because my other half and I had to sit there on hold, IN THE BANK BRANCH, for over an hour and a half total shifting back and forth between departments to get everything locked down, claims filed, etc.–after waiting over 20 minutes to speak to a desk person–and at every stage they encouraged us to use the “online banking” rather than conduct these matters in the branch, and that was the last straw for B of A….

        So I am beginning to ask people what the overall customer service level is when you DON’T have an emergency, not just when you do….

        Liked by 1 person

  17. elize says:

    Ty for the update and God Bless you Sundance, it sounds like you’re keeping a positive outlook and that is a must. Between my military service, my first husbands military service, work, etc I’ve lived or worked in over half of the states in this country. At one home with acreage we owned outside of the town we worked in, we watched from our hilltop as the mother of all tornados leveled that town. Years later we lived through the mother of all blizzards that kept the roads frozen and us stuck on our hilltop for 2 weeks without electric. And then as fate would have it my current husband and I decided to move to East TX the year Rita came a visiting. Do I have a tendency to move to the 100 yr event areas before they happen???

    Many of us here have experienced and shared these events with each other. Like you did in all the prep posts, you ran and re-ran thru all of the pre-event to-do lists. When life is back to normal you thank God and every time another event comes close to you, you pray earnestly that it skips you this time. But you never forget….

    I will never forget my shock and awe of how inhumane other humans on this earth can be. I’ll never forget ice cold showers, washing with water that is not safe to drink, (water is about the only thing I do drink) wishing I had more bottled water, how much I appreciate a/c and the nastiness I feel when unable to take at least one hot shower daily.

    And I wouldn’t wish those conditions on an enemy if I had one. Thank God Trump is president during these events!

    Again, God bless you, God give you strength, thank God for our CTH family and know that we are praying for you. You and your family and community are in our prayers. ❤

    Liked by 17 people

  18. FL_GUY says:

    Something that I’d like to mention for people who are not in areas prone to natural disasters but applies to every city is what I find a disconcerting fact: There is not enough gas or food in town to supply everyone at one time. Our society depends on CONSTANT resupply and when everyone needs food and gas, it runs out with many people left without.

    Down here in FL, when a storm is projected to hit, the first thing you see is every gas pump in town with 3-4 cars lined up. After a few hours you see Out of Gas signs everywhere. Now if there is still time before the storm, you can likely get a resupply but sometimes not.

    The grocery stores are mad houses and after a few hours, they too are bare of what you need to survive the storm. They are less likely to get a resupply before the storm than the gas stations due to their delivery schedule. Of course, plywood flies off the shelf and that stuff is very expensive these days. Even here in Pensacola, just the possibility of Irma hitting here caused a run on gas, food and plywood.

    This is why people are encourage to stockpile supplies but that’s hard to do for most people usually due to economics and certainly space limitations and the fact that big scale natural disasters are not very common which is a good thing. But they do happen and life is turned upside down like it is in Central FL right now. I am encouraged that re-supply is being handled better than I’ve ever seen it. After Ivan, it was several days before that started taking place in Pensacola when the National Guard arrived in force and had to direct traffic flow because there were no traffic lights. You have to experience the chaos when there are thousands of cars and no working traffic signals. Re-supply is not possible without traffic control.

    We are fortunate that we beat the rigged system and elected President Trump. I suspect that after these two disasters, there will be great improvements made to responding quickly and effectively because he improves on everything. I see it already happening with the mobilization of fuel delivery and work to get the power back on. All necessary so that re-supply can take place to give people what is needed to live.

    Liked by 23 people

    • elize says:

      You nailed it FL-Guy. Given the technology, shipping/warehousing and predictability of human behavior data we have at our fingers tips most businesses, esp big box, utilize those factors to save money. It’s a well oiled machine of humans keying in data, systems processing the data and shipping out the goods and results. I worked in transportation/shipping/receiving in the military and am an accountant and programmer (esp db’s). Long gone are the days of manually calculating and looking around and someone saying, hey maybe we should prep in case this disaster happens and customers have needs. I feel like the local and community businesses still do this on some level.

      Thank God Trump is a businessman and has years of experience with how the system works. He knew and knows what has to be done to be prepared and then to work through each problem that arises.

      Perfect example in our town and with Walmart. A large percentage of the population in this small town are retired or on welfare. If you are still employed and/or not waiting/depending on that monthly deposit from the government then you do NOT go to Walmart on the days of the month when those deposits are made. I kid you not. 1) It’s a mad house 2) you won’t find fresh fruit and veggies and the meat depart is bare. Mom and I joke about it, they’re retired but she knows when not to come into town to go grocery shopping.

      Liked by 10 people

    • Sean Supsky says:

      Indeed, I read and understand what you have written, and I am in agreement.

      About President Trump, he prepared for this storm, as he did with Harvey, and Governor Scott did too.

      These were actions that cared more for the people rather than getting political points. Yet, I think because they did do these things, Governor Abbott included, gave them more points than they otherwise would have gotten.

      Anyway, they were prepared and ready for the disasters. A great point that Sundance and you elucidated when you two said people (majority) don’t prepare.

      Thanks for the post.

      Liked by 9 people

      • Lindenlee says:

        Governor Scott did a great job, and you could see how tired he was near the end just before Irma hit. I bet he had 3 hours of sleep a day. Can you imagine Sleepy Jeb in that spot?? I hope Governor Scott will be our new Senator, to replace the odious embalmed Teflon-face Bill Nelson.

        Liked by 13 people

  19. Pam says:

    God bless you Sundance for being caring enough to look out for those in your neighborhood who need help the most. Sometimes we forget how blessed we are until we see someone who is truly having a much harder time surviving than we are. I will continue to pray for you and all of those who are struggling just to get by down there.

    Liked by 15 people

  20. filia.aurea says:

    This update provides vivid insight into the difficulties you all face. I was in Sarasota without air conditioning for two days a while back, just about drove me to distraction, even though I had fans running. I’ve just seen some distressing predictions on Jose’s future path, and also speculation (forecast) about Irma circling around and back out to the Gulf. Prayers for all.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. deqwik2 says:

    Liked by 14 people

    • deqwik2 says:

      Sundance, hope they get fuel to where you are asap & make your day a little easier. 🙂
      Gov Scott said Port Canaveral is now open & bringing more fuel. 3 major ports now open.

      Here comes the fuel. Line of tankers is coming into Tampa Bay.

      Liked by 11 people

    • teekay says:

      More data points.

      Tampa and Everglades ports reopening:

      https://www.platts.com/ShippingNews/26803256

      Port Everglades petroleum statistics:

      http://www.porteverglades.net/cargo/petroleum/

      Typical product capacities by vessel class (ocean):

      https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=17991

      Typical fuel truck capacity:

      https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-gasoline-delivery-size-to-gas-stations

      Given a shorter ocean delivery distance, presumably the GP vessels will dominate. Each can deliver 3.2-8 million gallons of refined product. A fuel truck carries about 9000 gallons. Hence each ship can fill 350-880 fuel trucks.

      SD reports FEMA stating 800000 gallons/day to continue power company operations. That’s about 9o fuel trucks. Hence one GP vessel can support 4-10 days of power company operations. At least ten vessels are inbound to Tampa, so 40-100 days of operational support if all of this fuel were dedicated to these activities.

      In terms of motor vehicles:

      10 gallons (sub-compact) – 36 gallons (3500 truck) / tank == 900 – 250 personal vehicles / fuel truck;

      350 – 880 fuel trucks / GP vessel == 315000 – 792000 (cars) or 87500 – 220000 (trucks) / GP vessel;

      10 inbound vessels == 3.15M – 7.92M (cars) or 875K – 2.2M (trucks).

      Please correct any math mistakes. Assuming it’s correct, help definitely appears to be on the way.

      Liked by 6 people

  22. sundance says:

    Liked by 18 people

    • Sean Supsky says:

      The aftermath of the return is what hits the hardest for those affected.

      People may expect the worst, yet to actually see it, invites an entirely new level of reality that not many are ready for, and many end up in shock trying to absorb the situation.

      Liked by 12 people

      • Guy-Blanc Déploré says:

        So very true, Sean. I’ve seen it and experienced it.

        And SD thanks for taking time to post updates when you must be absolutely exhausted.
        You and your crew are in my thoughts and prayers.

        Liked by 15 people

      • nuthinmuffin says:

        my in laws took a direct hit in punta gorda from charlie back in 2004…insurance rebuilt their home, but they left florida never to return. never forget going down 75 to check on their property a few days later…the pine trees were snapped off like match near charlotte harbor. i’m so thankful that our home further north di not suffering damage then or now. prayers and donations for all of those less fortunate

        Liked by 3 people

    • deqwik2 says:

      I feel bad for the hourly workers who are out of work for a long time, lost their home & probably have no savings.:(

      Liked by 6 people

      • Lindenlee says:

        I don’t mean to be heartless, but if you choose to live here in FL, and live in housing like that, what do you expect? Houston floods all the time, it’s built on a swamp, and yet only 15% of Houstonians have flood insurance? What is THAT? I am sorry they are suffering, but this IS KNOWN RISK of living here.

        Liked by 2 people

        • BeePee says:

          BECAUSE Houston is built on a swamp, flood insurance premiums are just simply outrageous.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Tegan says:

            That’s an excuse, not a plan.

            Like

          • mike says:

            Flooding in specific spots is long knowable in Houston. Many poor construction choices cannot be undone by paper fixes. Engineering/construction assurance is more important than insurance.

            My family lost people from 19th century hurricane floods around the Cedar Creek area (the wettest part of Harvey, near Houston)…

            Liked by 1 person

        • Abster says:

          I left Cocoa Beach for Virginia. Went to the new Publix here yesterday. They are just making their way into Virginia and plan to open several stores. I was told they have taken in some of their Florida employees up here who were in need of work. I love Publix. BTW, as of yesterday, power and water were still down in my area. We were very fortunate. I am so anxious to get home. I will wait until I know there is gasoline, power and water. Once home, I will start collecting for food bank and animal shelter. There are so many in need.

          Liked by 12 people

        • elleb77 says:

          How can they even allow trailers for permanent residency anywhere in Florida, especially in the Keys ??? It’s insane.

          Liked by 4 people

        • nuthinmuffin says:

          people don’t think it will happen to them and then suddenly…

          Like

    • God bless that lady, her smile and her optimism.
      But……. trailers / trailer parks in a hurricane zone/state???? can you say FUBAR? who decided that that zoning plan was a good idea?

      Liked by 4 people

      • Tegan says:

        I believe it was here that a Treepers told about a woman who refused to leave Key West and lives in a trailer. After seeing some video and photos on the damage there, I’ve wondered how she did and if she still thinks it was a good idea to stay.

        Liked by 2 people

      • singingsoul says:

        I hope they all have relatives who will take them in until they rebuild their lives..?
        Maybe some people need to move someplace else.
        I know everyone wants to live in Florida but when such devastation happens maybe some need to go back home. My neighbor and others moved to Florida 2 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        • PNWLifer says:

          No, everyone does not want to move to Florida! We spent 18 years stationed in various parts and while there are many places and things to appreciate, there are a lot of negatives – the oppressive humidity, gross bugs and insane growth would be my top three. After a few hurricanes I abandoned my dream of coastal living because the reality is that it is stupid. Coastal living always leaves you vulnerable. It is a question of risk. The risk of perhaps losing absolutely everything due to a force of Nature we would be powerless to do anything about wasn’t something we were willing to ever, ever deal with. While some people are calculated and plan well for that risk, by and large many more do not. We left Florida and never looked back.

          Liked by 2 people

      • aqua says:

        Not everyone can afford a $500,000 home, that’s why. Florida, among many states, chooses not to ban trailers and mobile homes (see what I did there) because why put more regulations on a state with a heavily service-dependent economy, combined with many retirees on fixed incomes. That’s why.

        Every regulation comes with substantial burdens for those who already live there. Mandatory flood insurance costs tens of thousands of dollars.
        Mandatory Dade County standards windows – tens of thousands of dollars.

        The workers who serve all the tourists and wealthy in Key West — where do you suppose they now live? No longer on the island – they were chased out of there by exhorbitant costs years ago.

        You can say that people should choose better. Maybe so. But adding regulations upon regulations is not serving regular people who are just trying to raise a family and have a life. For many, that mobile home IS home, and

        My grandmother and mother began living in Florida in the early 1950s – my dad came during WWII, loved it and came back after the war. The state’s economy has developed since that time, but most jobs don’t come with benefits or retirement plans, are often co-opted by those who will work under the table for less and a vacation is a day out with a fishing pole.

        Liked by 4 people

        • I get it that regulations cost people $$; I am certainly for as little government intrusion as possible into our lives. I get it that some people live in Fla because it is inexpensive (I live in the bend-over-chump northeast). When I was in my late teens/twenties I was flat broke and could not have done much to prepare for something like Irma…no $$ and had my head screwed on backwards for awhile there…but I didn’t live in a hurricane state. I dealt with the occasional tornado threat.

          I don’t wish to be argumentative, but there are reinforced concrete homes all over FL that are not prohibitively expensive — certainly far less than $500k. Yes maybe still unaffordable for some, but I’m just saying perhaps creative city planners / mobile home developments could come up with a better plan for lower income people that would not be burdensome (i.e. trailer parks could have a hurricane code reinforced concrete building [part of assoc dues] for residents so they didn’t have to evacuate to an entirely different and unfamiliar part of the state or clog up the roads getting out of FL entirely.) There the home, in business, in communities there are always efficiencies that can be made for everyone’s benefit.

          Liked by 1 person

        • nuthinmuffin says:

          many of those trailers have been there for decades…the unaffordability of homes in florida is only a relatively recent event

          Liked by 2 people

  23. wolfmoon1776 says:

    Great to hear from you, SD! And keep flinging those starfish, kiddo! You never know how many lives you’re changing! 😉

    Liked by 14 people

  24. trialbytruth says:

    Sundance

    Sounds like things are moving forward. Amazing you are able to keep the upbeat attitude but what would be the service value of any other.

    Speaking of service value from ground level where is the best place to give our money to reach the ones you worry about.

    If anyone else has heard Sundances take on this let me know.

    Liked by 8 people

    • sundance says:

      You ask a really great question; and unfortunately, I have no idea what the answer is.

      There are a lot of great local efforts that help restore people’s lives during stuff like this; I run into them all the time, but they’re not professional about it. In my opinion the most effective people/groups are almost organic in nature… they seem to spring up entirely separate from the institutional or professional systems of recovery and they focus on specific needs.

      Faith-based organizations do great work and know how to get a lot of value for every dollar. Samaritans Purse seems to be a great example of that.

      The local chapters of The United Way also do some great work in the soup-to-nuts category. They are able to provide financial assistance to people who need help.

      Liked by 16 people

      • Sylvia Avery says:

        Many of us are mentioning making donations to Samaritan’s Purse, thanks.

        Liked by 9 people

      • Sylvia Avery says:

        Anything else you can think of please say so. People here really want to help.

        Liked by 1 person

      • trialbytruth says:

        Thanks SD I am a direct giver in my world to old to do the heavy lifting. Mostly now I just give money focusing on young moms and families.

        I dont need tax write offs so I will donate here for the site. You earn it everyday and you are gonna need it.

        I worked dpr a 501c3 for many years. I did honerable work but the creaming at the top made me bitter. Let us know if something local comes up.

        Liked by 5 people

        • unconqueredone says:

          I have reached the same conclusion about “charitable organizations”. The top echelon of these organizations makes about 10x more each year than the average annual household income. So what’s the best way to donate directly?

          Liked by 2 people

          • trialbytruth says:

            My Answer this time was to give to this blog. Obviously Sundance is out doing the work I would want done. He is giving his time and money, tools, sweat, fuel,so me giving to this blog to help repay him for that makes sense. Not to mention the incredible blog and the people he has gathered here. You can look at it many ways but he has earned my support.

            If you have family or friends in the area give to them and ask them to play it forward. The greatest feeling I get when I give is knowing that the money is a gift and no longer mine.
            I am no longer responsible for it. If i give to a panhandler it may buy him or her a meal a drink, drugs or clothes. That is for God to figure out. I give in faith that the money will be used where at that moment in time it is most needed.

            In this case it may be a nice steak dinner with Sundance’s family when it’s all over. That would be money well spent.

            Liked by 2 people

      • TheLastDemocrat says:

        Maybe this is not the biggest issue to quibble over, but United Way supports abortion-minded organizations, as well as other organizations.

        We research this. When friends ask us to donate to their Komen walk, we give a donation to a breast cancer charity that does not support abortion. Etc.

        If you are not sure, you can ask an organization directly, by phone or email. Basically, they most either have a firm, recognized pro-life policy, or will be mealy-mouthed.

        From this type of effort, we discovered Samaritan’s Purse during the Haiti earthquake response.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Digleigh says:

        I saw Samaritan’s purse in our area after the 2 devastating back to back tornados earlier this year. I have family that their church knows they are great!! We survived the hurricaine with family power out only 1 to 3 days! God is merciful! Fla. family safe and sound….

        Liked by 2 people

  25. free73735 says:

    Sundance, good to hear your cherry voice
    ( umm, maybe print or text)? Thank you for sharing what you are seeing and experiencing from the locations your in. Glad you found fuel, finally! These circumstances and pending situations, (not always having you so readily accessible as we’d like), has heightened the value and appreciation of this site, tremendously! “Bless” you!

    Liked by 6 people

  26. average Joe says:

    Thanks for the read,And love the picture.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. omyword says:

    Reading this brought back many memories, Hazel when I was just a kid, Camille, no words to describe that ‘cept maybe Hiroshima and then, Katrina. I remember cooking (gas grill) everything in my fridge and freezer before it went bad after Katrina. Fed half the neighborhood for 3 days. We had 10-12 people living with us for a week, and we had damage to the house. Scalpers were selling water from the coast guard for 10 bucks a gallon. We reported it, and they went to jail. In cases like this, the best and the worst come out in people. The certain food groups who whine about everything are the first to loot. Real Americans roll up their sleeves and get busy. It is the things like this that not only test your metal, but temper your steel. Its also time like these that bring out the mirror so we can get a glimpse at ourselves. Keep the Faith!

    Liked by 14 people

    • average Joe says:

      Yes I remember hurricane Fredrick, everybody was cooking everything ,from shrimp to deer,you couldn’t get down the street ,without eating at three houses.

      Liked by 10 people

      • be says:

        My planning is probably to the extreme. I keep enough canning jars to can everything in my freezers. Well almost .. That with my pressure cooker.
        Grew up in Houston and the drill was fill containers with water (no bottled water at that time), fill up the bath tub with water, get snacks, fill u the vehicles with fuel and stay in the house. Of course flashlights etc. we had a coleman lantern lol

        Liked by 5 people

  28. Atticus says:

    SD, your report from the field is very much appreciated.
    If you can, please take note of the sights and sounds that you and your compatriots are experiencing. Sometime much, much later it would be invaluable if you could put all of what you’ve experienced into a “disaster after action” report. Those of us that do prepare for emergencies (and everyone else) could really benefit from the information. Please be safe, and God Bless you all.

    Liked by 6 people

  29. sundance says:

    Liked by 13 people

  30. God bless you Sundance, and everyone else doing their duty in this trying time.

    Liked by 6 people

  31. Nunya Bidness says:

    None of this recovery would occur under a leftist utopia of solar and wind power.

    Liked by 7 people

    • dogcaller says:

      Good point, Nunya…can you imagine the problems in the first day or two if everyone had electric vehicles that needed recharging…hard to move electrons by truck.

      Liked by 3 people

  32. thesouthwasrght says:

    I have a desire to introduce the fear mongering folks at the weather channel and these idiot bureaucrat “emergency management directors” to the art of Malaysian caning. They created this mess largely by their headless chicken routine with no forethought given to where all these people should evacuate to nor the logistics of getting them there and back. Yet you can rest assured the government part of that will need more loot and more of everything in the future.

    Born and raised in Florida and storms like this are a given. You live accordingly. Fact is 98% of urbanites fail at this. And this Irma deal is JV ball. Let a currency crash, emp, or whatnot happen. Something for sure long term and there will be a thinning of the herd here to now unthought of. That fat Yankee running his mouth in traffic for example, yeah him. Shot on the spot. I’m telling y’all this country is hardly even a shell of what came together to win WWII. Any disruption displays that fact in spades.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Rebcalntx says:

      Thesouthwasright, I agree. I can do with oatmeal & can beans if I have to. My younger relatives when money gets tight whine & complain if they can’t have a gourmet meal. I remember my grandmother never threw away her foil but rinsed & saved it. She lived through the depression. Yes learn to prepare, get tough & smart. The loud mouth guy wouldn’t last is right.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Founding Fathers Fan says:

    sundance
    I wonder if gas station owners evacuated and haven’t been able to get back yet. I wonder if their houses are damaged.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. distracted2 says:

    Oh my word. I’m anxious just reading about your day.

    I did hear that the number of tankers supplying gas has been increased so hopefully that will ease some of the shortage soon. I guess it’s a lot faster to get the gas there by water than by land.

    My sister-in-law is in the coast guard reserves. She lives in Nevada and is being deployed tomorrow. The mission is to restore power. She has been told she could be deployed for at least 60 days.

    Your attitude is so wonderful, SD. I hope for your sake and for others, that people keep a level head. And I hope that a good percentage of people decide to delay their return home to Florida. I know I wouldn’t be in any hurry.

    And I could not believe when I heard that the theme parks are actually reopening. The last thing Florida needs right now is another drain on their resources.

    Liked by 9 people

  35. Susan says:

    Here in SW Ft Myers things are better than I could have hoped. Some downed trees in our area, but quickly cut up and removed. Our neighbors and we worked Tuesday morning to clear leaves, twigs and small branches from our drives and sidewalks. The electricity was out for a total of 60 hours. FPL was determined to restore power quickly.

    Very little damage, and the storm surge was far weaker than expected. I have not been out yet, but I’ve heard that the local Publix, McDonalds and bagel place are open for business. Not sure about gas, but I still have plenty after returning from the shelter.

    Sundance points out that this is the perfect time for us to help one another. Share meals, care for the elderly, offer a kind word. At our shelter we were in a classroom with 30 people and some cats and dogs. Everyone got along, regardless of race or age. Three young girls – one Cambodian, one Black, one white – played together happily. The adults visited and watched a tiny tv to find out what was happening. People shared food and snacks. An incredible 15-year-old black man helped many elderly evacuees take their possessions down the stairs to their cars when we got the all clear. In all of the stress and inconvenience I saw so much to warm my heart. It is that America that Trump speaks about and promotes. God has blessed us all.

    Liked by 20 people

  36. TeaforAll says:

    Sundance

    So glad to hear from you. Thank You for helping and caring those in need. Everyone is following Irma/Harvey. I keep telling anyone who ask to donate to Samaritan Purse. Just let us know if there is anything we can send. Be strong, stay safe (watch out for the snakes, they have been reporting), love to all
    Tea

    Liked by 7 people

  37. Sylvia Avery says:

    The Best-Kept Secret in Disaster Relief: Southern Baptists

    “As Hurricane Irma leaves behind a trail of destruction and pain, the nation again turns its eyes to disaster relief. Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in many of us…

    As people and organizations rush to Florida to aid those affected by Hurricane Irma, one organization that responds to natural disasters is often overlooked — the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief program…

    Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is Christian love in action. This ministry meets the urgent needs of hurting humanity in crisis situations. Christ calls for believers to demonstrate His love to those affected by disasters through our timely use of resources, talents and time. We provide many different types of relief, including food, water, child care, laundry, repairs, rebuilding and more…”

    https://pjmedia.com/faith/2017/09/11/the-best-kept-secret-in-disaster-relief-southern-baptists/

    Liked by 6 people

    • MaineCoon says:

      I was reading about this org after Harvey hit. They are phenomenal. Faith based organizations are often the basic relief after many disasters. Our representatives need to be reminded of that fact.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sylvia Avery says:

        MC, I read about them after Harvey as well. I’d never heard of them before and was amazed at what they had quietly been able to accomplish.

        I like Samaritan’s Purse a lot but they do a lot of international relief. Nothing wrong with that and I hate to sound selfish but I’m interested in providing assistance to Harvey and Irma survivors, personally.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. MfM says:

    I would hope that in the coming days that you as CERT volunteers will be able to tie into a better way to get fuel. You are working to help wherever you can you shouldn’t be paying for fuel.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. For you Sundance💖🇺🇸💖 God Bless your Gracious and good heart and thank you from so many American hearts
    🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸💖💖💖🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    I have these signs in my kitchen, the one posted specifically for SD above hubby had put rubber stoppers behind it to cast shadow and make the wording stand out & easy to read

    …later when I got the below sign and just wanted to get it up b4 hubby had time to help me, I noticed you couldnt read it as well, and as you walk into the dining room it forces you to look up to be sure of what you are reading…it is staying that way, I like the idea of eyes looking up, blessing Him letting Him know we feel blessed💖🇺🇸💖

    Liked by 10 people

  40. MfM says:

    For showers we use a sun shower when we are camping in rustic areas. Cheap ones are 10-15 bucks, expensive ones are twice that. A 4 gallon one is heavy and if you are careful can get two quick showers if you have short hair.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. jim says:

    Today is the sixth day in a row that the treehouse has been ad free (at least for me and my cheapo tablet). It makes me think that TCTH has been demonetized as so many other conservative have been.

    You know what to do!

    Like

  42. Jefff says:

    God scattered the bricks of the Tower of Babel . A monument to King NIMROD . God was not happy !

    His intent was for man to spread to all corners of PANGAEA . To develop many languages and ethnic differences in the pursuit of his simple desire for all mankind to …” be fruitful and multiply ” .

    The modern Tower of Babel is TV and MEDIA . Today the worship of NIMROD is the worship of the GLOBALIST GODLESS RULING HUMAN FARMERS media and Hollywood ” take another selfie ” world .

    Sundance, your account on the ground is evidence of the scattering of the modern Tower or Towers of Babel . Those taken to the machinations of the EGO vs those guided by the discernment of the Holy Spirit are evident in this CHAOS aftermath .

    The world watched as a massive Tsunami hit Japan on May 13th 2011 . The either the world missed the real lesson or forgot it .

    I watched a video on YOUTUBE …As one person who had fled higher in a building emerged with two bottles of water to see the waters finally recede he handed one to another person . Seemingly a stranger but he handed him one of his two bottles of water in that video .

    ” LUCKY DAY ” they had survived and the next minute the struggle would begin in earnest just to survive the aftermath. those two Japanese survivors of the 2011 Tsunami = ” a neighborhood ”

    Believe me ….your struggles and discernment are NOTICED BIGLY !! GODSPEED Sundance !!

    Liked by 2 people

  43. doit4atlas says:

    The bigger the government gets the smaller the citizen gets. The citizens are getting so small that they don’t even TRY to take care of themselves, their families, and especially their neighbors, they become victims and expect the nanny state to rescue them.

    I have always been against these MASS evacuations, especially THIS one. When you really don’t know where the hurricane is going to strike land, there is really no reason for millions to run like chickens with their heads cut off. Absolutely, there are people who need to evacuate; the Keys, those along low lying places, but MOST did not need to leave. If they simply prepared to be out of electricity for 2 weeks, they could have easily sheltered in place and NOT consumed the precious resources, like GAS, driving back and forth, and up and down, the state.

    I guarantee that most people in line at the gas stations, are on the road unnecessarily and could be simply staying put, cleaning up their property, helping their neighbors who may have gotten whacked harder than they did and pooling their disaster recovery resources, time and labor instead of sitting in line at a friggin gas station buying gas they didn’t need to consume in the first place!!

    One of my favorite pictures of the Harvey hurricane was the one of the two tents on the roof of their house. That would be me…I’d rather stay on my own piece of the rock in a tent on the roof of MY house for two weeks, than sit in some hotel somewhere or sponging off someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. PDQ says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if the media focussed on those returning, telling them to bring fuel, food, etc. back with them…informing people, giving status of the situation, instead of inciting people. Imagine if the media could be trusted as a source of such information and direction and good works. Imagine.

    Hopefully your website will help with that, Sundance. Praying.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff says:

      The TOWER OF BABEL media doesn’t want to show the masses anything that would portray people helping each other . The ENEMEDIA only politizises the need for more BIG GOVERNEMNT and more central control .

      Waiting for the GLOBALIST MEDIA to change is insanity . We need to MAKE A NEW MEDIA . A parallel media just as Trump is doing with the banking for Main Street capitalism . Hopefully that is in the works with BANNON !!

      Like

    • Judith says:

      Enemedia absolutely thrives on chaos and will, in fact, create it where none exists.

      Liked by 1 person

    • singingsoul says:

      PDQ says:
      “Wouldn’t it be great if the media focussed on those returning, telling them to bring fuel, food, etc. back with them…informing people, giving status of the situation, ”
      ——————————————–
      One would think people would figure that out to bring back food and gas and things just in case…? I am talking about those who left the state. Many others had no choice.
      I am thinking of those people who flew out left their dogs tied to trees. I like to hear what happened to the pets..?
      People like that do not deserve a pet and should never be allowed to one again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eskyman says:

        I’m generally pretty easy-going, but when I think of those miserable jerks who left their animals to die, helplessly- my blood pressure rises.

        They deserve the fate that they’d left those innocent animals to suffer! People like that should get the medieval punishment of being sewn into a sack & thrown into the river. If they showed some remorse, maybe there shouldn’t be scorpions in the bag as well. That’s the only concession I’d give them!

        Chances are I’m biased. Though right now I have no pets, most of my life I’ve had cats & dogs, and I loved each of them. If forced to choose, I’d prefer their company to that of most two-legged scoundrels, of which I’ve known too many!

        Like

  45. Hillbillysailor says:

    Yes! Be prepared, work hard, do what you can, when you can, how you can and PRAY.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Luke of the D says:

    But just think: this is one event in one state, in all honestly a relatively small event by comparison to what may one day occur… be a EMP attack or mega natural disaster or government coup. The “preper” mentality is to always be prepared, and it make sense when you think about it. If a “Mad Max” situation can occur after a hurricane knocks out power and messes things up a bit in a state like Florida, what might happen in a place like New York or Washington DC or Chicago or Minneapolis if they loose power for an extended period? The cretons would eat each other alive in days if not hours. Always be prepared… 30 days food, 30 days water (or a plan to contain water for 30 days quickly), medicine and first aid kits, camping supplies, fuel for generators or vehicles to last a week or more (or at least a plan to gather and store fuel quickly), blankets and sleeping bags, cash and barterable commodities (silver is much more handy than gold), etc. Be ready.

    Like

  47. cathyperkins says:

    I can vouch for Samaritan’s Purse. Their headquarters is just up the mountain from me in Boone, NC. They do wonderful work and when possible it is very personal,one on one. They are very organized and mobilize quickly and you can direct your donations to one of their causes, not put it in the ‘corporate coffer’. I donate to them regularly. I also donated to The Humane Society of Houston and will be picking somewhere like that in Florida. Probably the Crow Clinic for wildlife rehab. They are on Sanibel Island and do great work. Would never donate to ASPCA or the National Humane Society.

    Thank you, Sundance, for all you are doing. Of course, will donate here as well.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Alex F says:

    I’m in Miami…we lost power on Saturday morning….power was restored on Monday afternoon. A buddy from Homestead lost power Saturday, got his power back Tuesday. The response from FPL has been nothing short of amazing.

    To all those helping the relief efforts….A big thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

  49. amwick says:

    The starfish parable is a favorite of mine. I am always rescuing little creatures, snails, even worms.. drives DH nuts… I keep thinking that every little bit helps, it helps that creature.
    We need to tighten up some of our own preparedness. We did have the essentials, well more than essential. TY SD for this wonderful post, be safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Judith says:

      Everything on God’s earth has its place. People annoy me as much as they do anybody else, but I cannot turn away from someone in need. I try to reserve judgement. Something in my nature compels me to keep my mind open and my hands busy. God and I have a deal, and He sends a lot of lost souls my way.

      I shouldn’t be so impatient with people on these threads who seek to place blame, “if only they did x then y wouldn’t occur..” I know this is a defense mechanism, to subconsciously separate ourselves from a tragedy, and to feel better assigning blame to rationalize our own vulnerability.

      Make no mistake, we are all vulnerable for the choices we make. But that entails so much more than mere disaster prep. So much more.. So please be kind to one another, because that is the choice that counts most of all.

      Like

  50. TRULY AMAZING HOW MUCH THE SIMPLEST THINGS IN LIFE REALLY MEAN. WE KEEP FORGETING IN THE LAND OF MUCH.

    Liked by 3 people

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