Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, FL, as a strong 155 mph hurricane. The storm is now entering the southeast Georgia area while retaining quite a bit of energy. The 5:00pm EST advisory: Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Michael is a dangerous category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
STORM SURGE: Water levels are beginning to recede in some locations, however, the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will continue to cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. (read more)
Due to the speed of the storm there will be convoys coming to construct a pre-planned electricity grid recovery process even before nightfall today. Convoys from every city, town and state from the east-coast to the mid-west. A glorious melding of dirty fingernails all arriving for the meet-up. Depending on your proximity to the bigger picture objectives at hand, you will cherish their arrival.
But first, there will be an assessment. The convoys will stage at pre-determined locations using radios for communication. Most cell phone services will likely be knocked out. Recovery teams will begin a street-by-street review; everything needs to be evaluated prior to thinking about beginning to rebuild a grid. Your patience within this process is needed; heck, it ain’t like you’ve got a choice in the matter…. so just stay positive.
Meanwhile, you might walk outside and find yourself a stranger in your neighborhood.
It will all be cattywampus.
Trees gone, signs gone, crap everywhere, if you don’t need to travel, DON’T.
I mean CRAP e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
Stay away from power-lines.
Try to stay within your immediate neighborhood for the first 36-48 hours. Keep the roadways and main arteries clear for recovery workers, power companies and fuel trucks.
Stage one focuses on major arteries… then secondary… then neighborhood etc. It’s a process. Oh, and don’t get mad if your fancy mailbox is ploughed-over by a focused front end loader who is on a priority mission to clear a path. Just deal with it. Those same front-end loaders will also be removing feet of sand from coastal roads. Don’t go sightseeing… stay in your neighborhood.
For the first 36-48 hours, please try to stay close to home, in your neighborhood. Another reason to stay close to home is the sketchy people who can sometimes surface, looters etc. Staying close to home and having contact with your neighbors is just reasonable and safer.
Phase-1 recovery is necessarily, well, scruffy…. we’re just moving and managing the mess; not trying to clean it up yet. It’ll be ok. There are going to be roofing nails everywhere, and you will likely get multiple flat tires in the weeks after the hurricane.
Now, when the recovery teams arrive…. If you are on the road and there’s a convoy of utility trucks on the road, pull over. Treat power trucks and tanker trucks like ambulances and emergency vehicles. Pull over, give them a clear road and let them pass.
When everyone gets to work, if you see a line-man, pole-digger or crew say thanks. Just simple “thanks”. Wave at them and give them a thumbs-up. No need to get unnecessarily familiar, a simple: “thank you for your help” will suffice. You know, ordinary people skills.
Many of these smaller crews will be sleeping in cots, or in their trucks while they are working never-ending shifts. Some will be staging at evacuation shelters, likely schools and such. The need to shelter people and recovery crews might also delay the re-opening of schools.
Once you eventually start getting power back, if you see a crew in a restaurant, same thing applies… “thanks guys”. If you can pay their tab, do it. If you can pay their tab without them knowing, even better.
Same goes for the tanker truckers. The convenience stores with gas pumps are part of the priority network. Those will get power before other locales without power. Fuel outlets are a priority. Fuel is the lifeblood of recovery. Hospitals, first responders, emergency facilities, fuel outlets, then comes commercial and residential.
Remember, this is important – YOU are the first responder for your neighborhood. Don’t quit. Recovery is a process. Depending on the scale of the impact zone, the process can take days, weeks and even months.
Take care of your family first; then friends and neighborhood, and generally make a conscious decision to be a part of any needed solution.
Pray together and be strong together. It might sound goofy to some, but don’t be bashful about being openly thankful in prayer.
It will be ok.
It might be a massive pain in the a**, but in the end, it’ll be ok.