Not as in "power to the people" or "girl power" (though we did see Brave last night--an awesome movie) but power as in "we lost power for two days." Anyone who loses power realizes quickly how dependent we are on electricity not just for our own comfort, but for the comfort or our critters, too.
Virginia gets many thunder storms this time of the year, but Friday night's was like nothing I have experienced before. The weather the past few days had been and has been n the high 90s, and very uncomfortable for humans and horses plus the flies have been HORRIBLE. (We've blogged before about flies but I have found no good solution other than putting them in the barn with the fan on and fly masks.)
Friends had arrived from Roanoke for the weekend with their kids, my son showed up, too, and we could see the storm over the mountains as we cooled off in the pool after dinner. The friends went in to shower and I walked the dogs down the drive before we went in for the night. The wind picked up, but suddenly, it whipped towards us, bending the trees almost in half. The dogs and I ran for the garage. The wind raged for almost three hours. There was lightning all around but little rain. Power quickly quit and we spent the night in the dark. (Those of you in tornado alley or hurricane areas who REALLY get storms, will be shaking your heads and saying "that was nothin'!")
The next morning, we inspected the damage. The roof will need replacing, and that's me looking at the mess in the pool. You can't see the millions of leaves and dead bugs, but lots of other strange things ended up in the water. No big trees fell down, just tons of limbs and leaves. The neighbors fared about the same, and fortunately, no animals were hurt, no cars smashed, no fences down and no houses blew away. In the middle of it all, the old cat died (we buried her in the garden); I sent the friends home without their fun weekend (awful to have company with no toilets!); and my daughter arrived safely having gotten the message NOT to drive Friday night.
Saturday was hot and sticky but we cooked on the grill and wisely we always have huge containers of water to help flush the toilets. The horses were okay without their fan, biding time in the woods with the deer flies. Another day and we would have had to move them to the neighbor's pasture which has a stream. We even jumped in the leafy pool (still icky after much skimming) after picking up limbs all day. I managed to find ice and water, cell phones still worked, we had gas in the cars, we took showers at a neighbors who had power, but no one wanted to spend one more night in the heat, which got up to 90 in the house. And at 11:00 Saturday night when the power went back on, we (animals included) were jubilant to have running water, flushing toilets, and air conditioning.
This, however, was an annoying storm, not a disaster, and I can only imagine how devastating real disasters--floods, hurricanes, fires, tornados--are to humans and critters. We were only somewhat prepared, and my first direction to my husband was "we need to get a generator." I've read articles about the weather getting weirder across the US and the world, and my brother is battling the fires in Colorado due to lightning strikes. We all need to figure out how to be prepared for whatever happens.
What disasters or annoying weather situations have you made it through lately? And how did you keep your animals safe?