Mindfulness · Tiny Living

Evacuation Fatigue- Hurricane Florence

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The bright side is that Betty White is able to hang with her uncles: Walter and Atticus.

We are now on day five of being evacuated from our home in Beaufort, NC, due to Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, we have family who live in the NC Triangle area, so we were more fortunate than others who had to go to shelters under the mandatory evacuation. It has been a scary few days as we watch television and social media, hoping we could get a glimpse of what our little town, and home, has endured, and if all is still standing.

Our electricity went out at my parents’ home. As I type this, I am depending on the battery of my laptop to withstand saving this until I can post it on our blog. Due to the area of my parents’ home near Siler City, we have no cell service either, and since their home phone is digital, the cable/internet outage prohibits us from calling anyone. So, it literally brings us back to basics…well, until the battery runs out of our laptops, and then we cannot type anything and then will be completely technology-free- something we have been working to do more of, anyway.

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Front Street in Beaufort, NC as the storm surge begins, thanks to Hurricane Florence (Image Source: Spectrum News)

The footage we did see, prior to the electricity going off, showed much flooding in our little coastal town, trees and power lines down, and a great deal of debris and destruction due to Florence. It is difficult to imagine our tiny home has escaped any damage, but we are still praying it has. It’s difficult to pray for the storm to turn away from your town when you know it will go somewhere else, causing others damage, so our prayers have been to just keep Florence as gentle as possible, which may or may not have happened since she weakened to a Category 2, prior to making landfall.

With photos posted on social media, we were able to see that the businesses in Beaufort have been flooded, and boats have run aground, yet the wild horses on Carrot Island remain, appearing to be as normal as they usually are, grazing on the sea oats, with wrecked boats around them- a strange, but welcoming sight to be seen.

On this, day five of being away from our home, we started to get a little stir crazy. I cannot help but sing the lyric from Jimmy Buffett’s “Boat Drinks”:

“this morning,

I shot 6 holes in my freezer,

I think I got cabin fever,

somebody sound the alarm”

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Concern for the wild horses is great, though we have been told that the wild horses on Carrot and Shackleford know what to do during extreme weather. We look forward to seeing them again, as soon as we return. (Image source: PBS)

Oh man, do I feel this more than ever! It’s not so much being inside, out of the elements of flooding here, or risking getting hit by falling limbs caused by the outer bands of Florence inland, it is the worrying, and the questions of, “what if we don’t have a home to go to?”, or “what if the rest of our belongings are gone?” These are questions that are all answered with the simple answer of, we have each other: me (Shannon), Gerry, and Betty White are safe and sound, and we can replace any of the items that remain, or do not remain, but our lives are safe and that is what matters. It is much easier said, prior to the storm, than when it comes down to wondering if you really do still have a home or not.

The evacuation fatigue truly exists, though I feel a little ridiculous saying this just five days in. Though I know we are extremely fortunate, we have noticed that we have slept A LOT: naps during the day, going to bed overnight and sleeping for 9-10 hours at a time (in addition to the naps)- it concerns me as this is a sign of depression. I guess it is good that we recognize it.  Most likely, the worrying and being on edge for any information is draining- more than we even realize. It’s not as if we can get outside here and exercise since the weather is harsh here, too. We still do not know when we will be able to get back on the island since the bridges are closed and Beaufort is under a 24-hour curfew, and why would we want to get back when there is no electricity, no water, no cell phone service- mainly because we just want to know where we stand. Where do we go with our lives if everything is gone? Being evacuated from your home is much different than being snowed-in, or have a thunderstorm cause your electricity to be out for a bit. This is just, so. much. different. We are very mindful, again, that we are fortunate to be out of the elements of Florence on the coast, and are working on being mindful that no matter what happens, we will get through whatever is presented to us.

Despite all of the inconvenience that we undergo due to Florence, and it truly is just an inconvenience,  we would not change living by the sea for anything. We intend on remaining in Beaufort once the storm is officially over. We will rebuild our lives, and already intend on volunteering to help others on the Crystal Coast who also need help rebuilding. Mama Nature sure is majestic in her ways, but man, oh, man, can she be a bitch when she is pissed off. Yet, we still, hang on to hope that things will get back to our version of normal, very soon.

 

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