Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Prepping For Disaster

I am going to answer this curious email that consisted of four questions, in today's blog. 

Some hyperlinks give you more information on the products or systems I mention. 


(ONE) How long have you been in your RV?

Over 6 years.

(TWO) Do you like it?

Still deciding if I like it or not... will let you know next year.

(THREE) Does it get good gas mileage?

No one buys an RV because it has good gas mileage. If you want really good gas mileage, buy a bicycle and a tent.

(FOUR) Are you prepped for disaster?

I travel pretty much prepped out for disaster.

One thing many RV-ers may not realize is that many RV parks and camps are built in flood plane zones, the theory being you can move out quickly. So pay attention when camping near rivers and lakes. I was at one camp that had a sign post taller than me and it was marking how high the river had flooded before, which their highest mark was nearly 9 feet! Imagine your RV (or home) parked under 9 feet of water. Not a pretty picture.

I spent a few decades living in far flung ports where disasters stuck, so being prepared for the before, during and aftermath to me is important. It also comes in handy for other reasons.

I keep my gas tank topped up before I camp, so if I am leaving in an emergency, I don't have to wait in line at a gas station. Also this is super handy for any electrical outages, I already have a full tank of gas for the generator. What's the use of having a generator if you have no gas to supply it? Leave early and avoid traffic.

Better to run from nothing than to get stuck in something.

I travel with nearly full water tanks. I have broken down before on a hot humid day and it was nice to be able to flush the toilet, make lunch, wash dishes and so on. Also when arriving at camp, if dead tired, it's nice to not have to deal with the water hookups right away, it can wait. Also campgrounds have to make repairs and sometimes their water is turned off and it's nice to have that tank load of water ready. I've said nice three times. Water is nice, nice, nice. Now that makes six times.

I have a pantry full of canned goods and extra foods like rice and pasta. Most of these I bought on discounted sale and added to the pantry. Also have dried beans on hand. A small pile of dried beans can feed one a long time. Combined with corn (from a can) or rice, or cheese,  it makes a complete protein. This extra pantry food has come in handy so many times. I don't travel with a car, so I am able to be super flexible about my length of stay in remote camps. I once ate out of my pantry for over a month without shopping and was astonished at how much I still had leftover. Maybe it's because I love a wide variety.

My first aid kit keeps getting bigger. I have a remedy for just about anything now. I also save leftover pain medications, you just never know when you might have something overwhelming happen.

Allimax is non prescription and makes a terrific antibiotic without side effects. I have it in all three methods including capsules,  liquid and paste form too. Matter of fact the liquid Allimax saved my ear. I had the most painful horrible ear infection and Allimax liquid cleared it up in short order. Honey is a great antibiotic type treatment for wounds, though the pricey medical grade honey (Manuka from New Zealand) is the most effective, I found regular honey works too, just takes longer.


I buy big packages of sturdy batteries since I do have flashlights and items that use them. I try to limit my type of battery  uses, but still... I end up with D's, AA, AAA and 9volts. So far I have escaped needing C's.

Also I have portable solar lights, which are super useful. I wish I had a solar panel, it's on the list, but don't have one yet. The solar lights are super useful, some are motion activated, so it conserves battery life. I have also used them for security reasons when camping. Like a motion solar light that comes on if anyone approaches my camp or locked bicycle at night etc. Mostly it startles wildlife and keeps the raccoons away.

Stash extra garbage bags! In the event of an emergency, you want to be able to bag up the mess, if you have no extra bags, heaven help ya. Also garbage bags can be used to store essentials should you end up with a hole in the roof or some such nonsense during a storm.

I have a powerful battery operated spotlight which can come in handy for a disaster or emergency at night.

One of my best disaster pieces of equipment I use daily too, is a Berkey water purifier. It requires no electricity and no water pressure. It can purify river or lake or rain water as well as out of the tap water. Awesome taste. I love it. The filters last between 6,000 and 30,000 gallons depending on water quality and some camps serve up some truly awful water that slows down the purifier to a drip, but I keep carafes of already purified water on hand, which I top up daily from the purifier. The filters can be removed and scrubbed with a brush, rinsed and reused over and over.

I stayed in a place with stinky water, it smelled awful! But the purifier removed all the stink and it tasted wonderful.

Pet food... I carry lots of extra pet food with me so the pooch need not worry. Matter of fact, I typically keep him a 2-3 month stock around.

Bug stuff... I travel with lots of assorted bug repellents and bug and ant killers etc. Disasters seem to to bring on the bugs.

Fix-a-flat for large tires and tire repair kit. Debris in the road after a disaster can cause havoc. My RV came with a 12 volt tire inflator too. It did not come with a jack. The spare tire weighs about a 100 pounds and the motorhome about 6 tons. I have already used my fix-a-flat in an emergency which reminds me, I need to restock. Two or more cans is preferred. In the Caribbean where the roads were horrible, I traveled with a tire repair kit. After 6 years, I finally had a need to use it in a remote location.

Cash. In the event of an emergency, ATM's go down, power goes out and stores refuse credit and debit cards, opting for cash only. Ditto for the black market where cash is king. Also useful for bribes.

Weapons. Your best weapon is being able to hide from the masses. People do strange things when their food and water is threatened or unavailable.

Maps. A good Atlas is indispensable and a compass.

Tools and repair supplies like duck tape and paper clips.

Fire starter. Lighters, matches, candles, gel type fire starter.

A backpack. If you end up hiking or biking, you are going to need a backpack to carry essentials.

Well, that about covers question four.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Be prepared and nothing happens but it does put the "good luck" factor in your daily life. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beauty and the Beast

I woke up alive.

In spite of it all. Fever, pain, a grumpy RV beast... yet a beautiful day poked me in the face and reminded me... you are ALIVE!

Like my dog wants to mark his presence on planet earth by tinkling on special spots, I want to mark my glorious triumph of awakening to another day in paradise with a special beatific reminder that life is good.

We set out on foot and paw with poop baggy and camera.

Sometimes nature, a rare steady hand and the erratic camera all conspire together to produce something magnificent that I can treasure and share.

Another day...

I will tell you about the RV breaking down this past week (again) in hot humid heat (still no air conditioning) at the gas station blocking their pumps. I sure was popular in a strange sort of way. I think they thought after spending $74.99 on gas, I was just going to camp awhile.

Oh shoot, I will just spill the beans now... not leave you with a cliff hanger afterall. Here's the rest of the story in more or less short order form.

Eventually I was towed out of there, then overnighted in an industrial area by a very busy highway, prominently parked in front of a repair facility that had promised to "deal with me" in the morning.

A quick repair turned into a mystery with  the morning and afternoon mechanics, the manager, interested parties, bored bystanders, a few tow truck drivers, scratching their heads and tearing the engine apart trying to figure out why the RV refused to start in spite of the new starter they sold me.

It was like a game as each new mechanic showed up to tackle this mystery.

I kept reminding them I had driven 160 miles down horrible roads that were bumpier than an old washboard so perhaps something had jiggled, wiggled and giggled its way loose. I also entertained them with some of the maintenance and repairs. Batteries new last year, both starter and house battery. Engine wouldn't start on either one. New serpentine belt rerouted to avoid the broken AC compressor (soon to be repaired also) was only a few weeks old. Alternator was putting out power just fine according to my dials. Since this wasn't an RV place, I explained about the trickle charger I installed and what it was doing as well as the inverter/converter that charges the batteries when I am parked and plugged in or running the generator.

If anything, they seemed impressed I knew a tiny bit about how this monster works.

Or doesn't work.

About the time I was ready to pass right out from the heat... again... they discovered I didn't need a new starter, I needed a new heavy duty grounding wire. The old one was corroded. They had been systematically checking all the wires snaking around the engine when the new starter refused to crank. With a new ground wire, the engine roared to life.

Big sighs of relief, hand clapping, cheering and slaps on the back. The beast was revived and ALIVE.

I kept the new starter (already installed) and tossed the old one (which presumably still works) in the toy box in back of the rig. It sure is ugly looking rather ancient and well worn like maybe it does deserve to be retired. They sort of offered to un-install the new starter (at no charge for installing or uninstalling) but when I decided to just keep it (for good luck!) they decided to only charge me for that and not the hours and hours they spent solving the mystery.

Sometimes you just meet downright decent folks. Phew!

Below is my old starter, might be the original 1993 version what with all that rust and chunks of metal missing.

Beauty and the beast.

Life is goof.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

My GPS Works For Treats!

My GPS (Goofy Paw Spotter) is working again!

Give him an atlas, a few dog treats, some post-it notes and he gets right down to work.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Patch and Go... Maybe

Michigan has been gorgeously wonderful in numerous ways.

Now it's time to pack it all up and backtrack for repairs, since the parts arrived.

Patch and Go!

My new nickname.

Thanks to reading the comments... I just heard about the pipeline break and gas shortages. Good grief. What are all those trucks on the highway hauling? I thought gasoline was delivered to the stations by trucks.

I am confused.

Nothing new there!



Friday, September 16, 2016

Booty Brothers

I thought I was so cute last winter when I came up with arm warmers made out of my socks. Many of my shirts have short or mid-length sleeves that are loose and breezy. I was riding my bicycle and my arms were c-c-c-cold. So I thought about how to rectify this on an efficient budget.

Bye bye socks, hello arm warmers! Yepper. I cut the toe section completely out of my socks, then slid the new "tubes" onto my forearms. Now I had extra insulation to ride my bicycle in the frigid 50-60F degrees. (I get cold super easy, probably due to my decades in the tropics.) The arms warmers made it look like I had on a shirt underneath the other shirt, so I was kind of pleased with the look.

That seemed like such a great idea... at the time. It cost me nothing (but a 5 year old pair of socks) and I was much warmer.

Speed forward... to a super hot humid day this summer.

I do some strange things for free entertainment. For instance, I found "Booty Brothers" a leather cowboy boot company in Florence, South Carolina, so I went inside sightseeing. It was sweltering hot outside, with a heat index over a 100 and humidity that just left one dripping buckets of sweat. They let me bring my doggy inside, and he was getting exercised in the cool air conditioning as I speed walked him around the store, then made the mistake of lingering by the exquisite leather cowboy boots

Just for grins, I had thrown a pair of socks in my purse, in case I wanted to try anything on for daydreaming. I was wearing my crafty Crocs with no socks at the time so taking a pair of socks inside a boot store seemed like a prudent idea.

Sure enough the over enthusiastic salesman caught me drooling over the huge selection of leather boots.  Each pair was unique, no two pairs alike. The smell of the tanned leather in the shop was a delightful aroma, bringing back fond memories of years past.

The salesman was encouraging me to try on boots so I sat down to slide off my Crocs while digging through my purse for my socks.

That's when I noticed my Crocs did not match. One was brown, one was black. I don't know HOW I did that. I guess in my haste to get dressed in the morning, I had somehow slid on 2 different colored Crocs. They were the same style, but I owned them in brown and black. Now I was wearing one color of each one.

The salesman noticed.

Nervous laughter.

A fruit loop showing up with mismatched shoes to try on boots.

Good grief, I was embarrassed.

But I decided to plow foolishly forward as if wearing mismatched shoes was just the most normal thing in the world. I pulled the pair of rolled up socks out of my purse, then slid them over my bare feet.

Guess what.

They had no toes because *ahem* somebody (not naming names here either) had cut the toes off of the socks to wear  as arm warmers.

Even worse, it was apparent from my toes playing peeky-boo from the shorn socks, that I was in desperate need of a foot wash and perhaps a pedicure. In walking the dog so early in the morning so as to avoid the oppressive humidity,  we had ended up in a field of tall grass that was heavy with rain and dew from the previous night. My Crocs, like many, have little holes in the tops and sides of them for keeping your feet cool and airy in the summer. The wet moisture from the grass had worked its way into my Crocs, then apparently while playing Frisbee with Harley in a dirt field, the dirt had worked its way into my Crocs and dirtied up my feet.

All this happened around 5:30am when I was still half asleep but trying to exercise doggy. Later that morning I drove to the city to shop for groceries, where I  found the delightful leather boot store. I just hadn't had time to notice my toes were covered in crud that came in through the mismatched Croc holes that morning.

Is this making any sense? How do I manage this kind of confusion?

More embarrassment. I am sure my cheeks were a deep red.

At this point, with my mismatched shoes, the blessed "holy" socks, the dirty feet... I looked around for a big rock in the store to just crawl under and never come out again.

The gallant salesman after a long pregnant pause, grabbed a pair of socks from his stock and offered them to me to wear to try on the boots.

My gosh, this salesman was determined!

The first pair was way too tight, I have short wide feet with a high instep. Finding shoes to fit has always been a problem for me. The salesman wanted to use a baggy over the sock to cram the boot on my foot (is he EVER determined!)

But by then my feet were numb. I stood up and nearly fell on my face.

Oh dude, let me just slip out the door and I promise to never come back...

But next thing I know he has found some wider boots for me to try on. By golly they fit beautifully but the price tag was a shocker. Just the same, I strutted around in those comfy leather boots daydreaming about hiking with doggy, being protected from snake bites and thinking of all the fun and foolishness I had when I did own real leather cowboy boots. in faraway days of yesteryear.

Meanwhile the salesman is trying to heard me over to the cashier. By now he had fed my doggy pizza from his lunch in back, he was carrying my purse and Crocs and holey socks, I had to seriously put on the brakes and explain "Let me think about this."

For some insane reason, I said "If these boots were half priced, I would." Some of their boots were selling for half the cost of the pair that fit me. But I was hoping he would NOT suddenly discount the pair I was wearing half price, as I couldn't afford that either.

His answer was to run over to the shelves of boots and pull out cheaper pairs for me to try on.

This is the hardest working salesman I have ever met!

I finally thanked him profusely, lauded his superior salesman skills and managed to get out of the store in my mismatched Crocs, towing a pizza fed doggy and a ton of shame and embarrassment.

And that folks concluded my "free entertainment" for the month.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Square Peg, Round Hole


Sometimes I just make up my own words.

I'm a hendecagon being hammered over the head to fit into a round hole and it's not working. A hendecagon is an 11 sided polygon. Not twelve, not ten, but eleven.

That's me. Something odd.

With so many mega corporations taking over others, I live in chronic confusion. As a traveler using blogger for posting, I am often "locked out" of blogger writing about travel... because I travel. Sometimes I reach a stale mate. Blogger won't let me in for days! I "flunk" proving me is me.

Now isn't that rather inconvenient?

Blogger/Google doesn't "recognize" me as me if I travel... writing about travel.


I have been a bit miffed that google has demanded to know my exact past whereabouts on past occasions and refused to let me access my account, accusing me of "failing" the tests and tricky questions, even though I have given them the correct information. They keep demanding I give them a phone they can text and call me on. I just want my private unlisted telephone to speak with my friends, some who live in far flung ports and therefore defeat the caller ID or whatever they call it these days.

Speaking of technology errors and terrors...

One day I went shopping, bought gasoline and groceries in an area I had been camping in for awhile, matter of fact, I had made purchases at the same gasoline and grocery store several times before. Next I tried to make another purchase for an RV part. Card declined. It was embarrassing. After about about an hour on the phone of computer recordings and ear splitting horrible musical hold, I managed to get through to the bank. My card had been blocked from further use because of suspicious activity! I was of course alarmed and tried to find out what suspicious activity my card had been involved in. When all was said and done, it was my purchase of gasoline and groceries that triggered this "suspicious" alert.

Was I the only person in America to buy gasoline and groceries at stores I had previously shopped at? What was so suspicious about buying gasoline and groceries?  I was never able to get an intelligent answer from the bank on this.

I don't want more robots and computers calling me. I feel harassed enough as it is, that when I answer my phone there is now only a 1 in 10 chance it will be from a someone I know. It used to be the other way around!

Helpful people  suggest  "Don't answer your phone". Well, for me, having friends I wish to talk to... this is downright inconvenient. I have a phone because I want to use it to talk with my handful of close friends, some who seem to be scattered around the world because they travel. I don't want to play telephone tag. Most of my life, I worked in traveling occupations that crossed borders on land and sea, so I never really settled long much of anywhere and most of my friends were working travelers as well.

Am I the only person left standing that wants to actually use my telephone to talk "live" to people I know and love?

I know oodles of folks who don't do text, don't do computers, don't do internet, don't do email, don't do TV and some that don't even do phone... period. There is a whole world out there that is beyond technology. Some of us just don't want to be forced into it, or we just want to use a tiny bit of technology. Like using a phone to talk "live" which is becoming harder and harder these daze. Yes daze! I am in a daze that technology is changing faster than I can walk the doggy around the block.

Maybe I just don't belong.

I am a nonbelonger.

On a funny side note; in the British Virgin Islands where I hailed from a chunk of my life,  citizens were called "belongers" or "non-belongers" with huge discrimination between the two.

I guess I have to face facts, that perhaps I've lived a very unconventional life and I just don't seem to fit the perfect mold that mega corporations and governments who want to track my every single move, expect me to fit.

For instance I dropped my personal Facebook account awhile back  because my privacy was seriously jeopardized. I know this method of communication seems to work for the masses, but it wasn't working for me. I am still on there as an author, but for some reason I don't understand, I don't have regular privileges or whatever they call it. Posting on my author account as Dear Miss Mermaid has become problematic as you can do this but not that and so on. I take a stab at it now and then, but Facebook has updated so rapidly, I have to keep relearning the program and that just adds to the frustration and sometimes I am locked out of Facebook too because of my traveling. Good grief.

Where do people find the time to keep up with all this madness?

Of course, just yesterday I was out riding my bicycle. I was frustrated with technology and I was hopping mad and somewhat angry about a ridiculous situation involving an RV engine part, computers, robots, shipping delays and tracking. I decided to load  up the doggy and go for a bicycle ride to calm down. I could take my anger and frustration and use that bad energy in a positive way,  by pumping the pedals and gliding along.

Lo and behold I was run off the road and nearly into a tree, which I managed to miss by a half inch of sheer fright because another bicyclist was coming at me head on, pedaling rapidly all over the road WHILE TYPING on his phone with both hands, wearing earplugs and riding his bicycle with two legs and look-mom-no-hands!

He never saw me, because he was watching his phone, using both hands to manipulate the phone, not watching the road and his earplugs prevented him from hearing my bicycle bell or me yelling "HELLO! HELLO! WATCH OUT!" in an attempt to get him to quit wobbling and seemingly re-aiming dead center at me and my puppy who was riding up front in his basket. I would veer, and he would veer over towards me, still messing about with texting or surfing the internet on his his phone and I wanted to go around him the other way, but there were cars and one narrowly missed hitting him when he wobbled into their path, blowing their horn at him. He was oblivious to this horn honking  too. Were his earplugs playing music so loud he couldn't even hear a car horn?

I guess I should admire the fact he could pedal fast enough to not need his hands on the handlebars, for steering, but he was wobbling around in an erratic manner, yet managing to stay upright and balanced. Perhaps it would have been nice if he had occasionally looked up from his phone to check the traffic around him and maybe he should wear only one earplug or earbud, whatever they are called now and not two when out in busy traffic on a bicycle so maybe he could hear a loud car horn or bicycle bell or some crazy woman yelling "HELLO! WAKE UP!" because he is about to cause a head on collision.

OK, I shall calm down now.

I made it to a city park where I locked up my bicycle to the only tall post I could find. It was the one with the puppy poop bag dispenser. I took the doggy for a walk around the park so he could exercise some. I never did see any bicycle racks. I thought that was kind of funny since I had seen many bicyclists along the way. I still have trouble with one hand going numb, so I often have to stop, exercise and might as well walk the doggy too.

While walking around the small park, I met a nice lady walking her dog who asked if "the bicycle" was mine. I claimed ownership. She told me I shouldn't leave my bicycle because it might disappear. I explained I had locked it up with a heavy duty cable. She mentioned she didn't see a lock on it. While we were chatting my mind began to wonder... was she distracting me while someone else was trying to remove the lock? Had I forgotten to lock it and just dreamed I had?

I speed walked the doggy back to our bicycle in record time. He was confused because he wanted to sniff and piddle around. What's the big rush?

PHEW! My bicycle was still there, firmly locked to the tall post. Thank goodness for small favors.

Life is goof.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Amazing Grace

I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted.

Who said that?

These three exquisite flowers (above) were found growing in a rough patch of weeds (below.) 

Who said that?
Frederick Douglass

Born into slavery in 1818, he wrote  "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" which became a bestseller. (He was only 27 at the time it was published!)

"I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted. "

Life is Goof.
Dear Miss Mermaid

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Whee um Whoops!

Lima ohio bike path

What goes up must come down.

Harley dog and I stopped for a break on this unique path. It crosses over rivers, through a cornfield, over a highway and goes around and through the park and camp where I stayed and that's just the small section we did. We didn't get to do the entire bike path due to the extreme humidity but I have high hopes of trying it again one day.

I admire the serious bikers who go flying by at record speed with no care at all for the humidity. I keep hoping to get further on my bicycle. But at least I get up and go riding... most days, even if it's just a short trip.

Not sure how much longer I can keep up with this foolishness, but life is goof.

Rotary Riverwalk/Ottawa River Bikeway
Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District, Lima, Ohio



Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Fun and Foolishness

This must be the place!

Cheaper by the dozen.
For the overly large family that wants a private bunk with a window for everyone!

Minimalist traveling.

Actually the RV is part of Rotel Tours that takes about 2 dozen people on lengthy tours to unique places providing sleeping accommodations in the rear of the bus. Pack lightly.

The tour operator during an interview was asked if these kinds of tours had resulted in any marriages. He answered, not to his knowledge, but quite a few divorces had occurred.



Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Panic in Detroit

This country girl has gone to the city. I have no idea which bridge I should be on, but at least my rig is under 14 feet. So I will fit. PHEW!

Saturday I drove up I-75 which had detours, road work and traffic. Harley dog got us lost four times. The first 11 miles took us over an hour. After that we sort of picked up speed. We stopped at a rest area that was adjacent to a bicycle path. We wandered down it a ways exercising out feet and paws. Harley could have gone 10 miles but we turned about after about a half a mile. I was anxious to get back into the thick of things while I still had energy to move forward.

My rig was cobbled back together recently-minus the cab air conditioning which worked beautifully then suddenly just seized up one day recently. The patched up repairs was enough to get us back on the road until parts are rounded up.  Sadly I hate to wait a week to get even the patch job done. I wasn't due for an oil change, but did it anyhow while they were rerouting a new serpentine belt to avoid the AC compressor.

I figure you can never change the oil too much. It was the secret to me driving my trusty rusty heap of a jeep during my Caribbean years. I gave it lots of oil changes to keep that hard working engine climbing those extreme island hilly roads that are built at impossible angles.

Now, I want my current 1993 engine purring but on hot humid days, the lack of AC is maddeningly hot and sticky. Even Harley was panting heavily. We tried using the generator and the back roof AC but the way my rig is laid out, the roof AC just doesn't reach the cab. I guess if I have to do it again, I will try to use a big box fan tied to the table leg and see if I can push some cooler air up forward.

I tried riding with my window down, but the extreme noise from the freeway seemed more distracting than cooling. My windows are manual crank down, so Harley has to ride with his window closed, because I can't reach the handle on his side while I am driving on my side. Poor puppy.

"Panic in Detroit" is a song written by David Bowie for the album Aladdin Sane in 1973

I missed hurricane Hermine. I am so sorry to hear about Cedar Key, Florida and their 8 foot tidal surge. I had a fun visit on that quaint little island in spring of 2015.  The park I stayed in was in an ideal location but they had crammed in the RV spots so extremely tight that I called it "cramping" rather than camping. At the time I didn't have neighbors on either side. It's a good thing because otherwise they would have been parked about 5 inches from me (according to the permanent markers) leaving me no sunshine to come in my windows at all. I love to open all my shades first thing at dawn to see my world, not hide from it. I did enjoy zipping around on my old Schwinn bicycle around town. I hope they get the place put back together again.

My heart goes out to those that were stuck with hurricane mayhem. It's truly no fun before, during and afterwards. The "before" is the worst because so many last minute critical decisions have to made based on widely varying information that indicate you should do one of ten different things to possibly survive. Many of the options involve last minute travel and the expenses associated with that. Not everyone is ready to flee their home and go hunker down elsewhere.



Sunday, September 04, 2016

Cave Dwelling

The old man's cave is hard to photograph for this amateur.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Hurricane Cave

Sometimes my crystal ball works.

When I saw a hurricane in my crystal ball future I ran across South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and half way through Ohio to the old man's cave. 

I have survived many hurricanes. Too many!

Some were very scary.

After a few the aftermath wasn't pretty. I saw some ugly things done by both desperate and sometimes overly greedy humans. Other acts were committed by outright criminals. You might think someone you know is a decent law abiding person, but then again, you may find out differently after a severe tragedy.  In the midst of all the mayhem,  were truly wonderful people who helped each other and helped their community. They are the unsung heroes. Too busy and benevolent to rob or pillage or grandstand on media, they are feeding the hungry, sweeping up the mess while wearing invisible angel wings. Some have lost everything but they are still helping everyone else.

These are the folks you never hear about but there they are, making right out of wrong. 

In this day and age where consumers are heavily encouraged to forego cash and use only electronic payments, I can tell you that after any major disaster, cash is king. You could have a million dollars in the bank but if you have no cold hard cash in your hand, you can't even get a cup of water or a can of soup. Those that have will sell to those that have cash.

The RED CROSS is generally the first to arrive to lend a helping hand. They have the power and contacts to mobilize the supplies needed right away.  Tons of other charities will suddenly pop up out of nowhere asking for your money. Give your donations to Red Cross. Don't be fooled by the thousand and one new charities. Many (not all) but many are simply opportunistic scammers. I have seen this first hand several times. The RED CROSS has been around for ages. They have a magical way of cutting through the red tape and getting the aid right where it belongs in fast short order.

I have seen them respond first hand and it was incredible to see how quickly they helped so many so rapidly.


You can make a difference.