We were awakened this morning by the air raid sirens. It was 6:00 A.M. and my first thought was, "One of these days those things are going to go off in a real emergency, and no one is going to pay any attention because they test them so often."
Then the phone rang.
It was my mother, and her first words were, "Did the sirens wake you up, or did I?"
My second thought of the morning was, "Are there sirens going off on the East Coast too?" How else could she know about the sirens?
Turns out there is a tsunami heading toward us.
We hopped up and turned on the news. We knew immediately that we are not in the danger zone. We are too far inland for any wave to come this far. Our main concern is loss of power. When the power goes out on an island, there are no other states nearby from which to pull power until the problem is fixed.
Fortunately, I try to be prepared for this sort of thing. I have a shelf of canned goods and non-perishable items in our pantry which will keep us supplied for a number of days without power. Also, as a little extra blessing from God, I had just been to Costco earlier this week and purchased toilet paper and paper towels, I had just filled up the car with gas yesterday, Kerry just pulled out some cash yesterday, and we have a nearly full propane tank on the grill.
The only thing we don't have backed up is water. I scrubbed the tub first thing this morning so we can fill it up before the tsunami hits (in two hours). That can be dishwashing and cleaning water. Kerry and I then headed out to the commissary in hopes that it had opened early.
It had. And many other people had already shown up also. We couldn't get a buggy (that's a shopping cart to some of you) to save our lives so Kerry and I split up. He went for batteries, I went for produce. There was no water to be had. I jumped in the express line with my arms full. We needed more, but I couldn't hold anything else with no buggy. I had left my phone in the car and couldn't call Kerry to tell him where I was, I just had to hope he would pass by me at some point. A very nice man in front of me got me a tinfoil turkey roasting pan for me to put my groceries in so I wouldn't drop them, and then he loaned me his cell phone so I could call Kerry. When Kerry found me in line, he had managed to procure bottled water. Then he saved our place in line while I gathered a few more items. My watch stopped while we were there, then the nose guard fell off my glasses which stopped all traffic around me for a few minutes while we searched for it. This just didn't seem to bode well.
Thank God for the military community. Although the commissary was packed to the gills, everyone was (mostly) well-behaved, calm, and helpful. We heard that people were panicking and fighting at Wal-mart.
A lady who gave up and decided to leave gave me and Kerry her buggy. Then we were really able to get a few more items. A lady with a baby passed by us and mentioned that they were out of water and the man in line behind me gave her a pack of his water bottles.
Kerry got a call that he had to go in to work, so he left me to man the buggy and walked home to get his uniform and head in.
I was in line for an hour and a half. The line snaked up and down five aisles. When I finally got to the registers I breathed, "It's so.....so...beautiful up here!"
A man near me had a pack of Nutter Butter cookies in his buggy. "Oh, I wish I had thought to get cookies!" I said.
He gave them to me.
I tried not to take them, but he insisted. Now I have delicious cookies too!
When we arrived at the commissary this morning, there was no line to get in. When I left the commissary, there was a line of people waiting just to get in the door. It was a loooooooong line. Thank heavens we went early.
Please pray for the safety of the people on the island, especially the homeless population. Many of them live right on the beach.
And pray for the safety of our military and citizens who may be involved in a disaster relief mission before the day is out!