With weather, it pays to be prepared

Published 7:30 am Saturday, November 5, 2022

I woke up a few days ago to find October slipped away and November settling right in. Another year is almost gone. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Seems like in a blink Christmas will have come and gone. If there is one thing for certain, we can never tell about the weather those months bring us.

Most people who experienced the devastating Hurricane Opal in October 1994, in this area don’t have to be reminded about the damage it did. When that date rolls around, people still share their experiences about those fierce winds that uprooted trees, destroyed buildings, shredded roofs and brought down power lines. My family weathered it out in our frame house, enduring those strong howling winds and trees dropping all around us that night. The next morning we found a fallen pine tree resting across our son’s company van containing equipment and important paperwork. His insurance company declared it a total loss.

I will always remember several beautiful red birds standing in the sunshine among the downed trees and scattered debris in our back yard the next morning. The neighbors gathered in the street to survey the damage. I think all of us were a little dazed by the blow nature had dealt us.

We moved to Cookeville, Tennessee, in the 1960s. In late October of our first year there, weather forecasters mentioned the possibility of snow. A day or two later when my husband left for work, he told me to call and get our mobile home fuel tank refueled. I nodded. Along with that, my head was full of household jobs I needed to accomplish and plans for chauffeuring our children to some of their after school activities. I completely forgot about ordering the oil.

The next morning, November second, we awoke to several inches of snow. School was cancelled. I did not know if it was unusual for snow days closure there, but it was unfamiliar to me.

The domestic situation in our mobile home that morning turned as cold as the weather. My husband asked the inevitable question that I dreaded: “Did you order the fuel?” I had to answer no. Since the oil was so low he trudged through the snow in our small mobile home community and begged a little from some of our kind hearted neighbors. He borrowed enough to tide us over until the delivery truck came the next day. It was such a humiliating experience for him and very uncomfortable for me. However I always got a laugh from that story as the years passed. It never brought a smile to his face though.

The way the weather is acting all over the country these days, it pays to be prepared. Don’t be like me and forget the important weather precautions when the weather threatens.