Yup. I'm ready for the hurricane. Bring it on.
Okay...besides the necessary stuff, I also have food, water, candles and flashlights at the ready here in the motel room...and I've filled up the bathtub and sink with water. Don't laugh. It's necessary.
Anyway, today began with us waking up to the rain...the outerbands of Hurricane Sandy have hit our area, and it was dark and gloomy and dreary...a good morning to lie around in bed, but drat - no rest for the weary.
After arriving in Headquarters, I took care of some paperwork, and then took a road trip...I was sent on a mission to find a 25,000 square-foot warehouse that the American Red Cross can temporarily borrow...for free. The current warehouse in Baltimore is very small, and won't be able to logistically handle the amount of food, water and other supplies that are on their way.
Have you ever gone begging for a warehouse?
I haven't. This was relatively new...but off we went, Louie and me.
The state of Maryland had offered a warehouse, but it had been abandoned for five years...and after visiting it, we could see that it would not be suitable. It looked like something that Herman and Lily Munster entertained in, and although appropriate for upcoming Halloween, it wouldn't be appropriate for disaster relief work.
So, off Louie and I went, in the driving rain and wind, to see what else we could find. If I saw a sign "For Lease" - I was grabbing my cell phone and doing my best begging spiel...
...and it worked.
I think I've managed to snag a 25,000-square foot warehouse that will meet ALL of our needs - for FREE. (Well, the owner will get a GREAT tax deduction!)
After successfully completing our mission, it was about 12:30 pm...and the conditions outside had worsened considerably. Wind gusts, driving rain, and flooding roads...NOT fun. Pretty much all of Baltimore had shut down for the day - and we were fortunate to find a Chinese buffet that was open for lunch. Yes. Louie and I dined at a Chinese buffet in the middle of a hurricane. By ourselves. Yup. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, as no other IDIOTS were out having Chinese food in a hurricane. Fun times, fun times.
Getting back to Headquarters, we found out that leadership had just directed everyone to either shelter at HQ - or get to the motels to shelter. I grabbed my roomie, Kari, and we headed back to our motel.
Kari and I...best roommate EVER!
Here, we have candles...flashlights...extra food to last a day or two...water...blankets...books...magazines...and a good attitude to get us through this storm.
There's already over 30,000 power outages in the Baltimore area alone, and that number is expected to rise up to 1,000,000 before tomorrow morning. Yes. A million. However, the good news is, Baltimore brought in tons of electric crews ahead of time, so they're staged and ready.
So...here we go. We're hunkered down for the night, prepared to wait it out and get back to work as soon as we can - whether that's tomorrow or Wednesday....