‘Hunkered Down’ for Hurricane Matthew

It’s been a wild, yet quiet few days in our home. Word that Hurricane Matthew would be venturing near our coast hit last week- and for the first time in a long time we began preparing for the worst. It’s not often that major hurricanes affect us in Jacksonville. We don’t usually get the brunt of any storm tucked away in our little armpit city. We’d gone almost twenty years essentially untouched by any major hurricane. So when we heard of the extensive havoc Matthew was prepared to bring, we prepared. We could only assume our long spout with Lady Luck was over. 

Although Michael and I did consider evacuating our family- our final decision was to stay and ‘hunker down’ as many put it, during the storm. Our home is located in a zone that was not considered a top priority to evacuate due to our elevation point. We stocked up on plenty of water and non-perishables, turned our fridge and freezer on the coldest settings we could, and prepped our home. 

Thankfully if there ever was a time for a storm to come our way, it was then. We couldn’t have been more prepared to survive, as we had already been preparing for our big hiking trip through the Smokey Mountains. We had flashlights and extra batteries for days, not to mention double the amount of appropriate food we normally would have for something like this. And I’d already had three extra power banks charged and ready to go for our devices. Needless to say, we were ready. My best friend Ashley and her boyfriend Alan live in an area that was considered necessary to evacuate, so we invited them to stay with us through the storm. I was really happy to have the extra company. 

I can’t get over how lucky we were through the storm. A last minute shift placed the storm an extra 50 miles east of our coast. I fear what our fate could have been had that not happened. During our two days inside we lost power only two times, for no more than a minute or two. We suffered no damage to our home with minimal flooding in our yard. With the exception of quite the mess of branches and debris surrounding our home, we came out virtually unscathed. 

Riley was happy to have an extra two days off from school and unlimited screen time during the storm (an unusual event at our house!) Aside from an unsettling worry for what was to come from the storm and slight boredom while waiting for it to pass, we faired far better than most. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. 

My heart is aching for my friends who weren’t so lucky, and especially for the people of Haiti and the Bahamas who took the biggest hit from Hurricane Matthew. I’ll hold my family a little closer tonight because I know that as a result of this storm, so many will not have the ability to do the same with their own families. 

Now that it’s all over, Mikey and I are off to backpack through the Smokies. It will be the perfect getaway to the mountains I’ve been needing.  Stay tuned for more on our adventure! 

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