The Salt Life: Disparate Ramblings following Hurricane Irma (by Sasha)

A week after Hurricane Irma…some factoids and thoughts:


  • Nickname:  Irmageddon (apt for the devastation of Caribbean Islands and the Florida Keys)
  • Local news stations were asked by the Pasco County Sheriff’s office to instruct locals NOT to shoot guns at the Hurricane. It had to be explained that (1) this would not alter the direction of the storm and (2) that the bullets themselves could prove dangerous.
  • In Sarasota and Manatee Counties, largely spared because of the storm’s turn, over 64,000 people were still without power as of 6pm Saturday night; that is 1 in 7 of Florida Power & Light customers in the two counties (Source: Herald-Tribune, 9-16-17, p. B1).


  • Sarasota was largely spared but the impact continues: some gas stations and businesses still not reopened, some food shortages remain as deliveries haven’t arrived (e.g., skim milk, crackers, some fresh produce), tons of food ruined from lack of power fill dumpsters while people are being fed by neighbors, friends, charities, All Faith’s Food Bank, etc., lots of tree debris piled up at curbs waiting to be picked up; most local colleges and schools have remained closed (some served as shelters during the storm) but hope to reopen this coming week; Power and Light trucks, both locally and out of state, have set up local camps for workers who are trying to restore power by the 20th which would be two days ahead of schedule.


  • A new danger was posed by traffic lights that were out. When this occurs, the rule is not “floor it” but act as if the light was blinking red: meaning that vehicles from every direction must come to a full stop and then take turns going through the intersection.


  • Some evacuees are still waiting to find airline tickets to return. Some who drove back only made it because they had filled gas cans with them (so many stations throughout the state still without fuel.)


  • Gov. Scott (who I think showed unusual leadership, transparency, and competence during the storm) still remains unconvinced of human-induced climate change.


  • Even with five days to prepare, preparation was nearly impossible. When the storm IMG_4522was approaching in a “cone of uncertainty” large enough to swallow the entire state, there was not enough of the following: gasoline, airline flights, bottled water, canned goods, plywood, tarps, batteries, flashlights, and sandbags (a 10 bag limit if you could wait for hours!)


We can do better; we’ve got to do better.


The Salt Life: Hurricane Irma and Us (by Sasha)

We are doing our best to prepare for Hurricane Irma now that she has decided to move to the West Coast of Florida. We are staying put and will check on the homes of our neighbors who have better sense than we do.

Jack has given new meaning to the term “repurposing.” What do you do when there is no plywood at Home Depot or anywhere for miles and you need to board up windows:  see what he’s done with our closet doors and fencing:



Many thanks to our son Jamison for the closet door idea; Jack lopped off the bottom and found a way to attach them. He is still pulling down a fence and fencing our windows in. All these years I’ve complained that our third garage has been converted to his woodworking shop…now I love it.

We have spent days searching for gasoline and bottles of water. Today almost every store along University Ave. was closed, so Kudos to BJs which stayed open until 2:00 today (Saturday) and had both fuel and water (and lots of wine,  yeah!) Driving home I came upon this sight driving East on University Parkway:



That’s right. The Military has arrived. Saw them turn from U. Ave to Longwood Run. Setting up a base perhaps? It should be comforting but it was scary to think we’ll need it.

And then there is stress, and not so much:


That’s our new puppy, a Havanese named Koda. True, our timing is off, but he is making us laugh through what looks to be a disaster in the making.

We have secured one of our bathrooms and hope to use it as a safe place if need be. Should be an interesting Sunday night…

We wish all of Sarasota–our friends, family, neighbors, and every resident–well. Be safe. If you are in need of anything and can come to our home or communicate with us, please do.

Love to all.

The Salt Life: Hurricane Preparations (by Sasha)

Hey Sarasota:  We are approaching the mid-point of Hurricane Season; the period of time when things can get serious. As I write this, a new threatening system is forming and looks to be headed this way.

With that in mind, it’s time to shop.

Yes, shop.

Since living through a derecho (i.e., an intense wind storm that can contain mini twisters) in upstate New York that downed surrounding trees, crushed my car (and temporarily my spirit), blew out our windows, blocked our doors with debris, left power lines dangling and sparking, and forced us to live on our own for a week–UNPREPARED–I’ve  become very interested in (Jack would say obsessed with) preparing for the worst.

I am no expert, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express 😉 and I am an attentive viewer of Survivor, Dual Survivor, Man Against Nature, and Naked and Afraid. So I am very prepared (Jack would say very paranoid.) I have no ambition to eat off the land, distill water with plastic tubing, or ignite fire by rubbing sticks together. But with planning, I won’t have to. Whether the disaster is an electrical outage, a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, or a zombie apocalypse, what is needed in advance is supplies. Hence, you need to shop.

You have probably already stockpiled food (and remember your pet’s!), gathered your important documents (include your home owner’s insurance!), know to fill your bathtub with water, and have an assortment of batteries at hand. But if you think that makes you prepared, dear reader, you are a true novice.


So for disaster virgins, consider the following list of unique things that I have  purchased and are ready for action. [If you click on the photo it’ll take you to and we’ll make oodles of $ if you buy!]Take a look at some of the items inside Sasha’s Disaster Survival Kit:


1)  Lantern. Candles are nice, but they work so much better and are much safer when they are enclosed in a lantern. So I have stockpiled candles, a glass lantern, lighters and matches. But there are better choices.


My recommendation: The inflatable Luci solar Lantern—a little solar lantern with good lighting and lasting time—and it collapses for storage, is light as a feather, can be hung up, it floats, and is safer than anything with a flame. (This was a Christmas gift from someone who thinks I’m crazy, but let’s me be me. I adore it.) Continue reading “The Salt Life: Hurricane Preparations (by Sasha)”