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By October 2, 2012 Read More →

Hurricane Isabel

[intro2]In 2003, my wife and I were living in Murfreesboro, North Carolina when Hurricane Isabel hit the North Carolina shores and continued inland reaching I-95 and points west.[/intro2]

As this hurricane came directly towards us, many requirements had unknowingly been already mitigated.


There was a fire place with plenty of wood in stock.  I had several gas containers for the various BBQ grills.  I was a computer geek for Carolina Computers and had in stock 2, 12VDC to 110VAC inverters.

Nevertheless, there were still projects yet to be completed.

Back then I didn’t have the terminology for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.  You can learn more at the FEMA independent study program and gain college credits for free.  (I do not endorse FEMA yet have my own personal reasons for their courses).

I monitored Isabel via the local news, never thinking it would reach us an hour inland.  My wife and I went about our daily routine until I saw the devastation where I worked; the Carolina Shores.

I worked for Wayne’s Wacky Wires as an electrician / IT / Low voltage pro building numerous seasonal rentals on that long stretch of beach.

Nature was at her finest, creating new channels while closing others.  13 bedroom homes were floating out to sea simply because there were no building codes requiring  concrete pillar foundations to be bonded to the foundations of these structures.

The potential for this storm to end up in my back yard became apparent.

I had no concern about storm surge yet my attentions went directly to wind speed.

Murfreesboro, NC. is dense with foliage, trees and objects that could become projectiles.

I ran a complete mental check of my property and all that may lay about.  Then I physically walked the property and gather any materials and placed them in my garage which was made of brick.


Then my attentions turned to food, water, candles, etc.  All perishables were taken from the fridge and placed in the freezer.

I went to the gas station and topped off the fuel tanks of both of the vehicles, and  pulled the SUV closest to the rear entry of the home.

This may or may not have been the best idea but I needed to be able to run the engine to power the inverters so that we would at least have 2 110VAC outlets for lighting or what ever else might need power.

Isabel dealt a firm blow to Murfreesboro that year.  We had no power, downed trees and everything stood still for the better part of a week.

My general thoughts were:  we could have been better prepared with food and water.  It took 13 days until the power came back on.

The next thought was in keeping my wife calm be masking my own fears and simply waiting it out.  Military training came into play.

Time passed slowly and then one day there was a knock at the door.  There stood a man offering ice.  That ice looked like two bags of gold and I almost turned him away; classic NYer mentality with attached bravado.

Yet I accepted that ice and it seems like almost simultaneously, the radio announced emergency food distribution in Winston, NC.

I couldn’t get my Jeep Wrangler started quick enough. I proceeded to get the food card and this was the beginning of the end.


I waived an 18 wheeler down that was looking to dump trees as a part of recovery and directed him straight to my yard. I had him dump all the trees right in front of my greenhouse.   Two chain saws and two months later, I had wood piles that lasted past the day we finally moved to Florida.

That entire episode was a gift.  In all my getting, I got understanding.

The current global issues I / we face today are of a different nature.

My interpretation of this situation leaves me not quite understanding  from what direction our threat is coming.

Nor do I fully understand exactly “what group” of people make up my threat. Guys on donkey’s seems far fetched.

I watch as people support Obama or Romney and think their thoughts foolish.

I fully understand that my A/C can only operate to the capacity and within the limits of it’s 110VAC power supply.

Practicality tells me that I should be paying more attention to my Central / World Banks and fractional reserve banking practices.

Never the less, and in conclusion; sustainability and practicality are the themes of 2012 and our lives.

Planting my own food, fresh water, and lack of debt seized the moment.

I have come to understand that I am my first line of defense in any event and that the broader my scope of preparedness is, the better my chances are in any given situation.

Thoughts: Take the time to research hazards prone to your geographical area.  Be aware of emergency preparedness plans already in place.


Look at your family structure; age, health, mobility and create a kit.  Don’t be stingy with this kit yet don’t make it to the extent where it’s “being” outweighs the benefits of “having”.

Water and dried foods containing complex carbohydrates will become essentials.  Try to avoid foods with high sugar concentrations as they tend to spike within the system and most are of little nutritional value.

Begin a communications plan where as one person contacts another who in fact contacts 3 more and so the communication line grows.

Be aware, I can not stress this enough.

NOAA weather radios are a plus but I prefer a 2 way HAM radio and you don’t need a license during an emergency.

Most of us invest quite a bit in frivolous garbage; take the time to re-invest a few bucks in yourself.

I have a quick list at my site on the “Enlightenment” page as well as a link / banner to the American Preppers Network – use it.


Nick Johnson


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2 Comments on "Hurricane Isabel"

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  1. stevenswilkins says:

    great pictures! thanks for sharing! i did not know that during an emergency you do not need a ham radio licence.