If Life Hands You FEMA Chicken Soup, Put It In Your Pantry

Optimism will always get you far. And so can a little sarcasm for that matter! The following guest post was written by one of my best friends, Robby. You can be Robby’s "friend" and read his blog on his Myspace page.

So, I thought it would only be appropriate to write about the topic everyone is concerned with these few days….The flood! I for one, like Noah himself, predicted the flood would occur and had made preperations to build an ark…then I got lazy! j/k..No seriously, you can’t have that much snow and not expect to see it turn to water.

Robbyshouse 4/30/08 Wednesday (4am)  My brother Derek says, "Robby, we got to get the BLEEP out of here!".  And the Grand Evacuation began…we grabbed our clothes, electronics, important papers, put stuff on blocks and fled to the higher grounds of Belone Hill (parent’s house). Oh I got the cats too….in two trips…i couldn’t find flav….

10am – pleasant street looks like the scene from the movie "The Day After Tommorow" when Jake gyllenhall is trying to get his friends to the NYC library for refuge. Of course you have your snoopy old bastards who clogged the main artery in Fort Kent just to "snoop".  I shouldn’t complain….45 minutes is nothing to spend on Pleasant street….I was only trying to go find my cats..no biggy "Monsieur Nadeau" was curious about his AARP membership and felt compelled to try getting around town to the post office.

12pm – so the rumor that Maine Public was cutting the power in fort kent spread like wildfire….so…we went to Johns  Convenience and bought lots of useless coldcuts, water, flashlights…every other person in town had the same idea….cha-ching! for John’s…they cashed in on the foolishness of we fort kenters!  I got a sweet meat and cheese platter though! YUM!

Robbysbackyard5/1/2008 thursday 12pm- so I went to my house via "big pickup" to assess the damage.  Not too bad….4 inches more and i would have had soggy furniture…it never made it into my house. Thank God! I then began the laborious task of cleanup….who comes down the street…an old lady from the American Red Cross….now I know they are here to help and thank god for people like that who will drop their day to help those affected by tragedy….but I don’t need any more water…."Lady do you see my backyard?…Get me a beer!"…seriously though…i dont need anymore water…bring me some money!

5/2/2008 friday 3pm – The Department of Environmental Protection and FEMA made their preliminary rounds of the area.  A crazy weird guy with a truck load of what appear to be "gigantic maxi pads" drove in my driveway…reminescent of the way the storm chasers drove in the movie "twister".   He, essentially, walked right into my house and threw his maxi pads in my cellar…."nope no oil….why is your power on?!!" (really saying…are u stupid?)..I said…well this isn’t MY house….my landlords fled…i dont know where they are.  "Here, take these pads….throw them in your cellar and don’t drink the water!"

5pm- Laurie Lozier (a total sweetheart) asked me if I wanted FEMA foods from the Wallagrass school….now normally i would be like sure…but part of me today did not want to feel like a victim….I’m not broke or anything…I didn’t even loose anything substantial….I’m just displaced!..but needless to say…i took them…. Holy Crap! FEMA feeds people well!  Its all organic food! Organic peanut butter, cereal, pasta, you name it! and i even got some sweet handwipes!  the ultimate though….24 cans of chicken noodle soup! SCORE!

well thats the timelime of significant events of my stint as a "survivor" of the great flood.   It had its ups and its downs…but at least everyone is okay….I can’t move back till the heat, hotwater,  and electrical are fixed but at least my internet works!

I’ll keep you updated with flood-related news as it happens. In the meantime, things to keep in mind when disaster strikes.

1) See the writing on the wall. If you know a disaster is coming (such as impending melting of the biggest snowfall on record), take steps to minimize the effects on your home and your life.
2 )Stay calm. It’s best for everyone.
3) Know what you’d take if you had only five minutes to grab things. Keep a list, physical or mental, of where it is.
4) Keep some food (a few days worth) in your pantry to keep from unnecessary purchases (and in case FEMA takes a couple of days to get to you).
5) Rely on the help of family, friends, and FEMA. They’d do the same for you, right?
6) Stay optimistic. Robby has always had a great attitude and in coping with disaster, I bet it has come in really handy.

Top Image: Robby’s house is the one behind the trees. Keep in mind he normally has a backyard.
Bottom Image: Robby’s backyard. As he said "Maybe I shouldn’t have raked my lawn. Oh well, at least I have firewood now!"

Our first in-person workshop in 2+ years is happening September 24!

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