The Year of the Necromancer – Heralding Death

It was August 23rd, 2005, and the Gulf Coast of the United States had their eye on Hurricane Katrina as she worked her way west. You get used to familiarizing yourself and understanding terms like low or high pressure troughs, steering currents, wind sheering, etc., when you have been through as many hurricane seasons over the decades as some have. You also tend to watch a lot of weather broadcasts. A lot. And I did. A lot. All the meteorological predictors were pointing to the Florida panhandle or maybe Alabama. But we watched. And every days the forecast track shifted a little more west. So another thing you learn, or should learn, is how to prepare for evacuation. Here’s what ours consisted of our plan since we had 12 cats at the time. This is what I call Phase 1 which is evacuation vehicle preparation.

  • Hotel Reservations:
    • Must be pet friendly √
    • Must have reservations in at least 2 cities to choose from at last minute based upon track of storm √
    • Must have reservations for 3 rooms to include in-laws (and MIL’s sister) and a friend of ours as well as their pets √
  • Supplies:
    • Must have supplies packed for 1 week for the animals (In the 2000 Honda CRV we had at the time. Bought because we measured and it could accommodate 12 carriers stacked in the back with the middle seats folded flat.)
      • individual carriers √
      • food √
      • litter √
      • medicines for those that take it √
      • food and water bowls √
    • Supplies for us 2 humans (After packing the CRV, there was room enough for 2 passengers and and a medium sized duffle bag for each of us. Here’s what could fit in mine.) So, yes, this is all we were basically able to bring with us from home.
      • 1 pair of jeans
      • 2 pairs of shorts
      • 5 pairs of socks
      • 1 belt
      • 5 pair of underwear
      • 1 long sleeve button down shirt
      • 4 t-shirts with (various logos)
      • tennis shoes (that I wore to evacuate)
      • toiletries bag
      • My medicine
      • Important papers such as insurance, mortgage, bank, etc.
      • $300 in cash

Also, important to mention I had just taken a new job a month before that got me out of retail management and into operations with a locally owned multi-location company where the owner knew me from a previous job and recruited to be their new VP of Operations. (Put a pin in that for now if you will) There was nothing else to do but pay attention at this point to what was going on and see whether we needed to kick into phase 2. Really hoped all signs would hold, and we would NOT need to move to Phase 2. I fucking hate Phase 2 and really hoped we’d never see Phase 2.

It is now Friday, August 26th and we are in Phase 2. Phase 2 consisted of boarding one’s house up to help protect it against the winds and flying debris that is part of a storm. Can I take a moment to say LOT OF FUCKING HELP THAT DID!!!! OK not only do I have to board up our house, I then have to go help board up my in-laws house which is a cluster-fuck, and then help board up the house of the friend that will be coming with us. So yeah, somehow I am now the daddy here and responsible. Ultimately I was and am fine with it, but I have to say it sure amps up one’s stress level. I survived Phase 2, barely, and then returned home so we could rest for the evening as we were leaving the next morning for Phase 3. Trust me when i say it is NOT as simple as “leaving”.


  1. I don’t want to “like” this, but I wanted you to know I appreciate the perspective, and your willingness to share your experience. It is enlightening! Thank you very, very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that I think about it, you wouldn’t be you, if you didn’t share the “good” as well. I’m looking forward to reading your story. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to ask what Bojana did. This is all from memory. So detailed. But, I guess, when you have to go through such emotional and angst-filled preparation it burns a permanent record in your memory.

    Not for nothing, because I wish you’d never had to go through this, but your recount of it is astounding. Engaging. I’m packing up the house, preparing the animals, and boarding up the windows in my mind, and I’m absolutely sick about it. I’m there, with you. Small consolation now. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I don’t suffer the plethora of PTSD that my wife does, it is something I will never forget. I can also assure you that there is a smell that pulls the memory to the surface. I think you will read about it in another post.

      Liked by 1 person

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