Hurricane Gustav had a huge impact, not just on the life of the costal residents but also on the crude prices and world economy. I too have got some very fond hurricane memories. Hurricane is not something familiar to Indians as there is hardly any chance of it in India. But USA is more prone to hurricane and often experiences major disasters. Meteorology department in US is well developed and equipped to predict the intense and location of the hurricane in advance. Often times their prediction is close and surely it helps the government to plan in advance to reduce the human loss and to prepare themselves for post hurricane rescue cum rehabilitation operations. Louisiana, Florida, Texas and other coastal areas will be affected by series of hurricanes during monsoon season.
Katrina (of course not our K Kaif) was so far the most disastrous hurricane of this decade (Aug 2005), which left 80% of New Orleans, Louisiana flooded. It was worst as it broke the levee and flood wall constructed by US Army Corps of Engineers and engulfed over 1500 lives. Next was Hurricane Rita (Sept 2005), which was supposed to be the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.
I was in San Antonio, Texas during 2005 Hurricane season. Although Texas has a large costal presence, San Antonio is well interior and so it very less prone to being affected by hurricane. Earlier reports of Hurricane Rita hinted that the hurricane being a category 5 will surely have an indirect effect in San Antonio. We were told that the city might be flooded and thereby there are chances of “no electricity”, “no water” situation.
We (me and my roommates) thought “What’s big deal? We will not have power, we will not have water.” But later we realized that it is not going to be possible to go out because of flood and we cannot cook because electricity will not be there and so our electric stove, which is the only form of stove there, will not work. We were also informed that water cans are getting sold out in the nearby WalMart and H.E.B. Wow… what a challenge? But above all we were fascinated because we will not have to go to work till the flood recedes.
What do we do? We planned. Equip ourselves with enough food to eat, water to drink, candles to see and cards to play poker so that we can invite our friends and spend the few days of vacation effectively. We (me and one of my roommates) went on a mission named “Rita purchase”. First we went to WalMart, where we found no water and so we took a course to a nearby H.E.B. As always, we had no list in our mind and we went taking all that we felt like getting.
Mission “Rita Purchase” took back home the items which includes but not restricted to the following list.
8 loafs of bread
3 different Jams
2 different spreads
6 candles (scented candles ‘cos ordinary candles were unavailable)
a pack of lighter (contains 6nos) – ofcourse for lighting the candles
2 match boxes – a backup – just in case
- 3 packs of plastic cards
- half-a-dozen of each of apples, tangerines, banana
- strawberry pack
- couple of packs of muffins (12nos each)
- 4 different cookies
- flavored water cans (12nos of 1 liter cans) – peach flavor – didn’t have any other choice,
- etc. – it’s 3years now and i sure forgot what all we purchased
The bill came to $200. We did not stop there. Our next stop was Krispy Kreme for a dozen doughnuts.
Having spent a hefty amount, we were disappointed when Rita took a turn and went past Galveston making no impact to San Antonio. All the hype was gone and we had to go to office the very next day.
We ate only bread and bread related food for the next one week to 10 days. Items like bread sandwich, bread with jam, bread with butter and not just that. Innovative recipes like bread sambar, bread uppuma, bread thovayal, bread poriyal also made it to the list. The best part was we had 4 loafs of “sweet” bread which we used for some of these items – funny taste, but who cares.
We sure know what the phrase “Bread & Butter” means… Bread & butter it was…