You can always tell when a severe storm is less than 36 hours away.
In a beach town, the traffic gets heavier. The rumble of discussion grows louder. Will we get the storm? Won't we need to evacuate? Do you think that they will cancel school?
People mow their grass. After all, if it rains for several days, you won't have a chance to mow for quite a while. They buy the necessities - bread, milk, diapers, vodka, lemons. (Wait. Maybe that's only at my house)
And they lay in vast quantities of bottled water. A gallon per person per day is the recommended purchase. If a family is run by a smart woman, she has purchased the water at the very beginning of the season. She has plenty of it stored safely in a dark location, and when the storm bears down on her city, she merely makes her way to the storage location, where she counts and confirms and goes about the rest of her days.
And then you have me.
A native of my beach town for 36 years, I've lived through more than a few false alarms. Hurricanes are notoriously fickle systems, changing direction and strength several times in the course of one day, never mind the week of preparation that we often have. I've become more than a bit jaded. We had one bad storm that I can remember as a child, a night that we went to work with my mom, who was a night nurse. We slept in the locker room, and when we left in the morning, the storm had passed and it was cool - to my preteen mind - to see the trees down and the branches everywhere.
We had a category 1 6 years ago. I was pregnant with Riley and I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't pretty. We lost power for six days. The only thing that saved us was the generator that we hooked up to the fridge - and the window a/c unit. We had flooding half way up our yard that took a couple of days to recede. My dad and step mom had a cat 3 and they had some pretty extensive damage - trees down, no power, that type of thing.
I'm downplaying it right now, but the rest of the city isn't. Witness the water shelf at the grocery today: