Letter Re: Tropical Storm Ike’s Devastation Works its Way North to Ohio

Hi Jim,
We live in Columbus, Ohio and had 76 m.p.h. winds on Sunday. We have been without power until late today. Our neighborhood looks like a war zone. Many trees on homes and in yards. There is some good news in that we shared our generator with neighbors. Others in the neighborhood were doing the same. Some of the kids set up a barbeque stand and were selling hot dogs and hamburgers for cost. This helped many to have meals. Everyone helped to clear trees and limbs from the roads and yards. Schools are still closed for Wednesday and many intersections still have no signals. The majority of people are using common sense. In general the west side of Columbus seemed to get hit the worse.

Let me say that we rode this out without much trouble. We had plenty of gas for the generator and batteries for all of the flashlights and push on lights. We had water stored but it was not needed. We had the right tools such as pots and pans etc. that could be used on outside fires.

This was not the case for many. I went shopping for a few things and while at the store a family was there buying emergency supplies. The mother commented to me that she didn’t know what she was going to fix to eat since she had no power. I asked if they had a grill and she said yes. I told her to either buy or use some cheap pots and pans and use the grill to cook. She looked at me and was so surprised and said she would not have thought to use the grill. I could have told her a few other ways to make meals but she moved on. I saw so many people trying to find ice as well as generators. Camping items such as lanterns were all sold out in stores. I did notice that several stores had raised prices on these items but most were sold out.

I have never been one, however, to own guns and always felt that I would not need one. Well that has all changed as of last night. We had the generator chained to the deck with heavy chains and locks and thought it was safe. We had been watching television using rabbit ears and I got up to go to the other room. When I returned I saw a car pull up in front of the house. We were the only house [in the neighborhood] to have lights and it could be seen from the road. You could also hear the generator from the road. The car moved on when the driver saw me standing and looking out the window.

We decided we needed something in case they came back trying to take the generator. The only thing we found was a length of heavy pipe. We got it and then did not sleep for fear of losing the generator. I will be getting a gun and taking safety classes to ensure proper use so that our property will be defended if needed.

We thought we were prepared but now have found a few items we still need to get to be better prepared for next time. We have you to thank for helping us to prepare as well as we did. Sincerely, – Melanie & Rick