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January 7, 2014

19º Disaster Plans

19º F.

I thought I was ready.

I have contingency plans, back-up plans, in-case plans, and complete mega-disaster plans just in case the electricity goes out.  It's critical when one has 100 geckos, a 100 pound sulcata Frankie and a cat.

Two human beings count as well but mostly as instruments to implement said emergency plans.

It was just after 7:00 am. Greg had left for work.  I just got out of the shower and put on clothes for the day.  I was pouring my second cup of coffee.  The electricity went out.

"Oh, _______!" (fill in your favorite expletive).

Maybe it's just a brown-out.  How long do those last? A minute? Two?

Three minutes later and I am into all out panic and adrenalin explosion.  My concern is the gecko room where said geckos and Frankie currently reside.

How long do I have?  Due to his large 100 pound body mass Frankie can safely last more than 30 minutes.  Geckos maybe have 15 minutes before not-so-healthy things start happening.  The cat?  Cat wants me to chase her around the house.  Go away cat.

So, about all those emergency plans.  Yeah, got lots of emergency plans for the other house in Birmingham, the one we just moved out of.  This is the new house. I have four reptile shipping heat packs.

Going on eight minutes with no electricity.

We got a generator.

Put on coat and shoes.  Run to back yard to outdoor storage room.  Fiddle with keys tying to find the right one to open the door.  Realize I should have worn gloves.  Maybe a hat for the wet hair.

Time is ticking.  If the electricity isn't back on in 20 minutes things are going to get bad quick.

Open door and see all the stuff stacked in front of the generator including a lawn mower.  Throw all of it out the door.  Pull generator out of storage room.  Check gas. No gas. Doesn't matter. Can siphon gas out of car.

(Yeah, right)

Its tires are flat so I drag generator and empty gas can around the house to the front yard.  Realize that I can't pull or lift generator up front steps.  Realize thinking up an alternative solution will cost me time.  Grip stomach muscles, catty-womp generator up step and onto the front porch.

Okay.  Generator on porch.  Gas station is 5 minutes away. Ten minutes and I'll be back with gas. Haven't operated the generator in two years and I have the memory of a flea but figure pure adrenalin will make me smart enough to get it started.

How long has it been since electricity went out?   Probably fifteen minutes.  I don't know.  I just keep moving.

Go back inside house for my purse.  Cat wants me to chase her around the house. Go away cat.  Wait.  Maybe throw cat into gecko room for her mammal generated warmth.  Can't catch cat.  Oh, well, probably wouldn't help anyway.

Maybe I should comb my wet hair before going to gas station.

As I jog through the living room toward the bathroom, house lights come on, heater kicks on, and cat appears from under chair.

I go into the gecko room and take notice of the complete non-disaster before me. The temperature has dropped below 69º F.  Some of the geckos have darken up indicating low body temperatures but Frankie's back leg is peaking out from under his blanket.  Heat will be picking up quickly in the room.

An extended back leg on a sulcata is a sure sign that temperatures are in the comfort range. Still, with temperatures expected to hoover around freezing, I don't expect to see any more of Frankie than that foot.

That's good.  I am not going to have time for Frankie today.  I will be spending a great deal of my time today making sure there are disaster plans.

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