Update on Katrina
We lost power for good Thursday night around 9:00, and got it back about 3:30 this morning, so we were blacked out for about 36 hours. We did some walking around the neighborhood yesterday morning assessing local damage. Lots of tree branches down, one major tree uprooted in the back of the Greek Orthodox Church across the street. This storm left a lot bigger mark than one would expect from a Category 1.
Our camping gear served us well again. We were able to cook food and make coffee thanks to our cheap little propane camp stove. Water was never an issue for us--the only boil warnings were for down around Homestead I believe. We had enough light to get around by thanks to our fluorescent lanterns. The only thing we didn't have was a radio, and we'll have to change that before the next storm comes around. If we wanted news updates, we had to go to the car.
We never lost landline phone service, but we did have to dig our old corded phone out of the closet, because no electricity means no cordless phone. It's always good to have a backup, especially since the cell phone service was shaky because it was overloaded and because cell phones need electricity to stay charged. More than once, I went outside and let the car idle while charging my cell phone and listening to local updates.
So that's my first hurricane in 6 years and first Florida one ever. There are lots of people south of us who have lots of work to do to dig out and get back to some semblance of normal. Good luck to them.