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    • Out near Asbury Park it was a crazy sudden storm.  I was a mile away from home at the store loading up my car when I saw weird clouds swirling - not dark, but low, moving fast and shooting out "tendrils" all over. Got home about 5 minutes later, was unloading the car and it got a bit gray and started to sprinkle.  I just finished closing my car door and *WHAM*, wind went from 0 to probably a 60-70 mph sustained gust instantly.  No warning, just suddenly a blast of sustained wind - I got worried for a few seconds that it was a tornado. I've got an aluminum flagpole in my front yard, the flag was straight out and the flagpole was flexing.  Branches and limbs started coming down all around the neighborhood and I saw a friggin umbrella flying a couple hundred feet overhead. After about a minute the wind died down and it was just rain.
    • Yeah, this whole thing makes me realize just how fragile our electrical grid is. I mean, this was thunderstorms - not a massive hurricane like Sandy, or a terrible blizzard - just thunderstorms, right? I mean, look at all the massive power outages! Cray-cray. I admit, I am most likely the least prepped person on this site. In some respects, I kind of live like a hippie. Minimal food in the cupboard, never have bottled water on-hand, and the only batteries in my house are either already installed in clocks and smoke detectors - or - I might have a few buried in my kitchen junk drawer (leaking acid!)... I'm apparently the kind of person that preppers love to laugh at!  I am... The Great Unprepped.  However, people can learn! And I've been thinking about this for awhile. I'm going to make just a VERY basic list of things that I should have on-hand --- bottled water, canned goods, batteries, candles, etc. - at least enough that would get me through 5-7 days in relative comfort. Nothing full-bore "prepper-crazy" mind you - I mean, don't expect to see me unveil my new prepper YouTube channel any time soon. But, as a pragmatist...I have seen enough of these natural events causing chaos in the last several years to convince me that some minimal level of preparation is probably just common sense. I mean, hell, you hit the Shop-rite can-can sale, write dates on the items, stick them in a cabinet somewhere, use it up, replace regularly, etc. How hard can that be? Frankly, I don't see politicians - of either major party - really rallying to fund improvements to our electrical grid, for instance. I think that's a potential problem right there. It's a mess! 
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