Living in Houston, we got to experience the effects of Hurricane Ike firsthand. A friend from San Antonio found out that I didn’t have a generator, so he bought one (along with 75 gallons of gas) and drove it to me, arriving about six hours before the hurricane hit and we lost power.

The day after the storm was spent cleaning up fallen tree limbs and branches out of yards and off of roofs; everyone in the neighborhood pitched in and worked together to help. We got the generator running and ran extension cords all over the house; we ended up with a fridge/freezer, lots of fans, satellite TV (the dish didn’t blow off the house!) and surprisingly enough, DSL Internet access. I opened up my wireless network and let anybody use it that could reach it.

We’d parked the car in the garage; it came out just fine. Thanks to a natural-gas-powered hot water heater, we had hot water and the ability to take normal showers (in the dark) all week.

For the next week, we alternated between running off the generator and then an extra-heavy-duty extension cord strung across the street after the other side got power back before we did. City power finally came back on for us eight days after we lost it.

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