How a hurricane helps in an ice/sleet/snowpocaplypse

So this is how hurricane season pays off.

When we are going through it, the hard-won knowledge earned by experiencing a hurricane is just a grinding effort to put one foot in front of the other, one more sandbag on top of the pile, one more case of bottled water on the stack.  

And even when its "just" a tropical storm, or "only" a Category 1 storm, we grouse about the lines at Lowe's for batteries and at Winn-Dixie and Publix for peanut butter, granola bars and trail mix (as my 3-year-old calls it, "storm food."). 

But we stand there. And we follow the preparation routine we've followed 1,000 times.

We are in the middle of the Ice/Sleet/Snowpocalypse of 2014. Our kids stayed home from school today and will do so again Wednesday.

Our emergency operation centers activated, and have been sending out email alerts at regular intervals to citizens and media alike. 

When the powers that be told us to go home and stay there, mostly we listened. 

Our weather forecasting officials gave us fair warning. Our elected officials called off school when it was still shirtsleeves weather. Our nonprofits prepped shelters and started sharing tips about how to get traction with kitty litter on an icy road.

Be grateful that we took our lessons from Erin and Opal and Ivan and Dennis to heart.

A view of what the highways near Birmingham look like, as per's coverage of the storm.  

A view of what the highways near Birmingham look like, as per's coverage of the storm.  

Because the alternative is ugly. Because poorly timed official response to a weather event looks like the interstates around Birmingham, Ala., right now. Children and teachers stranded in their schools. Parents stranded in their workplaces. Highways that a tangle of abandoned cars and stranded drivers.

There but for the grace of God and good emergency preparedness go we.