Is that a southern expression? I’m not sure. In any case, it means “Get ready!”.

We’ve got a nice little tropical storm headed toward our coastline. ‘Tis the season.

For those of us who experienced Hurricane Katrina in all of her bitchy glory, it took us over a decade to stop wincing whenever we heard the “H” word.

It was no laughing matter. We joke about people running for supplies whenever there is a disturbance in the waters, and even one radar model shows it reaching Biloxi. But, in our defense, we did get hammered, once upon a time. And we have lived by a “better safe than sorry” mantra during Hurricane Season ever since.

While New Orleans did, indeed, have quite the mess to clean up, our coastal towns were ripped to shreds. I’ve seen the water lines on the building that stood in the midst of the storm surge. To this day, it makes me shiver and nauseated to think about that water.

Further inland, we dealt with wind damage. Trees were down everywhere we turned. Power was out for weeks for some, even as far as over 100+ miles from the coast.

My family and I were without power for around a week. I had an 18 month old child, and was recently divorced, in the middle of a job transition. My sister had just become pregnant with twins. She and I went home. To the woods. And mooched off of our better-prepared parents until things began to normalize a bit.

When the winds settled, it was hot. Humid. Miserable. Communities came together. Neighbors shared. There was a lot of good that came from the devastation.

But we don’t play around with storms. Not anymore.

We make preparations, make sure our neighbors further south evacuate in a timely manner, and pray.

I’ve got one eye on the radar in the coming hours. Gordon is expected to only be a Category 1. We anticipate rain and wind. Tornadoes. Maybe some power outages. But there’s only so much one can do to prepare.

So in the meantime, I’ll start this Tuesday like any other. Go to work. Top off the gas tank. Fill my water jugs. And wait.