For the lucky who have not been through one, some notes I made. I now work for a television station as an Engineer so I was able to get out among the mess more so than others. We even had FEMA issued "Do not interfere" papers, a first. Anyway here is some of what I thought would be worth passing along. People are the worst thing to have in a disaster. They are as unpredictable as a rabid raccoon. I saw small sedans driving headlong into floodwaters 4' deep like they thought they were in a semi. I saw folks wading through chest deep water to get to the beer store. I heard first hand from cops about the thefts of water logged items from peoples homes that evacuated. I was threatened because I would not give a guy a ride through the flood waters. People are the worst. Food- If you don't have it ahead of time, you probably are not going to get it. 3 days ahead of the storm the shelves were empty of bread, milk, beer, lunch meat and cereal. The day the storm was to arrive my local Food Lion was open but had almost nothing to sell. Cooking- If you're urban or suburban you probably have a gas grill. Don't count on the microwave. Or the stove unless it's gas. One of the things I noticed curbside was massive quantities of frozen food boxes and meat wrappers, the food being thrown out after thawing and the local animals ripping apart the bags to get it. Also be prepared to feed hungry neighbors because the smell travels for miles. There isn't the local restaurant smells, car exhaust, or other masking odors that are normally around. Here you could smell the muddy floodwater and steak, I kid you not, for several days after the waters rose. Floodwater- Don't go in it. One of our reporters was taking a shortcut to the truck through knee deep water and fell in a hole up to her neck. She got out quickly and when she got over to the truck she had poo on her jacket, little stinking flecks of it all over. One of the camera guys was washed off his feet and trashed a $22,000 JVC camera when he let it go into the foot deep water. I saw footage of dead animals and raw sewage bubbling up from other reporters. I also saw areas that I may have been tempted to cross in the water that had no road after the water went down. If I can't see the yellow and white lines on the road, I don't go through it, and even that isn't smart as the roadway could be washed away under the asphalt. Fuel- Because I was to be mobile as much as possible to serve the field reporters, fuel was a big concern. One of the Mom-n-Pop stores closed but left the pumps on. I went back and thanked them after and now buy a lot of fuel from them. Almost everything else was closed and powered off. Regular and mid-grade was out before the storm in most places because a lot of people left like they were asked to. Many stations had the pumps set to $10.00 (4 gallons). Then came the generator crisis at the transmitter site, 65 miles away. I borrowed tanks and managed to get 200 gallons of diesel up to the site for the genny that burns 13 gallons per hour. The trip took 6 hours. Twice. Finally was able to get the fuel delivery two days later and the power was restored the day after that. Mosquitos and animals- The floodwaters brought forth a bumper crop of mosquitos as expected. The county finally paid for aerial spraying which helped 90%. As the waters rose the habitat shrank and there were raccoons and possums and deer, oh my! everywhere. Sadly there were also many dogs and cats left behind and starving. I put out 300# of dog food I was able to get at various places I would see these poor fellas. If you own a pet, you have assumed responsibility for that life and should not take it lightly. I wanted to strangle those "owners". Cops- We had LEO's from all over the state and every one of them I met was very nice. Most folks don't realize that they come to a disaster to man roadblocks so the local police can do enforcement, and they too are away from their families and friends and beds. Don't give them crap when they tell you that you can't go somewhere: They ain't just doing it for a power thrill. Also, I have never seen the aggression that I saw during this storm to prevent looting. If you were caught, you had a bad day. Aftermath- We are not fully back to normal and won't be for a few years. Homes must be torn down, bridges and roadways repaired, possessions replaced, and the tax dollar coffers refilled. I was very fortunate that I only lost a few shingles and the water stopped 60' from my home.My neighbor 1/4 mile away had 2' of water in his home. I lost power for 2 days but the rest of the neighborhood was out for 4 days. Heavily flood damaged homes still don't have power until they can prove it is safe with an electrical inspection. Hard to run a clean up operation with no power. I just have to throw this in: The local Lowes got in 210 generators.......the week after the storm. Hopefully some nuggets in here that some may not have thought about.