I loved your story, Mary! :chuckle What a night that was for you!
My scariest nursing moment was in Sept. 1989 when Hurricane Hugo toppled Charleston, South Carolina to pieces. I was working at the Medical University there as a traveling nurse. My youngest daughter was with me on assignment, and I was working dayshift when the Hurricane was "enroute" to that city. The staff was told that all doors to the hospital would be "locked" and no one would be permitted to leave because they would need the staffing if Hugo did a number on the hospital. All I could think about was my little girl, so I hurried up my charting, gave report to the oncoming nurse at 3:10, and split the scene faster than you could spell "go". I drove like a maniac to get home to meet my eleven year old daughter's school bus, threw some things together in the car, and we took off as fast as I could drive to the next town over where we got the LAST hotel room in the area. I drove to KMart, bought food, water, flashlights, batteries, and masking tape to tape up the hotel window in our room. I drove back to the hotel, taped up the windows, pulled the heavy drapes shut, threw the bed comfortor, linens, and pillows in the bathtub, grabbed the hotel Bible, and my daughter and I slept in the bathroom until the storm was over. The sound of that hurricane where we stayed was enough to shake the bajeebees out of anyone, so I could only imagine the damage it was doing back in Charleston!
After the hurricane moved on, the next day, we drove back to Charleston and the only damage to our apartment was a little water damage from the roof. Thank God that I was off work the day after the hurricane hit. The agency offered to transfer all their travelers to another state, town, whatever, but my little girl loved it there, and didn't want to leave her friends, so we stayed and toughed it out right along with the rest of Charleston. When I went back to work the next day, the hospital was running on generators, and our floor (being the top floor of the hospital) was water damaged in the majority of rooms, so patients had to be moved around. Patient and staff meals three times a day consisted of fruit, fruit juices, PB&J sandwiches, chips, and jello. By the time our electricity came back on, I vowed to never again eat another peanut butter & jelly sandwich. :chuckle I was so traumatized by that experience that I still have the video I bought of Hurricane Hugo in action that photographers and news media made and sold for fifteen bucks a piece. I mean, that was an assignment from hell, to put it mildly!