Items that were damaged or destroyed:
- my mother's high school yearbooks
- several canopy/shade tents that actually did get used at least once a year
Items that came through just fine:
- the crocheted afghans from the 70s, in colors as ugly as you're imagining
See? We do not live in a just universe. We just don't. Though once they get washed, I'm totally going to start using some of those afghans. Some things are just so ugly that they've come right back around again to awesome.
After they'd been without power for about a week, my dad went to the store a bought a generator. By that point, it was still possible to buy generators in the area, but you couldn't buy a gas can for love or money. They were able to borrow two cans, and I was able to convince my dad that since they owned a generator, they needed to own some gas cans. So we went on Amazon and ordered two*.
Guess what we found while cleaning out the garage?
Yes, that's right. Two gas cans.
It was such a mess that no one had any inkling they were there. My dad is lucky that mom didn't try to beat him to death with them. I say "try" because I'm really not sure how effective plastic gas cans are as weapons, especially when empty. I'm thinking they'd bounce right off him. I'm really enjoying the mental image way too much.
Anyhoodle, the indestructible afghans did get wet, so we draped them over the fence to dry. At one point, a car packed full of people (three woman and two kids) drove down the street very slowly. They were having a close look at the trash piles. Because waterlogged crap is ripe for the scavenging, I guess? They stopped right where I was standing because they spied a crate of liquor bottles. Bottles that had been open when they were stashed in the garage, left there for, oh let's say ten years, then covered in sea water, mixed with motor oil, raccoon poo and whatever the fuck else was in that garage.
The woman in the back of the car got out and started picking up bottles. My mom and I warned them. "No, no. They're full of salt water. They're poison." The woman in the front passenger seat, apparently the Imperious Leader said, "I'll take my chances," and her underling took a couple of bottles while my mother yelled at them for being tacky enough to scavenge from disaster victims.
Seriously, with the cost of gas, it would've been cheaper for them to just go to a liquor store. Apparently, people will keep looking to naturally de-select themselves even after society collapses. Or something. I got nothing.
*For those of you outside of the storm zone, smaller gas cans were better than large ones, hence the need for more than one. With the gas shortage, real or imagined, you couldn't just drive up to the gas station and get your gas can filled. There was one line for cars and one line for gas cans. I guess the gas can people had to park several blocks away. Five gallon cans were way too heavy when filled, but 2.5 gallon were OK. So file that info away for your own Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic experience.