Waiting for Florence

What’s it like to wait for a hurricane?  It’s like being a sitting duck.  You’d think that after spending half my life in Florida that it would get easier.  In a certain respect, it is.  We Floridians take hurricanes seriously.  This is what you do while you’re waiting for Florence.  waiting for florence - here she is

You’ll have maybe five days to prepare.  Please don’t put it off.

A short checklist of the essentials:

  • Water.  Yes, to drink.  But also for some other basic necessities, i.e., to wash up, toilet.
  • Ice.  You’ll need to cool off when the electricity goes out.
  • Canned Food.  Unless you have a generator or grill outside, no cooking for you.
  • Flashlights or battery operated hurricane lamps.  Candles are frowned upon.
  • Batteries.  Go ahead, try to find some D batteries.  Hah!
  • Medicine & First Aid Kit.  You might not be able to leave the area even when it’s all over.  Downed wires and trees, don’t you know.
  • Pet Supplies.  Gotta take care of Fido.
  • Gas.  Supplies will be low because trucks can’t get in to refuel the pumps.
  • Cash.  No electricity, no ATM or cash back.
  • Board Up Windows. Get those shutters up early.  Home Depot for wood today – that’s a joke.
  • Store Outside Stuff Away.  Tables, chairs, bikes, garbage cans, plants.  They are flying projectiles for the target painted on your windows.
  • Charge Phones & Laptops.  It’s very lonely with no electric, no phone, no computer.  Score a portable cell phone charger and use your laptop to power it if need be.
  • Fill the Bathtub.  You know, the toiletries.
  • Find a Safe Room.  Look for a place to ride out the storm.  Preferably with no window.
  • Weather Radio.  You’ll want to know what’s going on while you’re hiding in the closet.

Add to this:

  • Know your route in case of mandatory evacuation.
  • Identify a place to stay if you need to evacuate.
  • If going to a shelter, be aware that many will not accept animals.  You’ll need to find a place for your pets.  DO NOT LEAVE THEM BEHIND!  Yes, I’m hollering.
  • Check on the old folks.  This can be really scary for them, too.

When you’re finished waiting for Florence and she’s finally gone:

Be super careful if you leave the house.

  • There will be downed live wires.
  • Roads will be filled with debris.
  • Some paths and roads will be cut off by trees felled by the storm.
  • Flooding and storm surge may have damaged your property.

Lastly, as you’re waiting for Florence, be thankful that you get a heads-up.  Some acts of nature aren’t so kind.

P.S.  Don’t forget to check in with your family and friends to let them know you’re alright.  We’ll get through this together.

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