Here in Florida, hurricanes can be a big deal. Take Irma. She is a Category 4-5 hurricane expected to hit our beautiful state tomorrow through Monday. Living in Florida means we have to be prepared between June and December for the possibility of a hurricane. People panic over a small Category 1 hurricane. Can you imagine the mass chaos occurring with Irma? Irma is moving in right after Harvey devastated Houston and parts of Texas. We all learn lessons after every major storm. I am thinking Florida has. Everyone is preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
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Many have complained about our Florida Governor and decisions Governor Scott has made, however, not many are complaining about his responsiveness and proactiveness to this storm. He had been in contact with all 67 counties’ school Superintendents, giving and discussing options. Many schools in the southern half of the state closed on Thursday to allow for staff, schools and families time to prepare for sheltering or evacuating. He put our state under a “State of Emergency” on Labor Day.
My particular county closed Thursday and Friday. Our schools may be used as shelters. Not just for local people, but also for people traveling northward to get away from Irma. Before we left on Wednesday, we had to make sure that we got items that were stored or sitting knee level or below were moved to higher spaces. Many put books on top of shelves, chairs on top of desks, and computers were unplugged and wrapped and covered in plastic. Personal items we didn’t want to lose were taken home. It was odd to basically repack everything just after unpacking.
Normally, we are well prepared, but not this year. We have been slacking. My husband got lucky this week. He was able to buy about 30 gallons of water before stores had water shortages and started rationing water. He was able to fill up both vehicles and an extra gas can without too much hassle. He has bought plenty of batteries and we are well stocked with candles. (I may end up without power but at least my house will smell good.) When we built our house we made sure we had hurricane shutters. These look similar to corrugated cardboard but are actually metal. My husband has begun putting those up around the house.
People get in a crazy, kind of panic when the storm starts to get close. It is hard to get gas – stations are either empty or long lines with amounts of gas being rationed. Water cannot be found. Batteries are hard to get. Bread cannot be found either. At least we have plenty of junk food that won’t go bad should we lose power.
Thankfully we were able to get prepared with very little effort. We have learned a lesson. I can guarantee we will be more prepared next year. Time to hunker down and stay safe.
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