This week’s post is short- maybe not even sweet- apologies, but we have a hurricane headed our way! Fellow Floridians are in a panic as Hurricane Irma barrels across Eastern Caribbean Islands and heads towards our sunshine state.
What’s Happening in Florida- Pre-Irma
Already the local bottled water supplies have dried up- and hopefully, there will be more deliveries before landfall on Friday. Governor Rick Scott already called a state-of emergency and has ordered evacuations of the Florida keys- a long chain of islands at the southern point of Florida-all connected by bridges. You can see water on both sides- gorgeous for vacations, but bad for big storms- and Hurricane Irma is a doozy!
Irma is already a Category 5 hurricane- with winds up to 175 mph as of this writing. Though I just heard a CNN reporter mention that the first islands she rips across have mountains which may serve to curtail some of Irma’s strength. He also said (and I’m paraphrasing here): if you have kids up north- now’s a good time to pay them a visit. Yeah- if you can get away from a bad storm- definitely go for it. All of our kids are here- so we are sticking it out in Florida.
Why the Hurricane Panic?
Photos of a flooded Houston are still doing rounds on the internet. There’s nothing like looking at all of the underwater houses to keep you on your toes! This is so fresh in Floridian minds- and yes, it has not escaped our minds that that ocean is only a short drive away for a lot of people. Florida is not known for high places- Britton Hill in the Florida panhandle is the highest point in the state- at a whopping 345 feet above sea level. Yeah, tourists don’t come to Florida to go mountain climbing. So, it’s not like anyone here can run to high ground! So here, we prep for hurricanes.
It was a Category 5 hurricane that devasted south Florida- and I mean devastated. Hurricane Andrew swept through South Florida in 1992. It also set a precedent for building standards in Florida. Since then, all buildings had to be up to hurricane code. Andrew also brought awareness to hurricane safety.
So with those thoughts in mind, there are people packing up and leaving to safer grounds, and the ones remaining are rushing out to stock up on Ramen noodles (quick to heat), ready made snacks, and water- lots of water.
Should You Prep For This Storm?
Having faced hurricanes before, everyone in Florida should prep. The storm may not hit your area- but you may be affected anyway with food shortages from delivery trucks/docks closed.
You should always have a hunker-down plan and an evacuation plan.
Stock up on water, food (think camping-style, as there may be nothing to cook it on if the electric goes out). Also think about pet food, medicine & diapers. You can’t go out during the storm- and again, if the electric goes out- the stores won’t be open anyway.
Keep some cash in hand. Again the electric thing- no ATMs! Whew- we rely on our electric a bit too much, don’t we?
Put gas in your car – the prices have raised a lot since Houston’s Harvey and will raise even more after Irma- no matter where she hits! We haven’t paid $3 a gallon since George W. Bush was president- but it’s not far on our horizon!
Check out my Hurricane Prepping for Families post. It’s filled with handy tips on how to prep before the storm and useful links to help you before & after a hurricane. Also, check out Surviving Florida’s Extreme Weather post for ways to get through the type of situations often spawned by these hurricanes.
Stay Informed About This Storm
Don’t be caught unawares! Stay informed about this storm. If you haven’t already, download a weather app to your phone so you can track the hurricane. I use the Weather Channel app. Sign up for severe weather advisories in your area. Watch the local news. Keep on top of Irma-tracking with NOAA (National Hurricane Center). If there is a flash flood/tornado spawning in your area you need to know this.
And on this note, I end, as I need to batten-down my own hatches now.
Stay safe, keep your family safe and we’ll see you on the other side of the storm!