Ok, everyone, it's that time again!
Time to listen to the media tell you to DUCK AND COVER!!!!
While the houses here are generally built much more solidly than they were up North, it does bear some consideration. Nothing will survive an Andrew or a Katrina Event, but most hurricanes are not that powerful.
Hurricane Season is upon us and it gives us an excuse to prepare and repair.
Everyone here hopes that it will be another gap between major storms like the 80s and 90s. Fort Lauderdale area went approximately 20 years between major storms, then the season of 2005 that spawned Katrina, Rita, Wilma and stretched on until New Years 2006 happened. We have had three relatively quiet years, nothing more than tropical storms that were merely Rain Events. When the Hurricane Season of 2007 hit, we tried all of the shutters on the house, decided they were in good working order, and put them all back in the shed. The next year, we merely bought food and water, and repeated that in 2009.
This year we won't do anything different. The books all say 3 to 5 days food and water. Have Buckets for toilets and extra supplies stowed in case you really do have to evacuate. There are more specifics that I won't go into.
They changed the rule of thumb recently to 3 to 5 days. When I moved here the rule of thumb was a Week To Ten Days. I then started listening to the Emergency Management Personnel here in the City and what the "Old Timers" had to say about prior storms. When Hurricane Wilma came through and turned the infrastructure into Barney Rubble, the power on my block was out for two weeks. There were individual homes that were out for a solid month.
Wilma was such a slow moving and grinding storm that it convinced everyone here that things had to change. First, the markets were required to have emergency back up generators. Good idea in any rate when FPL has such a bad track record of providing clean power. If you sit in my front room and listen to the music, through the course of the day you will be hearing a mechanical accompaniment. That would be the addition of the relays in my power conditioner filtering out power spikes because some wire somewhere shorted something out and sent more voltage through than the system is designed for.
Second, the stores setting up emergency generators resulted in some bright start somewhere getting a great idea. Lets save money by not distributing Ice! It was a given during the storms that trucks of Ice would be delivered to central locations and those who needed them could come and get bags of Ice to put in their refrigerator and freezer to try to maintain some cold food.
This was done away with. Basically you're on your own and have to go to that store with everyone else and buy ice. ...if the stores have it.
Once the ATMs have run out of money you're done with Ice because it is questionable that the phone system will be functional. The cell towers are programmed to knock we the people off in order to give emergency responders priority. The POTS Network that came to your house on a pole to feed a phone on the wall will be damaged and even if you have a "landline" service. You may not have that after the coconut tree takes a header into the phone pole and the lines are now draped down into your swimming pool that is green from the algae that will be joining the mosquitoes that are breeding after a couple days.
There will be a sales tax holiday expected in June for certain emergency goods. This will be when I go out and buy two weeks of food, a tower of bottled water, and fill up the Propane Tanks for the grill. The reality is that even if they don't have that tax holiday, a trip to the big box stores to stock up is in store.
Time to eat the rest of the frozen foods that you stocked up over winter, you will need the space.
I'm here to stay. Will you be? After every storm there is always a flow of people who pack up the U-Haul and go to places that are less dangerous in their opinion. There is no place in the country that doesn't have some sort of environmental disaster possible. San Diego gets Earthquakes. Hawaii gets Hurricanes and has Volcanos so there has to be Earthquakes there. The North gets snow. The West does not have enough water for the millions of people who live there. Forget about Las Vegas in Summer.
We at least get a couple days warning when a Hurricane approaches.
So it is time to prepare. Think of it as spring cleaning. You didn't really want to eat that three year old can of Okra did you?