Irma: The Hurricane

September 8, 2017 8:31 pm

We moved to South Florida a little over seven years ago. We’ve never had a hurricane. We have had some near misses before, but in every one of those cases it missed us and just went North. Every time, most locals would have the we’ll be fine, type of attitude. There wasn’t chaos. 

The city of Fort Lauderdale coordinates a “hurricane preparedness” thing every year at one of the local parks. I’ve never seen more than fifty people in there. We have gone every year for the last three. They give away BOXES of flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, evacuation plans, shelter information, and pretty much all the SWAG you need to be somewhat prepared. Every year we get so much stuff, my husband goes around the neighborhood and gives them away to the more elderly and more economically challenged residents.

The first time we were warned about a storm coming, I went and got water, but that was it. No plywood, no extra food or candles. We had a very chill attitude as well. Then we just replaced the bottled water on a yearly basis. We also added a small cache of food: tuna and corn in cans. That was it. But then we got pregnant and bought the house. The very first hurricane season, we stocked up with cans of tuna, soup, beans, and corn. We have rice and some noodles. Last time with Mathew, we had to clear the yard and board up our windows. Mathew missed us, but it was a good drill to have. We have a very operational type of back yard with the garden and the chickens and all, so we needed to figure out were all the loose parts were to go. 

Oakland is a four level porch surrounding our oak tree. We unscrewed Oakland and stored all the loose parts under it. 

This time it’s different. You can feel it in the air. 

I learned about the hurricane Irma on Monday, on my regular playground play date. Being Labor Day, husband had the day off. After the kid and I got home, we went to Home Depot for plywood. We had our house boarded up yesterday. See, with Mathew we didn’t do that. We just grabbed boards from our yard. Our home looked more like a zombie apocalypse than a hurricane ready house. After the depot, I arranged for our water delivery service to come on Thursday with enough water for the three of us. Last was more food, so each day we’ve taken trips to Publix. I would’ve gone to Costco, but by Tuesday Costco was a nightmarish hell, with the sherif’s department helicopters included. NPR was reporting no water from Miami to Jacksonville, and the Keys were a gridlock mess. 

Today, Friday, we went back to publix for wine and sushi. Because now the only thing to do is wait. The storm is shifting west, but not enough. We’re still getting hit.

The kid is wearing her Super Woman working gloves. 

I’m pretty good with power tools.

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