So we’re already under a State of Emergency, entire state, and it’s freakin’ October. I know, what the original hell? Does the weather know what month it is? Apparently not. So it’s time… time to prep, time to inventory the Liquor Cabinet, time to put things away outside so nothing becomes a future flying projectile, and time to realize that apparently I am adulting right now… even if I didn’t think I was every capable of that, especially with natural disasters and stuff.
Apparently I can. Who knew?
I remember 2004 and the terrible trio of Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne when we lived in Celebration. Eddie B and I were renting, we were not allowed to board the windows because our landlord in NYC didn’t see the need for it and was more concerned about the Hardieboard trim on the windows than the risk of windows being blown out, but we had great neighbors and we made it through all three with very little damage. Then there was 1999 and Floyd when Eddie and I lived in Melbourne (AKA the original projected landfall site) and we had to evacuate for the only time in all of my years in the FLA. That was eally hard – saying goodbye to all of my possessions that wouldn’t fit in our car and knowing that we might be homeless at the end of the thing.
Really hard stuff.
Today however this is easier. Now I’ve got a sturdy well-built house, it has a hard-wired generator to keep the lights and A/C on and the food and beer chilled, and I’ve got a homeowner’s policy to cover whatever goes wrong if it’s over my deductible. So I’m hoping for the best and prepping for a bit of convenience at the worst and getting a poncho so I can lower the pool regularly and let the dog outside.
I’ve got this. Really. Without Eddie and without Bob, because now I truly am a grownup. Sometimes anyway.
What’s hard to believe today is how much has changed since the last time I prepped for something like this though is how different life it now. We didn’t have any smart phones in 2004… internet access was limited to our computers and keeping the electricity on was a priority. We had a cellphone but we were still mostly dependent on landlines as was everyone else so if the phone lines were down or your battery died then you were in trouble. We were lucky in Celebration that we had underground utilities so we never lost cable, electric, or internet, but we were definitely in the minority. Also we lived in a very well-built community and honestly we sustained very little damage but most of central Florida looked like a sea of blue tarps for months and even years after those three storms.
We were lucky… but today I wonder what another Charlie would bring? Probably not as much luck. Probably results that would be a lot worse.
So I’m getting ready and I truly hope my neighbors are doing the same. I’ve already let friends know that my home has room if they need shelter. In the end though we’re Floridians, we really don’t even wake up for anything less than a Cat 3, but since this thing is the size of Arizona we’re all starting to stir. Keep my crazy state in your thoughts and if you need a dry spot to rest then know that dinner will be ready by 7 on Thursday and Friday and there will be wine and Hurricanes.