Today has been particularly—as Winnie the Pooh would describe it— blustery! And that has jarred me awake. It’s that time again here in South Florida. Time to tense up a little. Time to get out the old checklist, even if it’s just a mental listing you keep in your head. Yep, it’s time. Hurricane season in these parts officially runs from May 30 to October 30, but folks here don’t pay much attention to it until now—late August through September. This is the “real” season, the season that most hurricanes swell into existence and potentially present a real threat. Yep, it’s that time for sure.
In the 30+ years I’ve lived in these parts, the weather has been scary only twice. Hurricane Andrew blew through just south of here back in‘92 and caused a lot of damage and inconvenience, most of which our family escaped. Next came Wilma in 2005. Wilma is the first storm that had actual impact on our humble homestead. We had over $30 thousand in damage to our house—mostly the roof that had to be replaced, plus all the internal damage that resulted. I remember lying in bed attempting to sleep while Wilma played around outside. It was nuts listening to the rafters above me creak and moan as the house tried its best to hold together. Thank goodness it did, but it taught me that next time I should consider going to a shelter and not risk being blown to smithereens along with all my worldly household goods.
I’ve adjusted to the threat of hurricanes. I do not get as hyper about them as some folks, especially the local media. I do respect the weather, especially if things look threatening two-three days out. In the meantime, I usually have the supplies and safety measures in place, or at least anticipated. I’ve already gassed up the generator and given it its annual 20-minute test run to make sure it’s working after sitting idle another year in the garage. I’ll stock up on some food and water and make sure the house shutters are in good repair. The latter are “accordion” style, permanently installed on each window and door which makes it a relatively easy job to close up the house in less than a half hour. This year we added a new garage door worthy of withstanding mighty winds. So, we are ready for the most part and hope that it will be another quiet season when our best laid plans are just that: plans that stay laid and never actually become events put into motion.
Hurricanes can be nasty and quite devastating, but for the usual eight weeks of intermittent tension they represent to me, I’m happy to live with them versus other natural threats. At least I know a few days in advance when one is approaching and I can get ready for it. You can’t say that about earthquakes, tornados or a pissed off wife. When the latter is all awhirl and in a raging uproar, well, things indeed can get quite blustery!