Florida Hurricane Preparedness
What really happens during a hurricane heading for Florida?Those new to Florida panic. It amuses the natives.Those that panicked the prior year or so are amused at the newbies, as the memory of panicking is fresh.People clear out stores and use it as a convenient excuse to buy non-perishable food, as if the hurricane will not only destroy our local civilization but the whole family can survive on Doritos.Men with large trucks flood Home Depot and Lowes to buy manly things and prepare to do stuff like tie things down or create power out of sawdust or whatever. Behold, the Florida redneck version of “excuse to go shopping” and why most garages in Florida can’t fit cars in them.Costco and BJs and Sam’s Club attract both Dorito and power tool hoarding. Avoid.People that love guns buy more guns. This is Florida.People that drink buy more alcohol.People drinking at home come up with cute storm-themed phrases for their drinks and/or gatherings. Local bars run the same happy hour they always do but call it a Hurricane Party.Everyone checks the news and weather every 15 minutes even though storm updates are every 4 to 8 hours because storms that form over 1000 miles away take time to get here.Friends and family from up north call or text, jealous they never get the really interesting weather or happy to justify why they didn’t move to Florida after all.The storm heads to New Orleans, of course, because God has tried to remove that cesspool of indecency that smells like old pee but somehow has good restaurants for years now.But if not, it heads for Panama City.Or Miami and all the brand new lux condos right on the sand will be fine and were easily insured and don’t ask any questions.Or maybe Fort Myers.Either way, trailers are blown over. That one driver is stuck in flooding next to a stop sign. Every. Time.Hurricane force winds give science majors standing in the rain on a beach 10 minutes of fame saying things like “you can see the conditions are deteriorating out here.”Locally, a few lawn chairs and some early Halloween decor is blown around.The power goes out briefly. Across Tampa Bay, a new society forms. Families gather to play boardgames and tell stories of past vacations in this quiet world, devoid of social media, as the faint smell of scented candles and Doritos fills the air.For an hour.It rains.It gets windy enough to earn “rode out of a hurricane” street cred. Something in the house that always creaks seems to creak worse.People in flood zones check insurance policies to find out this catastrophic event doesn’t count and to see Section 102.45A for more information and helpful wind mitigation tips.Everyone goes back to normal before the hurricane is even fully past, bored with social media and tired of Doritos and vodka.Some shelter inside waiting for pizza delivery. Pizza families overtip for bravery in an emergency.We all call and text each other to compare storm stories of Doritos and lawn chairs and vodka and how the neighbor’s garbage can blew over. They should really pick that up. Copyright 2022 Joseph DeSetto. Not to be taken seriously as hurricane prep advice. Duh.
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