Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The question was how we Floridians prepare for the upcoming hurricane season? And I felt it did deserve an answer.
After I wrote about the tornadoes and horrors of our previous disastrous hurricanes, where we personally received a direct hit after living here for eighteen years back in 2004, we know that every year there is always the possibility of a hurricane and also one that could hit us.
But to be honest with my husband being trained, while a Fire Chief in New Jersey in emergency management back in 1984, we have an in on knowing a bit more than the general population. Plus as a deputy here, in Florida he was trained to be in the First In Team in the advent of such emergencies as hurricanes, tornadoes (not as common here) etc, or other major events that nature has caused with enormous devastation as the end result.
With that said, when we did receive the direct hit from Hurricane Charley 8.13.2004, no preparation was done and that is because it was told to us by all the types of machines that forecast these things that it was going towards Tampa, one hundred miles north of where we are in Port Charlotte! But as history recorded the last minute it decided to hang a right hand turn, going into our Charlotte Harbor and us within in five minutes of there by boat and so we received a direct hit!
Thankfully, I watched and listened to my battery TV and the weather people warned to get into a room without windows and if you didn’t have one close the doors in your hallway and hanker down in there and so that is what I did with our three pets, our cat, long-haired Tabby, Casey in his crate, our Cockatiel, Charlie, in his cage and Skipper, our Bichon, a five month old pup at that time, on his lead. Hubby was at work as a deputy then warning people of the change to the trajectory of the hurricane, and we stayed in phone communication as well as with our eldest number one son who lived north of Tampa the original hit sight. I was relieved for him, but concerned about Hubby making it home to be safe with me in our hallway! He came home just before the thirty foot oak tree fell down across our front door and driveway just missing the military vehicle he was driving to remove the Marine Patrol boats for the water and put them in a safer location and yes, at that time, he was a marine patrol officer for the sheriff’s office.
So what that little vignette that I have just told now and before and on the anniversary yearly, but this was the condensed version… any-who, no matter what we know the point is who knows what Mother Nature has in store for any of us…
That was a fairly large mistake by the machines although, who knows better than a woman that any of us could change our minds in a nano second and that is exactly what Charley did…
Back to that question… so we go yearly to as many hurricane conferences as we can to learn the newest and the latest and the projected seasons storms and about shelters and new ways to protect out homes with the latest windows and doors and shutters etc. and we take home the yearly published magazines about all the info so we don’t forget.
First and foremost we who have mortgages all have to have insurance with the usual coverages of homeowners, wind, mold, even sink hole, and a separate flood one if you live near or within a certain distance from a water area it is required for all homes! And we pay for it with very high premiums even with proof our homes are protected with shutters etc…
And then we make sure that if we hunker down and have not been told to evacuate that we have the supplies to stay in our homes without power for at the minimum a week, can goods, food, water, batteries etc…, but two weeks is what most will have and in our case we have two generators… one for the things we need to run and the other for the air-conditioning, due to my MS…which is not so great anymore since they are gas driven and much more expensive to run these days. Although, temporary and FEMA did reimburse last time so keep your receipts, and sign up with them even with insurance that is how they get their counts and is recommended, call your insurance companies, have one old-time wire-line land-line to call the insurance companies right away, since most all cell towers go down.
But if told to leave we will and you should too and hopefully go in the direction that is not where the hurricane might go!
Tricky business… we would more than likely leave if a storm surge is expected, since our elevation is only at nine feet above sea water and we are in an evacuation area that is designated to be one of the first to leave due to that. Charley was a wind event not a water one, we maxed our insurance out that time and this time with our premiums our coverages has increased too.
I will be here all week, actually for as long as I am able… if anyone needs more info, contact your local emergency management facilities or go to your conferences in your area.
On that note, with OK’s disaster now give your $10 or more to them via the American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/ This site is wonderful on preparedness ideas too.
Money is always better than clothes when nothing exists anymore they get destroyed with no where to put them, but the Red Cross could tell you if they have definite locations for other things...just ask!
So as we note that we have noted before, take care, be safe and always ask questions when you’re not sure, don’t be shy… and allow me to be the very first to wish all of you a very happy good night and kindly count all your blessings and share all those overages with a wide swathe of people and we will too!
And next time please be here or be square, ya hear!
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