The clouds have rolled in overhead, the sky has turned grey, distant thunder roars as if to hint, ever so grimly, of its approach. The storms that were pushed out of Hurricane Dorian’s way are overhead now and the air is ominous. You can always sense it when a hurricane is coming, the air feels different, your body feels different, there’s an electricity in the atmosphere that you can just sense. Dorian is going to hit us head-on. The thing is, I’ve been through a hurricane or two, in my day. Actually, safe to say I’ve experienced at least a dozen. I was in Florida for the back-to-back tag team in 2004, when four hurricanes struck the state in a six week period. That was a lot of fun, all of the power was out for a month-and-a-half, grocery stores, everything — except my work. Yes, I still had to work the very next day after landfall and onwards while the rest of the state got 6 weeks off. What a joy.
I was also present for Hurricane Andrew which actually had quite a few fatalities, which is unusual for Florida hurricanes, which usually do quite a bit of extensive damage, but never seriously harm many people. I also sat through the last two, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, both which caused chaos in Puerto Rico and later Florida…and now we wait for Dorian, pompously and aggressively raising our bold, Floridian fists in the air, taunting a storm that’s about the size of our state, one of the biggest states in this big, bad, beautiful Union that we call the United States, might I add.
Preparation is pretty simple: make sure you have the ability to stockpile water, reinforce any structures that might be at risk of absorbing a speedily-flying object directly in the center, like a window, make sure you have candles and LED lights, as well as plenty of reading material. Chances are good that the power could go out for weeks. Nature fanatics, get ready, this is your chance to live as our ancestors did.
The absolute worst are the people who buy no less than 10 cases of bottled water for the hurricane…water…for a hurricane…really?
This is so ridiculous. Every single year, they announce the hurricane, then everyone runs to the store and buys 18 cases of bottled water. I’m kind of amazed that I have to say this here, but, in the event of a hurricane, the one commodity that you have to worry about running out of the least is water. Trust me, there will be plenty of water everywhere for quite some time, there’s a zero-percent-chance of running out of that. Water will be literally falling from the sky…imagine that…
Pro-tip: if you were one of the people who didn’t get to the store to buy water before everyone else hogged all the bottled water, simply set a tub outside and let it collect rainwater. It’s clean, if the tub is clean, and if your building happens to draw water from a well, with the electricity down, you won’t have running water, so these rainwater tubs will help you to flush toilets and bathe.
If you’re on city water, you don’t have anything to worry about, you should be all good. Hurricanes are exciting and actually quite enjoyable if you approach them with the right mindset, sensible caution observed. If you’re from out-of-state, tune in to the local news stations cause you might not know what you’re doing and usually you can find places set up for safety, hurricane-proof establishments where they allow people to hunker down and weather the storm.
People also buy gasoline in large quantities, even though the police disallow anyone driving on the public roads (as if the middle of a hurricane was a great time to go drifting with your friends?) and I’m fairly certain you didn’t pick right now, in the middle of Hurricane Dorian, to mow your grass, front and back.
I think people just like to feel important while stocking up on things, makes them feel like the grand Apocalypse is among us. Gasoline and generators barely power a few lights, they’re a novelty, at best, candlelight adds to the experience, candles, cuddles, good books, a raging storm, and stories are what life is all about. Plus, generators are loud, the quiet allows us to listen to the storm and tap into its power, connect with nature in a way that we rarely get the opportunity to.
Batteries are also kind of useless. We have enough electronic devices that don’t run on AA and AAA anymore, it’s a wonder why people feel the need to buy 174 of each type of Duracell, except for the sole fact that the news told them to. Charge your devices and prepare to save battery as much as you can. The Android app Offline Survival Manual is excellent no matter where you live and it’s free for anyone to download below, it works with or without an internet connection:
Offline Survival Manual - Apps on Google Play
This is a Survival Manual which is fully working offline (which is important to survive in a case of some extreme…
And, of course, nobody ever thinks of the really important things that become absolutely vital. Everyone gets non-perishable foods, cool, I can understand that, but if you’re bracing for Dorian like I am, don’t forget to remind all the women out there that they’ll need pads or tampons. I’m serious, here, when the power goes out, you won’t be able to wash clothing for several days and things can get messy, meanwhile, everyone stocked up on water, the one thing the storm will personally hand-deliver plenty of. Similarly, have plenty of blankets and towels ready, because, without air-conditioning, Florida might get a little too sticky for your liking— it is humid, a bit like living in a big sauna, no doubt about that. Also, it’s just smart to stock up on hygiene products. in general; double-check your deodorant and toothpaste. A lot of people miss this stuff.
Hopefully, you picked up any and all prescription medication and simple stuff like Ibuprofen or Tylenol. The stuff that’s going to make the grueling hours we spend living like a settler slightly less brutal.
Alas, we’re Floridians and we’re tough — we’re very well conditioned and experienced when it comes to these storms, so while I jest, I trust everyone will be safe and smart and do like we Floridians always do, and come to the rescue and help of those who suffer in the destruction. Every hurricane I’ve ever seen has made me tremendously proud, watching as neighbors help neighbors and strangers go out of their way to help other people rebuild. Race, color, ethnicity, religion, and all of the other barriers which divide us are found to be nonexistent during these storms and it’s honestly quite amazing to watch.
Devices are charging, though the internet is certain to go down. I’ll upload live videos to my Twitter feed for those who are interested from the center of the storm, shown below, my Twitter handle is @JoeMDuncan, just like Medium.
See that cute little red, icon of a hurricane all the way to the left with that little number 4 on it? Yeah, that’s me. Well, that’s close to me, go just a bit north of that and you’ll find me, probably reading in candlelight and cuddling. I likely won’t be publishing any work for a couple of weeks but I’ll power on my cell phone and tweet occasionally so my followers can still contact me there. I should be back after several weeks of not having power and perhaps a bit of rebuilding. Be safe.
I’ll see if I can write a bit about the spiritual aspect of these storms. It’s definitely real and something that’s quite invigorating if we approach them the right way. Lastly, if you know anyone in this state who is unsure what to do during this event, feel free to message me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to find somewhere or someone who can help them. Take care, and godspeed!