Do they still have hurricane parties in Florida?
Hurricane parties used to be all the rage. Lots of drinking. Drunks surfing in the storm surge. Some hosts actually made hurricane cocktails: rum, fruit juice, and grenadine. The party themes were something like this: (a) we’re not scared of the hurricane because we survived the last big one, (b) Think of the stories we’ll have to tell our kids if we make it through the storm, (c) and, more recently, has Jim Cantore gotten here yet.
When I was a kid growing up in Florida, hurricanes excited me. I knew it was wrong to be excited because people lost their lives and a lot of property was damaged. Maybe it was the raw power of nature.
Looking at the news as Matthew approaches Florida, I wonder the same things wondered a half century ago:
- Since hurricane information is widely known long before a storm arrives, why do people wait until the last minute to buy extra food?
- Do people throw away their plywood after the hurricane season ends each year? I wonder, because plywood always sells out, making me wonder why nobody saved the plywood they used last year and the year before.
- Emergency preparedness experts say that those who don’t evacuate should be prepared to survive alone in their homes for at least 72 hours. Yet, people seem unprepared. Nobody seems to think the BIG ONE is going to hit this year, so they don’t stock up on extra batteries, bottled water, snacks that can be prepared with no power or with a camp stove, and other essentials.
- Why do families buy 50 loaves of bread when a hurricane approaches. Sure, sandwiches are easy, but how much bread can one possibly eat?
- There’s usually a run on camp stoves. Since this always happens, one wonders why so few people don’t consider buying them in advance and having them ready.
- When a hurricane is aiming at the state–something people knew for many days in advance–why are all those cars backed up at gas stations (a day before it arrives) which are selling out of fuel? Why not gas up the car sooner? Nobody knows.
I don’t live in Florida any more, but I still remember all the storm activity that happened every season as people watched the news for imminent threats. So, while I still wonder why more folks don’t get ready sooner than they do, my thoughts are with those in harm’s way, especially those who live along Florida’s east coast, Savannah and Charleston.
Stay safe if you haven’t evacuated.