The 2008 hurricane season is upon us. Thankfully, so far, it’s been quiet — but it’s only been two weeks.
In 2004, Hurricane Charley came right over my house. My husband was away on business (this was before my son was born) and I decided to stay it alone at our house. I got all of my supplies and made a comfortable space in our bathroom. The dog and both cats were in there with me, along with Tom Terry, the local Weather Meteorologist. Yes, good ol’ Tom Terry was in the bathroom, guiding me thorugh the storm. I had my portable B&W TV in the bathroom with me, locked on WFTV for minute-by-minute updates.
Tom told me exactly when the storm was approaching, when the winds were strongest (yep, I heard that), and when the storm had passed my neighborhood and moved on to the next (whew!). I heard a tree fall through the side of my house and crash through the side. I heard those 105 MPH winds whooshing through the house.
In retrospect, I should have gone to a shelter or been with friends. But hindsight is always 20/20. In the end, that tree did fall on the house, crushing the fence and damaging the roofline, but it did not crash through the house in any way — it just sounded like that. We were lucky. Many were not.
That same year, Central Florida had two other direct visits from hurricanes: Frances and Jeanne. It wasn’t a fun year. It was during this season that I created my Family Hurricane Preparedness List. It breaks down everything that we need to have on hand and to prepare (like taking porch furniture inside), and is color-coded based on when each task needs to be done. For example: You don’t need to fill your bathtub up with water until 24 hours prior to the storm’s arrival, but you should get cash from your bank at least 48-hours in advance to avoid ATMs running out of money. I’m offering the list as a download this season so that you can use it at home. Or, just use it as a guide to create your own list.
Hopefully this season won’t be as bad as some in the past, but it’s best to be prepared.