People from “up north” say that we don’t have seasons here. They are wrong. We have several: sort-of-fall (November-December), sort-of-winter (January-February), spring (March – April), summer-to-anyone-but-a-Florida-resident (May), and hurricane (June-October). Technically, hurricane season lasts through November as well, but for the most part, once we’ve made it through October, we’re home free.
According to our local weather persons, there is a tropical storm named Bertha, 3000 miles out in the Atlantic, which as of now is headed this way. It is supposed to be at hurricane strength in a few days. It looks like it will be approaching its destination, wherever that may be, by next weekend. As the weather persons say, now is the time to prepare.
In early June, the Hurricane Survival Guides start to appear. They are full of helpful information (Don’t Panic, etc.) and lists of stuff to have (tarps, batteries, Oreos, legal beverages, etc.). I’m pretty well prepared. I have my necessities – windstorm insurance, flood insurance, regular homeowner’s insurance, and a list of improvements I’ll make when I rebuild this house. Living within sight of the ocean, I’m required to evacuate for even a category 1 storm. At the first announcement of pending evacuations, Ralph and I are outta here. I spent the miserable days of Hurricane Frances at the home of relatives in North Carolina, complete with air conditioning, hot showers, hot food, and no mosquitoes. I came back as soon as the power was back on.
Actually, this place seems to be pretty sturdy. It went through Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004 without losing a single shingle. The only thing that got damaged was that fiberglass porch covering, which I wanted to get rid of anyway. The house was built in 1948, so I guess it’s seen its share of storms. Of course, anything over category 2, and all bets are off.
So – over the next week I need to get dog food (a two week supply is recommended, and I’m about out), put my nonperishable food supply in a Rubbermaid bin, and move the safe with my insurance policies closer to the door. That should about do it.