Hurricane Irene has chosen where she is going to make landfall. Cape Lookout, NC is ground zero for the impact. Our concerns are with the people all along the coastal communities of the Carolinas, Virgina, New Jersey, and New York.
Hurricanes are no joke, and yet, sometimes those in the path of an approaching storm think so. Those ignorant of the power and devastation of these massive storms sometimes joke about “hunkering down and having a hurricane party.” This truly is no time for partying.
Usually those guilty of such thinking are young and innocent. They have not lived through anything like a hurricane and so they know nothing of the possible destruction of such a storm. They are unaware of the dangerous of a Category 3 or greater storm. And sometimes, they have not paid attention to the news as a storm tramples areas of the earth and kills people, livestock, and wild animals in its path.
The season starts in at the beginning of June, but typically, the last of August and the start of September bring on more activity. In my post, Ah, September 1, I joked about people in Florida going back to the North to avoid hurricanes; rarely, do those in the northeast have to flee to the south to escape the ravages of a storm. This is one of those cases–now really is the time to come south and inland from the New Jersey and New York areas.
The sad thing about those living in the northeast is that they really have no idea of what they are about to face. Floridians, however, know all too well what is about to happen. While the northeast has very few hurricanes, and most when they have arrived have already spent themselves on crossing through the southeast, Floridians have had extensive experience in dealing with hurricanes.
For many, the storm itself is very exciting. If you survive the actual passage of the storm, the time that follows is dreadful. Living life without electricity and the modern advantages provided by electricity is an awful experience. Keep in mind that electricity powers a lot–not only things like TV, radios, and computers, but also things like pumps at the water plants, lift stations in the waste plants, and more.
In the days following a storm when electricity is lost for a week or so, sleeping can become a problem. The windows have to stay open to offer any airflow and even then, typically the breeze through the house is warm and humid, not conducive for a restful night of sleep.
Another thing that keeps storm victims from sleeping is the worry and financial cost of recovery. Hurricanes are very expensive, no matter how well you survive the storm. And of course, all of us share in the cost of the losses.
Property loss is one thing, but the loss of lives is another thing altogether. Much of those who perish in the storm did not need to die, they could have left and would have lived. If there is one thing good about hurricanes, it is that we have become very good at predicting, tracking, and warning people about these storms. Those who perish do so of their own accord.
As we move through the weekend and into the week, those of us in Florida are keeping our northern neighbors closer in our thoughts and prayers.
©2011 J. Clark
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