The Secret, one of America’s best-selling book, assures readers that people attract their realities. A focused person on positive feeling, thinking, and imagery to, realize goals, I consider climatic challenges and changes an anomaly to different cosmic rules. Some things like tornados, tsunamis or other types of storms happen because they have to happen.
In seasons when the weather is bad, positive visualizations to keep your family safe need to be paired with more pro-active steps I believe. Having participated (I prefer not calling myself a victim) in the “Hurricane Class of 2004” I’ve come up with the following recommendations, which I believe, will help you nurture a higher level of observation and more involvement in taking prevention measures.
If you are planning on moving to, or live in a hot weather/subtropical climate, here a couple of things that you need to know about the importance of adapting to unwieldy seasons. Hot weather season typically starts from the first day of June to November 30 annually.
Facing a hurricane can be compared to playing a highly intensified game of chess or even checkers. The sheer force of a hurricane with its “queen me, king me” attitude, may move zigzag all across entire regions hurling forward and reversing itself, circling, weakening then fortifying, touching down then hovering, becalming, surrounding, leaping ahead or inching forward, and veering wherever it feels like going.
You, the rook or pawn, try to outwit, outlast and survive knowing full well that you can never restrain/outlaw a freak force of nature. You could try moving forward when it’s your turn. In this somewhat rigged tournament, you’re even allowed to move horizontally from right coast to left coast and vice versa. But still, your options are very limited. At the end of it all, you better hope that you are the one saying checkmate.
The most important thing to remember about hurricanes is that they’re unpredictable!
There is an irony about island and subtropical mainland life. The otherwise beautiful weather that attracts tourists by the droves and the iridescent summery “live for today” philosophy all become rather useless and even dangerous and cliché when storms start forming.
Here is the best way to live in tropical climates: live emotionally and physically ready for imminent emergencies; do not stress over anything; and relax and “by all means enjoy your ” no plans tropical/beach lifestyle.
Several crucial things to remember:
1. Before moving to hurricane-prone regions, it is advisable that you start changing how you think.
A relaxed yet alert mindset is the best way to approach your upcoming subtropical/tropical experience. Readjust your habits and traditions and make an effort to drop any patterns of laziness or procrastination.
(a) Review and obtain all hurricane-preparedness information packets distributed by community organizations and the government:
To find such information, consider Googling “How to Prepare for Hurricanes” or accessing sites like www.redcross.org and https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
This way, you’ll familiarize yourself with the different procedures and jargon related to hurricanes. In the event a storm threatens, you will already be an expert at knowing the difference between a hurricane warning and a hurricane watch when it’s applied within your vicinity. You will also be able to take the necessary steps without confusion or anguish.
(b) Pack Light:
If you are a sentimental person, start adapting now before moving to a moody climate. Just before moving, it is better to release your attachment to quite a number of your favorite furnishings and memorabilia. It is better if you decide what will leave your life rather than have a raging hurricane make that decision for you.
(c) Choose the right storage facility before moving:
Do some research, make some calls and plan for your storage needs before you start relocating. If there are any items that you feel you need to keep, do not wait until an emergency erupts to start looking for storage for your already vulnerable belongings. By such a time, such companies will probably have no vacancies.
Even after hiring storage space from the best storage company you find, beware of the basic risks. Not all storage companies are built to withstand +174mph winds. And if you find a storage facility with such a capacity, always remember that there are times when an unexpected bully of a hurricane will appear out of nowhere that is determined to mock all modern efforts to tame it. With that being said, keep in mind that no possession is 100 percent secure.
At the same time, it is important to note that ongoing storage can prove to be quite costly. Reorganize your belongings and remember to reserve a unit for your extra stuff before moving.
(d) Invest in a specialized radio customized for up-to-the-minute local updates on climate changes around the area you are about to relocate to.
The best place to look for one is the internet. Just search for “weather alert radios” for options or access National Oceanic and Atmospheric Authority’s weather website.
Weather radios signal warning sounds at any hour, day or night, should perilous weather conditions start evolving. This way, you’re immediately alerted of pressing information that demands your attention and requires protective efforts.
(e) Highlight from the hurricane preparedness information slips you have read, a list of emergency tools that you need to purchase soon after you have moved.
2. After you have arrived at your new tropical/subtropical destination
Without any delays, make sure that you buy all itemized emergency products, including some of XMRE Meals.
Measure, drill, and cut anything that needs to be adjusted or refashioned. Do not let the beauty of your surroundings or of the climate (assuming that you are not moving during stormy season) override the need for planning ahead.
This way, your supplies, weather radio, pre-measured plywood, and pre-drilled holes around windows for your plywood to be installed are already in place.
Remember to ensure that your car’s tank is always full for abrupt departures. Carry in your wallet a list of important numbers like those of your out-of-state relatives, prayer and disaster hotlines and other numbers for future need – provided cell phones are still functional. At the same time, have a list of selected shelters ready. Should you ever find yourself staying in one during a hurricane, the supervising agency will, at least, have one phone. While the waiting lines can be long, the good thing is that residents who’ve been displaced have a chance to call worried out-of-state relatives or whoever they want to contact.
Keep current/updated maps of your state, region and nearby states in your car. Mark and configure all alternate routes that lead away from your region to different “safe” spots.
It is vital that you make emergency preparedness an instinctive and almost casual part of your life, irrespective of the season. Doing this will reduce tension and stress tremendously and will lower the number of decision you have to make in the event a massive storm starts brewing.
3. Live Simple All Year Round
Tropical homes at their best, exhibit a Zen-like kind of primitiveness. It is advisable that you do not replace discarded objects before relocating. Also, avoid displaying or purchasing knick-knacks. Reduce the number of pictures and photos hanging on your walls and resist the temptation of decorating your garden or lawn with charming objects and statues. Keep a single set of dinnerware/tableware, that is, a single everyday set of beautiful dishes that may be used for serving guests.
The less stuff you have in your home, the less, you will have to fuss over and worry about things and how you are going to remove and store them safely in the event an emergency arises. You cannot pine or miss what you never bought should your region be confronted by a potentially damaging storm.
Even if you don’t intend on moving south, maintain an “it is not just the sub/tropics” mentality. Hurricanes sometimes do happen even in the most unlikely places. In such situations, creative visualization and positive thinking will surely help. Therefore, picture yourself feeling confident and always safe. When, and if, a storm brews, your instinct will push you to do the right thing at just the right time.
4. Enduring Hurricane Season
You should pay close attention to all weather reports and take them seriously. Don’t depend on local attitudes or law. Listen for current unfolding data.
No matter how detail oriented you are, it’s difficult to cover every angle, even when you have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan. Even with a proper plan, a storm can create havoc.
My mother, my two brothers and I had well-prepared homes on Florida’s Gulf Coast. A hurricane destroyed all of them. My sister’s home on the East Coast was ruined by a subsequent storm. Because of my experiences, I take hurricane season seriously, no matter where I live now or where I move in the future.
I moved to the Port Charlotte on the West Coast, which is located between Naples and Sarasota. I had relatives residing in this area and on the opposite side of Florida. The Atlantic Ocean side of the state.
Long-time residents assured me that our town had been untouched by any type of weather disaster for over 40 years, a virtual paradise. The day before the weather event that would change everything for me, the town had its normal pattern of traffic and its citizens went about their daily routine of shopping chatter, beach-going, and shopping, unfazed.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see the false level of security people had at that time. They clung to the idea that since nothing had happened in a long time, it would never happen. This was an unsafe, unconscious presumption.
On Friday the 13th, Hurrican Charley swept through town. August 13, 2004, is a day that will always be a formidable memory for me. The bulls-eye target for this roaring, ruthless monster-storm were two tiny sleepy sister villages, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. They were jolted in the meteorological record books on that day. For many Charley was the just the first shocking surprise.
The 2004-2005 hurricane season was extraordinary. Florida and the subtropics were bombarded with hurricane after hurricane. The season culminated in the devastation of New Orleans. A few storms after that, in other parts of the subtropic region’s storms, continued to erupt going into December of 2004, when the hurricane season usually wanes.
If a Hurricane Bears Down Directly on Your Area
If authorities conclude that your home in is an area that is away from the storm’s trajectory, then you should gather your family in one house. This is a better idea than creating a plan to meet later at a chosen location. If the storm suddenly changes its path, then the plan to meet later may put you or your family members at risk.
If They Tell You To Evacuate, You Should Evacuate
There is no questioning this warning. When knowledgeable authorities state that your life is in danger, you should heed their warnings. Do you want to wait out a storm, sitting in the midst of its fury? You’ll experience the shaking and sliding of your furnishings, the vibrations of the walls, doors swinging in and out and your home exhaling and inhaling as though it were taking its last breath. Do you really want to court injury, or worse? Many people who have chosen to brave the chaos of a hurricane instead of evacuating use the motto “Never again.”
A hurricane is a possible serial killer. That makes it difficult to understand why such a violent force of nature with the ability to kill are anointed with such innocuous names like Katrina, Bertha, Hugo, and Charley. When we talk about these storms it sometimes sounds like we’re talking about a goofy roommate who happened to smash some furniture while having a good time. A hurricane is not your “pal.”
If I could, I’d like to change the system used to name storms. The names I would use would match the nature and outcome of the storms. Hurricane Jack the Ripper, Hurricane Attila, Hurricane Insanely Random, Hurricane All-Mighty Destroyer, or Hurricane Vicious. I’d look for the names of famous brutes in fables or history. Maybe these monikers would make people think twice about ignoring warnings and commands from authorities and forgoing common sense. Maybe then more lives could be saved.
One of the issues that arose during Hurricane Katrina, which compounded the tragedy is that many people who had common sense and wanted to flee had no way to do so. While we offer assistance in any way we can to help people heal and rebuild after a hurricane, we should be grateful that we have choices when it comes to transportation. We can leave an area if needed. People need to be able to leave their homes when advised without equivocation or illogical attachments to the things they’ve left behind.
My mother and I returned to her home a few days after Hurricane Charley. We observed the dark debris that she once called home, her furnishings, heirloom piano, her orange tree and grapefruit tree garden. Although our homes were gone, no one in our family had been injured or worse. My mother said the hurricane was not a tragedy for us, just an “annoying adventure.” This is a balanced perspective with perfect insight.
That’s why it’s important to remember the rule: people are more important than possessions. If you need to escape, evacuate – don’t look back at all.
Have Patience in the Aftermath Of The Storm
Local experts usually promulgate at the shelter or later when the National Guard is called in to facilitate food and water, direct traffic and impose curfews.
The spirit of camaraderie will radiate after such a dramatic upheaval, such as a hurricane or other natural disaster. A stranger can become an immediate friend. You’ll find compassion, hope, sharing and comfort among other hurricane victims. You should look for ways to serve others while you are being served by others.
You may find an elderly person near you that needs a reassuring hug. The person in the Red Cross line waiting for a styrofoam lunch tray might welcome the extra water bottle you carry, on a hot sunny day. You will always find a person who is more hungry, more lost, more upset, or more crushed in hope and spirit than you. Do what you can to help.
If you need to, get counseling from the nonprofit agencies that help survivors of natural disasters. You may suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Take some time to grieve your losses. After surviving a hurricane, you may never take life for granted again.
I was eventually able to relocate to the quaint historic town of Venice, a few weeks after Hurricane Charley. This is a town with quite lands that wind towards magnificent beaches. Normalcy is beautiful. How normal is it to push your grocery cart through the aisles of Kash n’ Karry, trying to figure out what to make for dinner?
In summary, I hope that this hurricane season will be benign. However, you will feel some relief in knowing you’ve taken the steps needed to meet this potential disaster with confidence in whatever the near future holds.