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Welcome to Hurricane season

I wasn’t born and raised in Florida. I’ve only been here about nine years and only weathered a few named storms. Despite my complete lack of experience, I still manage to be prepared when the season comes, so I’m not one of those a-holes racing out to the stores at the last minute to stock up on canned food and water.

I’m one of those last-minute a-holes stocking up on beer and gummy bears.

But despite my inexperience, I need to call out more than a few of you Floridians based off what I’ve seen of you on the news. So let me cover this list-like, because people are stupid and will only listen when you make a list. Also, call me crazy, but I have a bad feeling about this season and feel this information may be useful for the 2018 season.

#1. If you abandon your pets or leave them outside you will go to prison

A new Florida law has established if you leave your pets outside and helpless during a hurricane, you will receive a felony charge. My Floridian opinion is you deserve it.

I don’t even understand the people that do this, but it needs to be said. It’s not cool to just leave your dog or cat alone on your property, to wander all by itself in the terrifying storm as you travel on down to Jacksonville to hang out with family.

Your pet is your family. The moment you decided to get a cat or dog, you became responsible for them and you have no right to leave them behind. There is a special place in hell for people who abandon their pets during a storm and you deserve to be there. As their natural instincts tell them to flee, your selfishness keeps them trapped and they sit there, lonely, scared and wonder where their fur mommy or daddy went until the storm kills them.

You must be a special kind of sociopath to do that to an innocent dog or cat. There are plenty of pet-friendly shelters in Florida, plenty of things you could do for those little dudes aside from letting them face the wrath of Mother Nature by themselves. Even the Hemingway House in Key West is somehow capable of keeping 36 cats alive hurricane after hurricane. You have no excuse for not being able to handle one dog or cat.

If you abandon them because you’re fucking lazy, you deserve spot one in Dante’s Inferno, getting eaten and shit out by the devil over and over again, just like Judas and Brutus. Because you’re a fucking traitor. You told that pet you’d protect them, then you turned your back on them.

Fuck you.

#2. When they say mandatory evacuations and you decide to stay – you’re on your own

Your right to emergency medical assistance in your area ends the moment the newscaster says “Governor Whoeverthefuck has issued an emergency, mandatory evacuation” and names your area. That’s all there is to it. After that, if you decide to stay, you are on your own.

Deal with it. Do not call 911 as the floodwaters rise, demanding they send out a bunch of paramedics to drown with you because they won’t. Mandatory evacuation status is not given willy nilly. It’s given when it’s fully established, based on FEMA standards, that remaining in the area will cause an immediate threat to life. As such, once a mandatory evacuation is given, 911 services shut down. If you live in Florida, you know that you’ve seen this commercial.

This was during Ivan. I checked out the verifiability of the commercial. Those voices you heard, those desperate calls for help? They didn’t make it.

They play this commercial often during hurricane season and they do it for a reason. It’s to make you understand it’s not brave to stay when they tell you to evacuate. It’s foolish.  You cannot ride the storm. You are not the old man and the sea, staring down an unforgiving ocean. You are a silly little civilian who forgot that nature’s wrath pertains to you too. This commercial is not dramatized. They make it very, very clear that once a mandatory evacuation is issued, they cannot help you.

They share this message – as a warning– on as many public access channels as they can. The best that FLA 911 services can do for you if you call them after you’ve been told to evacuate is tell you to write your social security number on your torso so the National Guard can identify your body.

Florida emergency services workers are not superheroes. They’re just people and there comes a point where they cannot help you because they will not risk further lives to help a hopeless cause. Those ambulance drivers, firefighters and paramedics are just as human as you. They have families that love them just like you and they are not going to risk their lives because you did something incredibly stupid.

When someone says mandatory evacuation either do it or drink yourself to death (leaving Las Vegas style) but do not expect the world to come back and pick you up. It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s that they can’t without risking their own lives too.

#3. Get your supplies ahead of time.

I created my first Amazon wishlist the other day. It’s not so much a wishlist as it is a package of items I purchase for hurricanes. MREs, flashlights, batteries, a hand crank radio – now is the time to buy them, not later. If you want the full list, IM me. But do it now, not one day before the storm. You need to live your life like every day is the day before a hurricane. Then, come what may, you’ll always be prepared.

Anyway, welcome to hurricane season. I also don’t usually do this, because I hate dealing with comments, but the issue is important enough to spread. I welcome you to share your own hurricane preparedness ideas (or complaints) in the comments. With any luck, we’ll all ride the storms together.

If you are disabled or feel that you are incapable of evacuating or protecting yourself in the event of a hurricane and currently live in Florida, please check out the following available resources.








7 thoughts on “Welcome to Hurricane season

  1. One of my cousins lives in Houston and was fully prepared when Hurricane Harvey hit last year. He cut his Montana vacation short to head back home; where he had planks of plywood already cut and measured to fit onto his windows. He also had a generator, a water purification system and a couple of firearms. And he had long since stocked up on various other supplies, such as batteries and MREs (meals ready to eat). I have other friends in the Houston area who were equally prepared.

    It always boggles my mind that so many Gulf and East Coast residents aren’t prepared for these things – which have been bombarding the coastlines of the world for eons and aren’t going to stop because some idiot built a house on the beachfront just so they could savor the view. I also don’t believe in “mandatory” evacuations. If people want to stay and face the storm head on, just leave them the hell alone. First responders shouldn’t risk their own lives to save one dumbass who thinks they’re tougher than a hurricane with 200 mph winds.

    • Thanks for your comment, but I have to take issue with the statement “I also don’t believe in “mandatory” evacuations, If people want to stay and face the storm head on, just leave them the hell alone.” Mandatory evacuations do not prevent that in any way. You are 100% free to stay in your home after a mandatory evacuation is issued.

      A mandatory evacuation means that you are highly encouraged to leave an area or can be prevented from entering the area if you were outside it prior to the order being issued. It does not mean that someone is going to come and forcibly remove you from your home. It means that other people cannot enter that area, to include any emergency service personnel.

      Personally, I think the status needs to be renamed to make it clearer, as it’s not technically a mandatory evacuation – it’s more of a crime scene restriction. It is legal to stay in your home after a mandatory evacuation order has been issued. You cannot be forcibly removed as long as you’re a consenting adult in your right mind. However, it is illegal to enter an area where a mandatory evacuation is issued, in the same way it would be illegal (and incredibly stupid) to run into a burning building.

      In short, mandatory evacuation does not mean you can’t stay. It means if you do, no one can help you as entering a mandatory evacuation area is illegal. These mandatory evacuation laws are necessary, as there are far, far too many people who would attempt to enter these areas, get in trouble, then demand someone come and save their ass (because they pay their taxes, damn it!) and wind up killing innocent first responders because of their stupid decisions.

  2. I lived in West Palm with my grandparents for years. They were in their 90’s the last time a hurricane rolled around and they couldn’t care less. I had to convince them to hunker down in an interior bathroom. They laughed at me the whole time.

    • You Yankees have your equivalents, which are just as bad. Ice storms and blizzards. Just take all references of “hurricane’ and replace it with “Nor’easter” and I think it still works.

      • Blizzards are officially known as arctic hurricanes. Europeans name them. Many Yankees like to think these storms are worse than tropical hurricanes and therefore, they can survive them better. Then things like Sandy hit, and they get smacked back down into reality. At least we Southerners don’t have to shovel sunshine!

      • I’m a Yankee. I was born in a little NH town near the Canadian border. More than a few of my friends lost family members from Nor’easters, either from roofs collapsing or on slippery roads so it’s hard to say hurricanes are worse. While I’ve heard the term arctic hurricane, I’ve only heard weathermen use it. Most of the people from where I’m from call them Nor’easters when they’re bad enough, blizzards when they’re not so bad.

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