Hurricane Irma Approaches
I don't have cable so I have no idea what the newscasters have been saying. Judging by the sheer panic I've seen over the last week, it can't have been anything uplifting. Having lived my entire life in Florida, hurricanes are just a way of life. They are for us what a blizzard is to the northern portion of the country. Unlike blizzards, though, hurricanes blow through for a day or two and wipe everything out. So why am I not scared? Why on earth would I live in a place where my entire livelihood could be wiped out in a day?
The answer to the first question is easier than the second. After Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas leaving the state flooded, there's an extra level of fear that seems to be pervasive. I'm not scared for two reasons. The first is that I am as prepared as I can be. The second is that I know that I can't change the outcome.
I imagine if you're not used to this sort of thing, it's hard to imagine preparing for a storm like this. We board up our windows. Stock up on drinking water in case the public supply gets tainted. We buy candles and lanterns and flashlights. We invest in generators, shutters, waterproof everything. We have evacuation plans and bins with important papers. We know exactly which mementos we can't live without. We know where we'll go in the event of a major event like South Florida is about to experience. My entire family lives along the Eastern seaboard in various towns along the way. All the way from Central Florida to South Carolina. A major storm could touch each and every one of us.
It's a little easier to not freak out when you know that you are prepared and that there is nothing that you can do. It also helps when you're not exactly attached to the place you live. Let's say the storm was coming to my current home as a major storm. I certainly can't stop it from doing so. If a storm comes and wipes out my apartment building and everything in it. I have places I can go. I have family I can stay with. I'd still have a job to go back to. Would rebuilding be awful? Sure, but that's how it goes sometimes.
I've been through plenty of hurricanes before so all I know how to do is prepare. It's just a way of life here.
My lackadaisical attitude towards the idea of losing everything at once my seem callous. You may not understand it, but it's just stuff. It's just things. Death is literally the worst thing that can come of this storm. The rest is ancillary.
So here I sit in my living room on a gloomy and cloudy Saturday. The storm isn't going to arrive until Monday so all I can do is wait. I have my books, food, water, puzzles, and my puppers. I'll feel some of the effects of the storm but nothing so scary I can't handle it. Everything is going to be OK.