With back to school in full effect, it’s very easy for us to keep our minds occupied and not take notice of the constantly changing effects of the weather. Without a doubt, climate change is slowly, but surely, occurring and our bizarre weather conditions are a clear indication of this. Within the last couple of days, a number of storms have popped up seemingly out of nowhere, two of which have been classified as hurricanes, while the other is still considered a tropical depression. Unlike our friends in the Pacific, we haven’t been constantly battered with major hurricanes in quite some time. As a result, it seems that we’ve all collectively begun to forget that a massive hurricane can appear out of thin air…and the consequences can be disastrous if we’re not prepared.
If we look back a couple decades to 1992, one might remember that the year was quiet and like many years recently, there were very little storms worth mentioning. Then Hurricane Andrew happened, almost exactly to this date actually. Approximately five thousand people were left homeless, certain areas were completely restricted from entry and the wreckage was insurmountable. South Florida looked like a post-apocalyptic battlefield. As a result, we’ve changed as a whole and grown to be better equipped for a disaster, should a hurricane like Andrew ever occur again. Building codes and inspections have been put in place, emergency services have been fine tuned, and structures have been redesigned to withstand much more force.
In 2004 and 2005, there were several major storms which pummeled Florida and the United States alike, but a decade later and it seems like we’ve put this all behind us, as we should. Granted, we are only human and some of these major storms have caused a tremendous amount of devastation, loss and pain. It is of human nature to simply put painful memories behind us and trudge onward. It is worth mentioning, however, that although we may have put these painful experiences and memories completely behind us, we should not ignore the fact that we could be next in line for a major hurricane.
Quite frankly, a certain degree of ignorance could lead to decreased preparedness, which shouldn’t be the case. Ask yourself these quick and simple questions to determine just how prepared you might be for an unexpected hurricane or storm.
1. Do you have water, dry goods, flash lights, candles and extra gas cans on hand?
2. 2. Do you have an evacuation plan?
3. Are your personal and financial documents in order and easily accessible?
4. Are all of your valuables insured?
5. In the event of a disaster, what is your plan concerning your pets?
6. Do you have an adequate amount of medication on hand?
7. Who looks after your elderly relatives?
8. What would your employer expect from you in the event of a storm?
These questions should be something that you come back to time and time again to ensure that you and your loved ones are absolutely prepared for anything that might come your way. Ultimately, it’s best to feel comfortable with your preparation plan in advanced, as opposed to days before a storm strikes.