Honorable Shamans, Hurricane Season can be somewhat … Exhilarating. Just as soon as we finish getting ready for Hurricane Danny, which dropped down to a Tropical Storm, and then a Tropical Depression, now we are all watching Tropical Storm Erika, — you can look at the Track of Tropical Storm Erika, 8/25/2015
It is ok if you didn’t complete everything in my Handy Hurricane Checklist, last week. Remember, the first step is, “Do Not Panic, Do Not Panic, Do Not Panic.”
One of the hardest parts of monitoring a Hurricane, is deciding when to pay attention to it. That is why the Tropical Prediction Center’s system of “watches” and “warnings” is useful. The Tropical Prediction Center will post Watches when tropical cyclone activity is possible within a given area within 48 hours. And, it will post Warnings when Tropical Cyclones are expected within a given area within 36 hours. (For more details, please see the Glossary at the NHC website.)
In my opinion, you want to have all your preparations completed, within 72 hours of a cyclone hitting your area. That means, 3 days before it hits, you should be all done with your plans, and ready to bug-out, if that was your decision. The reason for that is, if you are going to bug-out, you want to do it, before everybody else gets on the road. And, if you are bugging-out, you’ll want to put at least 150 miles between you and the Storm bulls-eye on your house. You’ll want to be well north (generally it is better to go North in Florida…but it depends on the projected track… ) of the storm’s projected path, and in a safe place, before the end of that day.
For now though, those of us in Florida have time to continue preparing. That’s a good thing, because the Handy Hurricane Checklist, was quite long. And, it is also a good thing, because I bet your Hurricane Shutters are in the back of your garage, and you have to move a whole pile of stuff out of the way to get to them. And of course, you don’t want to move all that stuff, if you don’t have to. That’s ok. Focus on getting your kids back to school, and making sure you know where your important papers are.
Another thing to think about is, if a storm hits your town, how many days should you prepare for? How many days might you be without power? In 2004, after Hurricane Charley came through my house, and Southwest Florida, my power came back on within a few days. However, my neighbors’ power didn’t come back on, for another week. (I mean, one side of my street had power, the other side didn’t, for 7 days.) So, as you make your plans, and decide whether you might shelter-in-place, or bug-out, take that into consideration. Do you have a generator? Do you need one?
But meanwhile, and again, do not panic. Be mindful that you have time to prepare and make good decisions for you and your family. And remember that storms change, and you’ll just need to stay flexible. It is exhilarating, really, because you are experiencing a Force of Nature. And as Forces of Nature go, Hurricanes are pretty good, because you have time to get prepared!
Next, we will talk about how you can tell if a tropical cyclone is headed your way.
And Honorable Shamans, We Share Peace With Our Earth.