Hurricane Irene: Yes we are smirking down here.

Sorry Sebastian & Bitter, but it is payback for the chad thing and whenever them Northerners laugh at the sight of us wearing jackets if the temperature drops under 60 degrees.

Getting used to Hurricanes is not easy, but doable and eventually you develop a sense for them. It is not bravado when you hear a South Floridian commenting he would not bother to put up the shutters unless the hurricane goes over 80 mph but experience and also the fact we have a much stringent building code, specially Miami-Dade County. We know what our abodes will take and what we shoud do.

Lots of lessons were learned after Hurricane Andrew and amazingly, a nice balance between government and populace has been achieved for emergencies like this. People have learned that they are the first responsible for their own safety during a hurricane and nobody else. This helps local government to concentrate resources where needed the most and not running around trying to satisfy everybody.

One example is safety. Even though it is not advertised, no self-respecting South Floridian faces a hurricane without the proper amount of firepower. Having every other house with somebody ready and willing to lay some fire on looters makes for very peaceful after-hurricane living. Police then can concentrate in patrolling the few commercial areas that owners themselves are not guarding. In 2005, Katrina and Wilma did their dirty deeds on us, yet you will be very hard pressed to find anything that resembles looting on the news. I saw on TV about a case in downtown Miami where looters broke into a store and got promptly arrested by PD; and I did hear assorted tales of miscreants trying to do their deeds only to run away leaving a brown trail behind them because the home owner offered visual and aural dissuasion in the form of both long and hand guns.

I think I felt the proudest when three days after Wilma, there was a news crew from somewhere up north at a FEMA resource center in some big parking lot. This center had water, food and ice for free to anybody who wanted it. One idiotic woman was loudly complaining about the government not helping as she was stacking MREs and water into her jalopy of car. A guy waiting behind her got pissed and asked her where had she been for the past 2 weeks because that was pretty much the time we have been keeping track of Wilma. She finally relented and drove away to give a chance to the people behind her. Everybody else just wanted one thing: Ice. Nobody wanted water or food and all said the same “We are good. Give it to somebody who might need it. We need the ice to keep some stuff cold.”

The news crew packed and went home after that. There was no “suffering” so they could not sell.

Damn it! I was proud.

PS: We do throw great Hurricane Parties. You have not lived till you find yourself sipping your favorite spirit while watching the rotating inside of the eye of a hurricane….outside your house.

PS2: We don’t have trouble with basement flooding. We don’t have basements. Water table is usually 3 feet below surface.

One Reply to “Hurricane Irene: Yes we are smirking down here.”

  1. Lived in Montgomery AL for ~30 years. Had family scattered along the Gulf. So who was the only one who bought a generator? After every storm, I got to play roving power guy loading the generator into the truck and heading down to someone who lost power. What they’ll do now that I’ve moved to TX I don’t know.

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