It has been over a decade since Central Florida was truly impacted by a hurricane. I was in my early twenties when Charlie blew through and it was chaos. I went to a hurricane party with my then significant other because none of us took the storm seriously.
When I say we didn’t take it seriously, it was to the point that we didn’t even think we were going to lose power. My boyfriend ended up heating up our food on his car engine while we took cover inside the car watching the storm. When the eye blew over and it was calm we, and a few friends, decided to drive back to my boyfriends home to check on his mother. It was a major risk because we had limited time to get there before we were hit by the back end of the storm. We arrived right as the storm started up again. On our way to his home trees were down everywhere, roads were blocked, power lines were jumping around in the street.. His mother’s home was not damaged aside from her fence being blown down and her garden being a bit thrashed. The same could not be said for my parents home.
It had been a long time since Florida had suffered a major storm so when Charlie came crashing down on the state he knocked down every dead and dying and weak rooted tree in his path – there were lots. My parents street was blocked off completely on one end by pine trees, trees had fallen on their property barely missing the cars and roof. Many neighbors had to get completely new roofs after the storm and no one had power for weeks – not days but WEEKS. It was awful.
That is my fear for this storm. I don’t think it will be a bad storm in our area, I think we are far enough in, it is just the fact that it has been so long since we had a big storm like this that again all the dead, dying, and weak rooted trees may be heavily impacted. I am particularly concerned about our big live oak in the back yard, Nana. Todd recently got on the roof and trimmed back the branches he could reach but not long ago she dropped a major limb causing extensive damaged to the roof of the neighbors garaged. I am really hoping she does okay through this storm.
So tonight Todd and I will do a bit of storm prep. We will head to the store, gas up the vehicles, put all of our backyard items like the grill and hammock in the garage.. etc.
It is definitely a different experience now being a home owner preparing for a hurricane than it was when I was like 20 or 21 heading off to a hurricane party where the boys would play football in the wind and rain while transformers exploded in a blaze of blue light in the background.
I am sincerely hoping this storm is not a problem for our area. I am definitely thinking about my people and all the patients at hospice, I am thinking about my people and all the patients at the hospital, I am thinking about my clients at internship who will not be with their families during the storm.. I am grateful to feel safe, to be with my family, and am hoping for little to no impact. We will see what it brings us.