A Floridian's Guide to Real, Actual Hurricane Prep

With hurricane season dead ahead, Floridians are busy doing what we do best: procrastinating. And by procrastinating, I don't mean waiting to prepare until a day or two before hurricane season actually starts. I mean waiting until a named storm is actually bearing down on us to muster the energy to care. Because that's what most of us do.

Naturally, we each have a checklist of supplies and an idealized timeline in which we'd like to make arrangements. 

Reality, however, always looks somewhat different.

A Floridian's Guide to Real, Actual Hurricane Prep

Basic Rule

Ignore anything outside a three-day range. Hurricanes are slow-moving and unpredictable. It's just not worth the energy to get excited about each one.

3 Days Before 

  • Become vaguely aware that there's a named storm churning in the Atlantic
  • Head to Twitter to make name-based puns
  • Wonder if you accidentally donated your hurricane supply kit box to the youth yard sale
  • Think about going to Walmart; cry
  • Fall asleep reading 

2 Days Before  

  • Make boastful weather predictions
  • Chat with friends about every storm you've survived  
  • Locate hurricane supply kit; find it's full of expired batteries and tea packets; vaguely remember eating all last year's supplies in the fall when you were too lazy to go shopping 
  • Chastise self for not preparing back in May like a rational person 
  • Think about going to Walmart; cry
  • Decide to go later in the evening after the panic dies down
  • Fall asleep reading 

1 Day Before 

  • Head to Walmart at 5:00am; dodge tumbleweeds blowing through the bottled water aisle 
  • Stand in line for 30 minutes to purchase a weird assortment of whatever's left on the shelves, praying that the storm doesn't actually disrupt supply lines and you won't be forced to eat beef jerky, peanuts, sprayable cheese, and canned beets for the next month 
  • Wait in line for an hour at the gas station; stream an audio book to cover the sound of your neighbors talking loudly about every storm they ever survived
  • Ensure hurricane shutters go up
  • Back up all writing projects
  • Fall asleep reading in your dark, shuttered hurricane cave 

Day of Hurricane
  • Resign yourself to the inevitable 
  • Try to fit in a run between early rain bands; fail; slog home soaked 
  • Walk the property to pick up all loose items that could become projectiles
  • Final check: shutters, generator, bottled water, food, batteries, candles, toilet paper 
  • Fill tubs, sinks, and all available canisters with water 
  • Download extra library books through Overdrive just in case this is the last access to books you'll have until society rebuilds
  • Field questions about hurricanes from panicking out-of-town friends, assuring them that you're in a hurricane-rated structure and that barring the unfortunate coincidence of a tornado dropping out of the hurricane directly above your house, you probably won't die 
  • Start eating the beef jerky, because you've already had a busy day, and why not 
  • Charge all devices 
  • Marathon Steve Weagle on Facebook live
  • Fall asleep reading
Fortunately, although my area took hits from Matthew and Irma in the past two years, we suffered little by way of damage; which is fortunate, considering the fact that I was about as prepared as this post would lead you to believe.

The disrupted schedule did give me a lot of time to write, though. Parts of my book Unbreakable were actually written during Hurricane Matthew!

The next time your area is facing extreme weather (hurricane, snow storm, heat wave, apocalyptic plague of crickets that block out the sun, etc), consider downloading one of my books to help pass the time.

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  1. I did reread Unbreakable during a power outage! It kept me feom going insane.


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