Scars And Stories: Hurricanes

With Hurricane Mathew being the first hurricane to hit South Florida in ELEVEN YEARS, and giving me the next two days off school, it seemed a good time to write another “Scars and Stories” post – a series where I talk about my life, my past, and notably, the ridiculous ways I manage to injure myself.

First things first:

  • I live in the hurricane warning area, but not in the area that is going to be hit directly – thank god.
  • I am old enough that I have lived through a hurricane, young enough that I don’t really remember it.
  • I may or may not lose power, but when I can, I’ll post a little update letting you guys know I’m okay.
  • Everyone living in an area effected: PLEASE STAY SAFE!!!!

 

Hurricanes:

Hurricanes are objectively scary, but I have always been in a position where they aren’t that big a deal. It might be because this is the first hurricane we’ve had since I was six. I am pretty happy to be missing two days of school, which makes me feel pretty really guilty, because where as I have the advantage of living in a sturdy house with the means of stockpiling food and water, I know a lot of people don’t have those advantages.

Both me and my sister were born during hurricanes. My sister during Wilma back in 2005, and the extent I remember is being mad I had to stay about a week at my aunt’s house and couldn’t go see my new sister or parents. But, I was pretty sheltered from the worst of it. We still had power, while New Orleans was dealing with the fallout of Katrina.

So, I’m concerned about the hurricane. But, mostly in the abstract way. The same way I scared of Earthquakes: they are scary, natural disasters, but they don’t really effect me. And despite being aware of all this, I am still happy to miss school, which probably says something about the pressure to do well or something, but I’ll justify it as: for the next three days, I am still 16, I don’t have to be mature.

It only now occurred to me that we haven’t had a hurricane in so long. Hurricanes are a normal thing to me. I’ve lived through a few. But its been years, my little cousin was telling the other say she was scared because she’s never lived through a hurricane. I thought this was ridiculous, until I realized she was right. The Hurricane song from Hamilton seemed like a “well, it was the 1700’s” sort of thing, and then I remembered that, for a lot of people, that isn’t the case. I know roofs are built different in Florida so they don’t get caught as easily by the winds, I know we’re built for flooding. But knowing and KNOWING are different. I don’t really remember the scary parts.

My dad keeps saying it can’t be that bad since my mom isn’t pregnant. Both me and my sister were born during hurricanes, which is pretty interesting.

A teacher said it can’t be that bad since its named after a boy and all terrible hurricanes are girls (Wilma, Katrina, Sandy) and when we mentioned Andrew, he shouted “It’s Andrea”.

We joke, because what else are we going to do? Because if we think about it too hard, we start thinking about how Andrew ripped up houses. How this causes PTSD. How Haiti has been having a terrible decade. How Cuba can’t get a break.

Its easier to look at it from our “its never hurt me” perspective. Easier to stockpile water and put up shutters and ignore it completely.

Its easier to think how funny it is that both my and my sister were hurricane babies. How my sister was born two weeks after my sixth birthday, how I told me mother’s pregnant stomach “you can’t be born today, this isn’t full house”, how my mom says that I brought all the hurricanes to Florida and my sister scared them all away (we haven’t had one since she was born). It’s easier to joke about the past ones that didn’t hurt, and how our county is so bad that they regularly send us to schools during tropical storms. How we were once held over to hours after school because wind speeds were so high it was unsafe to dismiss us.

Its easier to do all that then think about the next hurricane. And if this time we won’t be so lucky.

I can only say: STAY SAFE.

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8 thoughts on “Scars And Stories: Hurricanes

  1. Hope things are alright for you now! The part of Florida I’m in wasn’t really affected, but we still got wind gusts and rain even so far from the storm’s center. That’s how I can tell how huge this storm was.

    I was also fairly young when the last major hurricane affected my area, though I do remember some. The most shocking thing was seeing trees ripped from their roots, seeing roads and buildings destroyed, and having the room we were in flood even though we were on the second floor during/after hurricane Charley (I was in Orlando at the time, it was hit hard), and there not being any food or gas at the store. We lost power on several occasions, and ended up needing to stay at friend’s house or go to a hotel for a day or two a couple of times because the heat got to us too much. Also seen some minor flooding in hurricanes other than Charley. Still, I’ve been very lucky, and for the most part avoided the worst of the storms.

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