Opinions: Stay Safe, Ospreys

Austin Belet, Opinions Editor

For those of us who have resided in the state of Florida since we were kids, hurricanes often spelled out days of adventure, braving the wind and the rain of an ecological terror passing or passing through our state. This meant days off, yard clean-up, and once we were older it meant hurricane parties.

Ladies and gentlemen, I love hurricanes– I have since I would sit by my dad’s feet as a kid on our back porch and watch the storm rage on– but it is imperative we gave a careful eye to each and every hurricane that crosses our path. 

Some of the most recent satellite images show Dorian as being large enough to cover most of Florida. Fortunately enough, the eye is not projected to hit our coast, though caution is still necessary on all of our accounts.

The outer bands of the storm are just as dangerous as the eye of the storm, known to take down major structures and flood out neighborhoods. 

Those of us who reside in manufactured homes, who live in areas known to flood, who live in areas where their only route out is over a bridge should evacuate. 

I don’t mean to be alarmist, but these are the areas most likely to experience the worst damages in this storm. When things inevitably hit the fan, first responders are not going to be able to get to areas that are flooded out. If you decide too late to evacuate, you may be stranded. 

If you decided to hunker down (a Floridians favorite phrase) make sure you have water available in case water needs to be shut off. Fill your bathtub; freeze some water in containers; and if you are able to, get some gallons of water (not the individual bottles, they are horrible for the environment).

Sandbag your doorways and other egress. While the city does not provide this resource (regrettably) you can find them at most hardware stores. 

Have some food available that does not rely on refrigeration. Have batteries and candles on standby. Wait the hour at the gas station to fill up and ensure you have a full tank before the storm hits. 

Don’t let Dorian catch you off guard, and don’t just assume you are going to be fine. No one who ever was hurt by a hurricane was ever harmed by being prepared.

Stay safe, Ospreys. 

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