A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall - Hurricane Dorian 2019
I moved to Florida when I was 11 and fully consider myself a Floridian.
I am a Miami Dolphins fan despite their fervent desire to remain the most mediocre team in the goddamn league, I believe that Publix Subs are a gift from up on high and I am the first person to get irrationally offended when people talk shit about my home state.
(The only reason “Florida Man” exists is because we have amazing sunshine laws which makes the reporting of these stories much more accessible to the national media. Other states have equally terrible people - looking at you, Iowa and your decision to continually elect and re-elect unrepentant white supremacist shitbird Steve King.)
As a result, I've lived through a couple of hurricanes - Fran, Irene, Charlie, Francis, Wilma and most recently, Irma.
Being a kid during a hurricane watch is awesome - you don't have to go to school, you have literally no responsibilities other than to hunker down and eat snacks and up until the storm hits, the weather is beautiful.
Being an adult during a hurricane watch is the goddamn worst.
The stores and gas stations are mobbed, there's never enough water or good Oreos or those crackers in a green tin I like and you just kinda sit around - hoping for the best and bracing for the worst.
"Why don't you idiots just evacuate? Is your TV really that important to you?"
I've heard this criticism from non-Floridians for years and here's the thing.
South Floridians are reluctant to evacuate not because of a misplaced sense of materialism but rather because evacuation is complicated.
Florida is a long state - 500 miles long and 160 miles wide at its furthest points.
Let's say I want to pack my shit and head to Pensacola - a Floridian city located in the Panhandle or northwestern part of the state close to Mobile, Alabama. I should be safer there, right?
That's a nine hour journey on a good day. Factor in traffic from all of the other evacuees and a dearth of available gasoline and you're basically clocking in the same amount of time Alexander the Great did during his conquest of the Persian Empire.
Once I get to Pensacola and find room at the inn which allows two dogs (one of which is 100lbs) and a cat - what happens after the storm? Returning home means embarking on a 640 mile journey through non-passable roads with non-operational gas stations.
It's easier said than done.
Hurricane Dorian is churning in the Atlantic right now.
Up until this morning, it was a Category 3 storm and I was fine. A Cat 3 is manageable; you board up, hunker down and host a hurricane party.
Now, Hurricane Dorian is a Category 4 storm like Hurricane Ike in 2008 which smashed into Texas and Louisiana, creating a 24ft storm surge or like Hurricane Charley in 2004 which devastated Southwest Florida, causing $16.4 billion - that's Carl Sagan with a B billion - worth of damage.
I'm starting to get a little anxious.
Anxious about how this is all going to pan out. Anxious about how my loved ones are gonna make it through. Anxious about my dogs because Roxy hates storms and Indiana has never experienced a hurricane before.
Welcome to adulthood - just a quivering mass of anxiety and exhaustion punctuated by small breaks to enjoy craft cocktails, true crime podcasts and fried chicken sandwiches.
So, to everyone in the Sunshine State - Board up, hunker down and binge watch Mindhunter while you still have power.
Here’s to hoping Dorian punts right into the Atlantic.