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South Beach hurricane amnesia

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The 2012 Hurricane Season is upon us and yet we have not even noticed. As the Yucatan is getting soaked tonight and battered by 85 mile per hour winds, maybe it could be the time for us to review our own plans. OK, so you aren't reading this when I wrote it, but instead now as the storm approaches us. No matter, you are here now so lets get thinking about what we plan to do.

It wasn’t too long ago that I moved to Florida and picked up one of those handy Hurricane Preparedness guides from a local chain of grocery stores, and got the one from the local TV station, then the one in the Miami Beach magazine, then the one I picked up from the library, then the TV telling me everything I NEEDED to do. You get the point, everyone is telling you something different, and yet similar all at the same time.

"You are all trying to sell me stuff, what do I really need to do?"-George Houck IV

Pet owners in the media grinding on you to have a month of flea treatments, home owners telling you about roof inspections, landscapers telling you to cut down all those coconuts, and thin out your canopy, then the green people explaining to you how you did it wrong and now when your tree grows back the canopy will be too thick and you are going to kill the tree with your ignorance. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!! You are all trying to sell me stuff, what do I really need to do?

What do I need to do was my question, not what a family of 6 with 3 pets, a boat, a huge yard, and a roof that needs inspected needs to do. I live in Miami Beach in a tiny apartment with my wife and a cat. NO BOAT, NO ROOF, NO CANOPY, just tell me what me and my neighbors need to know: like the fact we are on a barrier island, have car we don’t want to get flooded out, and most likely you’re going to force us to leave anyway.

With this in mind can we please dispense with the bull and get down to brass tacks.

Housing
Food
Water
Medicines
Pets
Evacuation
Re-entry
Getting on with my life

Obviously this is going to get long, so we will break it down over multiple installments in an easy-to-read format. First up, let’s talk about the things we should have in the house already. This is where most of us make our mistakes. Due to the fact we are Miami Beach, our initial installments will assume we are a couple with a pet. In the 24 units in sight of my window, maybe three do not have pets, so welcome to the South Beach Hurricane Preparedness series.

GO TO PART II

~George H. Houck IV

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Forecast and articles are for the area surrounding Lummus Park, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Forecast is brought to you every week by volunteers from the University of Miami Atmospheric Science Club. You can find us on Facebook and members can be reached at atmoclub.studorg@miami.edu. Please contact them if you are interested in SKYWARN training.

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