With Hurricane Irma expecting to make its presence known on the Florida peninsula this upcoming week as a Category 5, it’s time to take stock on preparedness. Here, on the gateway to the ridge, which is as much center-Florida as one can get without being at Disney, Davenport’s a low risk community.
Low risk, however, doesn’t mean without risk. For example, according to HomeFacts, Davenport’s had “75 hurricanes … since 1930.” That’s a hurricane almost every year. Not to fret. This factoid also includes remnants of hurricanes, called ex-tropical cyclones, and tropical storms. Whew!
Regardless of the strength of the storm, given Texas’ recent experience with Harvey, Hurricane Irma could prove to be like your most irritating cousin or neighbor. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones who never leave.
Imagine monsoon-like rains for days on end, or a minimum of three days, preceded by searing winds tearing everything loose up through the air and into your windows and, especially, onto the streets, making them impassable. That’s all that needs to happen for there to be some significant damage to our little Mayberry. That’s also known as high risk.
The mayor of Houston didn’t recognize risk and, thus, underestimated Harvey. Now we are witnessing their suffering from an irresponsible elected official. Florida, in 2004, underestimated Hurricane Charley, which took a hard right turn and ran right through Davenport, a failure of our meteorologists. Then, remember the big one? Floridians underestimated Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and Homestead is still decades away from its beauty before the storm.
Don’t underestimate Irma; remember, hurricanes don’t have a heart and will rip apart anything in its destructive path. In addition, our current hurricane season is preceded by EIGHT MONTHS of drought. That’s reason enough to expect the worst from Irma.
“Andrew’s primary lesson [was] that the worst does happen,” says The Florida Squeeze’s review of a book about that year’s hurricane. It points strongly to the need to be prepared no matter how light we may think a storm like Irma might be.
To Duct- or Not Duct-tape Your Windows
A note about duct-taping your windows: DON’T. It’s been proven that doing so could create more damage by forcing your windows to break into shards, rather than in big pieces which is how untaped windows break. Your best bet, if you’re concerned about your windows, is to use plywood coverings.