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Tropical Weather

When I was a child back in Waldo, preparing for a hurricane was a little different than it is today – but in a way, some things remain the same. Since there was no bottled water, we filled every container we had with water from our well. I remember going back and forth to the well with a bucket to make sure all the containers were kept full.

And, even though we had gas pumps, they, of course, wouldn’t work without electricity, so we gassed up our car and pumped some extra into gas cans.

My parent’s bed was on the screened porch, so we had to move their bed into the inner room of our living quarters and then we’d put plastic over the screens to keep the rain off of the other furniture that occupied that area.

The one thing I remember distinctly was what happened when the storm began. All four of us kids would sit at some of the tables in our restaurant where we would play cards or checkers with our parents and/or each other. In those moments, there was a camaraderie that is hard to describe. And I never felt unsafe although I’m sure our little home/business would not meet today’s hurricane standards.

This week, I’m reminded of those times. And there is a good possibility that this hurricane (Irma) will be a tough one for Florida. Of course, we won’t know more until the end of the week, but this is a good time to gather hurricane supplies and make sure our homes and workplaces are ready for the storm. As they used to say in Waldo, “Better safe than sorry!” And it’s better to get a jump on the preparations than to wait in line for essentials in the days to come or experience not being able to obtain them at all.

Listed below are handouts from the Red Cross and the Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and other resources that I think might be helpful to you in planning for the potential bad weather that may come.

Below are some things, I am going to do today:

  • Fill up my car with gas

  • Gather a week’s supply of water (At least one gallon per person per day)

  • Check all my flashlights and making sure I have extra batteries

  • Check my weather radio

  • Check my first aid kit for supplies

  • Make sure I have a 30 day supply of my vitamins

  • Make sure I have nonperishable foods for a week (sardines, almond butter, crackers, etc.)

  • Gather all my insurance information and important documents into a secured, dry location

  • Check my chainsaw and make sure it’s in good working order, along with gas and oil

  • Make sure I have some extra cash on hand

  • If the forecast indicates that things are likely to continue to deteriorate, I am going to:

  • Move all unsecured items that are outdoors to a location where they won’t become projectiles in high winds

  • Pack a “GO” bag with comfortable clothes and rain gear

  • Plan an evacuation route, should that become necessary

The lists below are much more thorough. I hope you will take to heart their message and make preparations of your own. Now that reports suggest that the hurricane could very well hit us in Gainesville this weekend, I think it’s highly advisable to go ahead and get prepared now. It’s reported the grocery stores are already having a difficult time keeping bottled water in their stores. I encourage you to be ‘Waldo Wise’ and prepare early!

National Hurricane Preparedness Center National Hurricane Center Hurricane Food Shopping List…/Hurricane_food_supply_shopping_… Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness:…/MEDIA_Cus…/m4340160_Hurricane.pdf Alachua County Emergency Management (or check for your county’s emergency management website)

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