For those who are new to Florida and those of us who have been here all of our lives, every June 1st brings a flurry of news reports and warnings about the start of the Hurricane Season. Based on my experience over the last forty-something years, much of the flurry goes over our heads as we move through our busy lives and we don’t really do a lot to prepare — until a storm is looming. We have every reason in the world to prepare now (such as this weekend’s tax holiday for preparedness supplies), but for some reason, we procrastinate and wait until everyone is scrambling, supplies are short and tempers flare.
And, frankly, it wasn’t until the 2004 series of hurricanes that I started to take my preparation seriously. Sad, but true. I didn’t prepare properly and was left without power for several days, which means I didn’t have running water, the ability to cook or to even shower. I didn’t get cash before the storm hit and many stores were without power too so they could only perform cash transactions. Thank goodness I at least had some non-perishable food items and bottled water. But, I have traded in my “hurricane punch recipe” for a “hurricane preparedness kit” every year since then. I did my research on what you should keep in your kit, bought a big plastic tote to keep everything organized and together and then I bought/gathered everything on my list. Every June 1st, I bring the tote in from the garage and add in the food items. That is my annual routine.
So, it doesn’t matter whether or not you “believe” what the weather experts tell us about the severity of the season or if you “believe” we will be impacted by a particular storm. Storms will come and we need to have a plan. History tells us that it may not be this year or it may not be next year but it will happen. We need only to look at last year and Matthew. Did it hit us as hard as it was originally on track to? No, we were lucky. Viera fared pretty well. But, not all of Brevard did and certainly not the counties to our north and for several Atlantic countries. 603 people died during that storm – 47 in the U.S. If nothing else, that should motivate us all to be prepared and have a plan.
Do you have pets? What will you do if you have to evacuate? Not every shelter or hotel takes pets. Do you have a family member with special needs? Have you registered with the Brevard County Special Needs Program? This is a limited space program that ensures people with special needs have transportation and shelter in an emergency.
In conclusion, please take a little extra time and effort over the next few days to put your family plan together and gather the items you need for your family’s emergency kit. On the CVCA website, there is a preparedness page that offers several good internet resources and some basic planning information. You can find that page here: http://www.cvcaviera.com/education/community/hurricane-preparedness/
So, until next time, please remember … “If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.” – Frank Lane
Eva M. Rey, President
Central Viera Community Association, Inc.