This past weekend we had a hurricane/tropical storm hit the Pensacola area. Now Pensacola is no stranger to hurricanes. In the recent past we’ve had several large ones. Ivan and Denis both caused a significant amount of damage to the area. But this hurricane, Fay, had actually made landfall almost a week before.
Now, if you know anything about hurricanes, you know that hurricanes build strength over water and lose it over land. Fay made landfall on the tip of the Florida peninsula the weekend before and had been working it’s way up the whole week. It had followed the coast line and remained just enough over water to keep from dissipating, but far enough over land to keep it from really regaining any strength. So it dropped enormous amounts of water in the form of rain wherever it went, but didn’t have the strength to cause any real damage.
So for most of us, who have been through hurricanes, it wasn’t too worrying. After all, the storm was nothing but a big rainstorm. That isn’t to say we weren’t prepared. We had our hurricane kits and had made sure our insurance was up to date. But we do that every year when hurricane season starts. So we didn’t bother to make any special plans or preparations for this storm.
Other people, who I assume had never been through a hurricane, were in full panic mode. Every grocery store in the area was out of ice and bottled water. Batteries, canned food, and emergency supplies flew off the shelves. There were lines at gas stations for people getting gas for their home generators. I even heard of people evacuating the area!
And what ended up happening? The storm completely dissipated as it hit the Pensacola area. We didn’t even get as much rain as we were expecting. So the panic filled shopping and evacuations were completely unneeded. I just hope that this little hurricane that wasn’t, doesn’t cause people to become complacent and leave them unprepared when the next storm comes. Because when a real storm hits the area, the purchasing of emergency supplies and even evacuations will be necessary.