Full Disclosure: Published while forced to sit in hallway during tornado warning!
I hadn’t expected to be writing about Hurricane Irma again today; however, an Email that I received this morning made me realize how much, even people in Florida, don’t understand about hurricanes. The reader, an amateur sailor, appears frustrated since he just couldn’t understand some of the various changes in the storm’s projected path. Frankly, I couldn’t tell how much his problem was in confirming his sailing skills or the regard for his personal safety—since he lives in Irma’s new projected path!.
If there are any Old Salts out there, experienced sailors who might wish to make contact with this young man, in Destin, Florida, in the “Panhandle,” just send a comment to this post. I will forward it on to the novice sailor. Apparently, he doesn’t have the experience to know when to modify those basic tools to face real-life situations. Like most any challenge in life, every storm is going to be different!
For instance, although Irma didn’t weaken until its “eye wall”—the central axis on which it spins—was ravaged by the mountains of Northern Cuba; however, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream—along the Florida coast, enabled it to re-group. The “steering currents,” the regular low-level directional air currents can also cause a shift in direction, as can the “wind shear,” the higher-level wind currents, which flow in opposite directions and, thus, can virtually stop storms in their tracks.
Today, the sudden shift in Hurricane Irma’s projected path—from East Coast to West—has caused problems for the lesser-prepared Ft. Myers/Naples Area of Florida. One problem, which can fly under the radar screen, however, is the potential lack of sites for evacuation, during natural disasters.
Generally, counties open their schools to house evacuees; however, there are generally fewer schools per capita in areas with a preponderance of senior citizens. For me, living in a vibrant neighborhood, with young families and schools, can add value to property values for this very purpose.
Whether you live in Florida, or somewhere else, are a sailor or an amateur meteorologist, or for whatever reason you wish to understand the various acts of Nature, just be patient. With our Government’s disregard for Climate Change, we are now seeing more natural disasters—hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires—just as I write this!
Learn all that you can about natural disasters. Think smart, make rational decisions and stay safe!
NOTE: This linked Op-Ed from the NY Times, which eloquently describes the racist and short-sighted action of eliminating DACA from America! The harm that that action is causing in Houston, Texas, post-Harvey, will certainly be echoed in multi-diverse Florida, as well as many other sections of our diverse country. Keep the kids here: they are our future!