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Hurricane Ian Aftermath and the Importance of Prepping
Damage update...and a note on the "everything's a nothingburger" narrative.
Apparently my parent’s Florida snowbird getaway, a pre-fab mobile home, was unscathed by Ian…but the next-door neighbor’s carport was damaged…as well as other homes in the retirement community. We heard a lot of roofs blew off in the neighborhood, especially ones that had “roof overs” placed on them. And this was north of Sarasota in Manatee County, just east of Bradenton…not in the direct path of Hurricane Ian.
The news might not really be showing the full scope of the damage.
I’ve seen a reporter on Weather Channel onsite in a neighborhood of concrete block homes that fared “OK,” except for trees falling on roofs (which is still a huge deal!). She seemed to think this meant that there wasn’t extensive damage to homes in the Fort Myers area.
Umm…not really. Mobile home communities, like the one my parents’ second home is located in, did not fare well at all.
There are two types of people who have these mobile homes: People like my parents who live up north and come down in the winter as “snowbirds.” The other are the people who live there full-time. The full-time people are often on fixed incomes.
Evacuation is at the same time necessary and dicey. Our neighbor in Florida, in her late 30s, lives with her senior mother, two cats, and a pit bull in a small double-wide mobile home basically made of tin. They will be moving to a “real” house at some point, but it’s being built and not finished yet. The last time a big hurricane threatened to strike, they packed up the car with all the animals and evacuated north.
They had a hell of a time finding any place to stay, with most motels/hotels full up or not accepting pets. They suffered a hellish trip until somehow they ran across a family of strangers in Georgia who took them in.
For this reason, they were not going to evacuate this time around, until finally things looked scary enough that they evacuated locally to a friend’s townhome.
They are the neighbors whose Florida mobile home suffered damage to the carport, which was enclosed as a space for the animals.
Some of the video coming out on these mobile homes is awful. I just saw some video on the Weather Channel of mobile homes getting ripped apart, and another where a section of a mobile home community was totally destroyed, as if a tornado hit it.
This tweet is eerie…in part due to the sounds but also the fact that Alexa can listen in on your house while you are away:
Of course, there are the haters:
Trailer trash, huh? Hardly. Most of these mobile retirement communities are quiet, clean, and well-maintained.
Beyond the mobile home communities, the sandbar islands west of Fort Myers - Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island - got the worst of it. Roads, bridges, and causeways suffered catastrophic damage.
This looks like something out of The Walking Dead:
My uncle used to vacation regularly on Sanibel Island, and right before covid, my dad and I went down there for a quick overnight trip. We stayed on the bay side near the lighthouse, which is now damaged, and had dinner at Timbers…in Sanibel, the grouper is always recommended. That night, I slept with the window open to the sounds of the gentle lapping of tiny waves along the sandy beach…and occasionally the distant sounds of party boats going by.
Watching today’s Sanibel footage is a bit surreal.
Storm chaser Reed Timmer weathered a stormy night on nearby Pine Island:
He’s OK, but his storm chasing vehicle, “Dominator Fore” (or 4), was trashed.
But that’s nothing compared to the poor woman with Alzheimer’s who went missing on Pine Island last night during the storm. She’s OK, but sustained injuries.
I can’t totally judge people who chose not to evacuate most areas, based on the story of our neighbor I shared above. However, I do think that if you are on an island that is basically a sandbar, you should be smart and get the hell out before a hurricane hits. I just wonder who was taking care of that woman with Alzheimer’s…was she living alone? Why didn’t her family evacuate her? It’s a sad story all around.
Now…here’s what gets me up. Up until this morning, I was still seeing comments from people who were claiming this storm was all “hyped up” and it was a “nothingburger,” that it wasn’t really a Cat 4 but max a Cat 2, and it wasn’t a big deal.
I get having some anger at the weathercasters who focused far too much on the threat to Tampa versus the areas south. However, hurricane prediction is not an easy science and some of it is just guesstimating still.
However, just because they got it wrong about Tampa, that doesn’t mean that people in Tampa were wrong to prepare.
That storm could have easily hit Tampa, and we wouldn’t have known until it would have been too late to evacuate.
I was watching the radar carefully to see if the storm might actually hit my parents’ Florida home directly. It was threatening to do that. We did get missed, however, the community still has some major damage.
The short version of all this is…these storms should be taken seriously, and at the same time we need to take newscaster predictions with a huge grain of salt.
Some seem to think that because the weather reporters got Tampa wrong, people should never listen to them and not bother to prepare or evacuate in the future.
I think the safest approach is to assume the worst, and if you might even possibly be in the past of one of these weather monsters, to get prepared, even before the authorities tell you to do so.
Then there are the people who speculate that HAARP or NEXRAD caused the storm. Hell, I’m not opposed to the idea that weather modification might be at play here, but couldn’t it also possibly be China or even Russia? Is it possible that the US actually attempted to divert the storm away from Tampa on purpose, for benign reasons?
We can speculate on these things…I have no issue with that. But where I think people get silly is when they say, on the one hand, “DEPOPULATION AGENDA!” and then on the other hand, “IT’S A HOAX!”
Wait…you think The Powers That Be want us all dead…and somehow these same sociopaths would fake disasters and pandemics that aren’t actually deadly, because…they’re really nice people on the inside?
Makes no sense to me.
This kind of illogical thinking is what got Alex Jones in trouble. If you honestly think elites are eating babies…why would you assume all horrible events are fake? That they’d pay crisis actors to fake wanton death and destruction? Weird.
By saying this, I’m not saying all school shootings are directed by the Illuminati. I’m saying I don’t understand the mindset that believes in an evil, Satanic deep state and yet tacitly assumes these same folks would be nice enough to “fake” everyone’s deaths.
Like, I literally have a friend who thinks that Joe Biden isn’t actually president, and that the covid vaccines are probably OK because “patriots are in control.” (My friend fortunately didn’t get vaccinated, because…well…I guess covid is fake too.)
We’re like frogs in boiling water sometimes. We go into denial that the Really Bad Thing is actually happening, in favor of dismissing it as just hype or a “nothingburger.”
I wonder if part of this denialism is a psychological defense mechanism in part, but possibly fomented on purpose to keep people from caring.
If you really don’t think Hurricane Ian really hurt anyone…or that viruses aren’t real…or that school shootings don’t actually kill children…or that all covid vaccines are saline…you can just be a typewriter cynic and not otherwise lift a finger to make the country better.
But that mindset might also get you killed, if you happen to be in the path of a hurricane.
Use some common sense. Get prepared.
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