Where the Wind Blows
As a Florida Native: Been there, done that. Wind blowing, we get that a lot.
I was born in Florida and have never lived outside of Florida. I know all about sunny days, tourists, love bug season, humidity, and yes, hurricanes. I know nothing about preparing for snow, but I have had my fair share of hurricane preparations and parties.
The quote, “it’s all in the preparations” is true when it comes to Florida storms. It is so easy to become complacent when you’ve been through so many storms, preparing for the worst, and then having a storm turn the other way at the last minute. You’ll hear, “it won’t hit here” a lot. 24-hour broadcasts and weather forecasters getting excited can create a sense of panic and second-guessing. And if your student is from another state, panic can become elevated, especially for the parents at home.
The best thing about hurricanes is that there is plenty of warning. Again, if you and your student are prepared, then there is less to worry about. Floridians seem to look at Cat 1’s with an almost indifference, yet a Cat 3 prediction can send everyone’s nerves into overdrive.
So, what do you and your student do? Remember these things:
- Hurricane season starts June 1st and ends on December 1st.
- Florida hurricane season means lots of rain and sometimes strong winds. Supplies to have are a few flashlights, extra batteries, bottled water, and non-perishable foods to last at least 3 days.
- If your student has a car at school, advise them to fill their tanks as soon as possible. Lines become long and the panic at the last minute will cause stations to run out.
- Make sure computers and phones are fully charged and backed up. Do not leave anything plugged into an outlet during a storm. Lightning can zap electronics and damage them. A
- ATM’s do not operate when there are electrical outages, so make sure you have cash on hand before the storm hits.
- If it is advised by the university to evacuate, then students will be directed to either safer buildings on campus, or to area shelters. Transportation will be given as well. If you evacuate, bring all valuables with you.
- Do not advise your student to get on the road the day before a storm. It is actually more unsafe to be on the roads at that time. Remember: prepare ahead of time.
USF students can also sign up for MoBull Messenger along with other public safety applications.