I feel kind of bad that I’ve been taking just a small amount of glee watching all my friends up north start hunkering down as Hurricane Sandy heads their way. They’re been running through all the varieties of panic, indifference and inconvenience that we Floridians muster every time the wind picks up a little bit, and it’s so not like them. Granted, this looks to be a whole lot more serious than the myriad near misses and glancing blows we’ve had down here, but it still tickles me to see them rushing out for batteries or bragging about how much booze and food they have on hand.
I do feel a little bad because I can’t return the favor. It’s not like Florida is going to get hit with a blizzard any time soon, so my Northern friends will likely never have the opportunity to see me freak out about snow on the sidewalks. And I would freak out, believe me. Total The Day After Tomorrow levels of panic. But trust me, barring the extremely unlikely event that that film turns out to be even remotely accurate, that ain’t happening. So I’ll never be in their shoes, dealing with weather I’m completely not used to.
Like I said though, some of the panic is a little bit justified. The only way to make a hurricane more dangerous is to act like it’s no big deal. We’re talking about a good chunk of the atmosphere throwing itself at you with everything it’s got. That’s not something to take lightly, even for the jaded lot of us in Florida who have been through more close calls and false alarms than actual hits. But those hits have been bad enough to remind us why we take those near misses seriously. It just takes the one time you didn’t prepare to end up with a really bad day thanks to Mother Nature.
So while I might chuckle a bit at watching my friends scramble for cover, I’m glad they’re doing so. It’s one thing not to let yourself get into a state of panic, but another to just shrug it off as just a really rainy day. And if it turns out to be nowhere near as bad as expected, look on the bright side: you likely got a free day off of work, and you’re probably set on food for weeks.