Saturday, August 25, 2012

So Much Depends Upon the Mountains of Cuba

So, if a hurricane watch was posted just 10 miles south of you, how would you prepare? 

I'm baking cookies, butterscotch bars!  There's a reason that I'm not a skinny woman:  I traditionally respond to stress by baking.

Of course, I have a good reason:  I'm supposed to be bringing sweets to a gathering at a friend's house later this morning.  If I bake something, I don't have to stop at a store.  If I don't have to stop at a store, I have more time for hurricane prep.

The question still remains:  what are we facing here?

So much depends on the mountains of Cuba.  If the storm misses those mountains, which looks possible to me, it will be stronger as it enters the waters between Cuba and South Florida, and it's likely to be further to the east than we were all thinking it would be yesterday.  If if moves along the mountain ridges of Cuba, all of the southern parts of the Florida peninsula and the Keys will likely feel less of a storm.  Everyone further to the north will need to be on notice, and I'll be glad I don't have to make a decision about the Republican gathering.

We've had experience with storms that weren't supposed to be anything, only to find ourselves sitting in the dark after the electricity went out, listening to tree branches thunking on the ground, wishing we'd shuttered the windows.  We've moved every possible flying object out of the yard, shuttered the windows, and watched hurricanes head to the Carolinas.

It might make sense to wait for later updates, but by then, it may be too late.  There's not much water between Cuba and South Florida.  And the storm is huge.  I expect to be feeling the outer bands very soon.

We'll probably go ahead and air on the side of safety.  We'll shutter the windows because it's not that hard.  We have the kind of shutters that look like awnings, and shuttering the windows protects the windows and means that the wind is less likely to rip the shutters from the house. We'll move potential missives to the shed.

Should we start filling up every container with water?  We'll wait for later updates to see.  One thing I've learned:  if a big storm comes and disrupts the water source, and even if we're extremely careful with our water supplies, we won't have enough water.

I'm anticipating a category 1 hurricane.  Hurricane Katrina was a category 1 hurricane when it crossed over us and went to demolish New Orleans.  We lost a huge tree, which didn't go through the house, thankfully, but it ripped out public water utility pipes and power lines.  It took us weeks to recover--just in time for Hurricane Wilma, which we were told was a strong category 1 (I have my doubts; I think it was stronger), but did frightful damage.

Time to take the butterscotch bars out of the oven!  Shall I bake something else?  Make a pot of chili?  We've got a rain band over us right now, so I can't start securing the property yet.  Hmmm.

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