Hurricane preparation in Florida is an annual affair, at least. A lot of people in my area do not have enough money or space to prepare adequately for storms in advance. And, of course, when it comes to purchasing items once the news hits that a hurricane or major storm is headed our way, essential items are often in limited supply.
I find it very interesting that I have directly heard from my bank, my retirement account company, and my pharmacist, but not (at least not directly) local government officials. The former set of companies all assured me that they are monitoring the situation. What does this mean? What kind of odd, infuriating, post-hoc corporate social responsibility is this? (I am not assured.)
People in the southeast, including Puerto Rico, have still not recovered from last year’s storms or the storms the year before that. In a way, it’s the beginning of a permanent climate under-class; those living in an under-served region who must bear the brunt of the risks of climate change. This is not an economically or politically opportune time for most folks to move from the region.
I am thinking of the lack of shelter for disabled people and general lack of emergency services for people living on their own and in poverty. I’m thinking of my incarcerated students at Tomoka Correctional Institution. If not evacuated, they will likely suffer more than usual. If evacuated, the situation is no less complicated. In years past, evacuation has meant a lack of safety in new prisons and no certainty of return (indeed, one of our former students didn’t return from evacuation – permanently transferred).
At my house, we have been able to make sure we have enough food and water for a period with no electricity or running water (10 days). We are worried about the heat, as we do not have a generator. But, we have a tank full of gas and a few gas containers on hand for evacuation if needed.
My university has closed for now. They are asking students to leave campus housing by tomorrow at 1 pm, which puts international students and students who can’t leave in a tough position. They ask every person to submit a hurricane plan to campus life and will find local shelters for those who don’t have one; they say students who must go to shelters will be accompanied by a member of staff. Two years ago, faculty housed international students during a hurricane personally (covering all costs themselves). Every year – I wonder what would be a better way. Some other local colleges have on-campus emergency shelters. We do not.
Dorian, stay away!