Once Rob and I started sharing news of our move to Florida we were asked frequently if we were worried about hurricanes. No, was our response. Rob had already researched this and the north east coast where we were headed had few hurricanes in the last century and all low category.
Nothing to be scared of!
Or so we thought. Moving into our house June 2016, I asked our neighbor what all the metal sheets left in our garage were. “Hurricane shutters” with a laugh and “don’t worry I’ve lived here 7 years and no one has ever taken them out of the garage”. Phew, ok then.
112 days later in pouring rain & building winds Rob spends all evening putting shutters across our windows.
Matthew was on his way. I had googled, read articles, compiled lists and got all our hurricane supplies together. We were going to stay in our home and ride it out.
Until the day before, when the anticipation of being hit by a hurricane and the hysteria that comes from the media or even social media hit. I had to go, the Governor of Florida was on tv warning kids could die 🙄 Well that was it, panic mode. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe, my heart was beating so fast with adrenalin and my body was shaking.
Packing, trying to find a hotel, explaining to the kids all the day before Matthew was arriving.
Now looking back I don’t regret my (Rob wanted to stay) decision to leave. We had no idea what to expect and had 3 young children including Poppy who has a fear of thunderstorms let alone hurricanes. However, the journey out of Florida was stressful and expensive. I was constantly panicking we would be stuck on the highway in traffic and Matthew would be on top of us!
That didn’t happen obviously, we ended up in Georgia. The kids at the exact time Jacksonville was being hit….
Happy & oblivious with a jam sandwich 🙂
So we arrived home the morning after Matthew had blown through. I’d read comments on social media that nocatee had generally faired well. There was still a lot of worry about our home and whether there would be any damage though. We were extremely lucky and had one baby palm tree fall down.
Actually our cul de sac looked like we’d had a thunderstorm but not much else. There wasn’t even a single puddle!
The few days after the hurricane passed the weather was beautiful, its like nature calming back down.
So we put Matthew behind us as a fluke and one off.
Fast forward a year and Irma appears!! How is it possible we were doing this all over again. We did however have hindsight on our side and we stuck it out. Rode the hurricane inside our home with the big sheets of metal once again covering all our windows.
The majority of our neighbors stayed home too. The day before Irma we were all out on the driveways letting the kids play and enjoying the cooler temperatures.
Rob and I decided to keep the children with us in our bedroom as Irma was due to hit through the night. We made them a den with a mattress to sleep on in Robs closet. Wow did they sleep!! Through the whole thing, literally 8pm to 8am which is unheard of!
Rob and I – we did not sleep! It was so loud and scary. Creaking, banging, wind howling constantly, electric going in and out, random flashes of light coming through the metal shutters and just the sheer fear of the unknown kept us awake.
Irma was done pretty soon after daylight and again we ventured out and around the neighborhood everyone had faired well. The kids were all out running in the cul de sac enjoying the fresh air! We even had our own clean up crew.
Hurricanes most definitely bring a community together. Everyone is out helping protect the houses before and sorting any problems after. The kids run and play for hours either side of the hurricane.
Now we were lucky at our house with both hurricanes but other parts of our area and further south of Florida were hit really hard. Seeing what can happen with the storm surge alone, let alone the winds is terrifying.
I’m sat here writing this 1 year to the day Irma hit. Watching the progress of Florence and becoming slightly concerned about Isaac coming behind her. I know its time to prep and I’m confident I’m ready for hurricane season 3. I’m not guaranteeing I’ll be staying home for another if we are due a hit, but I certainly know now its an option.
I wouldn’t change the adventure we are on living in florida because of the hurricane season. Its all part of life here, another experience. I would prefer to not do it 3 years in a row though!!