Why Hurricane Sandy Was Different

When my twins were a few months old four hurricanes blew through Tampa. I am no stranger to hurricanes. I lived in Florida for 21 years. I have been evacuated, I have taped up windows, I have filled my bathtubs with water and waited in line 45 minutes to buy some D batteries. I have leaned all of my body weight into the wind and been held up by it. I have spent some time huddled up in interior bathrooms and I have thrown hurricane parties.

Hurricane Sandy was different.

Maybe it was because I don’t live in Florida anymore. I don’t have palm trees. I have 90 foot oak trees in my yard now. Maybe it was because when I was evacuated for Hurricane Elena I was 12 years old and not experienced enough to be scared. Maybe it was because now I know how much a new roof costs. Maybe it was because this storm was so massive.

Maybe it was because I am not home. Maybe it was because it was my first time experiencing a hurricane from the 21st floor.

Maybe it was because the media spent three days scaring the piss out of us, threatening us with FRANKENSTORM.

Maybe the Mayan calendar thing has me totally spazzed out.

Also, any time they shut down New York City’s mass transit system it makes me uncomfortable.

But I think it was because DC isn’t hurricane ready. In Florida we have hurricane shutters and tons of sandbags and plywood and generators available all hurricane season. We used to actually “hurricane proof” our palms once a year. My house is more than 30 miles away from the ocean, and that isn’t even a good beach.  Going to the beach isn’t a day trip, it is an overnight thing.  We are supposed to get blizzards here, not hurricanes and earthquakes.

Or maybe it was because my kids are finally old enough to know that I was scared.

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photo: NASA

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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