Our Own Band of Brothers

 

Have you ever noticed how the bands of a hurricane resemble the loving and expansive group of people who encircle and surround you through a storm? Many of us have had times in our lives when we’ve reached out to others when we feel threatened or vulnerable. Hurricanes can also inspire those emotions, but it has its own unique qualities.

Unlike an illness when we seek the comfort of others, we can often see the hurricane coming. It comes in small steps, often meandering its way from the African coast. Many of us who could potentially be in its path watch it with a cautious eye, and hope that it will dissipate or go in a different direction. And many times, like an untended flower, it complies.

This time is different. We knew that Hurricane Ian was coming, and hoped that like a few other times over the last 20 years, he would go on his merry way—somewhere else. It didn’t take long for us to realize that he would be showing up as an uninvited guest, and we would have to grudgingly prepare for him. So we did the extra shopping, checked the generator, filled the bathtub, and hunkered down. And as we watched the expanding bands of the enormous storm grow, we could see the bands of our relationships expand.

First, we checked in with every neighbor on the street. Since our next-door neighbor, whom we fondly call Mr. Mayor, was leaving on a trip, he called on his “right-hand man” (my husband) to take over the management of the neighborhood. Everyone who needed help, particularly the widows, were aided in moving lanai furniture and reminded that we lived only a few houses away.

But our “band of brothers” is even more expansive. In addition to Floridians, we have friends and families all over the country checking in on us. For most of us, it is the unknown that makes us anxious, wondering how we will be struck by the storm and how bad it will be. Since we have had much rain in the last several weeks, the ground is saturated, and trees not securely in the ground could become missiles.

Still, it is enormously comforting to know that others are thinking about us, holding us in their hearts, and hoping for the best—especially our Ricochet friends. We especially want to include all our Rico friends who live in Florida and could use your support. We all know that the force of nature is indomitable in these times, and only good judgment (and prayers for peace of mind) will keep us secure.

For those who send their good wishes, thank you.

And thank you for being part of our band of brothers.

[photo courtesy of unsplash.com]

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  1. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Be safe.  We are there with you in spirit, praying that the damage will be limited.

    • #1
  2. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    What  wonderful testament to the power of the “Little Platoons” that keep our communities, and the country, from irretrievably falling into the morass. 

    I am hoping and praying for you from Minnesota, Susan.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Praying for all the people down there, including the people I’m working with remotely in the Tampa/St. Pete area.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Praying for all the people down there, including the people I’m working with remotely in the Tampa/St. Pete area.

    Fortunately Tampa didn’t get hit as badly as it could have. The forecasts were frightening but were ramped down. Nowadays most of us have friends, family and  colleagues all over the country.

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I grew up in Miami and I was always amused about the reaction of relatives who lived in places not subject to hurricanes. The good news is that Florida building codes are such that normally brick homes do very nicely. Trailer parks? Not so much. Most damaged areas are coastal and due to storm surge (basically extra high tides that move inland and on land that normally is high and dry when not having an ocean pushed on to it by a hurricane). So coastal structures on low lying islands are the ones that are at risk because the tide will undermine the foundations.

    As a kid I lived through probably about 6 hurricanes. You do the preps suggested to deal with no power for a couple of days. You tape/board windows to deal with flying debris. You have a battery radio for information. If you are coastal on low-lying land — plan to leave after you secure your house.

    Only one hurricane I experienced had a huge storm surge. Our house was not coastal but was about 1000 yds from Biscayne Bay separated by a city park. The surge came to the rise on our property and deposited sea weed. So, its not joke for the coastal folks on the low sand islands.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I grew up in Miami and I was always amused about the reaction of relatives who lived in places not subject to hurricanes. The good news is that Florida building codes are such that normally brick homes do very nicely. Trailer parks? Not so much. Most damaged areas are coastal and due to storm surge (basically extra high tides that move inland and on land that normally is high and dry when not having an ocean pushed on to it by a hurricane). So coastal structures on low lying islands are the ones that are at risk because the tide will undermine the foundations.

    As a kid I lived through probably about 6 hurricanes. You do the preps suggested to deal with no power for a couple of days. You tape/board windows to deal with flying debris. You have a battery radio for information. If you are coastal on low-lying land — plan to leave after you secure your house.

    Only one hurricane I experienced had a huge storm surge. Our house was not coastal but was about 1000 yds from Biscayne Bay separated by a city park. The surge came to the rise on our property and deposited sea weed. So, its not joke for the coastal folks on the low sand islands.

    Wow, I had no idea of the time you spent in FL! Yes, we are “well-armed”; I even remembered to change the batteries in our weather radio (and they were in terrible condition). I like living where we are: central, in every direction. No storm surge for us.

    • #6
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    @susanquinn, according to Google maps they are showing the storm track running over Poinciana which IIRC is where you live. If true you may experience the “eye” phenomena although traveling over land tends to make the eye irregular. 

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    @ susanquinn, according to Google maps they are showing the storm track running over Poinciana which IIRC is where you live. If true you may experience the “eye” phenomena although traveling over land tends to make the eye irregular.

    The eye means calm, right? Works for me!

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Fox Weather presenter highlighted the “irony” that coastal residents have evacuated to Orlando area hotels which will now experience the hurricane. But if they are from coastal areas they are still better off in Orlando. Another problem of the storm surge in places like Ft Myers with a river entering the Gulf: rivers can’t empty and rain can’t run off. So there is substantial coastal flooding wherever the land is <5 ft elevation above high tide. 

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Fox Weather presenter highlighted the “irony” that coastal residents have evacuated to Orlando area hotels which will now experience the hurricane. But if they are from coastal areas they are still better off in Orlando. Another problem of the storm surge in places like Ft Myers with a river entering the Gulf: rivers can’t empty and rain can’t run off. So there is substantial coastal flooding wherever the land is <5 ft elevation above high tide.

    I can’t believe that some stayed on low-lying islands. Seriously?

    • #10
  11. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    @ susanquinn, according to Google maps they are showing the storm track running over Poinciana which IIRC is where you live. If true you may experience the “eye” phenomena although traveling over land tends to make the eye irregular.

    The eye means calm, right? Works for me!

    Well, yes.  But to get that calm, you have to experience the eyewall, twice.  That has the strongest winds.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    Well, yes.  But to get that calm, you have to experience the eyewall, twice.  That has the strongest winds.

    Oh, yeah. Forgot that part. Sigh.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The worst seems to be over in our neighborhood. Winds are still blowing, maybe a little rain, but no flooding here and no power loss. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.

    • #13
  14. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Excellent news! Thank you for keeping us updated.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Well, we still need to be cautious. We have large ponds throughout our development, and the rain is causing them to rise. A lot. We have one behind our home. There’s still room for it to rise, and then there is land between our home and the pond. Unfortunately, it’s still raining, but only lightly. 

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: First, we checked in with every neighbor on the street. Since our next-door neighbor, whom we fondly call Mr. Mayor, was leaving on a trip, he called on his “right-hand man” (my husband) to take over the management of the neighborhood. Everyone who needed help, particularly the widows, were aided in moving lanai furniture and reminded that we lived only a few houses away.

    Wait . . . no one demanded a government program to do this?  Preposterous!

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: First, we checked in with every neighbor on the street. Since our next-door neighbor, whom we fondly call Mr. Mayor, was leaving on a trip, he called on his “right-hand man” (my husband) to take over the management of the neighborhood. Everyone who needed help, particularly the widows, were aided in moving lanai furniture and reminded that we lived only a few houses away.

    Wait . . . no one demanded a government program to do this? Preposterous!

    We’re not crazy! They’d just screw it up!

    • #17
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I understand that Walmart always has “disaster-relief” supplies staged at various points around the country, to be ready for just such disasters.  They supply bottled water, tents, and other materials free of charge.  As part of their driver-recruitment campaign, they tout that activity as a way of attracting drivers for their enormous trucking fleet.  Have you heard anything from them this time?

    The Left loves to denigrate Walmart for their “low paying jobs”, but they are a valuable resource for the small communities they normally serve.  Yes, some mom-and-pop stores disappeared when Walmart came to town, but those small stores didn’t have the resources Walmart does either.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
     Have you heard anything from them this time?

    I didn’t, but I live in a 55+ community. Not exactly prime material for drivers! I think provides an important resource to the entire community.

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    Have you heard anything from them this time?

    I didn’t, but I live in a 55+ community. Not exactly prime material for drivers! I think provides an important resource to the entire community.

    I meant about disaster supplies being available!  I think they must advertise on local radio stations where hurricanes are expected.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    Have you heard anything from them this time?

    I didn’t, but I live in a 55+ community. Not exactly prime material for drivers! I think provides an important resource to the entire community.

    I meant about disaster supplies being available! I think they must advertise on local radio stations where hurricanes are expected.

    I only listen to talk radio, and only when I’m in the car, where I didn’t hear any of those ads. But they may have said something on other stations.

    • #21
  22. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    It sounds as if you weathered Ian successfully, Susan. 

    I find myself very grateful that my eldest sister and I decided to sell my late father’s little place in Naples this spring. I was sorry to lose a Florida base, which I used as much as possible, but I am not sorry to miss the worrying and anxiety – and we didn’t have flood insurance! The photos from Naples look grim, though not as bad as Fort Myers. But I heard that the city pier is gone, and that’s quite a shame.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    It sounds as if you weathered Ian successfully, Susan.

    I find myself very grateful that my eldest sister and I decided to sell my late father’s little place in Naples this spring. I was sorry to lose a Florida base, which I used as much as possible, but I am not sorry to miss the worrying and anxiety – and we didn’t have flood insurance! The photos from Naples look grim, though not as bad as Fort Myers. But I heard that the city pier is gone, and that’s quite a shame.

    Thanks, Jean. Yes, Naples was a charming town, from what I’ve heard. (I’ve never been there.) It will take them a while to come back.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hurricane Ian decided to bring the change of seasons with him: we’ve moved into Fall. I just had to take a walk, since my legs ache when I don’t and it’s been nearly impossible to get exercise the last few days. So I sauntered out and appreciated the stately trees that weren’t victimized by the abusive winds; the ponds that only lightly rippled and glittered with the gentle breeze; the other people who were radiating in their delight to be out for their walks and on their bicycles. 

    Yes, summer may stealthily try to find her way back, but I will relish Fall’s presence and ability to transform. At least there is one thing for which I can thank Ian.

    • #24
  25. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Hi Susan and everyone – we made it thru ok too.  Our experience mirrored Susan’s. Very stressful event! Never lost power – no damage. Just got TV and Internet back this morning.  

    • #25
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