Hurricanes – Lessons and how I survived and you can too


A year ago exactly, Hurricane Irma strafed the west coast of Florida. At first, we were given promises via the “European model” that the West Coast would be spared. Any moment it would veer east and sail off to landfalls other than Fort Myers. For a week prior to landfall, we had watched it move west, inch by inch. Those pretty little lines didn’t seem to want to hold fast with a determined path. Anyway it was a Cat one. Florida has had those. Lots… we can manage. Heck, there already had been two false alarms with the hurricanes meandering benignly out to sea

Then to our horror, not only did Irma move west, it was now a cat two, then three, then 4 – catastrophic. And the bull’s eye? Fort Myers.

Let me cut to the chase…Don’t let this happen to you! Clearly it was time to move out. It seemed that there was time. But there wasn’t. Not even close. Mandatory evacuations were implemented.

No motels in the Florida were available. I headed North. Filled the car with all the stuff I could with a certainty that I would never see my home again. Gas lines were everywhere by this time. Less than half a tank by now. It was time to call it quits. Florida on its main highways have overhead billboards giving updates on traffic usually. Now it was telling you to call Red Cross and find the nearest shelter. I had reached a good distance almost to the Georgia border. I would live and survive.

First don’t do what I did. Don’t wait. Don’t end up in a shelter if you have the finances and transportation. It’s not fun. I spent three days in a shelter on the florida border with other kind souls who were worried about us and took wonderful care. I was one of the lucky ones. This shelter had just opened up in a school for the overflow. The Lord took care of me big time. There were about 60 of us.

Why move out? Because there are not even close to enough shelters to care for the millions who are on the move.

Second. Gas. It’s a big problem. Going North everyone is filling up with cans and their cars. After the storm it’s even worse. Fuel trucks are allocated to the National Guard and first responders. Diesel will be trucked in first. The government wants the tractor trailers to haul in food and water and supplies. Most of the supermarkets had been emptied out. What was left probably had spoiled. Even after I got back home after the storm, it was close to at least ten days before gas was half plentiful. The 1970’s gas lines were back.

Download Gas Buddy app. Gas Buddy

It works best on the phone.

It will be a godsend. Good Samaritans will be kind enough to let you know as soon a station re-opens, which is an on and off proposition, and what the prices are and if all grades are available. It’s good to have anyway. Easy shopping. You don’t need the premium app.

Finally, let us not forget that the National Guard, and all those who take care of us have families and homes and they are just as worried as we were. Yet they willingly sacrifice for us. Don’t burden them if you don’t have to.

If I have not done enough to scare the you know what out of you, let me give you a couple of clips of the Fort Myers shelter. For those who had neither the money or transportation to escape. Be safe. Get out-of-the-way. Train, bus, car. You won’t regret it.


Here is an update on the worried folks who were trying to get in. 500 shelters for hundreds of thousands evacuees.


The epilogue. My House was spared.  A month later I decided to return North and am living happily ever after.



14 Responses to “Hurricanes – Lessons and how I survived and you can too”

  1. geeez2014 Says:

    So important…you did a great service by writing this all down. SO GLAD your house AND YOU survived!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kid Says:

    Great Post. Great Advice. I was in aquaintence type contact with a big wall streeter guy (Todd Harrison who was head trader for Jim Cramer’s hedge fund for a while) who was living on Long Island when Sandy bore down on them. He had a generator so no problem. Problem! With the electric out he had no way to get gasoline and commented about how he and his family of wife and two young kids are living in a house that’s about 40 degrees. Yeeesh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always On Watch Says:

    Thanks for the tip about GasBuddy. I just downloaded the app to my phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jtdorsaneo Says:

    It was not fun, that’s for sure. Irma turned and went right over Lakeland. We were sheltered with friends who then came to stay with us for a week because we had power and they didn’t. Blessed. We were blessed. You never know what those horrid storms are going to do at the last minute. Praying for all in the path of Florence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. the unit Says:

    Good advice and ‘nough said. Except, better take it. 🙂
    Playful young dolphin in ’47 ( unnamed then) hurricane, now old sea turtle 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda Says:

    We survived Katrina, and had lived in western Alabama-near the MS border-without power for 2 weeks in 100* (got the backside side of the hurricane and major flooding)….we also survived many tornadoes (an EF 5 one)—after that tornado we decided it was time for a change…that’s how we ended up here, back in my husbands hometown in the great north. When they tell you to get out, get out, PERIOD. I know, a lot of folks can’t afford too, been there, done that. I know we probably will get a lot of rain from this one as well, even in western NY, but it sure beats living where it will strike.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      I had gone through one before in the Northeast in 1955… I was just not up for any more of it. Shutters up, shutters down, stock up.. Most of the time we never got hit, but I am done with the anxiety.
      Yes, get out and now..

      Liked by 1 person

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