Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hurricane

My alarm hadn’t gone off yet when the ringing phone woke me and the rest of my roommates. Jen, closest to the phone, stumbled out of bed grabbing for receiver.

“Hello?” Jen mumbled into the phone. A pause. A sigh. “Yeah. Hold on, she’s right here.” Jen put the receiver down and looked at me.

I had just put my glasses on and was sitting up. Faint predawn light filtered in through the lone window in the room.

“It’s your mom.” Jen said slipping back into her bed.

A flash of panic flew through me. Something bad must have happened for mom to call me this early. I looked at the clock. 6:45. Someone was dead. I knew it.

I jumped out of bed and ran to the phone.

“Mom?” I asked, “What is it? What’s wrong? Is everyone okay?” My heart was pounding and I was close to tears.

“What? Everyone is fine!” Mom said. “Have you been watching the news? Are you okay? The hurricane is going to hit you!”

“What?” I stammered. “Everyone is okay?”

“We’re fine. I was worried about you.” Mom said. “I thought you might go to the beach to watch the storm. Are you girls okay?”

“We’re fine mom. We aren’t going to the beach.”

After spending a few minutes reassuring her that I would call if anything changed or we were evacuated I hung up the phone.

“Why is your mom calling so early?” Another roommate asked.

“She’s worried about the hurricane.”

“I don’t even think it’s supposed to make landfall anywhere near us.”  Jen grumbled.

Later in the day as the skies grew progressively darker and rain pelted the windows in sheets, I sat in my dorm room doing an assignment. Wind howled and ripped through the breezeway and courtyard. Palm trees bent and swayed.

“You know,” I said, “all things considered, this isn’t so bad. We could have gone to the beach!”

(As a historical side note: The 1995 hurricane season was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record. Hurricane Luis, a Cat 4, never made landfall in Florida. Its outer bands swept the coast, but the Gulf Stream whisked it north to Newfoundland. And I totally went to the beach the day after the storm passed by!)


  1. I've stayed through a hurricane and won't make that same mistake again. In the courtyard of my apartment there were 4 trees that fell in a circle, thankfully not hitting any of the apartments. Give me an earthquake any day.

    1. Since moving to Florida I've gone through about 8 total that impacted the area where I live. Most of them by the time the got to me were little more than tropical storms but still equally nerve-wrecking.

      I felt an minor tremor once. And my sister was in the 1989 earthquake in California and Sara (the buddy I keep mentioning) went through the 2011 Japan earthquake. Based on their descriptions, I would take the hurricanes.

      One, you get a heads up before a hurricane of at least a few days. Two, I get motion sickness very easily!

  2. Never been through a hurricane. Thinking I don't want to, either.

    1. The little ones aren't that bad, honest. I would evac though in a heartbeat if faced with a Cat 4 or 5. No questions asked!

  3. I'm glad I don't live in a hurricane area. I would have to build an underground shelter, and then people would think I was MORE crazy than they already do. I've been through several small earthquakes, but no big ones. People think those of us in California have constant earthquakes. There have been some really big ones in San Francisco. Everything here is built to withstand them, so it's not that frightening.

    We had a storm last year that tore some trees out by the roots. That was a little freaky.

    1. I guess just people just get used to whatever natural disaster their region gets hit with the most. I don't think I'd do well in an earthquake, but I don't worry so much about hurricanes. I've learned how to prep for them and every June I make sure my bug-out-bags are ready to go and I've got supplies!

  4. Really well written Heather. Thanks for stopping by at my blog and good luck with the rest of the letters!

  5. Why didn't I choose a university near the beach? What was I thinking?

    Good call to at least wait until the storm was over to hit the beach. :o)

  6. Glad things turned out okay for you during that storm -- you're braver than me! I'd evacuate in a light rain for crap's sake :-)