Hurricane season and what it means to Generation Overland
There are a lot of things that we prepare for at Generation Overland, many of which are either vehicle related or trip related. The most important of which I feel it is our preparation for hurricane season. Hurricane season in Florida starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. So effectively we have six months out of the year to prepare and or cleanup from the previous year, and we have six months hoping that we don’t have to utilize anything we have prepared for the season. In this day and age, I’m sure many of you are well aware of the impact that a
hurricane can have on a region. Everything from flooding to completely destroyed infrastructure and housing can occur in the path and surrounding area of a hurricane.
I’ve watched as the years go on, not as many people disregard warnings and evacuation orders, though there are still some that do. Many people do prepare adequately and many others seem to stick their head in the sand. Last year for 2017, Hurricane Irma set her sights on Florida, I (Andrew) pay close attention to the National Hurricane Center during the season. I was fortunate enough to get what supplies I
needed, such as plywood, well in advance to many other people. I did several things to harden the exterior of my home as the path of Irma wavered between east and west coast. Anthony just so happened to be on his #MOABorBUST trip for the duration of the calamity that our county had become enveloped in. I made sure to secure all the loose items outside of my home, windows got boarded, trees got trimmed or taken out. With the assistance of one of my neighbors it made quick work of the lengthy chore list. To add to the chore list, I had to help make sure Anthony’s home was properly locked up and is as little danger as possible, I took some of their personal belongings for safe keeping as well as documenting things in and around the home for insurance purposes, just in case the worst were to happen.
Now that the chore list is empty, house is secure, family members are squared away, immediate neighbors are good to go, Anthony has his documentation for his house while he’s on vacation, I have a decision to make. “To stay and play or load and go”, is a fitting term I believe, one I’m sure came from long ago however my fire academy instructor used that term years ago and it has just stuck with me. There was plenty of uncertainty with Irma and her “cone of probable trajectory” covered the entire state of Florida. Florida is just five days away from bearing the impact of this colossal hurricane and to attempt to leave the state isn’t a viable option for many reasons. There were not many places you could go with eleven people, not to mention the probability of having a difficult time getting fuel on the road, as well as the sheer amount of people clogging up the evacuation routes trying to leave the state.
The final path for Irma was determined to come up the west coast of Florida. We are fortunate enough to have some great friends on the opposing coast with Foxpetitions. They offered asylum during the storm for us as they were 150 miles away from where the eye was supposed to pass over, opposed to our 20-50-mile distance per the predicted path.
Stay and play or load and go
So how do you prepare to “stay and play or load and go” you may be wondering. I’ve got some tips I use every year as well as quite literally trial and error each year.
First and foremost, you need to mentally prepare yourself, Evacuating or staying, it doesn’t matter, either of those events can be incredibly stressful. Preparation can definitely mitigate that as well as support from friends and family. Things have the potential to be very ugly if you stay, and if you leave you may come back to a vacant lot where your home use to be.
Second on the list, supplies, things such as food and water, extra gasoline, have all your important documents safe and secure. make sure things are accessible and easily loaded if you decide or must evacuate.
There are quite honestly so many places you can acquire a basic list of supplies that I’m not going to do that, let’s just say we keep plenty of “stuff” around that is ready for the season. I mean come on I can’t give away all my secrets. There are some “preparedness” items that may be worthy of another article on that topic by itself though.
Third is to know when to evacuate and where to go, there is sort of a point of no return if you will with evacuation. If you wait too long, don’t leave. You’ll just be stuck on the road when things get nasty. I also like to make sure I minimize my time in crowded public places, panic and stress make for unpredictable people, with three kids family safety is a priority for the Generation Overland families for sure. Next up is your route and destination should you evacuate. Know your route, know it well and be damn sure that your destination is safely out of the path of the hurricane. Nothing like leaving your home and resources to put yourself into harm’s with without those resources. It is also a great idea to make sure family members that aren’t evacuating or live out of the area to begin with know your route and destination. They should know when they can expect to hear from you and what to do if they don’t.
Hurricane season is no joke for those that live on the east coast or the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Many events have torn through communities and caused so much damage, they should not be taken lightly. Hurricane Harvey pounded Texas, Irma swallowed the state of Florida it seemed, though she didn’t linger like Harvey did for Texas. May places outside the US got slammed and still haven’t recovered, not even vital infrastructure just so residents can try and get back on their feet. We here have been very fortunate and count our blessings and pray for those that have not been as fortunate.