Sep 042019

people on beach sun and storm cloudsWow. Hurricane Dorian. I didn’t see that one coming! Actually, I did. We all did. The arrival of this slow-moving hunka-hunka swirling air has had more attention than Taylor Swift and the Kardashians combined. (Wait ~ are they still a thing? I’ve lost track.)

With apologies to those actually impacted* here’s a bit of a silly take on the unseen side of hurricane impact.

#1 ~ Travel plans.

Favorite Husband and I were on a road trip when we started hearing about a hurricane that could pose a serious threat to Florida and Floridians. So we came home a few days early. Not entirely sure what we thought we could or would accomplish but it felt like the right thing to do. Oh, and our son is scheduled to come home from Paris later this week. Based solely on the quantity of email I’m receiving? The airline thinks he should change plans.

#2 ~ Expectations.

We thought by coming back home we’d be in a great position to straighten up the backyard a bit, throw a few things in a suitcase, and laugh at ourselves a little. But there’s a hitch or several. Gardening. Swimming. Dogs. Do you have any idea how much STUFF can accumulate in a back yard?  Straighten up a little? My Aunt Fanny! Where’s Marie Kondo when you need her?

Hey — it’s Florida. Just because it’s in the left lane with its blinker on, doesn’t mean this #hurricane is going to make a turn! #HurricaneDorian #humorhelps Click To Tweet

#3 ~ Egos.

”You’re going? Really? It’s gonna blow out to sea.” Translation: you’re over-reacting. You’re spoiled. You’re a wuss.” Guess what? I’m an over-reacting, spoiled wuss who lives on an island and, when those who know better than I start using the term “mandatory evacuation” I comply. My ego can take the hit a whole lot better than it can handle storm surge and Florida summertime sans air conditioning. (See ‘over-reacting, spoiled wuss’ above.)

close up of large turtle face

#4 ~ Egos. Again.

After packing the van for 3 dogs on 3 different diets and loading a enough books to get us through an open-ended trip, the human suitcases ended up a little skinny. I wonder how many days I can survive in yoga pants and T-shirts? I think I’m grateful that I’ll probably never see the other hotel guests again.


Hurry up and wait. When a #hurricane is moving this slowly I feel like I’m being stalked by a turtle. A rabid turtle. Click To Tweet

#5 ~ Egos for the Trifecta.

I can’t think of anything more humbling than the immense power of nature. Despite satellites and storm chasers and pasta-on-parade aka spaghetti models, humans don’t know as much as we would like to about these massive storms. Strength. Duration. Path. Who knows? Not me. Respect.

#6 ~ Housekeeping.

This is already not one of my superpowers. While I obsess about cleanliness, I’m a bit of a train wreck when it comes to neatness. So as we packed and prepared, I collected my project piles (or as I call them ‘stacks of brilliance’) and put them into a waterproof bin. I put the bin on a table. When Favorite Husband saw what I was doing he made the mistake of telling me that he didn’t think the water would come up. “No one ever does, do they?” I thought, as I wandered from room to room stacking things on top of one another. Can’t wait to go home to that!

Hurricane weather reports? Like looking up symptoms on WebMD: maybe nothing — or it might kill ya. Click To Tweet

#7 ~ More Expectations.

Our two grown-up dogs are experienced travelers and wonderful hotel guests but our puppy was a total unknown. The wild child’s reactions to new situations can be a bit of a wildcard. So guess who’s adapting to hotel life? The little princessa is taking her cues from the big dogs and, just like at home, she crates herself when she’s not sure what to do. Everybody’s a little clingy but we’ve established an ‘on the road’ routine.

black German shepherd dog on unmade bed#8 ~ Faith and Hope.

I’m just in from the last dog walk of the night. (I’m getting most of my steps in!) In the parking lot of a dog-embracing Candlewood Suites in Georgia are several bucket trucks from an electric company in Virginia. They’re waiting to be deployed… to restore power further south.

#9 ~ Love and Friendship.

Thanks to a dear friend (who also knows a lot more about hurricane weather than I do) we had Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. She reserved two rooms out of harm’s way in one direction and I did the same in another. And, believe it or not, waiting, watching and staying put was an option. We picked a plan, released some rooms and launched our little caravan. During our trip through thousands of acres of beautiful farms, we received texts and calls and tweets with information and support.

Perhaps that can be a new metric. A stormful. And getting a stormful of love from family and friends is as humbling as a record-setting hurricane. And much more powerful.


How You Can Help

*On a serious note, we are heartbroken about the hurricane damage in the Bahamas. But Chef Jose´ Andre´s and his World Central Kitchen are already on the way to Abaco. They do an amazing job feeding hungry people during disasters.

An excerpt from the first response efforts reported by

  • Miami Community Emergency Operations Center  If you are in the Miami area, a collection of toiletries, diapers, first-aid items, nonperishable foods, water, generators and other items has begun. Items can be dropped off at the Miami-Dade Community Emergency Operations Center and monetary donations can be made at
  • All Hands and Hearts Smart Response is looking for volunteers and monetary donations. The group provides first-hand relief to those hit by the storm.
  • Good 360  looking for items such as blankets, diapers, tarps, water, toiletries, pillows, sheets and portable chargers – particularly items that corporations wish to donate to help those affected by Dorian. Click here to learn how to send items. Individuals who want to make a cash donation  click here.
  • BahamaStrong has set up drop-off location at any fire station in the city of Miami. They are collecting water, diapers, personal items, canned goods, can openers, generators, mosquito spray and sunscreen.
  • International Medical Corps sends medical teams to disaster areas, is looking for donations to help with medical care. Click here to donate.


  10 Responses to “9 Petty Personal Impacts of Hurricane Dorian — And Ways to Send Help”

  1. Glad you’re safe and had a plan A, B, and C, Andrea. The storm is now knocking on the doors of my sister and nephew. As for me, I’ll take a snow storm that dumps three feet of snow overnight over a hurricane any day.

  2. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the hurricane and I so appreciate your ability to embrace your humor and new perspectives along the way. I love your conclusion, “Perhaps that can be a new metric. A stormful. And getting a stormful of love from family and friends is as humbling as a record-setting hurricane. And much more powerful.” Sending you a stormful of love and hope for safety for those impacted by Dorian.

  3. Andrea having never experienced a hurricane or massive storm, this all sounds harrowing. We are in earthquake and fire country and have our own drill. I hope your family, doggies, and island are safe. My heart goes out to everyone in Dorian’s path. Thank you for the links – I am happy to send money or supply donations.

    • Thanks Debra. I guess a lot depends on what one is used to — and this is still a newish one for me. That said, early reports look as if our home was relatively unscathed.

      • Good to hear you home is good. I just ran into a woman in town that lives in Florida – she just found out her home is safe. Good news for some, not so good for others. The hurricane is moving towards Charleston and Savanna…

  4. Glad to see you’re safe with your entire family, Andrea. It reminded me of the time I experienced Hurricanes Dennis and Ivan back in 2004 when I lived in Jamaica. The amount of prep that goes into stocking up and securing the home are unbelievable.

    • I think the most draining part is having to be fully prepared for each of the options. There’s very little overlap in the prep, is there? Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. After two huge floods here in the span of 5 years, I have learned never to underestimate the power of Mother Nature to change her mind on a whim!

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