OK...I have been in hurricanes before and tropical storms and I have seen some pretty amazing and dumb things. However, as tropical storm Fay pesristed for days and flooded out most of the state of Florida, I have to say I had three new experiences.
Here are my top three dumb things to do in a tropical storm.
3. Surfing - I used to be on a swim team years ago and took the beginning of Lifeguard training. You do not have to be lifeguard to know that there are currents in the water. Furthermore, when the waves exceed a few feet high and there are white caps...it's rough. Add a state declartion of emergency and warnings to stay inside away from the windows from the Governor - you know it is not a typical 'beach day'.
Yet...I watch the news to see how the storm is progressing, and every second 'live' shot is on the beaches with people surfing and the media laughing. I am sorry, I love thrills - roller coasters and parasailing are my best buds - but I do have a little common sense.
2. Umbrella Skating - I peaked out my front door because I thought I may have heard the tornado siren, and wanted to get my kids in our safe room. As I am mentally going through my checklist of supplies, water, diapers, flashlights, etc that are in that room - I hear a kid scream...then more screams from obviously different kids. Worried that someone was hurt, I opened the door all the way to see three kids (I would say about 7 or 8) on skateboards holding patio umbrellas and using the gusts of wind to fly up the road. It was great until one of them wiped out at a rough speed I'd guess to be at least 20miles/hour. Not such a great sport.
1. Superman Wannabe - OK, this guy won. I saw a man on his roof when I was moving some debris in my yard in a quiet moment of the storm. I assumed he had leaking and flooding problems. Then, I heard a kid yell to him, and when I looked he was hold the bottoms of his jacket open like a parachute for the wind yelling he was superman. I went back in the house shaking my head, as another band of rain and wind gusts started. Two days after Fay moved on, I heard from a neighbor that he had been up checking on a leak, and the superman imitation for his kids resulted in flying - not so gracefully from the top pitch of his roof to the emergency room with a broken arm and collarbone. I guess he wasn't so invincible.
The moral of the story...
Mother Nature has been known to show us her fury. When she is angry, get out of the way. Don't be stupid, but be prepared. Spend your time doing something useful inside where it is safe. Clean your pantry and closets. Not fun, but your stuck in the house anyway, and when the storm is over, there are a lot of people at shelters and in need of clothes and extra food. Your not so needed canned goods and clothing can help other families.
To all those affected by Fay...Blessings and our thoughts are with you.