As I sit and write this issue’s article, the state of Florida has just been hit by its first hurricane of the season. Hurricane Idalia joins other recent notorious I-storms, Ian and Irma, as a major hurricane bringing excessive storm surge and damage to the sunshine state.
Initially projected to hit the coastline east of the state capital as a tropical storm or category one hurricane, Idalia quickly intensified in the favorably warm Gulf of Mexico waters and made landfall as a major storm. Her effects are being felt from the southern portions of Florida, all the way up the state and into the Carolinas.
Mother Nature proves year and year again that we are no match for her weapons of wind, water and fire.
People ask me why I live in Florida and how I can deal with the hurricanes. I have gone through some doozies (namely Charley and Ian), but also too many overhyped storms to count. In the years prior to Hurricane Ian the people in our area had been under evacuation orders and threatened with storm surge year in and year out, and thankfully the meteorologists got their forecasts wrong most of those times. However, it created what I call the “chicken little syndrome.” Remember Chicken Little who liked to proclaim that the sky was falling? The scare tactics and doomsday mentality of the media with the approach of a storm has led to this mentality among a lot of Floridians.
Fast forward eleven months after Ian to the approach of Idalia. The general population in Cape Coral/Ft. Myers reacted in one of three ways.
The first group acted on the premise that the past predicts the future and began behaving like the end of the world was near. Charley and Ian’s paths had been severely miscalculated as heading to Tampa, and both storms suddenly turned east toward us. Idalia was also predicted to hit the Tampa area, which forced this group to clear shelves of water, paper products, canned food, flashlights, batteries, gas cans, generators and other hurricane supplies. Gas pumps ran dry. Schools closed. This group’s faith in the National Hurricane Center had been shattered and they feared the worst. Now, they are prepared for the next one… unless they return everything they bought!
The second group had the mindset, “I went through Hurricane Ian. Nothing can be worse than that, so I’m not worrying about this one.” They didn’t secure anything, nor did they fill up their gas tanks. They went to work and walked their dogs. They could even be seen on the beaches enjoying the waves. For the most part they came out unscathed.
The most reasonable group, who is grossly underrepresented according to this author, behaved somewhere in the middle. This group would have been prepared well in advance of any pending hurricane so had no reason to rush out and stock up. They already had necessary supplies and were comfortably safe in their homes.
To answer the question of how can I live in Florida with all these hurricanes, alligators, bugs and heat, the only answer I have is that I truly love it here. Greg and I love our lifestyle, we love the sunshine, the people around us, the palm trees, the water, the way the state is governed, the tax code and so much more.
The other, perhaps less familiar, benefit to living in Florida is the amazing community of Doberman people that call the state home. We have a core of strong, ethical and supportive breeders and plenty of talented handlers. The state also has some of the most popular show circuits in the east, including the Florida circuit that is chock full of majors and of course the AKC Royal Canin National Championship show each December.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of Florida is a growing and active club that supports its members and the dog community at large, being licensed to hold conformation shows, obedience and rally trials, agility trials, scent work and fast cat! As one of the oldest chapter clubs in the DPCA and at a time when many clubs are folding, this club has found ways to get stronger and more involved. Kudos to all those who make it happen!
Until next time…