Florida Hurricanes: What Are You Afraid Of?
September 3, 2016 | Richard Sites
When I was growing up in South Florida, as did my father and grandmother, hurricane season was part of the Coastal Florida lifestyle. We never gave them much thought except that as kids we liked to have time off from school and big puddles to play in. But after 2004, hurricanes in Florida took on an entirely different character and were declared monsters.
After 2004, hurricane season became big business and it was driven by the idea of impending doom once June 1, the beginning of hurricane season, rolled around. But let’s look at the facts.
Hurricanes have the potential of being devastating, no doubt about it. In fact, the most destructive ones have their names permanently retired from further use, the way they do the numbers of major league players like Mickey Mantle.
I was in Miami only 3 days after hurricane Andrew came ashore and I have a friend who was stranded on his rooftop in New Orleans after Katrina so I know the destruction they can wreak.
The hurricanes of 2004 & 2005, when Frances, Jeanne and Wilma came through this area, were really a freak of nature but the insurance companies and local zoning boards took the opportunity to build the threat up way beyond any reasonable level. Scaring people is always good for business, whether you are selling roofs, hurricane impact windows or establishing the TSA and DHS. And insurance companies do not like risk, any risk so you will assume the risk for them in the form of increased premiums and hurricane damage protection zoning codes.
But what are the real facts about the threat level these tropical cyclones pose?
Well, first of all hurricane Hermine was the first storm to hit Florida in 10 years. Since most people move every 4-5 years you could have moved here, stayed awhile, moved away and never witnessed a storm.
In fact, until 2004 there had not been a hurricane pass through Palm Beach County since 1928. It’s reasonable to say that you could have lived here your entire life and never seen a storm.
So, don’t worry, be happy. Jupiter is a great place to live so don’t let the “authorities” or the so-called hurricane predictors in Oklahoma scare you with their annual chant of “huff, puff and blow your house down”.