Of Wind and Rain

Of Wind and Rain

I have experienced severe weather in New England as I grew up in New Hampshire. I have experience the cold, the raw bone chilling rains of the northeast and those winter Nor’easter storms that rip through an area and paralyze a city.

In an effort to find better weather I moved the family to Florida. I have lived in Florida nearly twenty years now and have experienced a handful of tropical storms. Some just brush by as a few rode over us.

Many people ask why do you think it’s better weather in Florida with all those tropical storms and it’s so hot down there. It’s not an easy answer. I love where I grew up, like most people it’s where you feel the most comfortable at times.

In the north, we don’t always think of the time down and out of work because of a snow storm. A bad storm can leave you without power for over a week or more. The work to remove the snow or scrape the ice of a windshield can numb the hands in minutes. Lost power in the middle of the night, only to wake in the morning to a home that’s 30*makes you aware and remember every bone you had ever broken.

Moving to Florida was no doubt a good move for someone who has arthritis. The swollen knuckles and other joints are more workable in the warmer weather. But is there a tradeoff for the warm weather and softer sandy beaches?

Living in the center of Florida can get really warm in the summer. The heat will cook a dozen eggs on the hood of your car faster than you can have a sandwich made at the local deli. So, it’s not uncommon for most people to live near the Gulf or Atlantic beaches. The winds off the water, even during the summer months, can keep temperatures bearable during those summer months.

Florida’s warm weather, beautiful beaches and resort like atmosphere is no doubt the main attraction. Good business and plenty of work make it an easy draw for most people to make the transition to live here. Almost 90% of Floridians are transplants. But is it worth is with those monster storms?

Until Hurricane Irma, no storm has ever encompassed nearly the whole state. Most storms hit or make landfall in one location. The impact is powerful and devastating to that area. Most impacts at landfall cover a small area in relation to the total coastline of Florida. Do not underestimate what I am saying in the power of these storms but rather the size of the main or point of impact of most of the storms.

When Hurricane Charlie hit Punta Gorda Florida as a Cat 4. The impact to Punta Gorda and Charlotte county was huge. From the center of the eye of this fast-moving storm to 20 miles out in each direction the damage left you breathless and in awe at the power of it. Those who were maybe 40 to 50 miles form that center would say the storm was really nothing but a wind and rain event.

I have experienced a handful of storms, they are stressful, they impact your wallet, they take you away from work, damage your property and they hurt people. So what makes one stay or flee?

We all have seen the drama of these storms unfold on TV. The week prior to a landfall the big buildup of the drama starts with showing the destruction of past storms. They show lots of photos of boats and mobile homes destroyed and moved off their base. They show downed trees and power lines. This is no different than the Ice and snow storms of the north.  In the north, you won’t see lots of photos of boats washed ashore however the equivalent exchanged would be the cars and trucks blown of the sides of the highways. The death and damage is parallel.

So, if it’s just of wind and rain what makes it different. The power and speed plus the tornadoes within a tropical storm. The storm surge brings in waves or walls of water 3,4, or 8 feet high or is the weight of the heavy snow and ice enough to bring down trees and power lines, crushing in roofs on homes along with artic temperatures and monster wind gusts.

We all live in areas with different weather issues, the question is, do we respect the power of it and are we prepared no matter where we live. Can your home handle the weight of the ice and snow load on the roof? Can your roof handle impact of 120 mile per hour winds? Do you have enough supplies to be without power and water for a few weeks? Can you keep your family safe?

No matter where you live, know the area weather patterns and understand the conditions you may have to face Know and understand the construction and location of your home. Flood zones, wind zones, distance to medical facilities, stores, know the average power outage times previously expedited in that area. Know you emergency plans when buying a home. These are all questions you should ask your Realtor, closing attorney and others involve in the purchase of your home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, get your facts and we will see you at a happy closing table.