August is here, Miami, and you know what that means. We’ll nurture foolish hopes that the Dolphins will make the playoffs this season. We’ll negotiate the dueling emotions aroused by the idea of school starting (day camp shuffle over, yay; unbearable traffic returns, damn).
But this time of year, what we really focus on is one particular dark, oppressive cloud: Peak hurricane season is here.
Hurricane season is a period of time that tries Florida’s soul in general and Miami’s soul in particular. It lasts approximately a year. OK, not really - the season ends Nov. 30. But the dread and uncertainty are so powerful that the suffering seems to last longer than a construction project on 836.
Waking every morning to the threat of some new weather system is taxing, even if the threat has originated in another solar system and has no chance of developing. It doesn’t matter if this potential storm is going to end up a five-minute shower that barely soaks your lawn. You are going to go through the Five Stages of Of Peak Hurricane Season anyway.
But understanding your weakness is the best way of dealing with it. So let’s go over what we are likely to experience for the next couple of months, every time we see a hint of the Cone of Death.
Stage one: denial
“It’s not going to hit here. Jim Cantore will not be booking a flight to MIA. We will not lose power for a week. We are not spending 12 hours evacuating to Orlando.”
Stage two: anger
“Seriously? It’s heading our way? Don’t we have enough to make life miserable here what with the gators, iguanas, pythons, bad drivers, tourists, impossible rent and $18 cocktails? ”
Stage three: bargaining
“OK, listen, if it’s going to be a storm, let it hit someplace else. Not Florida. Not even Tallahassee. Send it to another state. What about Georgia? We’ll absolutely sacrifice Georgia. And if it can’t be another state then definitely Tallahassee. What about north Broward? Let those people in Lighthouse Point deal with it.”
Stage four: depression
“I can’t believe I have to put up the shutters/buy batteries/fight over plywood at Home Depot. I can’t believe I postponed buying impact windows even though I’d need to sell a kidney to afford them. I need to stock up on water, but I’m too demoralized to drive to Publix and buy the several gallons we are required to purchase even though I could get it free out of my faucet.”
Stage five: acceptance
“Fine. A hurricane is coming. Let’s hit the liquor store.”