Saturday, Aug. 24: “Tropical Storm Dorian formed this afternoon about 725 miles east-southeast of Barbados,” according to the National Hurricane Center. “It has sustained winds of 40 mph and is expected to strengthen.” Because of its distance from Florida, most have not yet panicked but begin to pay attention. Supermarket shelves stay fully stocked and gas stations have no lines.
Saturday, Aug. 31: “The storm is currently heading northwest in the Atlantic to the Bahamas, where it is expected to make catastrophic landfall,” according to CNN. “Dorian has strengthened to a category 4 hurricane.” Now, Floridians get more concerned every hour. Homeowners begin to prepare, putting up shutters, emptying store shelves of water, bread and canned goods, waiting hours in line for gas and filling their propane tanks.
For the next 48 hours, Floridians hunker down, glued to their television set for hourly updates while students eagerly await an email notifying them that school is closed.
Tuesday, Sept. 3: “Dorian is expected to skirt the Florida Peninsula staying about 80 miles from the East Central Florida coast,” according to WFTV. Most South Floridians wake up to find light showers and wind gusts of no more than 20 miles per hour. What they experience is considerably milder than a typical summer storm.
Sometimes the media does more harm than good. Although it’s better than no advisory at all, finding out about a hurricane weeks before it arrives can often cause panic. Having more time to think about a storm gives more time for people to worry about its effects before they even know if it will hit.
Unfortunately, according to the Sun-Sentinel, evacuators clogged the roads heading out of Florida which prevented trucks with resources from getting where they needed to go. This could occur again the next time a hurricane scare comes to Florida.
Although it is beneficial to stay informed during a hurricane, people shouldn’t let it consume them. Once people know more about the intended path of a storm, they can plan accordingly.