RT Cunningham


Hurricane Michael - The First Tropical Cyclone I’ve Ever Fled From

Hurricane Michael A hurricane is the same thing as a typhoon, a tropical cyclone. I’ve endured quite a few typhoons in the Philippines but I’ve never endured even one hurricane.

My older son, Joseph, and his family decided to flee yesterday and Josie (my wife) and I tagged along. This is the first time we’ve fled from any storm.

Hurricane Michael and the Reason We Fled

Joseph’s family lives in base housing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The houses are wood frame homes, built by the government contractors who offered the lowest bid. In my opinion, and mine only, they seem like matchbox homes built with wooden matches and ice cream sticks. I don’t think a single house could withstand the direct impact of a hurricane.

Our area in Florida is too close for comfort to the predicted landfall area.

There really isn’t a good comparison with my house in Olongapo, Philippines. My house is made of cement and steel. The only wood in the house are blocks that fasten the ceiling to the cement and interior fixtures. Like cabinets. The house has already withstood multiple typhoons and earthquakes. The only real damage has been cracks in the cement finishing over the past 12 years.

Hurricane Michael and Where We Are Today

The hurricane is supposed to make landfall a few hours from now (the time I’m writing this). We ended up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, just a few hours away. Joseph and Diann (his wife) coordinated this trip with neighbors they’re friends with. They found this lake house through Airbnb. With five families, the split on the cost is less expensive than most hotel rooms.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and are supposed to departing early tomorrow morning. Some of them are expected to be back at work by noon tomorrow. That’s silly. The people in charge know that more than half the people west of the panhandle evacuated the area.

This is the first hurricane I’ve ever fled from and I hope it will be the last. Josie and I won’t be anywhere near Florida this time next year. We’ll be in Hawaii with my younger son, Jonathan, and his wife. Unfortunately, we have to expect a hurricane at any time there.

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By RT Cunningham
October 10, 2018