Hurricane "Reality Check"

( in front of Neptune Beach’s City Hall offices, one block from the beach)

I guess it was about five years ago that the beaches cities brought in these poles and color-coded them to give us an “in your face” visual of how far, and how deep the storm surge would be at various distances from shore, depending upon the category status of the particular hurricane.

I’ve lived here for ten hurricane seasons and my insurance policy tells me that our home is 1,300 feet from the coast. So, while not ocean front, our proximity does give me pause. Especially since watching live coverage of hurricanes Katrina and Ike these past few years. So this morning when I drove past that “reality check” pole I had a rather visceral reaction to it (chilling). I grabbed for my trusty iPhone and pressed her camera into service once again. I guess they’ve made their point when you gaze at this multi-colored pole for a bit…and realize that your neighborhood could be largely submerged if the circumstances of storm strength, tide and wind converged. Your entire neighborhood could be destroyed. It’s not like we haven’t seen that happen before. The memory of the hurricanes of 2004: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – all categories 3 and 4 at landfall – ripped across our state. And while we here in the beaches of Jacksonville – the First Coast beaches – Atlantic, Neptune, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beaches didn’t suffer the brunt of those hurricanes, I lost power for four days and I witnessed plenty of homes whose roofs sank under the weight of large water oak trees who can be easily uprooted by strong winds.

It makes me long for the security of having a hurricane-proof home. Honestly, if I was going to build a new home today, I would definitely use this technology, and not only because a hurricane-proof home is a sensible choice for the coast. It’s also tornado-proof, fire-proof, flood-proof energy efficient and green/sustainable. (And think of what you’d save on your insurance premiums, which only go upupup every year at renewal time. If they don’t drop your coverage completely.)

And so although Bill doesn’t appear bound for our shores at this point, I’m monitoring the tropics here, and have installed it on my bookmarks bar so it’s front and center for the duration of the storm season. I figure if we make to the second week of October, I can exhale.


  1. Rosie says:

    I am not sure how one deals with the stress of a hurricane. I know that I am tired of winter-it lasts too long. Hopefully, this is a mild year and they all stay out in the Ocean.

  2. Karen says:

    I agree with Rosie – New England weathers are long and dreary and after 44 of them I long for the day when I am concerned about hurricane season…And when I'm lucky enough to get down there, I'm gonna try to find a little place built with your suggested technology! 🙂 Here's to a quiet season for you, no neighborhood floods.

  3. Mickey Johnson says:

    hurricanes are indeed fierce… years ago we lost my grandparents beach house to a hurricane. it was more than just the losing of another beach house…it was our retreat from the busy life, our re-connection with the sea and the relaxed fellowship with family and friends that it stole. some things cannot be replaced, but thankfully i have my sweet memories tucked safely away and no hurricane can steal those! xo, mickey

  4. Fearless Nester says:

    Good, informative post…those Reality Check poles would give me pause to reflect as well!

  5. Barbara Jacksier says:

    Glad you dodged the bullet. I'm visiting friends at the shore in the Hamptons and keeping my fingers crossed that the storm avoids us here.

  6. John says:

    Those poles are a great idea! Now everyone has an idea of what they would be dealing with if they decided to stay. I think heading for Canada during a level 5 would be a good idea.

  7. Jane says:

    After living in the northeast for 4 long years, I'll take the occasional hurricane!Most of them are not major…just a lot of water. And FL can usually use that!

    Jane (Artfully Graced)

  8. Alvin Parlet says:

    With all the doggone snow we have gotten recently I am stuck indoors, fortunately there is the internet, thanks for giving me something to do. 🙂

Speak Your Mind