Hurricane Fatigue: What's it's like to deal with Hurricane Warnings on a Frequent Basis

9/14/2017 09:34:00 PM

We're currently watching Hurricane Norma... she's projected to visit us soon.

"Hurricanes are basically like a strong thunderstorm in the midwest."

This, my friends, is how I used to explain hurricanes to my midwest-living friends.

"Basically, it's just a ton of rain and some wind. You lose your Dish Network connection... and it's super inconvenient, but they're kind of nice."


THAT IS seriously what I'd say.

Um, that was until September 2014 when my peeps and I here in Los Cabos (home to San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) went through a CATEGORY FOUR hurricane. (All caps for a reason. That means winds up to 155 mph.)

I wrote all about that catastrophe in this blog post.

It was, by far, the most harrowing experience I'd ever been through. The wind. The rain. I'll never forget the sound of it all. I'll never forget that I was holding one of my daughters, while Craig held the other one, and we ran from their bedroom when we deemed it no longer safe, through our glass-walled hallway, into our bedroom. The door that we could BARELY open because the pressure was holding it closed.

That hurricane, Odile, sat on us.

And it was terrible.

But then, oh friends, THEN... the morning came and our hearts dropped. Our community was ravaged. Goodbye trees and flowers and all things green. Goodbye electricity and stores and businesses and schools and all of the things that make cities cities. Goodbye normalcy. Goodbye life as you knew it.

Add After Odile was bad. Read my blog post from the storm here. It was surreal.

Storms are bad, but the post-storm life? It's even worse.

Hello grocery store, post-Odile.

And, here we sit, nearly 3 years later... watching the news sources to see if we're going to get hit with yet another, albeit forecasted smaller, hurricane on Sunday night/Monday morning.

You guys.

Oh, friends.

We've lived in Cabo for 11 years and I'm telling you, this whole hurricane thing isn't getting any easier.

Not even two weeks ago we were CLOBBERED (yes, all caps are necessary.) by Tropical Storm Lidia. Word on the street is that she dumped more rain in our area than we traditionally get in three years time. This is a big deal for us. We don't have the infrastructure that most cities do. And now... more rain and wind?

Put a fork in me.

This was just a tropical storm and it WRECKED our community.

My friends' backyard is still wet.

People lost their homes.

Lives were lost.

The road to my house collapsed.

That's not my house at the top. But that IS the road I used to drive up to get to my house.

The psychology of living in a coastal region and having to endure hurricane season is grating on me, and I'd venture to guess, everyone else who lives here. And it's only September. We've got at least 1.5 - 2 months more of this nonsense.

Here's how it goes, friends:

1. You check weather daily. Try not to freak out. Try to put your meteorologist pants on and decide if you can piece together whether or not we're going to get pummeled or not. Oh, and don't worry yet... because who needs excess anxiety or stress?

2. A disturbance forms. A tropical storm or a hurricane is forming. It's time to prepare. Ugh.

3. Shutters go up. (Adios natural light.) Water is purchased, gas for the generator. More ice, more stuff. I buy paper plates, bowls and napkins and plastic silverware. It's hard to wash dishes with limited water. Pull together batteries, camping lanterns and flashlights. (Candles give off heat and the last thing we need is more heat here.)

4. Bring in all of your outdoor furniture, plants, etc. Otherwise, anything loose can and usually will break in high winds. (The tree that Lila planted from seed falls down every.single.year.)

5. Do laundry. It may be a while before you can do it again.

6. WAIT. Just wait. Pace. Fold towels. Just wait.

7. Then it starts. More pacing. More cringing. More trying not to remember what it was like in Odile. Check in with friends via texting. "You ok?" "Do you still have electricity?" "When is this going to end?" Keep the kiddos busy.

The day before Odile hit, 3 years ago. I can't handle this cuteness.

8. Goodbye electricity. Goodbye air conditioning (in your totally closed up house), goodbye internet. Goodbye all the things that first-world countries take for granted. Just sit back and listen to the wind. (Friends, wind and rain will never settle this lady's soul. Ever. Again. And truth? I used to listen to a "Thundering Rainstorm" CD when I was in college so that I could fall asleep.) And of course, it's nighttime because do storms ever hit during the day? No.

Clean up water.
Wring out towels.
Think about why you EVER moved to Cabo.

9. It's daytime. Survey the damage. Start cleaning up. Make creative meals. Sweep. Rake. Turn on the exceedingly loud generator so that all of your food doesn't spoil.
Report your electricity outage to the company. Again. Use water sparingly. Sweat. Sweat so much.

Drink coconut water. I mean, what the wind knocked down you should drink.

10. Clean up.

11. Clean up.

12. A couple of days later, take down some of your storm shutters -- not all. Take the outdoor furniture back outside.

13. Get back to normal.

14. Go to work again. Meet deadlines. Make phone calls. Play catch up. Send the kids back to school...

15. Resume watching the weather stuff again... discover another disturbance just south of you... and,



I'm pretty sure that climate change just might be legit.


So, right now our eyes are on Hurricane Norma. I usually watch along with and also On facebook I like Baja Insider and iCyclone.

This was my view today at the girls' swim class. It was so nice. I did my Headspace meditation app. And sat and enjoyed the breeze.

It's important to be in the right frame of mind when all of this nonsense happens.

It's also important to have wine.

Note to self: stop by the grocery store tomorrow.

Ok, friends let's see what happens.

Time to roll up the rugs, bring the outdoor furniture inside and do this all.over.again.

Godspeed, friends.


P.S. Craig mentioned that I just forgot to mention Newton, a category 2, that clobbered us last year. Sigh. I forgot.

Ah, Cabo. It's not all corona and tanning.


NOTE: I just realized that this Sunday is the first awards show of the season. (The primetime Emmys.) If this storm stays on the projected path that will hugely interfere with my Fashion Recap writing and prosecco drinking. Grrrr... Ok, weather.


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