Saturday, September 3, 2011

Of Storms, Hurricane and Tornados: surviving the winds and aftermath disaster?

 Keywords or Terms: Winds; Storms; Tornadoes; Hurricanes; National Hurricane Center; Meteorologists;  South Eastern and Eastern States; Experienced Residents; Storm Chasers;  Type A and Type B people;  Optimists; Risk Adverse; and Relaxation

I’ve always been intrigued by the hurricane seasons, not for the annihilating effect of the storms on the environment and people, or the damages to properties and pains left behind, but the uncommon and unusual state of the mayhem before another hurricane and storms hit. When the storms and hurricanes come, they come in multiples and no one can actually say they are prepared for them or that they have it together all the time. How about the adage: when it rains, it pours? But some resilient people in the path(s) of the storms inform me of the thrill of these times.

The National Hurricanes or Meteorologist Center that name these storms and hurricanes are occasionally confused, they interchange the historical experiences of one of the storms or hurricanes for another when reporting to the public. Perhaps the hurricane center’s meteorologists and or weather meteorologists want the names to depict specific aspects of the storms each year; however, survivors would rather forget the names and the experience. If you add the costs of the damages to the way of life of residents in the paths of the storms and hurricanes, you begin to understand, why the storms and hurricanes are no one’s cup of tea.

The historic high water levels of some rivers and inland water ways during and immediately after the storms, sometime test the mettle of inland tugs and barges operated by oil and gas companies. No wonder, oil and gas companies like most residents of the gulf and on the paths of the storms, are no fans of the destruction during this time of the year. The hurricanes and storms are hitting the Gulf Coast tonight and many residents of Florida and Mississippi coasts are not laughing or having any fun about the current storms and winds. No one in Southern Mississippi State or any others in the path of the winds in the east coast are brave enough to say they are ready for the challenge of the current tornado storms and or probable associated disasters coming with them. Not even last week’s experience with the storms in the northeast could have prepared anyone or companies to engage the destructive force of these new storms and hurricanes from Mother Nature.

My conversation with some friends and residents of Florida and Alabama today indicate that the big one is on the way and their effort at boarding up their homes and businesses are but, shallow sense of security meant for a feel good experience for those just being broken into the severe weather. As one of the older residents of Florida said: When nature comes with its power and fury, not even an iron gate can keep the water and winds out! Experienced residents of the Gulf Coast States have developed somewhat of a thick skin against the storms and hurricanes. A few of them actually look forward to the experience and intuitively prepare for them before they come down, each year. As unsettling and somewhat scary these storms and hurricanes are for first timers, there is a feeling among the old timers: what you can’t help, you learn to live with! What don’t kill you only makes you strong!! When the unthinkable happens, some residents in the paths of the storms, see it as old friends showing up, once again, in the neighborhood!!!

In ways many of us have never seen or experienced, the lure of the disorientation that accentuates or accomplishes the storms and hurricanes, are hardly one to be cozy about and or, cherish. But trust my experienced Gulf Coast heroes, storms, hurricanes and cyclones are just part of the deal of living in brave old stormy ally. The concept of being careful and apprehensive of the storms and the associated disasters are only for the faint at heart. Residents of the stormy ally are often ready with the sledgehammer to board up their residents and businesses; and, wait for the unpredictability of the storms. It is just a way of life they’ve all been accustomed to throughout the years.

Fast forward to a day like this, the unusual experience of standing on pins and needles among many families and relatives living far away from the path(s) of the storms; show the enormity of the stress and anxiety channeled through phone calls to ensure that all is still well with loved ones during these excruciating times. And, while many of our friends and relatives almost want us to relax and man up, the growing anxiety of time and the unexpected are combinations that keep us all awake as long as we know that our loved ones are in arms way. Many of our friends and relatives living in states that are often bombarded by the hurricanes and storms, show some resilience and bravery that will make a million of us crawl into the woodwork. The thought of our loved ones standing against the unexpected and unpredictable winds and tornadoes is sometimes, if not always, overwhelming, no matter how those friends and relatives tell us to relax! Like my wife says, the storms separate the Type A people from the Type B; it’s just the reality for those folks and somehow, they are able to wade the storms.

We are now in the middle of gusty winds, cold front, moisture and heavy rains, severe weather condition in the south east and east coasts. The meteorologists on the weather channel say the latest and current storm is called: Lee! What a name to give isolated storms in Georgia, Alabama, West Florida; and, flooding in many low lying areas in the east coast. You imagine when you are building a wind farm; you’ve got to expect many towers; that’s how some residents of the Gulf see the winds, waves and lots of rains accompanying the current hurricanes. Tropical storm Lee is giving Southern Mississippi residents run for their money; tornado is forecasted for most parts of the area; and the Doppler radar is as active as it can be or get. No one knows where the forward wind streams and flooding are going to head; and, all things are just unsettling in most parts of the eastern shores. Despite all these, some residents of the Gulf want to go surfing. Where to go guy? Mother Nature is being destructive or excited and all you can think of is going surfing? This is very dangerous, but some of the older residents of those areas are saying these are the best times to surf and swim; you get the feel of being in high heavens!

As with other parts of life, the storms and hurricane seasons remind all, how fallible life truly is; and, why nature has a grandeur plan for the whole of universe, bigger than anyone could ever imagine. You hear: here today, gone tomorrow; and, you wonder what these people are talking about? We are often so sure that all will work out well; or for the best. We are not sure, but we want to expect the best and prepare for the worst. A few want us to believe that there is hardly any disaster that the world has not seen; and just being pessimistic is not going to help anything differently. Somehow in between the known and unknowns, we find a middle ground, where we can show some sigh of relief after the storms and we hear our loved ones say: all is well. You know, some of us are risk averse, while others love the adrenaline and rush that comes with crisis or disasters. As unusual as it may seem to some, a few people actually likes disaster and the challenge to rebuild and start all over again. For this latter group: hurricanes and storms season are unbeatable exciting times. The first thing some in this group want to do is chase the storms and see where the tornado is going to hit the ground. You’ve heard of storm chasers and you wonder, what is wrong with this kind of people? Are they for real; or just ready to lay their lives down just for a cheap trill? However, seasoned weather scientists remind me that, if those storm chasers don’t understudy the storms, we will never know how the storms form; and or, how to better prepare for them. Oh my Goodness, imagine what Sally does for a living?

To the brave souls in Southern Mississippi and Central Alabama tonight, including Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama, my prayers are with you. To workers evacuated from the two hundred and thirty platforms and over twenty oil rigs in the Gulf Coast, you deserve to be safe, be thankful. To the moms and dad with children in the path of the storms, I pray you find some solace in understanding that your loved ones are safe; or as safe as they want you to believe and cherish. To the storm chasers, may the force be with you! To the weather forecasters, may you never miss a wind or storm as you read the radar. To apprehensive and risk adverse folks like me: may we learn to understand what it takes to be optimistic at all cost; and, probably learn to always relax!
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