Hurricane Irma has devastated many of the beautiful Caribbean Islands and is now wrecking havoc on the Florida Keys. The rest of Florida comes next. I have lived in West Palm Beach since the year 2000, and have lived through 8 or more significant storms of hurricane strength. We had four storm in 2005, and at least that many in 2006. The picture above is from the last hurricane that swept through. We hadn’t boarded up, thinking foolishly that a Cat 3 couldn’t hurt us. Heck, our home had survived worse. We actually went golfing the day before the Cat 3 was ready to hit and noticed everyone outside putting up their shutters. We were so wrong. A Cat 4 was a direct hit to the golf community where we lived, and we were in the eye of the storm.
Without shutters we watched in horror as our patio windows bowed in, our pool enclosure broke apart and swung towards our windows. The frame crashed into our second bedroom window, and we didn’t go into check, but shut the door tight, and trembled in fear. The storm lasted about 2 hours then we had the calm. We checked on the damage and was relieved it was over. Then it shifted direction and came back, hitting the front of the house. My husband and I laid on the bed, holding hands and prayed hard.
The message I’m sending is never under estimate the power of the hurricane force winds. They are unpredictable mothers, and can change on a dime. Follow the instructions that the law enforcement, emergency responders, firefighters, and media warn you about–their emergency preparations could save your life. Evacuate if you can, go to a shelter or stay with friends who have shutters, impact glass. Help neighbors or senior citizens who might be alone. Stay indoors and don’t venture out until the hurricane is well past. And please don’t try to hold the glass doors as they bow in, like my husband tried to do.
Be safe everyone, and best of luck. Floridians are tough and we will get through this. God bless.
Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.
Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.
She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.
Her best selling books are the CANDY BAR series, SERENDIPITY FALLS series, and most recently PARADISE COVE and A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION series. She is a New York Times best selling author.