August 30, 2019
Post- Hurricane Michael wellness check, Jackson County, Florida. FWC Photo by Tim Donovan
It's one of the things about living in Florida. We have the best weather in the country, until it's not. All our bad weather seems to come at once. And it would appear that's imminent, for some, perhaps a very great many, of us.
But the other thing about living in Florida is, we have Floridians. People in this state are ready to help one another in ways folks who live elsewhere may have never thought of.
For one thing, our state has the resources to handle unique challenges. Law enforcement and wildlife resource agencies in Florida have boats, airboats, high-water trucks—the kind of vehicles used to pursue poachers in good weather, are used for keeping vulnerable folks safe in bad weather. Other coastal states are geared up accordingly. If circumstances call for it, it wouldn't be surprising to see Texas or Louisiana game wardens knocking in the days to come—though of course we hope Dorian turns away and they all get to stay home!
Another comfort, this one closer to home: Regular Florida outdoors folks are well-equipped for hurricanes. The lifted 4X4 used to access the deer stand or launch a bass boat may come in handy, if roads are wet. We have tools for making repairs, foul weather gear, ice chests, bug spray, headlamps with batteries, ropes—all the gear associated with our fishing and hunting suddenly resonates with fresh utility. And of course we're good at laying away fish and game for a “rainy day.”
A team of FWC officers clearing roads and driveways in rural Jackson County, near Alford, 10-15-2018.
Normally reserved, at times solitary, Florida hunters and fishermen are given to spells of surprising cordiality and graciousness in times like these. Folks literally come out of the woodwork to help neighbors, calm anxious new residents, grill venison sausages or lobster tails. Florida does that to people.
The Florida Sportsman staff encourages everyone out there to listen to and heed directives from local emergency management agencies. We're here this week making final preparations on our homes and our business—even finalizing some articles and web content.
Florida Sportsman staff is ready to relate news of relief efforts for our friends in The Bahamas, who it appears may receive the worst of this storm. Florida east coast boaters in seasons past have made trips bringing supplies to the islands in the days and weeks following storms like these.
Stay safe. Hope for the best. Be ready to lend a hand when the time comes. Picture those cool, clear fall days that are just around the corner.
Clip of FWC storm relief prep before Hurricane Michael, 2018. FWC video by Carol Lyn Parrish
To read more about Hurricane Dorian and relief efforts, check out these stories:
Hurricane Dorian and Bahamas Update
West End, Grand Bahama Hurricane Recovery
Treasure Coast Collecting Relief Items for Bahamas