I wrote this article last year when hurricanes after hurricanes pounded Florida.

It is the hurricane season. This year the season has turned ugly for the state of Florida. “There are no seasons in Florida”, they say. But we can now say there are two distinct seasons in Florida: Hurricane season and Non-hurricane season.

We moved to this state last year from texas. When I joined the VA hospital as software engineer I was very surprised to hear that we had to attend

two mandatory hurricane safety class. It had us worried for a while. But all we got last year was sunny skies all the time and some rain. We did not find any reason to worry. We almost took to the words that dogs that barks does not bite.

But this year! Oh boy! What a difference a year make? It was further complicated by the fact that hurricanes tended to come our way whenever I am out of town. It was bad enough to get downsized from a government project. After six weeks of searching, I was able land a job in Omaha, NE. I was excited to have this job because it involved travelling and that meant frequent flyer miles. It was beginning to be fun. But within a few weeks, came the news of hurricane Charlie

which headed directly toward where I live. I felt very worried for my wife. I

started frantically calling my friends asking for help. But fortunately, when the dust settled, there was no problem at all for us, because Charlie changed path drastically and headed toward Disneyland. It was a great sigh of relief for me. However, it was not so for some people in Punte Gorde. It was also not good experience for one of my friends who was also downsized along with me and took a job in Fort Myeres. He had sister living there.

They decided to pack

and move to a hotel between their houses so when the storm was gone they can move to whichever house will be in better shape. But Charley decided to

ignore both their houses and headed straight to the hotel they took shelter in.

The hotel was badly damaged, but they were fine as they huddled all of them together in the closet. When they came out and learned what had happened they could not be overjoyed. Each of their houses were left in tact. No scratch, no dent.

Hurricane Charley was followed by Frances whose spreadth covered the entire state of Florida but was not of great intensity. Then came Ivan. Ivan was supposed to be very fierce and dangerous. But ‘Ivan the terrible’ drifted westward and finally struct the coast of Alabama. This also happened when I was still travelling to Omaha.

I can understand the panic faced by my hapless wife or my friend and his family. But I do not get why people have to panic and have any trouble at all to get out of harm’s way. In today’s technology, they get warning far in advance.

It is also ironical that all tourist are welcome in Florida except hurricanes? Why can’t they not visit florida? After all, they do a superb job of cleaning up debris. If people are careful and have some respect to the mother nature, the human toll can be almost non-existent. We can not emphasize enough that there is no need to be hero, no need to stay in front of a running train unless you work for CNN! Difference between with them and you is simple. They are in front of a camera and you are not! So nobody will come to know if something strikes you and you fall or die until it is too late!

This also got me thinking. Can we not make use of the huge source of energy in some way? The way oil prices are going upward and the prospect of global energy crisis looming, one can not understand how this huge source of energy be ignored. We can place many windmills along Florida coastline. When the hurricane comes ashore, the windmills starts churning and produce electricity. One can either store the electricity or simply sell it hapless countries like Cuba.

But what will happen the no hurricane comes this way. Like ‘Ivan’ decided to dodge Florida altogether and headed for the boring state of Alabama. I think hurricanes can be lured as well just as humans can be. They can put signs of Disneyland and numerous other places of entertainment on the sea (using the electricity generated by those windmills). This may help wayward ships or the desparate cubans who are trying to come to USA on a boat or sometimes just a log.

I am deeply saddened by the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. My

thoughts and prayers are with the victims. I hope they come out

of their misery soon. If you want to donate please go to


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Copyright © 2003 Gautam Dev. All rights reserved

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