There are many annoying things about surviving Hurricane Irma (though yeah, yeah, we are #blessed and all that). No air conditioning. No gas. Roof leaks. Trees in your pool. Co-workers in the newsroom stealing some of your organic half and half out of the fridge because they didn’t want to stand in a two-hour line at Publix this morning (consider that my confession).
But here’s the worst: Hurricane shaming.
Irma may be Florida’s first Shaming Hurricane, with Category 5 hot air blowing in all directions (thank you, social media). There are several categories of Hurricane Shaming, and you may be guilty of more than one.
You may live in another state or you may be a local. But if you have said or Tweeted or Facebooked any of the following statements, you are a Hurricane Shamer. Like hurricanes, the shaming comes in categories.
“GET OUT OF THERE NOW.”
These are the kind, well-meaning friends and family who decide you need to flee when the storm is only a mild shower in the mid-Atlantic. Don’t nag people to drive out of a long, long state with basically only two roads north, especially when many of the choices are equally close to the water.
“Why haven’t you left yet?”
A slightly more aggressive form of caring. You should probably not try to guilt people into leaving unless you are willing to buy plane tickets for the whole family including the dogs and also fly down and help with the storm prep. Those shutters don’t put themselves up, you know.
“Ha ha, they evacuated to Tampa and now they’re in the cone.”
Locals, stop mocking the people who left. You only stayed because you couldn’t face 12 hours in a car stuck in traffic with your spouse.
“Why don’t they buy their supplies at the beginning of each summer because I would, and I am so intelligent and prepared I would never be caught without batteries and also I am immune to panic at the thought of losing my life and possibly all my stuff. Did I mention I’m superior?”
This is inevitably the opinion of someone who lives on the other side of the country and has never weathered much beyond a summer squall. If you don’t live in a hurricane-prone state say nothing at all except “Be safe.” We love prayers and good wishes! Otherwise, you have no idea what you’re talking about. We’ll call for help when we have an earthquake or snowstorm.
“That’s what you get for staying.”
If you simply can’t stop yourself from uttering this loathsome statement, you will be required to spend three weeks in Miami at the end of August/beginning of September without air conditioning, hot showers or coffee.