Expecting the unexpected: Hurricane Michael

For many living in Florida, preparing for a hurricane is second nature. Throughout grade school children are taught evacuation procedures and safety precautions to take in case one of these natural disasters are to strike. Some are even taught how to track hurricanes as well.

For many Floridians Hurricane Michael was just another hurricane hitting Florida, which meant it was time to stock up on canned food, water and candles. Some college students in Tallahassee even threw “hurricane parties” in light of the storm.

Kiana Smith, a junior biology pre-med student at Florida State University (FSU) from Mobile, Alabama, is one of many who decided to have a hurricane party.

“I didn’t go home and neither did my friends, so we decided to go through the hurricane together. We all bought snacks and played games until the lights went out,” she said. “We have a hurricane every year. There was no need to be nervous, I’m used to this,” she laughed.

Although those who grew up in Florida were prepared and knew what precautions to take, there are many living in Florida who are not natives and haven’t experienced a hurricane before.

For Orlando Mckinley, a senior psychology student at Florida A&M University (FAMU) from Atlanta, Georgia, this was the first hurricane he stayed in town for. He admitted he was nervous about it.

“I normally go back home for hurricanes, but this year the head coach made us all stay so I had no choice but to bunker down and prepare,” he said.

He prepared for Hurricane Michael by getting water, Gatorade and stored food. As a player on the football team, the coach had them all together in FAMU’s rec making things smoother and less overwhelming considering a Category 4 hurricane was headed for Tallahassee.

With being a non Florida native, Hurricanes can be nerve-wracking especially if you have never experienced one before. Like Mckinley, Hurricane Michael was first year criminal justice major Devin Foster’s first hurricane too.

Foster is from Chicago, Illinois and now studies at Florida State University. “Coming to Florida I knew Hurricanes were common so I wasn’t too nervous. I just hate not knowing what to expect,” she said. “In Chicago, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes but when I found out I got into FSU I started looking stuff up about Florida.”

Although Hurricane Michael did not hit Tallahassee as a Category 4 hurricane,  there was still damage done. Many were left days with power due to fallen light poles and trees, and debris covered numerous roads. Many in neighboring Gadsden County are still without power and aren’t expected to regain it until 3-4 more weeks.