Hurricane Season officially starts this coming Monday, June 1st, and ends on November 30th. Historically, the chances of hurricane activity are greater between August 15th and October 1st. People often ask me if I’m afraid to live here because of hurricanes. No matter where you live there is some type of disaster that can happen. And the last hurricane to pass close to Key West was Wilma in 2005. Wilma, as a hurricane, was not that bad when it passed us by, it was the storm surge afterwards that caused damage. And, considering most of the buildings in Old Town were built in the 1800’s, this little island was built to stand tough.
I think hurricanes are such high profile because they can be predicted weeks in advance. A tornado, earthquake or other natural disaster happen without warning. But with a hurricane there’s plenty of time for reporters from every news organization to come down, check into the La Concha Hotel, and then stand out front on Duval Street reporting while trying to look like they’re fighting 100 mile an hour winds.
The good news about hurricane season is that hotel rates and airfare are usually lower. In fact, most visitors from Europe visit during hurricane season. And there are a lot of great events scheduled in the Keys during that time.
Here is a little information just in case you are in Key West and a hurricane is headed our way: For information on evacuation orders or hurricane info you can go to www.fla-keys.com or call the visitor assistance line at 800.771.KEYS. You can also check Facebook and Twitter for information from the Tourist Development Council. If a tourist evacuation is required and you don’t have a car there are several options. We have rental car companies, flights from the airport, shuttle services between Key West and Miami and Bus Lines. Everything that’s available will be posted on Facebook and Twitter by the Tourist Development Council. Historically, the chances are excellent that you Keys vacation will not be interrupted by a hurricane.
One of the beautiful things that happens during hurricane season is that our Royal Poinciana Trees bloom. They start at the beginning of June and bloom through November. This one has just started. In a week it will be an unbroken mass of color.
One of the things you have to get use to when living on a little island is the limited amount of choices you have when it comes to products. So, if you’re getting married in Key West be sure to pack everything you need. Or ask me, and I can tell you if something you’re looking for is available here. Of course, you don’t need much while you’re here…a couple pairs of shorts, a couple shirts, a bathing suit and a pair of flip flops pretty much covers it any time of year no matter where in Key West you go!
Once or twice a year most of the locals in Key West day trip the 160 miles to Miami to stock up on whatever they can’t get here. Hubby and I did that yesterday. The lease was up on my car and it was time to trade it in on another. We do have two car dealerships on the island but neither offer my car. So, off we went to Miami and ended up with a new car, some new clothes and even a new living room ceiling fan!
By 3pm we were done with the mainland and headed home. As soon as we crossed over the 18 mile stretch which connects the mainland to the Keys everything changed. Traffic disappeared, speed limits lowered, the air felt clearer and the water bluer. It’s good to be back in the Keys.
As for my new car….it’s the perfect Keys car!