Fort Pierce, FL – I'm glad we had hurricane shutters installed on our condo on the Vero Beach barrier island. From now through November 30th, forecasters predict an extremely active Atlantic storm season - the most intense since 2005. They say there could be 14 to 23 named storms, including eight to 14 hurricanes. They don't mean that 14 hurricanes will hit Florida - or any land. Even so, that's a scary number. We have been spending time on the Treasure Coast since 1977 and for 27 years never worried much about hurricanes. In May 2004, we bought a place on the first floor of a new three-storey building across the street from the ocean. Three months later, Hurricane Frances barreled through, and Hurricane Jeanne soon followed with 120 mile-an hour-winds. Water blew in around one of our windows and under a door, and some carpeting had to be replaced. We didn't have hurricane shutters then, so we were lucky. Some units on the third floor had serious damage - as did many homes and businesses along the Treasure Coast. My wife Gail ordered hurricane shutters. It took five months for them to be installed. When Wilma came calling in October 2005, we had no damage. Are we ready for any hurricanes this season? Boy, I sure hope so. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.