A major hurricane hasn’t hit the U.S. in eight years and USA Today quoted several hurricane forecasting notables in an article last Thursday, including Colorado State University’s Dr. Phil Klotzbach, who observed that we haven’t gone this long without such a storm since 1878. In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes was president and Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. It was a while ago.
As a lifelong resident of the Texas Gulf Coast, the only thing that makes me more nervous about the upcoming hurricane season than the fact that we’ve gone so long without a major storm is hearing the daily orchestra of circular saws and nail guns as they usher in the construction of so many more new beach houses along Galveston Island. Poseidon has good hearing and he knows when he’s being mocked.
But logic trumps statistics and superstition every time and logically I know the real reason that it’s time to review and enhance business continuity plans. And that’s that it only takes one single storm to mess everything up. Badly. Nature has no idea that it’s been 134 years since we’ve gone this long without a major hurricane hitting the U.S. and, more importantly, it doesn’t care. All nature knows is that it really hates vacuums and every once in a while it throws a tantrum to get rid of them. Those tantrums are called hurricanes.
I’ve posted here before about what a pain it is to go through a hurricane and its aftermath, although 17 days without electricity is about the worst I’ve experienced and that hardly qualifies as genuine suffering. (Although in the middle of a Houston summer, it’s close.) But so far, my friends, family and I have been lucky. We’re also a pretty prepared bunch.
Logic or not, that’s still a lot of years and Vegas wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t such a thing as statistical edge. A 134-year gap? Get ready. Be ready.
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