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51 GASPARILLA MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 Case in point: It’s September 1. A transplant starts to hear the news reports that the first “system” of the hurricane season is starting to form. The news anchor does a fluff piece about how everyone need’s to think about stocking up on hurricane supplies. The transplant is listening, and they realize they must begin procurement of their very own “stash.” After all, doesn’t every native Floridian have pallets of water and shelves of canned goods in their basements? Oh wait. They don’t have basements. Where do they put all this stuff then? A list is made. According to survival experts each person needs approximately one gallon of drinking water every day and at least three MREs. But ew, they look gross. MREs are crossed off the list, Spaghetti-os are put in their place. You’ll see them in the grocery store or Home Depot, their cart (or carts) laden with miscellaneous canned goods, 20 gallons of water, 300 packs of batteries, hurricane lamps, generators, a small ficus, large balls of twine, duct tape ... and usually a lot of other things they will never use. But by gosh, they’re ready. Here’s how you differentiate between the native and transplant. When the transplants are trying to figure out the best machete to buy to hack their way out of their home when a tree falls on it, the native is at the bar. A couple of weeks after August 1, the Weather Channel starts to talk about storms rolling off the coast of Africa. They’re not necessarily a threat to the United States, but the weatherman reminds everyone that this is when it starts getting tricky. What the transplant hears: We are all going to die in a catastrophic Act of God. Now he’s busy measuring plywood, drilling holes for the anchors in the exterior facade of the house. He decides to be better safe than sorry, and boards up the windows. His lawn furniture is bungee-corded to his RV. He’s trimming every tree in his yard down to a nub. He’s given his wife a detailed list of hotels located inland to call for best prices, and if they can put a deposit down on a room that might be needed sometime between now and November 30. DO YOU HAVE YOUR HURRICANE HANGTAG? If you live or work on the Gasparilla Island, make sure you have a hurricane hangtag issued by the Boca Grande Fire Department. Blue tags are for residents Orange tags are for business owners and employees Call the Boca Grande Fire Department at (941) 964-2400 for more information


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