Let’s face it – the majority of northern Florida got “just the tip” of Hermine. Yes, this is an actual photo of the storm that my local news put up. Thanks, WJXT.
Look. I’m not here to drill you on hurricane safety. That’s not my job – Okay, maybe it is as a Red Cross volunteer and JAXCERT first responder. But my community already knows that I’m the door to bang on if they are in need of help, anyway.
But not today! Today, the storm has passed. Some are still without power. Others are bored out of their minds, sitting at home with a squashed Labor Day weekend. The majority of veteran hurricane survivors are still hungover.
For those of us brave enough to venture outside (please don’t unless it’s absolutely safe to do so), there are a number of plans that have been thwarted, but there are still a large number of things to do!
Shelling! If you’re near a beach, now’s a great time to go and collect shells, sea glass, and other detritus that has washed up in Hermine’s wake. Depending on where you are in the state, this can also include fossils, especially if you are near Venice on the west coast. Getting good at the hobby can actually make you some nickels and dimes here and there; you can sell what you find on crafting websites like Etsy or at local craft fairs. Or you know, get crafty with the stuff yourself. There’s more crafts to do with shells than I care to name on this website and as a Girl Scout for nine years, shells were a very common go-to for a majority of the stuff we did and shared at swap meets. Please make sure the animals you are taking off the beach are already dead as well, otherwise you’ll stink up your entire house (don’t do that). If you want to be extra nice, bring a couple of garbage bags with you to pick up the trash on the beach that you find (wear gloves if at all possible).
DID SOMEONE SAY FOSSILS?! My cohost Joe is getting more and more fed up with me every time I mention the creek. I managed to drag him out there last Sunday for an hour and he found a nice 1″ Hemipristis tooth, which is now sitting on my desk waiting to be wrapped into a necklace. Florida is one of the only states in the US where you can legally collect and keep the fossils you find. The ones I find out here in Jacksonville and Gainesville are from the Late Miocene Epoch and come from a wide variety of animals. There are a lot of great sites for beginners throughout the state as well for those who have been bitten by the fossil bug and now have their own equipment. I recommend joining your local fossil club as well, because they frequently host trips out to some of the best sites.
Do the one thing that locals love to hate. There are reduced attendances right after a storm. Plus, right now is off-season, so go enjoy the parks. There are apparently a lot of discounts out there right now too, if you know where to look (I don’t, so don’t ask).
Go somewhere where the hurricane didn’t hit. When I lived in the Ft. Lauderdale area in 1992, my mother (I was a little over a year old at the time) made the expert decision to “evacuate” to Disney World. No hurricane there, no problem. In the case of Hermine, it just hit north and central Florida, so SoFlo was in the clear (I was talking to a buddy of mine who was in between dives in Key Largo when Jacksonville was getting some of the worst squalls). It’s Labor Day Weekend, why not take an extended weekend trip and go to the REAL Margaritaville in Key West?
Or you know, you could sit and recover from your hangover all weekend. That’s also a thing. What do you like to do during hurricanes? Leave me some tips and posts in the comments!