Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hurricane season, 2014

It has been 9 years since Hurricane Wilma removed the roof from the building housing Needle Nicely on Royal Palm Pointe.  I still have nightmares about the ensuing week.  Actually, I still wake up when I hear heavy rain on the roof and jump out of bed because in the summer of 2005 Needle Nicely's building had a terrible roof that was replaced, I think, 3 times.  None successfully.  Now you must understand that the NN building had apartments on the 2nd floor.  So who thought water could travel that far?  Not me.  But all the summer of 2005 when we had afternoon/late evening thunderstorms, I would be cooking dinner, hear the downpour, turn off the stove, and head to the shop to see where the newest leaks were coming in. Once the fire department was there before me because the water had set off the alarm in the gift shop next door.  From the outside of our front windows you could see the water pouring down the back wall.   So even now in the middle of the night when I hear a real downpour (and Florida has some real downpours), I awake and leap into action to go deal with the leaks at Needle Nicely.  I manage to stop myself in a few steps from the bed, but it is really not a restful night's sleep.

This year for the first time that I can remember, Florida is having a hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday.  That means that many of the supplies that people purchase for hurricane preparedness are exempt from sales tax.  You say, so what?  Well, Indian River County has a 7% sales tax.  In preparation for this weekend I went through our (my husband and I) stash of back-up batteries.  We have 2 lantern flashlights and a radio  (6 D batteries).  Incidentally we also have batteries for the tv remote, the garage remote, smoke alarms, my computer mouse--I think there is something else but I can't remember it.  Anyway, because of an article in the local newspaper about the upcoming hurricane season, I realized I should check the expiration dates on our stash of batteries.  Most of them have expired, because, surprise, surprise, I purchased them before and after the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.  The interesting thing is that none of the candles have an expiration date (that's a luddite joke!!!).  
These are just a sampling of the "dead" batteries.  I called 2 different agencies (the local waste management and the state one) and neither person could tell me satisfactorily where I could take these for disposal.  I know you don't just dump them in the trash.  As a last resort I went online and found that there are 5 places in Indian River County that accepts dropped-off alkaline batteries. Also, rechargeable batteries are handled differently.  I don't have any of those (except for my camera), so I didn't pursue their disposal any further.

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