Post Hurricane Irma Quick Notes

Well, we still don’t have electricity which means the Internet is cellular based, which is slow and sporadic at best. Without electricity I need to carefully ration my use of the tablet and smart phone. For that reason and because I’m living the post Hurricane Irma life in Orlando, I thought I’d share my experiences with you today.

First and foremost, my family and I are grateful that out experience is inconvenience only. Thanks to God we suffered no injuries and no serious property damage. There are many that lost everything and our hearts go out to them.

For us, the experience is one of inconvenience. Without electricity we need to change our daily routines to accommodate the lack of energy. Things like no hot coffee in the morning quickly gets old. Cold showers in the morning is not a substitute for lack of caffeine. We prepared with can foods, but such things like milk can’t be kept for longer then 48 hours at best. That means we need to make plans to get the child up extra early in the morning to go find an open restaurant before school.

The worst part is that it is difficult to go to sleep in 80+ humidity-laden heat and realize it is time to get up once you finally fall asleep. That’s assuming that your smartphone or wrist watch is loud enough to wake you up.

But in the grand scheme of life, we have to accept it and live with it. The latest news is that we should have power restored by Sunday late at night.

In the meantime there are a few annoying things that I want to point out. The first is the lack of driving education in America. Apparently drivers today do not understand that when the traffic lights are out, the intersection becomes a four-way stop. But not in post-Irma Orlando, each lights-out intersection is a free-for-all with usually the largest vehicles winning the right to cross the intersection. A nine-mile trip meant making it across at least 9 life-threatening intersections.

But why the nine-mile trip? To get coffee.

The lights are out in specific sections of town so some parts have businesses that are open. Now I know that Starbucks closed days early for Hurricane Irma. I’m not truly convinced it was about the employees because while Starbucks was closed Saturday morning – when everyone needed the most coffee to prepare – Home Depot, Lowe’s, the grocery stores and gas stations were bustling with nervous people preparing for it. But so be it.

On Monday morning, I thought I’d surprise my wife with a hot cup of java. So, I opened up my Starbucks APP and placed a mobile order. I half expected it to spit out, are you kidding me, don’t you know a hurricane just passed through and there’s no coffee!

Imagine my surprise when the APP told me my order would be ready in minutes and it even charged me for the much-anticipated coffee. It even offered a map to the store where my coffee was waiting for me.

Guess what? No coffee! The store was closed!

I write APPs for a living. I know my customers expect a very simple process that checks to see if the store can deliver the product ordered by the client, especially when it charges the customer, before confirming the order. Apparently the Starbucks APP just takes your money and assumes a human will make the coffee.

Not happy!

I realize it’s a minor thing, but I don’t think it’s too much to expect the Starbucks APP to know when the store is open or closed.

But on the other side of the coin, the Orlando community is working to restore the city back to normal. The police and sheriff departments have been proactive in traffic and safety. Store employees have been helpful and the stores have been mostly stocked. Gasoline at Sam’s is hit or miss but gasoline is available around the city.

Now, if only we can get the electricity up again, I would be able to enjoy a cold drink, watch Netflix and sleep in cold comfort once again.

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