In my five years in Key West how often have I been asked, "What about hurricanes? Aren't you afraid?"
As if I ought not to consider being here on the off-chance I might be trapped in a downpour or pinned to a tree or drowned at sea. Living here is not quite so dangerous as the lip of an active volcano. Besides many factors are responsible for more deaths per year than hurricanes.
Where should one live to avoid all natural and/or manmade disasters? There's one murder per year in this beach town and generally it's someone who, as they say in Texas, 'Needed killing'.
Meanwhile, since I've resided in Key West a tornado, an earthquake and a hurricane hit New York City!
I celebrate our romance with peril and the fixation of humans with scary stuff and whatever it is that keeps our noses pressed against the cold window panes of pain and holds our attention so.
A local business has craftily found a way to both benefit from and cater to this insatiable fascination. Half way along Duval you will find the Hurricane Simulation Chamber. A tube of clear glass into which you step and are sealed. Wind and water is flushed into the canister and you, the vacationer, are battered and drenched, enjoying the thrill of a real storm!
Out on the street and equally entertaining are the young ladies bent over the gutters, friends surrounding them holding the precious hair far from the vomit spume. She heaves, they all cheer, they are bonded.
While storms have hit here, of course, the worst scarring is perpetrated by tourists, spring breakers, and 'rainbow' hippies who fake being friendly, all smiles and touchy-feely, until they bum a cigarette to which you say, "Sure, for a dollar." Only then will they depart, huffily, leaving chem-trails of patchouli stink.
Never fear here, but don't completely relax. There are unexpected threats on the rock that is this last link in the chain.