It’s been quite awhile since a hurricane has threatened to come this way, but now Isaac is tracking towards the west coast of Florida and weather forecasters are saying he could be a category one when he arrives.

So what do we Floridians do when a hurricane is in the forecast?

We buy lots of water. We load up on batteries. We put up hurricane shutters and help neighbors who may be older or even those who are new to the whole hurricane scenario put up theirs.

If you’re a hurricane newbie, it’s easy to go into panic mode, but all you really need to do is keep up-to-speed on the hurricane tracker, give yourself enough time to put up your manual shutters, and buy goods that you can easily cook on the gas grill should the power go out.

I’ve been through a few of these now and they remind me of snow days in the northeast. The kids get the day off from school, offices are closed, most people wisely stay off the roads, and we all hunker down and hope that the worst, in our case, is just a lot of rain and some wind.

By the time Isaac makes it way onshore (or skirts along the coast) Monday (if the current forecast holds true), I’m sure the grocery store shelves will be bare and gas stations will be low on reserves.

I’ve been through hurricanes where we lose power for a day and others where we’re out for nearly a week. A generator is a wise investment. We’ve even gone so far as to hook ours into an electrical panel. It won’t run everything but it runs the refrigerator and the window air conditioner.

Cold showers are not fun, but I’ll gladly endure those as long as the roof is still on my house.

In 2004, when Hurricane Charley came through a few miles to our north, he was a category four. I saw the devastation in Charlotte County firsthand so I don’t take these storms lightly. But I will admit … when we see a category one, we do put up the shutters and we do buy the water, the gas, and the food, but we also do what any Floridian would do … we make plans with the neighbors to have a hurricane party.