I penned this response to Gully's original posting of the above on D-net, and now faithfully recreate it here, for YD!
I was living in Cocoa Beach, Florida, in 1995 (near Patrick Airforce base) and recall fine japes when Hurricane 'Erin' decided that she'd make her presence felt.
The bizzare things is that the natives, on such occasions, insist on holding 'Hurricane Parties', where cook-outs (albeit inside) and beer are the order of the day. Then after a coupla beers, the locals get decidedly edgy and begin to lose the plot. Running around (beer in hand) asking anyone who'd care to listen "do you think we'll survive this one?" and other such verbiage as they descended into self-acquired gibbering-wreckdom.
Alas, my efforts to try and reassure the assemblage with "never mind that-man, it's ne'er but a stiff breeze...." went down like a ton of hot snot.
We then watched as trees came crashing down on houses and cars alike; street signs got lifted out of their moorings and tossed down the street at a rate of knots; anything that wasn't bolted down (and in some cases even then) got sucked in to the maelstrom and disappeared into the night, never to seen again.
In hindsight, and given the immediate proceedings, my next comments may have been ill-judged: "So, given that you lot get at least two of these puppies EVERY year, might I ask why you still insist on building all living quarters, shops etc. out of wood?? Surely brick/concrete structures might leave you all - post hurricane - with a house to stand up in and not amidst the ruins of your home wondering why your home insurance premiums go up every year because you have to rebuild everthing??"
The logic was/is indivisible and the palpable and pregnant silence that followed the question was crushing. And again, sans answer to my question, the guy next to me scooted off yelling "hey, do you think we'll survive this one......??!"
Aye, Hurricane 'Erin', as 'stiff breezes' go, she was some blow-job ;-)