Severe Weather

Ten Incredibly Dumb Things You Shouldn’t Do During a Hurricane

It's beginning to look increasingly likely that Hurricane Matthew will hit Florida. Government agencies have been giving out typical advice: Have an emergency evacuation plan, stock up on nonperishable food and water, make sure you have extra flashlights and batteries, and so on. All good advice, but we figured some of you could use extra guidance on what not to do during a hurricane so you don’t end up in a “Florida man” (or “Florida woman”) headline.

1. Don’t go jet skiing (or kayaking, kiteboarding, windsurfing, or swimming, for that matter).
It should be obvious, but the worst place that you can be during a hurricane is IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING OCEAN. And yet, every time one hits, people like this guy think it looks like a great time to take the Sea-Doo out for a spin. This is completely unnecessary. If you really want to see how big the waves are, grab a beer, sit down on your couch, and type “hurricane kayaking gopro” into YouTube. Spoiler alert: The answer is "very, very, very big."

2. Don’t rob local businesses and then try to hide in a vat of cooking grease.
Long before “Florida man” became a thing on Twitter, a man was trying to break into an Orlando restaurant during Hurricane Frances when a security guard noticed and started chasing him. He attempted to hide in a trash can, but it turned out to be a vat of grease. He was charged with burglary and curfew violation. The local police chief labeled him “the slick criminal of the day.”

3. Don’t get drunk and drive through the police barricades.
The whole upside of hurricane parties is that you can drink as much as you want since you know you aren’t going to be driving anytime soon. This Connecticut man apparently missed the memo and got in his car anyway, then drove through caution tape and several police barricades before ultimately crashing into a tree and being charged with a DUI. Please, don’t do that.

4. Don’t try and use the storm surge as a backdrop for your music video
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York, some aspiring garage rockers thought it would be cool to head to the Rockaways and set up their drum kit in the surf. While nothing bad happened to them or their instruments, the resulting music video is... kinda lame. The camera keeps shaking, PROBABLY BECAUSE THERE’S A HURRICANE, and the overall effect is decidedly amateur hour.

5. Don’t insist on having the beach wedding of your dreams “because nothing stands in the way of true love.”
Again, this would seem to be a no-brainer, but there’s a surprisingly large number of stories out there about couples who refused to reschedule their wedding plans in the face of impending doom. Yes, weddings are expensive, and venues have to be reserved three million years in advance, but expecting anyone to travel during a storm because it’s your “special day” is a dick move.
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Antonia Farzan is a fellow at New Times. After receiving a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, she moved to South Florida to pursue her dream of seeing a manatee and meeting DJ Khaled (ideally at the same time). She was born and raised in Rhode Island and has a BA in classics from Hamilton College.