Hurricanes and Tropical Storms. What’s the difference?

A tropical storm is upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane when winds reach between 74 mph and 95 mph.

So when do we panic?

Is it after the third news conference when the sign language interpreter’s hands seem to be signaling mass destruction? Or wait until the local news interrupts local programming with updates that are really not updates but incentives to make you panic and run to Target and buy every ounce of orange juice in stock.

They tell you not to panic but every other minute they show pictures of grandmas perched atop trees like little yellow parakeets signaling for help with their one good house shoe.

Don’t panic! Are you sure? Because that floating Dodge truck you just aired with the white all American family huddled on the hood is not giving me warm and fuzzy.

I check out the contents of my fridge, nothing. I’m going to die! What piece of furniture should I climb on top of in hopes of being rescued? Maybe the empty fridge! It’s more dramatic and adds a little social justice flair.

“Black woman sits on top of empty refrigerator hoping to be saved, rescued from the approaching flood waters of Hurricane Hermine and the decline of our economic future.”

She states, “I lost my job, now I’m about to lose everything else. I’m just thankful to be alive.”

Black people have gotten used to suffering. We got stories that will make your head spin. If you don’t have at least one moment when God plucked you away from death’s door, or helped your great uncle walk across that glacier everyday, barefoot, so he could get his education, or deliver at least one baby in a cab, truck, bus, Underground Railroad, then you ain’t black. But if you happen to ever find yourself on top of a fridge or a MTA bus, stay calm and always offer up your thanks and your best side.

After the dust settles and people and little dogs begin venturing outside, the damage is sized up. Street corners buzz with personal accounts and close calls. You cross the street and slow down just a little to hear some of these tales of the biggest fish ever caught.

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