Category Archives: Miami

Hurricane Bleg

So, what do you do if your roof comes off during a hurricane?

Presumably you can’t go anywhere, because there’s a hurricane out there.  So do you hide under the table? Go sit in the car in the garage? Hide in a closet with louver doors?

Just asking for a friend.

(Couldn’t find a photo I liked of roof damage, so I went with this Wikimedia picture from the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.)

Latest hurricane wind predictions:

Posted in Weather With a Name | 3 Comments


UM put out this announcement this morning:



Wednesday, September 6, 9:00 a.m.

The University of Miami is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma, a major category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, which is currently located approximately 1,200 miles east-southeast of Miami-Dade County. The potential for impacts to South Florida are increasing and plans are being rapidly implemented to ensure the safety of our University community and facilities. The earliest time South Florida would experience impacts is still Friday evening. This storm is a rapidly evolving situation, and changes may need to be made quickly regarding University operations. If this were to occur, these changes will be communicated via an ENN alert.

The University is strongly encouraging all UM students to rapidly implement evacuation plans and leave South Florida no later than the end of Thursday. Any on-campus students who do not evacuate may be required to relocate to an off-site University or government evacuation center that only serves as a refuge of last resort and has the most basic of accommodations.

All classes and student-related events on all campuses are cancelled today through Friday, September 8, as well as all weekend classes. At a minimum, students will be given 48 hours notice to return before classes will resume, and an exact date for the resumption of classes on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses has not been set.

The Coral Gables (excluding the Lennar Foundation Medical Center) and Marine campuses will close at the end of Wednesday, and remain closed at least through Sunday, September 10, except for those select essential personnel, as identified in units’ UReady Continuity Plan, with a role in campus preparation of critical functions. Residential housing and dining halls will remain open, but other facilities on the campuses—including the libraries, wellness center, and Student Center Complex—will be closed at that time.

An additional communication will be issued later today by the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine with more detailed information on changes to clinical, non-essential, and essential operations.

President Frenk declared a State of Emergency to emphasize the importance of response to this critical threat to life-safety and ensure all necessary University resources are being allocated to prepare for this storm. The University’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to ensure a coordinated University response over the coming days.

Students living on campus have had mandatory floor meetings and received information from staff in their residential colleges; all students should communicate with their parents about their plans. Faculty and staff should make sure that their unit and personal emergency plans are in place.

Employees: The time card approval deadline was moved to today, Wednesday, September 6 at 3 p.m. Because of early approval, you will need to estimate any missed punches for tomorrow before approving the timecard. If you have any questions, please email the Payroll Office at

The University community is urged to monitor UM Emergency Management social media accounts and for interim updates.

For additional information on how prepare for hurricanes, visit the UM Hurricane Preparedness website.

The UM Crisis Decision Team will meet again today, and another Storm Alert will be issued this afternoon.

You know they are serious when they move the time card approval deadline.  And here’s why:

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Do I Have a Date With Irma?

Looks like Hurricane Irma might (but also might not) be coming to Miami next Friday or next weekend.

The thing about hurricanes is that, unlike most other natural disasters, you usually have a lot of warning before they hit–and of those warnings, a significant fraction turn out to be false alarms. (False alarms in the sense that the hurricane dies out, goes out to sea, or goes and hits someone else.) The National Hurricane Center does a great job of telling the public what we know, and don’t know, about strike probabilities. But even so, during most late summers and early Fall, we here in Miami usually have a number of hurricane alerts of varying degrees of alarm. Irma sounds like it would be a strong — maybe even very strong — hurricane by the time it makes landfall somewhere, but there are many variables, not least the possibility that it goes over Cuba. That would be very bad for Cuba, but could be good for Miami in that storms going over land tend to weaken while storms going over warm water tend to strengthen.

It used to be that storms (potentially) coming meant that I had to dig out the ugly, sharp-edged, metal hurricane shutters, and then decide when to put them up. Put them up too early and you can sit in the dark for days as happened once when a hurricane stalled just a little bit offshore and spent days deciding where to go. Wait too long and you end up putting them up in the rain as the advance bands of the storm start roiling the weather.

But that’s history: several years ago we did a big renovation, and as part of that we replaced all the windows with hurricane glass, which is terrific stuff. Allegedly you could throw a brick at one of the windows and it wouldn’t shatter, although I have not put it to the test. In any case, the glass changes the whole hurricane experience: instead of huddling in the dark wondering what is going on out there, you can see it. And when the power goes out, as it inevitably does since FP&L refuses to bury our power lines, you at least have natural light to live by during the day.

So now the question becomes whether/when to lay in some extra water and fill up some gas containers to be able to run the little generator (to keep stuff in the fridge from spoiling), and whether it makes any sense to buy any other hurricane supplies given we could surely live a few days off the cans of beans and soup and other canned stuff in our cupboards. There probably isn’t much reason to buy canned spam or other foods which we’d otherwise never eat, but it’s an effort to look at those photos and do nothing.

Posted in Global Warming, Miami | Leave a comment

Life in South Florida (II)

I see this ad frequently in the Miami Herald too — oddly it’s often near the car ads; even stranger, the link takes you to an all-Spanish-language site.

Haven’t been tempted to try it, though.

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Life In South Florida (I)

Do you get one of these ads every day in your paper?

Posted in Miami | 3 Comments

Economic Impact of LeBron James on Miami


We study the local economic spillovers generated by LeBron James’ presence on a team in the National Basketball Association. Mr. James, the first overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft, spent the first seven seasons of his career at the Cleveland Cavaliers, and then moved to the Miami Heat in 2010, only to return to Cleveland in 2014. Long considered one of the NBA’s superstars, he has received the league’s MVP award four times, won three NBA championships, and been a part of two victorious US teams at the Olympics. We trace the impact a star of Mr. James’ caliber can have on economic activity by analyzing the impact his departures and arrivals had on business activity close to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat stadiums. We find that Mr. James has a statistically and economically significant positive effect on both the number of restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments near the stadium where he is based, and on aggregate employment at those establishments. Specifically, his presence increases the number of such establishments within one mile of the stadium by about 13%, and employment by about 23.5%. These effects are very local, in that they decay rapidly as one moves farther from the stadium.

Taking My Talents to South Beach (And Back) by Daniel Shoag, Harvard Kennedy School & Stan Veuger, American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Posted in Basketball, Econ & Money, Miami | Leave a comment