Waiting For Irma, Part One

picture of hurricane weather map

Today is Friday, September 8th and we are preparing for hurricane Irma to come on Sunday.

I wasn’t taking this very seriously until yesterday, because when we moved to Florida, we purposely chose to live inland to not have to worry about hurricanes.

Yet Irma is currently barreling towards Florida like a freight train and is so huge, it encompasses the entire state of Florida.

In previous hurricanes, those on the coast were told to evacuate to the safe zone inland. But with Irma, there’s no getting away from it no matter where we live in the state. The specifics keep changing, at last call, we are expecting 50-60 mile an hour winds sustained, with gusts of up to 75 mph. This is supposed to last approximately 12 hours.

Earlier this afternoon those who live in mobile or manufactured homes in Marion county were mandated to evacuate. That’s us…we live in a mobile home surrounded by trees. I’m not worried about flooding since we live high off the ground, but I’m afraid we might blow away or have trees crush our home.

Today my parents came out to help us batten down as much of our outside clutter as we could. I’ve been meaning to go through all the garden “stuff” I’ve picked up in the past 5 years but never used. Now it is all piled up against the fence in hopes the heavier items on top will keep things from blowing away.

I’ve begun to gather items we will need for the 12 hours of hunkering down. I’m cooking a bunch of the freezer items just in case we don’t have electricity for an extended period. At least we can eat well while we are in the dark, (or displaced if our home is destroyed.).

I managed to get gas today and fill up my Prius. We now have 3 cars with full tanks, but obviously can only drive 2 of them. Don got them filled up before everybody started going after gas like it’s going out of style. Tomorrow I have 2 morning pet visits then will come home and pack up things to take…wherever we decide to go.

I’ve always had trouble packing for vacations. Imagine trying to pack for a hurricane, not knowing if what you are leaving behind will still be there when you return home…

Tomorrow evening I will pick up a customer’s 2 cats, who will ride out the storm with me and my cats, wherever we may be. One of our pet sitters already picked up their canary today and he will hunker down at her house with her family and pets. The owners have been on a cruise that got delayed by Irma. They are now docked somewhere safe waiting the storm out and will start heading back after it passes, but worried sick about their pets. We all decided it would be safer for the pets to be with somebody instead of alone in case their apartment sustains damage during the storm.

When we evacuate, we will have our 2 dogs and our 3 cats, plus the customer’s 2 cats. D and I disagree about where to evacuate to, however. I want to go to my parents’ home which, while only a wooden frame home,is at least an actual house versus our mobile home. D wants to start driving north on Saturday night. His plan is to drive out of the area that will be impacted and hang out until Irma passes.

He feels it will be safer out of the area completely and that traffic will have died down by Saturday night so he’ll just fly down the highway towards safety. I am thinking of all the OTHER people who might be thinking the same thing, which would mean the roads would still be packed and traffic only moving at a snail’s pace.

I suppose we’ll figure it out as the time to act gets closer.

If you want to read part two, you can find it here

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