I live in Palm Beach County, Florida and as you can see on this map, we are expecting to be hit by Hurricane Irma. This storm is not only fast – either hitting us as a 4 or 5 on the Saffir Simpson scale, but also enormous, I’ve never seen anything like it. According to the National Hurricane Center, it is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded. It is twice the width of Florida! With any luck, the projections that it has moved slightly to the east is a good sign, the western side of a hurricane is the “better side.” Whatever that means. Oh, and right behind this bitch is Hurricane Jose – we are hoping he dies at sea.
I’ve lived through more hurricanes than I care to think about, starting with David in 1979, Andrew in 1992, Wilma in 2005 and many more in between all those. We took a direct hit from Wilma twelve years ago. Lost our roof, which landed on our cars – lots of damage, and the landscape of the community was forever changed. Lost our electricity for over a week. But we were safe.
Because of Hurricane Harvey, people here are in full blown panic mode. The store shelves have been emptied, the gas stations depleted. People who live in evacuation areas (flood zones) should be evacuating to shelters. Emergency operations officials are telling everyone else to shelter at home so people don’t get stranded on the road.
Palm Beach County has been under a Hurricane Watch since this morning, yet the library stayed open (although closed early today, at 3:00 pm.) Many of the library staff were ordered to “volunteer” at shelters so there was a skeleton crew left behind. Due to various health and family issues, I am not helping at a shelter, although I will be making phone calls after the storm and anything else that I can do as needed.
My husband has been working on making us safe for days. He’s putting up the hurricane shutters, clearing the yard furniture, etc. We have enough water and chemically laden food to last at least a week, and some comforting snacks, too. I have another load or two of laundry left and I need to dig out the French press so we can have coffee even if we lose power.
We are as ready as we can be. We are hoping for the best and that everyone stays safe.