My wife has tickets to go to a trade show in Hollywood, Florida. She planned on driving down there on Tuesday but the threat of Hurricane Ian made her decide to leave a day early so she could get there before the storm made driving difficult. Of course, our cats are always there to help pack.
As she packed last night, the forecast showed what they call the spaghetti model. It was about a dozen different paths, all ending in the Florida Panhandle. We thought the chance of it hitting here was pretty low. We also know that history has shown that our county, Pinellas, never gets hit by a hurricane. Of course, there is always a first time.
You may remember us evacuating before Hurricane Irma. You can read about that here and here. For that storm, we booked an Airbnb in St. Petersburg and then left there for my sister-in-law’s when the forecast shifted the storm’s path directly to where we were staying. In the end, the storm hit farther south and moved east of us. We could have stayed home because we had almost no damage.
I did not watch the weather this morning because I overslept and was rushing to help my wife pack her car and get to work. I also did not watch it while I was at work. On the way home I got an emergency alert which I did not look at because I was driving. My wife saw it, though, and called me and said we were under a mandatory evacuation. I was surprised given the fact that the storm was headed to the Panhandle. I figured since we live in a mobile home they were being annoyingly cautious.
When I got home I checked the weather and the path had shifted east. Now it was projected to hit northern Pinellas County as a possible category three hurricane, about fifteen miles from where I live. Of course, there is that cone of uncertainty that could bring it closer, or farther, but either way, it is a big storm so there is little chance of escaping it now.
We probably should have booked a hotel or another Airbnb but all the models showed it going west so we waited too long. Now the only rooms available are the ones on the beach. Rose’s sister offered her condo for us to use but her condo building is on the water. It might be built strong enough to stand up to a hurricane but the parking lot is under the building so my car would surely be underwater.
As of now I will just be staying here and hoping for the best. The last thing I want to do is try to carry three cats, one of whom is twenty pounds, to an emergency shelter by myself. I will close off the Florida room and bring their food and litter boxes into the bedroom. If it gets really bad I will shut us all in the bedroom. I also have ther carriers in the house, just in case, and will look for their collars. I want them to have collars in case we get separated. My only worry now is someone will come to my house and make us leave.