Hurricane Irma 11am Update – September 7th
Should I go or should I stay? What you want to know.
Overnight, Irma has done some slight weakening and the maximum wind speed is now 175 MPH with gusts to 185. The eye of the storm is 20 miles in diameter and the central pressure has increased (shows signs of weakening). There is no significant change in projected path.
I’ve received dozens of emails, texts and calls from family and friends out of state who are telling me to evacuate or “just get out”, so I want to explain to out-of-staters and unseasoned Floridian locals why this is more of a complicated decision than most people would make it from my perspective, with the hope that it will shed some light on your own concerns.
At the moment, evacuation sounds like a good idea, but is not not as easy as it sounds, take it from someone who’s evacuated before. Things are anything but normal here. Fuel is sold out or selling out almost everywhere, flights to everywhere are booked, traffic on I95 is a parking lot and hotels south of North Carolina are probably booked. So then there’s – go where? Should I be in my vehicle when it hits or in a concrete block hurricane rated home upgraded with hurricane fittings? The models have this thing headed in every direction after it gets through Florida. Rising water kills more people than wind during tropical storms and this monster is a wind event, albeit, an unprecedented one, but it won’t be a cat 5 when it has intercourse with Central FL.
I’m not one of those people that think I’m a captain that must go down with my ship, that’s plain irrational. I’m a former career firefighter/paramedic who has learned a little about self-preservation. My home and belongings are replaceable. Staying is the safest option for me after considering the options. I’m prepared as best as possible with plenty of fuel, lots of ice, food for 2 weeks, drinking water, a month of meds, 4 large battery backups for phones and tablet charging, plywood, 2 roommates, and local friends and family. I am closely watching updates and there are other people depending on me being here, so here is where I will remain for the duration.
If you’re a Florida Resident that still hasn’t decided on whether to stay or go, consider your preparedness for the storm, your location in relation to the projected path, your options for evacuation and do a risk assessment. Your safety is the ultimate and primary concern. Everyone will be in unique circumstances, so please DO NOT simply adopt my decision.
If you’re a loved one from out of state concerned for someone in Florida, please know that we have access to the best information on the planet to make the best decisions possible and we know that you would want us to use that information to make the decision that places us in the least risk for harm. We got this.
For more information, vist NOAA