It has been interesting to see how the Storm has not done anything the forecast have said since it has been started been tracked. It was expected that the Storm would initially go below Puerto Rico and miss most of the islands directly but would also be a weak storm as the environments for its strengthening would be hampered by land and other factors surrounding its initial track. However, it quickly started to alter its track and seemingly look as if it would hit the island of Puerto Rico again. I had to immediately activate some of my plans to secure my properties as everyone was quick to remember the impact of Hurricane Maria and rushed to prepare. While I think it is always great to prepare, I think it causes a lot of undue stress. However, “better safe than sorry.”
My family was also quick to respond and learn from the past as they quickly secured property, stocked up on gasoline, fuel, water, and food to ensure they had days of supplies in case the availability of essential items would become unavailable due to the general infrastructure after a storm. I still remember that after Hurricane Maria, it took me 11 days to hear from my mother and to know she was fine. Now, she is battling other challenges but also was prepared for the Storm. However, the Storm shifted once again and did not directly impact the main island and continued north instead.
While that was good for the island, it also made the variables necessary for it to not only materially strengthen but to also become a major risk to Florida. When forecasted to pass Puerto Rico, it was expected that it would potentially reach Florida as a Tropical Storm but given its shift, it was in clear and open water which has been conductive to strengthen itself to a major Category 4 Hurricane with winds of up to 150 mph. We know what Hurricanes have done to infrastructure in the past and with my personal experience with family and property in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, I was concerned with the threat here close to home.
Luckily, give experience, we have always prepared as soon as Hurricane Season starts in June. With the exception of needing some additional food and fuel, we were ready with supplies here at home. We started preparing our outside early on and have moved most items around the house but the challenge has been working with storm shutters as they are tough to put up and even tougher (and expensive) to find someone to hire to put on. We at least have time to still deal with that as we remain vigilant on the threat in the coming days. Now the focus is to remain safe and we have some alternatives on shelter if needed for a Plan B or C; however, we hope it does not get there! Stay Safe!
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