Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hurricane Ernesto update - to hit Southwest Florida by Wed 2pm

NOAA just updated the hurricane forecast. Hurricane Ernesto has shifted its track dramatically over the past few hours and is more than likely to hit Southwest Florida by 4pm Wednesday. The strength expected is roughly cat 1-2; however, as we've seen in the past, at the very last moments hurricanes tend to gain more ground near cat 3-cat 4.

One of the biggest worries I have is the Sanibel bridge being constructed and the old Sanibel bridge. The U.S. DOT already declared the old Sanibel causeway to be dangerous and the unfinished bridge is not in the best condition to withstand this type of force. Even if the hurricane simply brushes SW Florida, it could be a devastating hit on the bridges.

Gov Bush declares state of emergency
Unlike New Orleans' mayor or the Lousiana governor, Floridia officials know when to declare a state of emergency (ahead of the disaster, not an hour before it). The state of emergency instantly turns on the National Guard, equipment, and emergency operations (currently at level 2).

What You Can Do
- Have a week's worth of food rations.
- Have a hurricane plan: if your house/apt is damaged, where do you go? Make sure all of your friends and family know your "flight plan" -- where you are, what you are going to do if certain situations happen.
- Protect your belongings, especially insurance documents.
- Keep watching the news and make sure you are updated.
- Flashlights and batteries, have these handy.
- Make sure your medicines are set.
- Have a "to go" back pack, a few pair of clothes ready to go if you are not evacuating.
- Pray.

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