Excuse me for the non-reading related post, but I wanted to share some things I observed during Hurricane Irma.
- Steak n Shake 17509 N Palms Village Pl, Tampa FL – We stopped a Steak n Shake around 4pm on Friday 9/8/17 to get some food on our way to TN. The employee at the drive thru were so sweet, asking us how we were doing and even gave our dog, Buddy, a special treat – BACON!
- Improvised (and illegal) gas canisters strapped to cars, like this.
- It is a small world.
- While waiting at the Tifton, GA Walmart to have our flat tire fixed, we met Diana, Diane, and John. They live near us and they had a blow out on I-75 going 70 mpg. They live right on the water and were concerned that they wouldn’t have a house to come back to.
- While buying a sweatshirt at the Walmart, we ran into a woman and her two sons, who live in Cape Coral.
- The tire center employees at the Tifton, GA Walmart were awesome. They opened at 7am and had our tire replaced and we were on our way before 8am. They were sympathetic and kind.
- When you pack a suitcase in a hurry, you end up with: 3 pair of underpants, 1 pair of shorts filled with holes, a pair of flower printed pants and a none matching print shirt.
- Driving North, we saw an impressive amount of National Guard vehicles, Utility trucks, and Ambulances.
- The Waze app is awesome for driving somewhere unfamiliar. It gets you around traffic jams.
- The stress of watching a pending storm develop and tracking it for over a week is mind blowing. Is it going East or West? Who knows.
We watched the storms track for over a week. We prepared, just in case the storm came our way. We were ready to stay, until it became a Cat. 5 and looked like it was coming directly at us. We quickly threw some clothes in a suitcase, packed the car, grabbed the dog and cat, and evacuated. We were headed to stay with family in TN until the storm cleared. Normally an 11 hour drive, due to many circumstances, it took us 26 hours. First, traffic was ridiculous. Understandable since almost the entire state of Florida was trying to get the heck out of Dodge. After crossing into Georgia, we were exhausted and decided to stop to sleep a little. We ended up, at 1:30 in the morning, getting a flat tire. So, we put the spare on and parked at Walmart to wait for the tire center to open. Have you ever tried to sleep in a car with a dog and a cat? Tire changed by 7:30 the next morning and off we went.
Plan for next hurricane:
1. Plywood or storm shutters!!!!!!!
2. Make a list of what needs to go into the suitcase in case we have to evacuate to prevent.
3. Don’t live in Florida.
4. Snacks for the road. NO FOOD ANYWHERE!!!!!!
Hope you all made it through unscathed!