Books, crafts, and dieting will have to wait

Hurricane Ian

Until yesterday around 10am, when Ian decided he wanted to visit Southwest Florida, we had planned to ride out the storm at home.

When Charlotte County Emergency Management called for mandatory evacuation of our zone (B-orange), we looked on Expedia again and by some miracle, we found a hotel room up near Orlando. We decided to get out of Dodge. Run from the water (storm surge) hide from the wind. Even though Orlando is under the hurricane warning as well, a Cat 1 or 2 inland is better than a direct hit/landfall of a Cat3 or 4. We live right where the big M is on the picture above.

An almost 5 hour drive (normally 2 1/2 hours) without stopping for food or drink and we arrived tired and hungry. We stashed the cat in our hotel room and headed to Publix for some fried chicken and cat food, which we forgot in the rush to leave.

We’ve slept a bit and now are resting and praying for everyone.

When I woke up a few minutes ago, I looked at the weather and my stomach dropped. It looks like the worst possible scenario. The storm moved South and East and looks like a direct hit of a Cat 4, just like Charley in 2004.

I have friend that have stayed and I’m extremely worried for them. My coworkers, whom I have grown to love like a big family, are in danger.

I’ve been humbled by the friends who have reached out to offer shelter and money. You all are my angels. After all is said and done, we may need that help.

I ask for prayers for everyone dealing with this. I want to thank meteorologist Denis Phillips and Mike from Mike’s Weather Page for your calm, straightforward info. I want to thank Charlotte County Emergency Management for their guidance. Thank you in advance to the first responders. Thank you to the regular Charlotte County employees that have volunteered or been assigned to work the storm shelters. You are truly heroes.

Stay safe and PRAY!

Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. Amen.

Be kind. Check on your neighbors. Hug your family.