Saturday, August 25, 2012

Isaac on the Way

Isaac is intensifying as it approaches Haiti, and most of the models have it heading into the central Panhandle of Florida on Tuesday.

Ted Lange as Isaac Washington.
Am I the only one who keeps picturing Isaac from The Love Boat? I always liked Ted Lange. Unfortunately, the Isaac that's churning in the Gulf of Mexico is no fun to be around.

The models have been all over the place on this one. Over the past three days, the National Hurricane Center's track has taken the storm as far west as Mississippi and as far east as the Florida Peninsula. Sometimes the models are close together, sometimes they're more spread out.

A lot of different factors go into determining the way the storm will go. Troughs, ridges, high pressure systems all play a role in guiding the storm, and different models predict different developments of those areas. In other words, it's a guessing game. A very scientific guessing game based on our knowledge of weather patterns over the years, but it's guessing all the same.

No matter where the eye makes landfall, the rest of the Gulf Coast will get some of its effects. Right now, the storm is about 460 miles across. It's getting smaller; on Thursday, I read it was 678 miles across and before that, I'd heard a thousand miles across. Tropical cyclones tend to get smaller as they become more organized, as Isaac is doing now. It was a very scattered, low intensity storm. As I write this at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, the eye is becoming more defined. It makes a pretty picture, but it means the storm is getting scarier.

I bought batteries, duct tape, wet wipes, extra bandage strips, bread, and lots of bottled water today. We have plenty of canned tuna and chicken, potted meat, Vienna sausages, and green beans (which we eat cold out of the can). I also picked up some BelVita Breakfast Biscuits; they're like cookies but with some nutritious value. We have some shelf stable milk in the fridge, but I need to drink up the half gallon of soy milk I bought last week. Maybe that's what doomed us; since Hurricane Ivan, we haven't bought two gallons of milk at the same time, but this is soy AND it's chocolate, so I didn't think it would count. Yes, I'm a bit superstitious about this!

We'll continue to watch the storm's track and decide on Sunday if we need to put up the storm shutters that we got through Rebuild Northwest Florida. I'm glad that we'll be able to cover all of our windows this time; the long windows on the two front bedrooms didn't have any protection before, and all we had over the three large windows on the back room were burglar bars. Our roof was replaced, and between the roofing company and the folks from Rebuild, we have lots of extra nails and tie-downs in, to keep it attached.

I think we're as prepared as we can be.

My worries: one of the neighbors' trees has been leaning a bit since Ivan; the ground is saturated because of the flood event on June 9 and near daily storms since; and one of the cats is sick, which is unrelated to the storm of course, but still an extra stress we don't need. We will have to try to fix up some new sandbags this weekend.

Are you ready for the storm? Do you have a Family Disaster Plan and a well-stocked Disaster Kit? If you live on the Gulf Coast, you should have one ready. If Isaac doesn't come your way, the next storm might.

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