Watching Issac…

Hi everyone,

The RNC is just days away. Unfortunately, we now have a significant hurricane threat on our hands.

Tropical Storm Issac formed in the Atlantic roughly a week ago and the projected path sends the storm right into Florida during the week of the RNC. Not far behind Issac is Tropical Storm Joyce, which formed a few days ago. The big question right now is whether the Issac will strengthen into a hurricane by this weekend. It is quite possible that it will reach at least Category 1 status by Saturday, depending on its track and how much wind sheer (if any) it encounters. The second question is where will the storm make landfall?

Government officials here in Tampa are prepared to cancel the RNC if the threat from Issac becomes too great, which I certainly cannot blame them if this circumstance occurs. There are so many visitors, in addition to residents, that would need to be evacuated…and FAST, if the storm were to move our way.

Because the weather changes so much, I would advise everyone to stay tuned to their local TV stations (like Bay News 9) for updates.

With that said, I wanted to remind everyone about how important it is to be prepared for the Hurricane season and to inform everyone that you do have options if you are not able to evacuate from the Bay Area.

Click “Continue Reading” to read further on my previous posting about the 2012 Hurricane Season.

I know that many of us here in Florida may have what is called “Hurricane amnesia” because the state has not seen hurricanes cris-cross the state since 2004 and 2005. It is especially because of this that it is always crucial to be prepared in case a major storm, like Katrina in 2005, heads our way.

A personal reflection of Hurricane Charlie in 2004.

Back in 2004, Hurricane Charlie nearly hit Tampa Bay head on before making a last-minute jog towards Punta Gorda. It was the first time that I’ve ever had to evacuate to higher ground. In fact, the night before mandatory evacuations were imposed, I could not sleep at all, I cried and cried, worrying that my house and even my entire neighborhood, would be gone. When morning arose, I could see police officers and city workers making the rounds, armed with megaphones (also known as bullhorns) to make sure everyone heard the message to get out. My father, brother, and I headed north towards Carrollwood, where I had relatives, while my mother, stepfather, and sister took shelter with friends in Brandon.

Although much of Tampa Bay was very fortunate to have been spared by Hurricane Charlie, the disaster clearly sent a message to always be prepared and have a plan.

Get prepared NOW!

Now, I don’t want to give out erroneous information regarding Hurricane preparation. So I’ve left that to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, where they have a website dedicated to disaster preparation called Ready.Gov. I strongly encourage you to visit the site and make preparations before it is way too late.

HART & PSTA offer hurricane evacuation services during evacuation periods.

For those of you who don’t have transportation and may not have friends/relatives that live in non-evacuation zones or out of town; HART and PSTA operate special services during evacuation periods to allow those who have limited evacuation options to be transported to a county-operated shelter. You can view general information, route maps, and more via the links below.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Also to note, whenever there high winds (anything above 25mph, sustained), the “High Winds” indicator lights will flash as you approach the bridge. When winds exceed 40mph, sustained, the Florida Highway Patrol has the authority to close the bridge entirely in order to ensure the safety of commuters.

Be safe out there!

HARTride 2012

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