The governor of South Carolina issued a "State of Emergency" this afternoon after hurricane Irma started veering slightly eastward. By 5pm all the stores, big and small, were out of bottled water and there are long, long lines at every gas station in town. I've heard you can't find a parking spot at the big box stores. People are panicking. And they kind of have a point.
This is a record-setting storm that has the potential to be utterly catastrophic. I've seen some real no joke hurricanes in my life, including Hugo in 1989, but I've never seen anything approaching 200 mph sustained winds (with higher gusts). And Irma is big.. I heard today that it's the size of the state of Ohio. Ohio! A storm that big will end up being felt in several states no matter where it initially makes landfall.
Last weekend when the storm was still far away, we went ahead and bought some supplies. We reasoned that even if Irma didn't end up being an issue, it's still the middle of hurricane season and we might need them later. We have four cases of bottled water, plenty of nonperishable food and sodas, extra tp, batteries, candles, lighters, and matches. We filled up our cars with gas. Thank goodness for preparing early! I still want to top off the gas in my car tomorrow if I can, and we need to pick up an extra canister of fuel for the camp stove, but that's about it. We're ready. Or as ready as we can be, I suppose.
To my Florida friends and anyone else in the path of this storm: please do whatever you need to do to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. Let's all check in as we can, ok?