Hurricane Irma Help, Advice and Check In September 5, 2017 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Hurricane Irma is heading towards Florida, and I thought it would be good if we had a central place for information for and about MeFites.

So yes, please check in here and let us know that you're safe after it passes. But until we get to that point, I thought maybe Mefites who need help finding a place to stay or aren't sure what they should bring on an evacuation, or have a million other questions, could get help here.

Some of us have been through this before, but some haven't and could maybe use some reassurance, encouragement, and/or advice. So if you've been through this yourself and have any helpful tips, this is the place to leave them. Or if you can help people find a hotel, or can offer a spare bedroom, etc., let them know!
posted by MexicanYenta to MetaFilter-Related at 6:04 PM (256 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

So I'm trying to find a place that will rent or lend CMYK an oxygen concentrator for her mom WITHOUT a written prescription. If she had the Rx I could just pay $100 to Orlando Medical Rental to rent her one. Anyone have an unused one they could lend her? It's a very low setting, only 2.5 liters.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

After false starts and warnings about bedbugs I've finally rigged up a pet friendly place that is accessible for my 70 y/o mom. So we'll load up the car and head to Kissimmee, near Orlando.

I'm hoping there's no storm surge in Tampa Bay - we're very vulnerable here and that would be catastrophic.
posted by cmyk at 6:15 PM on September 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Here's my hastily put together list of suggestions of things to bring/things you might forget during an evacuation:

Car charger for phone

Pet supplies - food, cage, bedding, toys, leash, harness, kennel, litterbox, pet meds

Don't forget the hamster/goldfish!

Gas can(s)

Case of bottled water - there may not be any available on the road


Snack mix/trail mix

Important papers


Mortgage docs/house title

Insurance paperwork

All ID including passports, birth certificates

Regular flashlight, to conserve phone charge

Blankets, pillows in case you have to sleep at a rest stop

Change of clothes that can be accessed without going into the trunk in case there's no place to pull over or it's raining too hard.

Rubber boots, raincoat

Ice chest

If diabetes is an issue, orange juice, cookies, insulin, etc.

Diabetes testing supplies

Wet wipes






Adult diapers


Glasses/contact lenses

Contact lens solution



Gum and candy to relieve boredom

Extra shoes and socks


Duct tape. Useful if your muffler falls off, or for many other emergencies.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:19 PM on September 5, 2017 [10 favorites]

So I'm trying to find a place that will rent or lend CMYK an oxygen concentrator for her mom WITHOUT a written prescription.

Can her doctor fax one over?
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2017

I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if they can email me a copy to print.
posted by cmyk at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Add a battery run am/FM/noaa radio, or even better, a hand-crank version.

Take care, cmyk.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:43 PM on September 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm adding tampons/pads/related menstral needs to MexicanYenta's excellent list.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:47 PM on September 5, 2017 [5 favorites]

We're just north of Jacksonville. On an island. We're waiting to see how the thing turns/doesn't before me, MsEld, BabyEld, ToddlerEld, and the two Eld Doggies bug out to Atlanta where family could host us basically indefinitely. Here's hoping.

We just bought a house here a few short months ago. Hold my beer....

Oh and I reposted a friend's request in this comment in the other thread. If that's your sort of thing.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:36 PM on September 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

Ok, more stuff: If you're thinking you're going to evacuate, do it as soon as you can. I evacuated for Hurricane Rita, and it was awful. It took 24 hours to get from Houston to San Antonio, which is usually a 3 hour drive. Our average speed was 1 mile an hour for about 10 hours. Interstates were at a standstill, and so were the back roads. We literally watched a traffic light on the service road change 22 times without us moving at all, until I finally got out of the car, walked up to the state trooper directing traffic, and somewhat less than politely informed him that he needed to stop the traffic BEFORE the light turned red, so that the rest of us in the cross traffic could actually move through the intersection. And when we got to San Antonio, there were no rooms available. We ended up having to go all the way to New Mexico - even El Paso had no rooms, because that's where they stashed all the FEMA people until the storm passed.

I'm telling this story not to scare anyone, but to tell you to be prepared to spend a LONG time in the car, and to encourage you to leave early. Oh, and there was no place to pull over to use the bathroom, so drink as little as possible.

If you have a dog, and you have to roll your windows down, make sure the dog is strapped in somehow. The worst part of the whole thing for me was the number of dogs who had jumped out of cars or pickups and were then run over. Please make sure that can't happen to your dog!

If you can, buy gas cans and fill them up before you leave. When we finally, after 8 hours on the road, got to a gas station, they had no gas.

If you're planning on trying to ride it out, a good way to store water is to buy several of those five gallon water jugs meant for water coolers, and fill them up. I've seen them at Whole Foods, Walmart, Home Depot (or possibly it was Lowe's, I forget), and grocery stores. The grocery stores had the best price. You can also get plastic five gallon buckets at Home Depot.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:40 PM on September 5, 2017 [9 favorites]

From twitter:

Follow our new page, @CrowdRescueHQ, for #HurricaneIrma rescue or information on how to volunteer to save lives.
Use #IrmaSOS to be rescued.

And FEMA has an app. It has National Weather Service alerts, will help you locate an open shelter, and other stuff.

posted by MexicanYenta at 7:46 PM on September 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

My family is in the Tampa Bay area, and I'm starting to get a bit anxious. I (for the most part) grew up there, weathered Andrew, and basically loled through every year's panic like All Good Floridians.

But idk, maybe I've internalized too many Harvey images this week. And this is a big fucking storm. And frankly, Florida's "due" for a big hit. :(

My (mobility- and health-challenged) mom is packed and ready to drive to the Northeast, toward my grandmother and me tomorrow, assuming the news isn't getting better.

However, my brother and sister-in-law are waiting to decide about evacuation until Thursday afternoon. THIS is what's currently got me awake. If the news is bad and they end up driving, is a Thursday evening departure too late and they'll be stuck on the highway?

And I just checked Kayak again to see about Thursday flights NYC or DC, and they're all booked up until Saturday/cost 800 - 1200 dollars per person. When I checked this afternoon, the price was about $180 per person, for a Thursday flight. Is this a bad sign?

None of my fam exactly has much money to deal with this sort of thing.

Anyway, I'm not exactly freaking out (the habit of loling at storms dies hard), but I'd love to hear any opinions on when (if!) to start prodding my brother to GTFO. And what a good action plan might be.

(Caveat: they are adults who will make their own decisions, totally! Im just wondering how/if I can help, and they're absolutely the type to think that everything but the literal Armageddon is over-hyped and people are silly for buying out the Costco because "nothing ever happens.")
posted by functionequalsform at 8:20 PM on September 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Another item for the evac list: some sort of mount to hold your phone in the car when you're using the GPS. I ended up taking a lot of little back roads because it was faster than the freeway.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:42 PM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

All I can really contribute to this (other than carrying anyone affected in my heart, love you all!), is that a couple of weeks ago there was an eclipse and getting to places before the eclipse wasn't that hard because everyone wasn't moving all at once, but getting back after viewing the eclipse from the totality zone was apparently really fucking brutal all along OR and WA coast side. And also in central OR heading north. Even in far eastern OR where we were, we abandoned the interstate and took state highways and back roads and it took us 7 hours to drive what would have taken us 4 hours on a clear interstate system.

So, I guess I'm going to say, if you can leave at at time when lots of others aren't also trying to leave, then you're going to be in better shape for actually getting somewhere.

Also, take a full gas can with you no matter when you leave. Even if you can get to a gas station along the way, who is to say that they even have gas? Stations in OR were running out of gas around the eclipse.
posted by hippybear at 8:43 PM on September 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm told PADF is a good place to donate for disaster relief in the Caribbean, which looks like it's about to get hit really hard.
posted by escabeche at 9:35 PM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

From Those Who Were Just Rocked (by Harvey), we salute you.

I would not pass up any chances to fill up the car with gas. We have several refineries down or at half capacity, and that is still propagating through the economy. Good luck.
posted by BeeDo at 10:39 PM on September 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Anyone in Tampa hunkering down? I'm waking up to an anxiety attack because this is the first major hurricane since my mom and her husband moved there and they have to stay because he's a VP admin of hillsborough community colleges, evacuating students, prepping buildings and monitoring them if the storm hits. One of the facilities is a
federally designated shelter apparently, so they can shelter there as his command center, which is only making me feel marginally better.
posted by romakimmy at 10:57 PM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Duct tape. Useful if your muffler falls off, or for many other emergencies.

Definitely bring duct tape!

But from experience, don't use it to hold up a muffler or exhaust pipes. They get very hot and the tape will stretch, quasi-melt and give out relatively quickly. If you ever need to tape up a muffler, use an aluminum exhaust tape, like Tiger Patch. Most auto stores sell it, as does Amazon.

Please be safe, everyone. Hopefully this won't be as awful as they're predicting.
posted by zarq at 12:56 AM on September 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

Cmyk, when my wife was pregnant and in desperate need of a filled lovenox prescription, the pharmacy accepted a picture of the script on my cell phone. You've probably already spoken with them to see what you need but just in case, it may be worth asking. Good luck. I hope it goes smoothly.
posted by zarq at 1:00 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

For the list, after checking my earthquake bag: 1) thin panty liners, for freshness reasons, in case even handwashing underwear is a problem, 2) a few of these kinds of bras*, especially since I don't have to worry about putting on a bra in a sudden emergency. Both are lightweight and don't take to much room.

*But not this brand; the owner supports you-know-who.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:34 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

If anyone needs a place to stay in Atlanta, just shoot me a MeMail. The only caveat is the number of cats in our house.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:50 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

It is also worth remembering Puerto Rico is also in the zone that will be affected.
posted by corb at 5:50 AM on September 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

Watching this unfold on the TV news here in the UK and the footage is genuinely terrifying, more so than previous Atlantic hurricanes. Hoping all MeFites (and everyone else) in the path are on their way to safety or have robust plans.
posted by Wordshore at 6:44 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I called a beloved elderly relative in PR yesterday and asked if he was prepared, he said, "yes, we have good shutters". I'm trying to figure out if it's worth calling and being like BATTEN DOWN EVERY HATCH or if he would just blow me off anyway.
posted by corb at 6:59 AM on September 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

My partner's parent is in Fort Myers. They are not one for long drives, or having their shit together, so we are freaking out a little. Trying to convince them to leave early and head toward Atlanta, but there's also a dog and cat involved... The whole nine yards. I hope everyone gets somewhere safe.
posted by papayaninja at 7:32 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, echoing what corb says: we've been reminded in email that the Caribbean islands are already being hit by this monster and we have a number of members in the islands. (Offhand I know snofoam and dances_with_sneetches have posted in the FPP about Irma, and there are others.) This post mentions Florida but we're thinking of you island Mefites and hoping very much for your safety.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:53 AM on September 6, 2017 [22 favorites]

I appreciate this thread. I'm in Tallahassee, which is looking OK according to the latest storm tracking. However, we were without power for six days last year because of Hurricane Hermine, which was so minor, it's name didn't even get retired at the end of the season!

Anyway, people here are antsy. We were out of town for the Labor Day weekend, and when we returned Tuesday, the bottled water was gone, lines to get gas were insane, and everyone had lost their freaking minds. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, I guess.

I have to leave work early today for a doctor's appointment. After that, I guess I'm going to invade the big Publix a few blocks away instead of the tiny Publix close to my house. We have a generator, I just ordered a gas can and some electrical cords via Amazon, and we've got about two cases of water. So as far as storm prep goes, we're fine! I need groceries, though, because we were out of town all weekend.

My office is closed Friday, so I think I'll be using that day to get caught up on laundry, make some stew and chili to stuff in the freezer (we have generators to keep the food safe, but I want them as full as possible for maximum efficiency), and generally get things in order in case it goes sideways at the last minute.
posted by PearlRose at 8:16 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


My brother is in the hospital in Ft. Myers. They just moved to Atlanta like two months ago, but were visiting my parents for the Labor Day weekend, when he had a spell. They removed his gallbladder and think that should fix things, but we'll see. And of course, they just moved so he has no doctors or anything yet. But his wife and their kids are getting antsy.

My parents boarded the Celebrity Equinox on Labor Day for an 11-night cruise. At first I was like what are you thinking?! Now, though, I think it might be good because the ship can move away from the storm, and thus, basically forced my elderly parents to evacuate.
posted by PearlRose at 8:23 AM on September 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

PearlRose, my cousin is on Pine Island (just west of Ft. Myers, if you're not familiar) and so far his plan is to put his 5 cats in his van and park on high ground. He's including BRIDGES in his list of high ground. I'm trying to talk some sense into him, but I'm also worrying if he's maybe developing some dementia or something, because this is out of character and also totally stupid. Sigh.

He did mention that the local hospitals are all on high ground, too. But you and I can be worry-buddies about Ft. Myers.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:56 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

MexicanYenta, I grew up in Lehigh and have been to Pine Island many times (my baby-sitter lived there), and ...yeah, I'm worried about the whole area. I still have many friends and family members still around there. The flooding last week nearly flooded out some homes in Cape Coral, so now I'm extra-concerned about a large unwieldy hurricane!

My brother just was taken back for the gallbladder surgery. It's looking like the wife and kids are torn between heading back to (a) Atlanta or to me in (b) Tallahassee, or (c) hunkering down at my parents' in Lehigh. (Said parents are on the freaking cruise ship). I hope they pick (a) or (b) of course, but right now, they're leaning toward (c) because of the kids and animals. A lot of it depends on if my brother gets discharged today (not likely, I suspect), or tomorrow.
posted by PearlRose at 9:09 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

2) a few of these kinds of bras*, especially since I don't have to worry about putting on a bra in a sudden emergency. Both are lightweight and don't take to much room.

*But not this brand; the owner supports you-know-who.

....What kind of bras? I didn't see a link.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

This is the site I've been using to check the spaghetti models. This morning it's looking like it might end up turning to the right far enough enough to spare Florida and a lot of the islands the worst of it. The Bahamas, though...
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2017

Eric Berger has been trying to get us to avoid spaghetti plots and go with GFS model, European model, etc. Which is too bad, because I too was happy to see the spaghetti plots moving eastward.

Having just dealt with Harvey here in Houston (and we are not done yet), I am now watching my immediate family hunker down in South Florida. They're just a few miles outside of the current evacuation zone, and so they are all staying, which is terrifying. By the time they know whether they should have evacuated, it may be another Rita situation.

My weather panic is apparently going to go on for a while.
posted by blurker at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Add to the evac list:
toilet paper (use plastic bag for used tp)
something to pee in (I use a plastic container for cereal, at Target/Walmart etc)—tall, removable lid, keep in opaque plastic bag)
empty plastic bags, all sizes

I'm wishing good luck to all.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

So... a thing just happened and I'd like to know my options after the storm.

I rent an apartment in a condo building. My landlady owns a few units in the complex. The building has hurricane shutters. The building management company is putting them up today. The workman putting them up let me know that they don't have enough shutters for the entire building, so they're only putting them on the second floor units. I'm furious -- as they went through and counted and tested the shutters a few weeks ago and should have ordered additional ones then. Obviously, there is nothing I can do about this now. I did let my landlady know.

I do have insurance, but if something happens to my apartment because there are no hurricane shutters -- what should my next steps be? And if this is better as an AskMe question, let me know.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Pictures are coming out of St. Maarten, and they're not good.
(Apparently, though, the last picture is actually Mexico in 2014.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:08 PM on September 6, 2017

....What kind of bras? I didn't see a link

Oops! Ahh bras, ie, easy to wear, wash, and pack, whatever works for you.

(The funny thing is I found out she supported H.I.M. because a link here about a Mar A Loco fundraiser and there was an IG pic of her.)
posted by Room 641-A at 2:20 PM on September 6, 2017

As a follow up to my previous question of fury -- lawyer friends say that I should take what is really important to me, move things that make sense into the closet, and contact them later for advice if I have any damage.

It's like KonMari on speed.

Cat and I plan to leave here early tomorrow morning and head to family a few hours away on slightly higher ground and with hurricane shutters.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 2:42 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

MexicanYenta: If your cousin still won’t listen to you, I have a message for him.

Dear YentaCousin,

I lived in Bokeelia on Pine Island for several years. It was a wonderful house with gorgeous palm trees of every kind and beautiful landscaping.

I went to Cape Coral when we were evacuated for Charley but eventually fled to Ft Lauderdale in the middle of the night when the storm took its sudden turn.

It was days before I could get back and when I did, it was...there was nothing left of my street or anyone else’s, to be honest). Every house on my street was reduced to toothpicks. Every one of the beautiful palms was on the ground.

Every single blade of grass was gone.

The island was uninhabitable for weeks and weeks.

I spoke to a couple of people who rode it out at the Moose Lodge over by the Center. They were so traumatized they couldn’t even talk about it for a few days.

Pine Island is, to me, the most wonderful stretch of 14 miles on this earth so I get it. But from one (former) resident to another, I’m begging you.

Please evacuate. There is NO ground high enough there.

Tell you what. If you want to come ride it out with my family (maybe St Pete, maybe Hudson, maybe out of state, depending on its path), I’ll show you my pictures of Charley’s aftermath while we wait for Irma to pass.

I love cats so please bring them all too.
posted by _Mona_ at 2:49 PM on September 6, 2017 [14 favorites]

Metafilter: Oops! Ahh bras, ie, easy to wear, wash, and pack, whatever works for you.
posted by Melismata at 2:50 PM on September 6, 2017

This was me at 2:00 a.m. when I was freaking out (I never thought to check for a MeTa).

I’ve chilled out a (little) bit with this latest track but am not letting my guard down an inch.

As long as Irma tracks like it is now, we’ll stay put or maybe just head to Hudson to be with friends. Our house is concrete block, the windows are reinforced, the roof is only three-years old, and we’re only a block away from a non-evac zone.

If we stay and you need shelter, please get in touch. We have a guest room and bath, a lot of floor space, and a fuckton of board games. (Note: we also have two cats and two rabbits, and Benadryl if you’re allergic.)

Between this storm and the political bullshit, I have to say once again: Metafilter is the best. You keep me sane. Thank you all.
posted by _Mona_ at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

Possibly useful tip: freeze as much water as you can. Gallon jugs, two liter soda bottles, whatever you've got. You can use them to keep things cool, and then afterwards you've got potable water.

I've got all my errands done - car checked out by Best Mechanic, pet food and supplies bought, people food and supplies bought too. Now have to run some laundry and load the car.

So many Mefites have offered help and well wishes. Best of the web, especially in a crisis.
posted by cmyk at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2017 [5 favorites]

And yes, O2 machine for my mom is ready and awaiting our arrival at evac location. Big thanks to IndigoRain for the assist on that.
posted by cmyk at 4:11 PM on September 6, 2017 [20 favorites]

I'm still trying to decide if we should evacuate. I'm shuttered up over hurricane windows, have plenty of water and food, charcoal and a grill. We are not in a flood zone. Our cars are gassed up, but only hold enough to get about 240 miles. We have 2 full 5 gal gas cans. For Reasons, we don't currently own a vehicle large enough to transport our entire family (2 adults, 2 kids, an elderly unwell MIL and a large dog), so we would have to drive 2 cars.

I'm in Wellington (Palm Beach County) and really struggling with this decision! We have hotel reservations for Sat/Sun/Mon up north of Tampa- I can drop the dog at my dad's near the hotel and the 5 of us can hunker down in a hotel. We have reservations at Disney for the rest of the week and can likely bring my MIL.

I'm struggling with the idea of being stuck on the road with no fuel available. Having to wonder if my house made it. Not being able/having time between evac and vacation to drive 4 hours down and 4 back (assuming there's fuel) to empty the fridge since there will likely be no power. Well, assuming there's a house to get to.

I should probably cancel Disney, but I've been planning this for 8 months. We rarely take time off as a family and I'm 7 mos pregnant so it's not likely to happen again any time soon. I really want to go be stress-free for our Disney week and frankly, I'm fucking pissed that it's not going to happen.

So what say you, MetaFilter? Do I stay or do I go now?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:19 PM on September 6, 2017

I'm shuttered up over hurricane windows, have plenty of water and food, charcoal and a grill.

If you're hunkered down inside, you weren't planning on grilling indoors, too, were you? That's deadly.

Apologies if that sounds stupid. That would be entirely about me not understanding the situation, not you!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:24 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

No, no, not grilling inside! But I can see how my list order could lead one to believe..... I just listed things in order of importance.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

The aptly named SLOSH map will show you the expected extent of storm surge in your area. Go straight for the Category 5 option and see how your neighborhood stands. If your house is on a little island of okay surrounded by flood water, you still might want to get out because others won't be able to get TO you for things like getting power back on, etc.
posted by cmyk at 4:40 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

cmyk- I can't seem to figure out how to get to an interactive map from your link. Help?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2017

Sorry. Evac prep has fried my brain. The interactive map link is here.
posted by cmyk at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thank you, per that map it looks like my relatives are going to probably be okay.
posted by corb at 5:04 PM on September 6, 2017

Yes, thank you cmyk, according to that map I won't be SLOSHing. I've figured out the safest part of the house to shelter in. I've bought supplies to make s'mores once it has passed. I am really leaning towards staying.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:24 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

According to the SLOSH map, my cousin will be under at least 9 feet of water. Maybe this will convince him to get out of town entirely.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:46 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

functionequalsform, I'm in much the same boat, right down to the having grown up mostly in Tampa (go Dragons!) and having lolled my way through many a hurricane along with the rest of the True Floridians. My family still chuckles about the time my mother, sister, and I ran into our neighbor at the grocery store in the midst of a chaotic supply-grabbing rush - our cart contained nothing but ice cream, while our neighbor's held only margarita mix. Having just spoken to my family still down there, though, this one feels different to me, too. My sister now lives two blocks from the ocean near Daytona, and she, too, is waiting until Thursday and it's driving me crazy.

My mom had been planning on driving down to Tampa today (she now lives in Ocala), but cancelled because apparently 75 is already getting densely trafficked heading north and she didn't want to add to it. She also says that gas is hard to get where she is, and she's heard the same from the friend she was planning on meeting down in Tampa. This is all hearsay - I'm out in Oregon and couldn't say personally what it looks like, so I'd defer to anybody actually in the area - but if you can persuade your brother and SIL to start heading north now, it sounds to me like that would be a good idea. Good luck to them (and all the rest of the Mefites affected by this).
posted by DingoMutt at 6:20 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

We were in the Tampa Bay Area until this morning; spent the last week with family at my sister's wedding. Publix yesterday was a madhouse and we passed many gas stations this morning that were out of gas. Nobody is planning to evacuate yet; newlyweds are furthest south in West Palm Beach and are waiting to hear what their employers do. I know FL suspended tolls but at some point they need to think about making the north/south roads one-way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:05 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Jet Blue is running $99 - $159 flights out of Florida. Says they're mostly sold out, but it's still worth checking. They're also adding flights.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:30 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Palm Beach, a few miles south of mar a Iago. Prepped and shuttering tomorrow to shelter in place. After we run the last load of dishes, unplugging the dishwasher and loading the photo albums in there.
posted by tilde at 7:44 PM on September 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

After we run the last load of dishes, unplugging the dishwasher and loading the photo albums in there.

Good choice, let it air out with a fan until you need to put stuff in and toss in a damp-rid pack if you have one. DO NOT DEEP CLEAN IT BEFORE INSERTING LOVED GOODS.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:13 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

For anyone wondering, my mom left ass-early from Tampa this morning and made it to the DC area just now. I'll ask her what the gas situation was like, but from how she sounded today the roads were pretty smooth sailing today so far.
posted by functionequalsform at 8:17 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've heard the same, roads not terrible but congested near choke points / metro areas. Small sample size but here's hoping it holds out.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:20 PM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're looking to head northwest, from the SC/NC coast, I have a queen-sized bed in a spare bedroom in a cat-friendly house in Carrboro (I have one cat). As of right now, most models don't have the storm coming directly through the Triangle. Let me know if you need somewhere to evacuate.

In related news, little sister is supposed to get married on Isle of Palms, SC a week from Sunday, so long as her venue is still standing , accessible and there's water and power.

We'll see what we see.
posted by thivaia at 8:23 PM on September 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

PorcineWithMe, fwiw, I've heard that Disney is one of the safest places to hunker down in a hurricane-and I'm a Disney fanatic and would be devastated to have to cancel, too.

Please stay safe and well, all of you-with love from the burning west coast.
posted by purenitrous at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2017

thivaia, I read that as "Catborro" which I thought was very cool and a very metafiltery name for a town.

I hope all works out well for your little sister's wedding.

Stay safe everyone!
posted by kitten magic at 2:46 AM on September 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I evacuated in the middle of the night. A++++ experience, would evacuate in the cover of darkness again.

The turnpike had some traffic, but everything was flowing at speed limit speeds at midnight. Also, the gas stations on the turnpike are masterpieces of efficient line moving. Partially because they don't allow people to fill up gas cans and partially because they have attendants directing traffic so as one opens up, you are waved to it. (Sending all the love to those folks -- I hope they've been able to prepare for themselves.)

I'm happy to be at my parents' house, with it's hurricane shutters and above storm surge location. However, my cat is NOT HAPPY, which is why I am typing this comment and not sleeping, as I would like to be. He did fine in the car, but it hs been a constant stream of meow in our bedroom. (He can't be let out into the rest of the house as he'd be interacting with my parents' cats and... that would be worse.) He has toys, some places to hide in, and I hope that he gets used to the idea that we're here for the foreseeable future.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 2:48 AM on September 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

So got an email late last night- VW has canceled my buyback appointment that was scheduled for this morning. Assholes. We converted our garage years ago and never built another, so now we don't have a safe space to put the vehicle. So mad. Does anyone know of a parking garage in western Palm Beach County? I don't want to bring it downtown and I'd rather not pay a ton for the space either. Any ideas? I've already reached out to my neighbors.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:00 AM on September 7, 2017

Could you park it at the dealership and plead / claim you had it staged for the appointment already? Maybe not the worst idea but probably not the best either.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:45 AM on September 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think I'd still be responsible for any damage. The dealerships are not really associated with the buyback, they're just a place to do the deal with VW of America. Steaming mad right now- because I need more to worry about
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:52 AM on September 7, 2017

I'm in Miami Beach. No car. My wife and I thought we had a plane ticket out for tomorrow night, just under the wire, but Spirit cancelled on us.

Are there any mefites riding it out outside of the mandatory evacuation zones with some extra room? We don't have a backup plan.
posted by zjacreman at 6:22 AM on September 7, 2017

I'm in Savannah which is currently in the bullseye of several predictions. I'm hoping that means, since they're always wrong, I can just stay home. I did just chat with a friend in Asheville, about 6 hours away in normal traffic, and she's offered me a place to stay. I'll decide tomorrow.
posted by mareli at 6:22 AM on September 7, 2017

As long as everyone else doesn't also decide tomorrow, you should be okay.
posted by hippybear at 6:28 AM on September 7, 2017

zjacreman, If it comes to it, please go to a shelter instead of staying where you are. It'll be a miserable noisy stay but you'll be safe and dry.

I've spent my whole Floridian life going "meh" at hurricanes. Not this one. Its going to be bad down there.
posted by cmyk at 6:54 AM on September 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

We're leaving St. Augustine tomorrow (assuming the current forecast models hold), headed to Moultrie to stay with friends, and maybe up to Birmingham if things look bad enough for Southwest Georgia.
posted by saladin at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2017

Not a happy update today, I'm afraid -- my brother isn't doing great after the gallbladder removal surgery yesterday. He's on oxygen and his blood pressure is still very high. They had hoped to release him from the hospital today, but his doctors have basically told my sister-in-law that's not happening. So now they're going to have to ride out Irma at my parents' house in Lehigh Acres. Even if my brother is released tomorrow, would still be too ill to make what is normally an 8 hour drive. I'm sure it's going to be much longer now with all the evacuees headed north.
posted by PearlRose at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2017

We've got a car reservation now, supposedly. If that pans out we're going to make a run for Georgia tonight to stay with friends in Atlanta. The news is full of gas shortage stories but GasBuddy tracking looks OK.
posted by zjacreman at 7:54 AM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

My cousin is now "waiting to see if it turns", and if it doesn't he'll leave. Otherwise I think he's planning on riding it out in his house.

The SLOSH map shows Pine Island being under 9+ feet of water. I am so pissed at/worried about him.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:04 AM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Stay safe, Sunshine Staters. Love to those dealing with extra stressors in all of this. Good thoughts to you & your family, PearlRose.

Just finished up the last of prep this morning, can hunker for a few days as needed. I think it will be mostly power outage issues here in Raleigh.

It's gonna be a pain in the ass for the whole southeast, so strap in, guys.
posted by yoga at 8:07 AM on September 7, 2017

Porcine, any chance the garage by the Wellington hospital has space available?
posted by Daily Alice at 9:02 AM on September 7, 2017

DailyAlice- we are heading there this afternoon to check it out. It's about 3 miles from my house so it'll be perfect if it has room. Stay safe- I think you're not that far from me.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 10:10 AM on September 7, 2017

My husband is out helping some friends board up their windows, and then they will board up our windows and we're staying locked up tight for the storm. We have plenty of food and water (and supplies and carriers for our pets if we need to bail to a shelter afterwards). Our neighbor has a very large pine tree that worries me, but I really think we'll be ok. We're not in an evacuation zone and it seems like most of our neighborhood is sticking it out.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 1:06 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ugh, UPS can bite me. I had a nice solar panel coming so I could have plenty of juice for e-readers and such. Now I'm stuck with 3 watts from a fire and about 18000mAh of pre-charged battery packs. Things are suddenly looking much more grim between that and the complete lack of a battery powered radio for purchase anywhere locally. At least the stove came, so I won't be eating lukewarm soup.
posted by wierdo at 2:29 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Here's a really good site for tracking and preditions. Shows wind speeds and such. Check out
posted by mightshould at 2:56 PM on September 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Dentist sent me an email reminder that I have an appointment to get teeth extracted on Monday. Joke's on him. I'm having a hurricane on Monday.
posted by Splunge at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2017 [8 favorites] is another good site that aggregates links to a lot of different forecast models and satellite feeds. Shame the creator has mostly abandoned it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:01 PM on September 7, 2017

PorcineWithMe, I do have a couple recommendations for Disney and hurricanes. We were stuck there involuntarily during Jeanne, which was 130 mph at landfall and 100 mph when it reached Orlando. First, a Disney deluxe resort is probably the best place in the world to ride out a storm. The lower level hotels all have motel-style exterior hallways, so you are trapped in your room during the storm, but we were able to get a room at a deluxe for a relatively small premium (because of people cancelling). We never lost power, and the restuarant was open the whole time. The wind was terrifying, as was watching the rain fall up, but it was safe. Then they opened the parks the next day, and it was basically walk-on for every ride. It was truly phenomenal. I feel awful mentioning this when thousands of people are homeless in Barbuda, but that was our experience. It would be idiotic to chase the storm, but if you're considering where to evacuate...
posted by wnissen at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Sorry to keep clogging up the thread with my tales of woe, but my mother just decided to use me as her emotional dumping board, knowing full well that I'm an anxious mess trying to keep it together for the in-laws from Indiana.

You feel helpless, I get it. But YOU are safe and I'm having Hermine flashbacks and trying to Get. Stuff. Done. in what time I have to prepare.

Sorry, the westward trend spooked me hard today.
posted by PearlRose at 5:43 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Mrs Thief and I are leaning towards hunkering down here outside Orlando. We just don't know which way it'll go. I had a good experience when Charley went overhead. We've got water, food, and plenty to read.
posted by BobtheThief at 5:46 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

St. Petersburger here. Most of our friends are staying, but we're leaving--not going far, just about two hours inland to a hillier area away from the storm surge.

As someone who's never prepared for a hurricane before (I come from earthquake country) and for the edification of anyone who's curious: it's effing horrible. You have all of the maps and prognostications that are constantly saying "oh it could be just an unusually rainy day or it could be TOTAL DEVASTATION, nobody knows for sure, sucks to be you I guess!" And then there's always something about how you shouldn't use the many models and predictions as a basis for evacuation or staying.

Well, HELL-FIRE, then, what AM I supposed to use as a basis for deciding to evacuate? Am I supposed to get my damn palm read? Am I supposed to have some kind of leathery local horse sense that lets me sniff the air knowingly and intone "ayup, the big one's a-comin'?" Am I supposed to wait until my friends and neighbors flee and then crazily try and cram everyone into the sedan? Or am I supposed to wait until they issue evacuation orders, when the roads will immediately become so clogged that no one at all can evacuate?

I remember seeing the results of other major hurricanes in the past and thinking (in my quixotic, northern, I-live-on-the-top-of-a-hill-and-watch-the-commoners-squabble way) "why don't these people just evacuate?? I would rather evacuate than die, but that's just me, ho hee ho hee ho."

Thing is, evacuation is terrible. It's utterly effing terrible and you would really, really rather not do it and you're desperate for information that will tell you whether you need to take this huge, potentially massively life-altering step. It's not just the immense effort and chaos associated with wrangling all of your really essential worldly possessions (and the subsidiary conflict about which ones are absolutely essential) along with your family, your pets, and everything you hold dear, not even the insanity of trying to get enough gas and water and trail mix together or hurriedly screwing plywood onto the house in hopes that not everything within will be destroyed, but the state of crushing dread that you begin to exist in. It reminds me of crossing strong rivers on hiking trips when I was younger, without a bridge or a rope or anything. Just blindly feeling your way forward with the tips of your toes, not knowing whether the stone you touch is going to shift suddenly and overturn the instant you put your weight on it. And, on the far shore, a gang of weathermen with greasy hair screaming contrary directions at you.

All of you who are longtime Floridians already know this, no doubt, but I sure didn't. Ho lord.
posted by lorddimwit at 6:07 PM on September 7, 2017 [29 favorites]

I am Hunkered Down in Kissimmee, now. Mother and dog are happily enjoying the new digs (especially Dog), Toothess Hamster is asleep in his carry cage, and I am recovering from a busy day of Lifting and Sorting and Stowing and Packing and Carrying and all those other things lorddimwit so eloquently listed.

About every fifteen minutes I'd stop and think, "do I even fucking want to evac? Is it worth it?" Then I'd think of that photo of the nursing home residents in water up to their chests, just sitting because they needed help that wasn't there, and I would do anything to keep my mom from being that, and now we're here.

It is that miserable. It's god awful. I didn't do a third of the things on my list because I had to ration the strength in my severely dysfunctional lower back. Now I'm fretting because of this westward jolt and I didn't put my PC tower anywhere safe and I forgot to water the plants and I forgot all the papers and and I left the previous pets' ashes for lack of space.

Still. We're alive and safe here. And a soak in the garden tub in this ridiculous resort suite will probably sort out everything the painkillers can't touch.
posted by cmyk at 7:05 PM on September 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

Well, HELL-FIRE, then, what AM I supposed to use as a basis for deciding to evacuate?

The saying around here is "run from the water, hide from the wind". So if you live someplace that is subject to storm surge go, and if you are farther inland then stay. I am far enough inland (Wellington, Palm Beach County) that I have hunkered down, all shutters are secure, supplies of water and food and booze laid in, not planning to leave the house for the next few days. I've been favorably impressed with how people are behaving here in the face of long lines for groceries and gas. Everybody polite and orderly, nobody fighting or trying to push ahead. I would hardly have believed it given how rude people can be here in normal times. Trying hard to manage my anxiety but the prospect of Category 4 or 5 winds is pretty terrifying. And the near-certainty of an extended period without electricity is dismal. Stay safe everyone!
posted by Daily Alice at 7:42 PM on September 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Nassau county just popped the news of mandatory evac Friday. We had early warning of that and bugged out today to Atlanta. We took back roads all the way and saw zero traffic and no gas shortages. Hope that trend holds for rest of y'all running north .
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:29 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just had a phone call with my cousin. He actually wants to leave, in fact is under mandatory evacuation orders, but he hasn't been able to find cat carriers in 3 days of looking. His cats are basically strays that he's been feeding, and they occasionally come inside, but they've never been in a vehicle. He's considering building a cage out of some fencing.

And then he has no place to go. The roads are apparently already barely moving, and there's reports of no gas. Since he's in the southern part of the state, on the gulf side, there's no where he can get to that's safe, with just one tank of gas. I'm now trying to convince him to go to a shelter inland, rather than stay on the island.

And he's worried. He and I are the two people in the family that everyone turns to in a crisis. The ones who make levelheaded decisions in emergencies, and are always well prepared, and make sure that everything and everyone is taken care of. So if he's worried, that means things are really bad.

posted by MexicanYenta at 8:36 PM on September 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

laundry baskets work fine as cat car things if he's driving in a car. turn one upside down on a cat sitting on the back seat and if necessary buckle it into place or weight it down. Also, plastic milk crates. A cardboard box with holes cut in it. improvise!
posted by hippybear at 8:41 PM on September 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

Oh shit, and I knew that because I use a hamper to get my vicious one to the vet! Thanks for reminding me!!
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:46 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

You can also get the cats out in pillowcases. Use plastic garbage bag ties or zipties to keep them closed.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:58 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

MexicanYenta, if your cousin has a smartphone tell him to download the Gas Buddy app. People are crowdsourcing info on gas availability and the developers asked gas station owners to contribute their data as well. It might not be flawless info, but it’s something.

Please keep us posted on his progress.
posted by _Mona_ at 9:03 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

The pillowcase thing will indeed be effective but perhaps a bit much for neighborhood cats that occasionally come inside. Still, if you have to, you have to. If he can buy some catnip to toss in the pillowcases (or on the back seat of the car) that might help with the journey to the shelter too.
posted by hippybear at 9:05 PM on September 7, 2017

The problem with pillowcases is he needs something to keep them in for days, since he has no place to go and may not have a house to go back to. But he likes the laundry basket idea, and is also going to check with a local animal shelter.

I'll pass along the gas app, thanks!
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:58 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Radio station out of St. Maarten. It's currently all talk, rather than music.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:07 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

If he has a drill pretty much any plastic tote/bin with a lid can be used as a cat carrier. Rubbermaid roughneck totes are soft enough they can be drilled by hand (IE: turning say a 3/8ths drill bit with your fingers).

Cheap white plastic zip ties can be used to secure the lid but are easily cut with a pair of nail clippers, sharp knife, pair of wire cutters or any sort of strong rod like object (insert under the zip tie and twist until the lock nib breaks). Rubbermaid also makes a Roughneck tote with latches but I haven't used them so don't know how secure they'd be.
posted by Mitheral at 10:14 PM on September 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I hope the asker and their parents stay safe.
posted by research monkey at 4:18 AM on September 8, 2017 [6 favorites]

We're in Atlanta. The track as it stands now means our area, and thus our recently purchased home, is going to take a serious beating. Oh and it looks like the track will bring it right to us in Atlanta as well as a final 'eff you Roland and Co!'.

*sigh* It's all over for us now until we hear news and/or go home to pick up the pieces to a greater or, hopefully, lesser degree.

Good luck to those folks evacing now. It wasn't awful for us yesterday but I hear further south was kinda bad.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:46 AM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

By the by, we passed one sign (well if a sheet of plywood with spraypaint words on it counts as a sign) in front of a farm/home in southern Georgia that said, something like, "RUNNING FROM IMRA? NEED PLACE? TURN IN HERE AND HONK!!!"

Humanity isn't all bad I suppose.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:10 AM on September 8, 2017 [13 favorites]

What are the chances that the evacuation situation is going to turn into a Rita-style gridlock as the day goes on? We are trying to help a family member (Pasco Co., her voluntary evac order just turned mandatory this morning) but she can't/won't leave until tonight (I don't know and it's not my side of the family so all I can do is logistical support) and I'm afraid that's going to be too late from a road/resources perspective.

I don't know Florida, all my hurricane experience was in Texas, and it's making it hard to figure out what's actually going to be feasible and if we need to focus on just getting her a little more inland if that's all we're going to be able to do.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:30 AM on September 8, 2017

I'd research any routing/departures very well via Google Maps Traffic reports/estimates as well as any other local-ish resources you can find. Honestly, since this thing keeps getting more and more 'worst case scenario' we're going to see more people leaving and ruing the woe that is traffic and the road. Based on all that I'd consider the higher ground option strongly if you can get them into a bona fide shelter somewhere.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:36 AM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Def higher ground. We can, on a good day, get from our house to central South Carolina in nineish hours. Coming back after the eclipse it was more like fifteen.
posted by tilde at 9:28 AM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

LynNever: I’m the next county over. If you want to MeMail me, I’ll help you figure this out.
posted by _Mona_ at 10:39 AM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

One more thing for the evacuation kit. If cannabis improves your life and it's legal for you, get a few of those pre-filled, disposable vape things. They're completely self contained, so no lighters, batteries, or electricity needed. It's a full gram, so should last a while in that form, and the dank is self-contained. They're also pretty discreet as these things go. I just came across one that is over a year old and it works fine.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:54 AM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

My cousin wants me to find him shelters in Cape Coral or Ft. Myers. I feel like those places aren't far inland enough. Does anyone know if shelters there will be safe, or does he need to go further?
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2017

Also, I thought I saw something where shelters MUST accept your pets? Can anyone confirm that?
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:14 PM on September 8, 2017

Local NBC affiliate: No hurricane safe shelters inside city of Fort Myers.

Fort Myers, Cape Coral spend another queasy, uneasy day preparing for Hurricane Irma - None of the shelters listed at the end of the article appear to accept animals.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2017

MexicanYenta, here's the info on the pet friendly shelter in Lee county. Not sure if there is still room, but maybe you can call the phone numbers?
Lee County
The Mandatory Evacuation Shelter(s) are to be used only by people affected by mandatory evacuation orders that are unable to seek alternative shelter. The only animals admitted will be cats and dogs. The shelter(s) may be located at South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road, Fort Myers; East Lee County High School, 715 Thomas Sherwin Ave., Lehigh Acres; or potentially another location(s) depending on the nature and direction of the storm. The Mandatory Evacuation Shelter will be operated similar to people shelters, and like people shelters, you will not be able to register or reserve a space. Pet owners are required to stay at the shelter but will be housed in separate areas from their pets. When you are admitted to the shelter, one family member will be assigned the task of taking care of your pet at pre-assigned times.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services
Leon County Emergency Management
Levy County Emergency Management Hurricane Irma
If you have a question, public information lines are open 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576.
From here:

Or try:
East Lee County High School
715 Thomas Sherwin Ave
(239) 533-7387

or Lehigh acres? not sure where that is.

And a list of things to bring:
Regardless of where you go during the storm, bring the following items with you:
Your pet's food
Bowls for food and water
Sturdy, impact resistant carriers (no soft carriers or make-shift containers)
Bedding for the carrier
Litter, litter boxes and a scoop for cats
Your pet's regular medications
Toys, chewing objects or other stress relief for your pet
Lee County license and other identification (Microchip IDs are encouraged)
Check with your veterinarian to see if your pet is up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations

Good luck to your cousin and teh kitties!
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just had a phone call with my cousin. He actually wants to leave, in fact is under mandatory evacuation orders, but he hasn't been able to find cat carriers in 3 days of looking. His cats are basically strays that he's been feeding, and they occasionally come inside, but they've never been in a vehicle. He's considering building a cage out of some fencing.

So basically, they're outdoor cats, and they're not someone elses cats coming over and mooching off of him? Does he see them daily?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:38 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you! For anyone else who may need this info, this is everything I found. Some may duplicate what is already above.

Lee County
Emergency Operations Center
Though East Lee County High School and South Fort Myers High School are the primary pet shelters, pets are allowed at all Lee County shelters, the sheriff’s office said.

East Lee County High School
715 Thomas Sherwin Ave.
Lehigh Acres, FL 33974
Estero Recreation Center
9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd.
Estero, FL 33928
Harns Marsh Elementary
1800 Unice Avenue North
Lehigh Acres, FL 33971
Island Coast High School
2125 DeNavarra Pkwy.
Cape Coral, FL 33909
Oak Hammock Middle School
5321 Tice Street
Fort Myers, FL 33905
South Fort Myers High School
14020 Plantation Road
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(South Fort Myers High School says need current vaccination records for pets. However, that's from a permanent page, and may not be in effect right now.)
Directions are here:
Lee County
The following shelters will be open for evacuees at 9 a.m. Friday:
East Lee County High School, 715 Thomas Sherwin Ave., Lehigh Acres (primary pet shelter)
Varsity Lakes Middle School, 801 Gunnery Road., Lehigh Acres
Harns Marsh Middle School, 1820 Unice Ave. N., Lehigh Acres
Oak Hammock Middle School, 5321 Tice St., Fort Myers
Island Coast High School, 2125 De Navarra Pkwy., Cape Coral
South Ft. Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road., Fort Myers (primary pet shelter)
Estero Rec Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Road., Estero
Charlotte County
The following shelters will be open starting at 9 a.m. Saturday:
Kingsway Elementary School, 23300 Quasar Boulevard, Port Charlotte
Liberty Elementary School, 370 Atwater Street, Port Charlotte
Both are pet-friendly for dogs and cats.
Registration for special-needs shelters in the county is closed, and special needs residents who didn’t register are encouraged to shelter in place, the county’s emergency operations center said.
Collier County
The following shelters will be open for evacuees at 1 p.m. Friday:
Immokalee High School on 701 Immokalee Drive, Immokalee (no pets)
Immokalee Middle School on 401 N. 9th St., Immokalee (pets allowed)
Cypress Palm Middle School on 4255 18th Ave. NE, Naples (pets allowed)
North Collier Regional Park on 15000 Livingston Road, Naples (pets allowed, but lease note that due to preregistration, this shelter is full and will not accept anyone who is not already registered)
Oak Ridge Middle School on 14975 Collier Blvd. (no pets)
Lely High School on 1 Lely High School Blvd., Naples (no pets)
Palmetto Ridge High School on 1655 Victory Lane, Naples (special needs shelter only)
Golden Gate High School, 2925 Titan Way, Naples (no pets)
A no-pet shelter at Gulf Coast High School has reached capacity and can’t take any more people.
DeSoto County
The following shelter will open at 10 a.m. Saturday
DeSoto Middle School and Gymnasium, 420 E. Gibson St., Arcadia
A special needs shelter for those who need mechanical aid or oxygen to survive will open at 3 p.m. Saturday here:
South Florida State College, 2251 NE Turner Ave., Arcadia
Glades County
West Glades Elementary School, 2586 County Road 721, Building 500, Muse (opening 1 p.m. Friday)
Shelters at the following locations, which are in mandatory evacuation zones, will not be opening as originally planned:
Moore Haven High School Gym, 700 Terrier Pride Drive SW, Moore Haven
Maple Grove Baptist Church, 12777 East State Road 78 NE, Lakeport
Hendry County
LaBelle Middle School, 8000 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle (opening 8 a.m. Friday, no pets)
Labelle High School 4050 E. Cowboy Way LaBelle (opening 8 a.m. Friday, no pets)
Country Oaks Elementary School 2052 NW Eucalyptus Blvd LaBelle (opening 8 a.m. Friday, no pets)
A special needs shelter will open at West Glades School at 2500 South County Road 731 in LaBelle
Highlands County
Shelters will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday
Avon Park Recreation Center at 207 E. State St. in Avon Park
Lake Placid High School at 202 Green Dragon Drive in Lake Placid
Highlands County Fair Convention Center at 781 Magnolia Ave. in Sebring
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

ZeusHumms Yes, they're his cats. He has a few acres and these cats live on his property, and have for years. One day they decided they wanted to come inside, drink his coffee and eat his cantaloupe and his cucumbers. And so, being cats, they did.

He's got the cage situation solved. He found a large cage somewhere, I don't know where, I'm just happy he did.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:48 PM on September 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm sorry I was so negative, MexicanYenta. All my best to you and your cousin and the cats.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:08 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

My apartment is small and messy, but I have a futon and and an air mattress if anyone needs to evacuate and can make it to Richmond, Virginia.

I don't have a yard and my cat is FIV+ so I don't think I can host a dog or cat but small pets in cages or aquariums are welcome.

No creepers.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:12 PM on September 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Argh, just talked to my sister - who is two blocks from the beach, up near Daytona, on what is basically a danged island with two bridges back to the mainland. She says she isn't planning on evacuating until tomorrow morning since 'the hurricane isn't supposed to hit even Miami until Sunday.' I've shown her the SLOSH projections for her area and pointed out how clogged the roads are likely to be, but that doesn't seem to have changed her mind. Nothing I can do from across the country, but I wish I could send her a howler right now ...
posted by DingoMutt at 1:18 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have space in Durham, NC and the willingness to share it!
posted by Stewriffic at 1:26 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

My friend is stuck in St. Martin which is pretty much decimated and... is getting hit by Hurricane Jose tonight. Another fucking hurricane—and a category 4, no less. My friend is safe for now, she's communicated with me via text, and it sounds like she's found the best shelter possible.

Is there anything I can do for her? I'm asking here because I don't want to tie her up, peppering her with with questions, when she could be doing... everything she may need to do to prepare.

Money? I'm positive she's got sufficient money in the bank, but may not have access to cash and I would imagine that credit card machines are down? Is there anything she could even buy that could help? I'm not even sure I could *useful* money to her anyway...

Information? I would imagine that since she can text, she has access to the internet somehow? So, she probably doesn't need me to send her news/information...

Other than that, I just don't know. I'm scared for her, and if there's ANYTHING I can do... well, I'd love some ideas. I'm not sure there is, which sucks.
posted by functionequalsform at 1:41 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Emergency pet carrier from a bucket.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:03 PM on September 8, 2017 [8 favorites]

Is there anything I can do for her? I'm asking here because I don't want to tie her up, peppering her with with questions, when she could be doing... everything she may need to do to prepare.

Think good thoughts, brainstorm ways to help her after Jose passes? Not being there, you could probably do internet searches on her behalf if she wants to conserve her phone battery.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:04 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ask her what she needs! Having someone who can do research and make calls would be a wonderful resource, especially if she's only got sms capabilities and no electricity. It can be hard to work out simple logistics during and after a storm. Having someone do the legwork feels like a luxury.
posted by cmyk at 3:23 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Found out yesterday that my friend has flown down to FL for a wedding. His GF is in the wedding party. They were planning on flying out Saturday at 530pm but flight has been cancelled and airport is closed. They have a car, but I can't convince them to leave now. I'm so worried they are going to get trapped on the road, but there's nothing I can do...they are adults.

To vent a bit more: I don't understand this bride & groom. For the safety of their guests and vendors they should have postponed this wedding!
posted by CMcG at 3:24 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

To clarify: airport is closing at 5pm tomorrow. It's not closed now.
posted by CMcG at 3:26 PM on September 8, 2017

Unceasing nervousness at this point. If we return to anything approaching a secured and whole home I'm gonna be all like...
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:00 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you RolandOfEld. For all of you Mefites impacted by fire or hurricanes.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:03 PM on September 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm really far north but have room for 3 humans (no pets unless it is a very chill dog, we have angry cat) if anyone is displaced and can get here.
posted by vrakatar at 5:24 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ok. This is the second disaster I've had to check in for this week. We've had a vacation to Disneyworld planned for my husband's 50th birthday since January. We thought we'd be long gone before Irmageddon. Our flight got cancelled and we couldn't get another one home before the airport closed. Soooo we're hunkering down at Disneyworld through the storm. Cast members are being great. I went out for a couple of supplies today and currently have the most expensive hurricane supplies EVER. We have a flight out on Wednesday night as of now. Our hotel is built like a fort and we're treating it as an adventure. Happy 50th birthday babe.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:40 PM on September 8, 2017 [20 favorites]

damn Sophie1, that is one surreal place to be stuck for this. be safe and please please let us know how your story unfolds.
posted by vrakatar at 5:43 PM on September 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Will do.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:46 PM on September 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Because of $economy brought on by didn't win president #1 (bush jr) to a great extent, we didn't get second floor easy shutters fifteen years ago. We've been scraping along and staying out of debt since. So now we have didn't win president #2 and we are fifteen years older.

What's left of us post Irma and probably &&}}~¥£€* Jose, I'm going to do what I have to do to get easy second floor shutters by next season. I never wanted to upgrade this place except for shutters because we are 4-5 miles from the ocean and I expect by the time we are ready to sell we will be more like 1-2 miles, but screw that. I'm gonna go work for some republicans again or GEO group and get me some blinking roll down push button shutters. Eff this noise.
posted by tilde at 6:27 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Missed edit window. I'm two point five miles from the beach as the Tsunami rides, but not in an evacuation or flood prone area (thanks MexicanYenta!). So I'll be beachfront in a couple decades.
posted by tilde at 6:33 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

If anybody knows pH indicating socks, can they check in on them? Their flight was supposed to land today.
posted by General Malaise at 6:39 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

It looks like Savannah is no longer likely to get hit hard, so I'm not going anywhere. I'd be happy to put up a couple of Florida refugees.
posted by mareli at 7:09 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in Tallahassee. We'll probably lose power since it's veering West again, but I have a futon, a generator and spent close to six hours cooking today, so I can feed you.
posted by PearlRose at 7:12 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can't guarantee how safe my location will end up being but If anyone can make it to Charleston, South Carolina and needs a place to stay I stand ready to provide.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:57 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nervously waiting on the 2300 NOAA update. I have to keep morale up for my mother, so it's nice to have company to panic in.
posted by cmyk at 8:10 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh great. Further west. That's just WONDERFUL, really, that helps so MUCH Irma.

I hope I have a liveable home this time next week.
posted by cmyk at 8:12 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I should add we have room for animals.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:23 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tracking west indeed. Sorry Tally but man that's a bit of relief for us. Key West and Tampa are in the fray more than ever right?
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:54 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have really intense dreams that come back to me days later. Always have. Not sure why.

Yesterday during breaks in evac packing, I was reading this thread, and I had some weird-ass mix of deja vu and dream flashback. In it, I had stayed home, not gone to Kissimmee, and a tree crashed through the wall and caught me square in the head. I don't know if I really had dreamed this or had a miniature psychotic break or WHAT, but it spooked me.

If I go home and find a tree through my bedroom I'll be even more freaked out than I usually would. Probably won't happen. I'm a bit more woo than most of Mefi so I'm sure I'll sound an idiot, but I don't know where to put this and I've got to get it out somewhere.
posted by cmyk at 9:03 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

cmyk: did you watch Twin Peaks: The Return?
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on September 8, 2017

Nope. Is that a good thing or a bad one?
posted by cmyk at 9:06 PM on September 8, 2017

Oh, just thought maybe that would have given you that kind of dream. It's that kind of show.
posted by hippybear at 9:07 PM on September 8, 2017

I don't personally know anyone in FL (or GA or SC for that matter) and I'm sick with worry for y'all. Be safe. And please continue to check in when you can.
posted by vignettist at 9:58 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

pH Indicating Socks has posted in the other thread! They are safe!
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:05 PM on September 8, 2017 [10 favorites]

If you are like me and have coffee but no filters, a paper towel folded into an origami cup will do great as a coffee filter.
posted by cmyk at 10:27 PM on September 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

So we ended up decamping 25 miles or so to the north. Saw a few sprinkles of rain from the outermost band while loading up the car, but otherwise all is quiet and calm. Corner store manager assured me he'd be opening tomorrow, but might close early.

The roads we're basically deserted. It would have been eerie if I hadn't previously had a habit of making the drive between Miami and Fort Lauderdale at 3-4AM on weekdays. Normally after midnight on Friday night there are traffic jams on I-95 north of downtown. Not tonight. I swear it seems like at least half the population has left, even outside of the evacuation zones and knowing that probably 40-50k people are in public shelters already. I was surprised to see an evac bus coming out of Miami Beach, though. They were supposed to quit running at 10 tonight. I was really annoyed the commuter rail wasn't running today, but whatever.

Anyway, I'm digressing from the point. We ended up leaving because Georgia's parents decided that they'd rather have everyone together so they won't have to worry after the storm if comma are down. It's better suited for the south winds we're expecting. It's also kinda nice to not be relying entirely on the good engineering of the impact windows.

I don't know how it is everywhere (I may check it out tomorrow if the weather holds out long enough), but her parents' neighborhood has a lot more boarded windows than there are in Miami. Only about 10% of my neighbors boarded anything up, so I'm slightly surprised to see so much more up here. Even most of the really nice houses were left naked. Guess people really trust their windows won't blow out after they get hit by debris. I mean, they are supposed to be good up to 160+, but that depends on proper installation. It's hard to believe that in little more than 24 hours that my entire region could be visibly changed forever. Something about the scale of hurricanes relative to tornados makes them all the more awe inspiring. I have to say, though, the lead up is fucking nerve wracking in a way even a PDS tornado watch isn't. I deal much better with immediate crisis.
posted by wierdo at 12:06 AM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Looks like my house will be safe in West Palm, but now I have a bunch of family and friends directly in the path of this thing. I'm wondering if it is at all smart to have them come from north of Tampa and drive down to me. Thoughts?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:48 AM on September 9, 2017

Only about 10% of my neighbors boarded anything up, so I'm slightly surprised to see so much more up here. Even most of the really nice houses were left naked. Guess people really trust their windows won't blow out after they get hit by debris. I mean, they are supposed to be good up to 160+, but that depends on proper installation

Impact windows and faith in good insurance claims. If built before hurricane shutters required, might not have wanted to ruin the esthetic of the house with retro fit. If their roof has not been updated since Andrew they're gonna lose it in hurricane 2/3 winds.

All my neighbors prolly shuttered up. My whole street did ( six families). But our houses came with shutters or were upgraded since Wilma. Anyone with a new roof post 2004 have glued tiles (houses all finished weeks before the requirement for glued tiles instead of SINGLE NAIL went into effect). All of our roofs are secured to the foundation.
posted by tilde at 3:53 AM on September 9, 2017

Looks like my house will be safe in West Palm, but now I have a bunch of family and friends directly in the path of this thing. I'm wondering if it is at all smart to have them come from north of Tampa and drive down to me. Thoughts?

Seems dangerous to be out and about today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:20 AM on September 9, 2017

For fuck's sake. The "shelter" at the community college my mother's husband admins is more for FEMA staging and thus isn't open. I discovered this when I Facetimed my mom just now to insist they go there instead of a collegue's house because real estate photos of said house show it's fucking surrounded by pine trees.

So their plan is to tough it out in St. Pete's on the second floor of their house. I can't even right now. I insisted they talk it over again (he was helping the neighbors) and get the fuck out of there. And I then promptly called my middle sister to update her and call our youngest sister sonthey could have their turns screaming down the phone lines to get the fuck out of there.

posted by romakimmy at 7:54 AM on September 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Zello is a walkie talkie app that is being used by the Cajun Navy to find people who need rescuing. (The link will take you to a download link, and also has a user guide.)

If there's a chance you might need to be rescued. download this app. Then add contacts and groups. There's a bunch of "Cajun Navy" groups. I personally added the main group, and the one called Cajun Navy Irma.

You can also use it to help the Cajun Navy connect with people who need rescuing, as in this article.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:14 AM on September 9, 2017 [8 favorites]

Palm beach county has a three pm curfew. They need to stay off the roads.
posted by tilde at 8:47 AM on September 9, 2017

If you find yourself in need of rescue afterwards and have signal, tag me on twitter and I will boost you. @fairywench_1 or search for MexicanYenta
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:59 AM on September 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

My uncle lives in New Port Richey and refuses to leave. And he lives in a freaking mobile home. There's a mandatory evacuation for him (mobile home, medically fragile) but he's being an ass and he won't go.

My nephew is a first responder in Boca Raton and sent his pregnant wife and MIL (and their combined households' five dogs!) to Virginia while he stays at the hospital. He's safer there than he would be at home but I am relieved to hear he's probably not going to get the worst of it.

And then that relief runs away when I realize that my uncle probably will be getting the worst of it. Damn his stubborn ass.
posted by cooker girl at 10:32 AM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Cooker Girl- is there something preventing him from leaving? Pets or....? My Gram is in a nursing home across from the hospital there and they are evacuating the residents to Wesley Chapel- which I don't think is far enough. I hope your uncle decides to get out.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2017

Just found this post from a friend. It may be too late to use these, but you never know.

Folks - A lot of private jets need to leave FL...surprisingly, you might find a flight on what they call "deadheading". Here are three options:…/one-way-charter/

posted by MexicanYenta at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

My cousin has apparently lost his mind. He has gotten a Yukon pulling a trailer off the island and parked...somewhere. And as far as I can tell, still has to get his other vehicle and the cats off the island. I do not know why he doesn't understand that any vehicle left outside (i.e. the Yukon) is likely to be toast, and there was no point in wasting his time and energy doing that.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:18 AM on September 9, 2017

MexicanYenta, I hope you don’t mind if I swipe your idea and make the same offer on Twitter. (I bailed to Jacksonville from St Pete this morning).
posted by _Mona_ at 11:18 AM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

_Mona_ Not at all! The more retweets, the better!
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:26 AM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Site for volunteers to register.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:28 AM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I slapped together a Tampa centric twitter list to keep myself updated. With that beast lurching towards Tampa, you might find it useful too.

Dittoing what MexicanYenta said - I'll signal boost on twitter if I can.

If you know someone who wants out but can't get out, have them call 1-800-342-3557 for evacuation assistance. Governor SkeletorScott posted that yesterday, emphasizing that they want to get as many people to safe places as possible.

Personal whining: I couldn't sleep at all last night. The anxiety and lack of things to do finally got to me, I guess. It's overcast and windy in Kissimmee right now - now that we're going to be on the east side of the storm I have tornadoes to worry about too, which is really great. Just lovely.

I've noticed "stay safe" has replaced "bye" at the end of conversations. People are good.
posted by cmyk at 11:40 AM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

PorcineWithMe, no, not really. His crazy ex-wife, with whom he still has a relationship, refuses to leave and so he's staying because she's staying. His daughter took her kids to TN, and he definitely could have gone with them. He was just in the hospital a couple months ago with congestive heart failure. *sigh* There's not much we can do except hope he's okay.
posted by cooker girl at 12:25 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Disney still being great. Keeping us updated, brought every guest a flashlight and according to my husband, who is in the parks, they're giving out supply kits to all park guests. Kids are still splashing around in all of the pools at the resort, but staff is definitely making preparations.
posted by Sophie1 at 2:36 PM on September 9, 2017 [8 favorites]

An old friend of mine lives next to the river in downtown Miami with her husband, and apparently they didn't obey the evacuation order because they're on the 30th floor of their building and they figure they'll be fine. People on Facebook have been trying to warn them that they're still going to be affected even if they miss the eyewall, but they say they're fine, plenty of food, water, and vodka.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:49 PM on September 9, 2017

If it's a modern building they will be fine. No impact windows required that high up, but debris isn't an issue, so it's just a matter of the wind being less than 175mph or so. Long walk down (and worse, back up) when there's no power after the storm, though. Also, seasickness is a distinct possibility in tall buildings. And no water as soon as the power dies and the pumps fail.
posted by wierdo at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

My wife is getting calls from the state with offers/requests that she, as a medical professional, volunteer as they are in dire need of folks.

I suppose that is the whole "Rick Scott the amazing capitalist businessman asks for volunteers." point that folks brought up above. Too bad we evac'd to ATL. She'd love to help but I can't lie and say it doesn't feel a tiny bit good to shoot the smallest of little fingers Rick Scott's way.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, and to further reassure you, code has long required stairwells in tall buildings withstand 200+mph wind. If the windows do break, they can shelter there and at least stay alive. The vast majority of hurricane deaths are due to surge, and that won't likely be a problem for their building at all.
posted by wierdo at 3:09 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Starting to blow and flicker in palm beach county.
posted by tilde at 3:30 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm worried: my brother is a first responder in Highland county working all through the storm. His wife, kids, my mom and her 95 year old partner are hunkered down at home. No storm surge for them but they live on a canal off Lake Jackson - worried about flooding and wind damage... Partner has dementia and is acting agitated tonight...
posted by SyraCarol at 5:24 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wifi here is kind of crap and I expect it'll get worse as things go on. No sign of anything major in Kissimmee yet, though it's been overcast and windy all day. Harbinger.

A friend from the Occupy days, an irascible stubborn old redneck-and-damn-proud dude, posted late last night that he's in a flimsy trailer under an old oak tree and would very much like to get up to Georgia with his family, but has no way of doing so. I called to give him the emergency shelter transport number and he blew his top, I ain't going to none of them fucking places, etc. Wonder if he'll survive. I'll find out in a few days, I suppose.

I feel like I should be home. I had damn good reasons for leaving and I'm glad I did, but I think the Tampa I left behind is a place I'll never see again.
posted by cmyk at 5:40 PM on September 9, 2017 [5 favorites]

This map seems to show it's made a weird little turn south.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:44 PM on September 9, 2017

So after their collective 5 daughters yelled at them, they started to look for shelter options. 🙄 In the meantime the community college opened up the Regent for emergency services staging, so they are now hunkering down in the community college dorm model, which is evac level E (as is the Regent) and has no window shutters. So marginally better, but OMFG when did our parents become so bad at Adulting. It's 3.30 am here; I managed to fall asleep for a bit, but woke up just now when my eldest crept into bed with me and won't be falling asleep easily anytime soon.
posted by romakimmy at 6:27 PM on September 9, 2017 [9 favorites]

I finally heard from my cousin, for the first time since last night. He didn't leave Pine Island until late this afternoon. But he got incredibly lucky - he ran into a friend who knew someplace to go. He thought they were going to a shelter, but instead they're at some sort of private rehab place for disabled people. I'm fuzzy on the details because my cousin is one of those people who puts his phone on speakerphone and then yells at it, but according to him, this place is solid as a rock, it's on 25 foot concrete pylons; it's set up like a dormitory with separate rooms; and several of his friends are there and they all brought drums, so they're having a drum circle tonight.

He also said an official shelter is right down the street, as are a whole lot of National Guard members. His cats aren't happy because they've never been around a human other than him, but other than that, he's in a far better situation than I expected him to be. So maybe I'll sleep a little tonight.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2017 [19 favorites]

My St Martin friend is officially safe!

I'd already been texting info to various affected friends and fam since Thursday, before I wrote my previous comment. (Was basically panicked that I felt so helpless, didn't feel like info was enough of a help, and didn't want to be another potential bother to her!)

Anyway- my people from across St Martin/PR/Cuba have found the texts helpful. I'm in the swing of it now, so I'm offering: if anyone's internet gets spotty and can't load the NHC updates, I'm happy to text them to you.

Really - I'll be back at it again tomorrow regardless, most likely, and I'd love to help my fellow mefites!
posted by functionequalsform at 7:35 PM on September 9, 2017 [7 favorites]

Forgot to add: you probably wouldn't get the texts/iMessages right away... unless there's a lucky pocket of connectivity, right when it's needed IME.

It's kind of a "you'll get the text when you get it" scenario, but hey! Late info is better than 0 info. And I'm happy to share. Memail me if you want the texts!
posted by functionequalsform at 7:43 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Local radio stations are broadcasting audio simulcast of tv coverage. Kind of nice as we had nothing in Matthew and Katrina /Wilma and TV for every thing else.
posted by tilde at 8:18 PM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

CBS just said the worst of the winds are supposed to make landfall at Ft Myers/Pine Island at 5 pm local time. It's gonna be a looong day, and a long time before we're sure all MeFites and MeFite families are safe.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:22 AM on September 10, 2017

Unfortunately, the major threat is less the wind and more the surge, but that won't come until after the storm's center has passed for the people on the west coast of the state.
posted by wierdo at 8:42 AM on September 10, 2017

If cell service is bad where you are, this is a low bandwidth CNN page.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:17 AM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

There are no rooms left in Asheville or Hendersonville. You'd have to be wealthy to afford them anyway. 1600 bucks for 3 nights someone told me. One of my housemates and I both Ubered 5-5 last night and saw whole families with little kids setting up in parking lots which will of course be fun on Monday when the rain gets here. Walmart lets you park BY THE RIVER.

Predictions are tough around here. If a storm stalls on the mountains and dumps everything it has left we are going to get far more Monday night than 6-8 inches and even that much means trees losing their footing and water mains floating towards the surface .

We both have part time non-profit gigs doing wellness checks in Henderson county and we know about every type of charity out there because we were homeless not so long ago during the economic collapse so we know a lot of elderly empty nesters with extra rooms and liberal Catholics, Episcopalians and Unitarians who want to help and started hooking people up when we could have been making serious money. Sent two single mom's and five kids to our place and third housemate and our kids started making food and beds. Red Cross is very slow.

Got home and saw that NC had opened a shelter in H'ville. I know of non-profits that are doing the same. Memail us if any of you are here and need something. We might be able to point you at something.

posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:22 AM on September 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

You'd have to be wealthy to afford them anyway. 1600 bucks for 3 nights someone told me.

It's not price gouging, it's surge pricing!

Seriously, congress needs to do a thing and also take on Uber.
posted by hippybear at 12:16 PM on September 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ugh I hate to be the defender of extortion capitalism but $400 a night for some hotel rooms is well below their discount rate and it's always the most expensive rooms in a property that are left when an unusual surge in demand occurs.

If a national law was anything like Florida's anti gouging law charging the average rate for a room wouldn't be illegal.
posted by Mitheral at 12:32 PM on September 10, 2017

Seriously, congress needs to do a thing and also take on Uber.

True. And it's been continuous surge for Uber here lately. Which is actually more than the Taxis cost when it gets to 3x and I tell them that but there are hardly any taxis left here.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:39 PM on September 10, 2017

The eye is hitting Naples right now. Argh. I need to shower but I can't tear myself away from the live broadcasts.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:48 PM on September 10, 2017

It took me all week to convince my family to leave the Tampa area, and it was only after I informed my mother of the mandatory evac order for her neighbourhood that she agreed to force my brother and Jeffrey* into the car with the cats and the dog.** They spent last night at a commune in Tallahassee after being taken in by the owners of a bbq restaurant. Today they're heading toward Chattanooga and then pushing off tomorrow morning. I wish they had a plan, but they don't have anything coherent worked out.

My mother wants to drive BACK HOME TOMORROW because she's (quite rightly) freaked out about her husband. He was diagnosed on Thursday with a hemoraging brain tumour and he's on lockdown at the hospital. They wouldn't let her stay with him. The initial plan was surgery for him on Tuesday to do a biopsy to check for cancer. Is that a thing, brain surgery in the aftermath of a hurricane? Mom wants to get back down for that.

I'm just sitting here in the UK hyperventilating and sending them traffic reports and trying to find them gas stations and places to get food. If they do leave tomorrow morning I have no idea which way they'll go. They've already threatened to cancel the hotel and find one not so far north so they can "get home faster" tomorrow. Mom seems to be under the impression that everything wiIl just be over once the eye passes through her town.

They have family and friends in Nashville and the "if we really have leave" plan was to go there. Now they just seem to be winging it in a panic. It's a bit rich for me to be so stressed about this, given what they're going actually through, but I feel so helpless and frustrated.

*I have no idea who Jeffrey is or where they picked him up, but apparently he helped secure the house before they left.

**My family doesn't have a dog. Perhaps HE is Jeffrey??
posted by Eumachia L F at 2:10 PM on September 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

The roads won't be passable after the storm, gas will be rarely available and there will be a curfew (as I'm sure you know). Is he at Tampa General? They are postponing all but emergency surgeries and the bridge to Davis island has been closed.
posted by SyraCarol at 2:23 PM on September 10, 2017

I feel so helpless and frustrated.

The eye is passing over southern Florida right now. And we all know that as soon as it's even slightly possible, news teams will be back out there taking pictures and videos of the aftermath. Perhaps those will be enough to convince your mom not to head back just yet?

But oh, man, I feel for her and you. That's a no-win situation, and I'm so sorry she (and you) are having to deal with it.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:26 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I used to work at the little hospital in Punta Gorda ( between Fort Meyer and Sarasota)... They evacuated the hospital... I'm thinking of everyone who's there, it's such a beautiful small town...
posted by SyraCarol at 2:36 PM on September 10, 2017

Four of my cousin's five cats, riding out the storm in Ft. Myers.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:49 PM on September 10, 2017 [11 favorites]

I'm hoping they all sleep tonight and wake with clearer heads. I don't expect it be good sleep but I know they're running on empty at this point. I'm certainly think of all of you right now, either bracing for the storm or worrying about loved ones. This is horrible.
posted by Eumachia L F at 2:55 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

You have no idea who Jeffrey is, and you don't even bat an eye at them staying in a commune overnight.

This is like the height of the 60s combined with somethingIdon'tknowwhat
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM on September 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

Also, possibly, this is an episode of Twin Peaks in your actual life. Carry on.
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's a late port of call, but if anyone from Irma/Harvey/etc affected areas need a place to land, we have bedrooms and food and a nice small eastern WA town to offer as shelter. Fly into Spokane Airport (GEG) and we'll pick you up. It's not much, but we are happy to share what we have.
posted by hippybear at 3:07 PM on September 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Lost power here in Wellington/West Palm about 2 hours ago. Winds are quite strong and I've lost a couple of trees already from what I can see though the peep hole in my hurricane door. I feel really lucky that my power lasted that long! The most disconcerting thing is hearing big 'booms' and (since I'm shuttered up) not being able to see what the hell is going on out there. Anticipating the worst to pass by 8pm and for tomorrow to be about removing a couple of shutters so that I quit freaking out over fire escape plans. All is well right now for us. Just listening to the wind....hours and hours of wind.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:08 PM on September 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

You aren't going to go out into your front yard and do a livestream out in the wind and rain?

You're not really a weather reporter, are you?

Also, don't livestream if you've lost power. Jeebus!
posted by hippybear at 3:10 PM on September 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

My SO has been looking at the data for ocean coming back into those beaches were the tide appears to have gone very far out. She reckons that in places you are going to see sea level rise by 6-7' in 30 minutes as the water returns, so might be a good idea to stay off the sand, no matter how tempting it is to wander out with your camera. My SO is a professional wave modeller.
posted by biffa at 3:14 PM on September 10, 2017 [8 favorites]

Everything ok here in Kissimmee. Wind and rain picking up. If the dog has to go, she's gonna do it inside - we've had our last walk until this is over. (Which is why a bottle of 409 and several rolls of paper towels are in my evac kit.)

Connectivity here is not great so I can't check maps and forget streaming video. TV keeps reminding me there are tornado warnings. Constant since about 5pm.

Since I can't get my local news streaming online I'm switching between CNN and TWC for news of Tampa. The bay emptying worries me a lot. Like, a fucking LOT.

Friend riding it out safely in Tampa has been told where spare key is and, she says, "will paddle down and check on your house tomorrow." She's a hero.

We're almost done. We did all the waiting and the planning. This time tomorrow it'll be finished. Stay safe, everyone.
posted by cmyk at 4:02 PM on September 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

Don't make your dog drink Formula-409 as a strategy for keeping the carpet clean while holed up for a hurricane. Thats not the way to go.
posted by hippybear at 4:10 PM on September 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

My brothers been told no more ambulance responses as the winds are too high in Highland county. His wife says they lost part of their garage roof. Mom is ok so far.
posted by SyraCarol at 4:11 PM on September 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Y'all. I just walked around my property and I feel grateful and yet I'm just bawling. We lost so many trees. So many. I've got an acre that was like our oasis and in the moonlight it looks like..... I don't know. The huge line of bamboo along the back fence line in totally devoid of leaves. A 30+ foot Queen Palm is leaning at a precarious angle and I'm just grateful that the giant Bismarkia Palm missed our shed by, quite literally, about 8 inches.

The house looks fine and everyone in it is fine (but sweaty). We will check for missing shingles once the sun comes up. I'm just kind of stunned right now.

I'm hoping everyone and their loved ones are safe.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:16 AM on September 11, 2017 [18 favorites]

Next time, remind me to sandbag the electrical transformer so we don't lose power when the street drains get clogged with leaves. I'll be very interested to see what my neighborhood in Miami looks like in a couple of hours when I can finally legally leave. :p

Lots of trees, so I'm expecting blocked roads at the least and almost certainly won't have power there either. Lucky, lucky neighbors.
posted by wierdo at 5:21 AM on September 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Looks like my uncle is fine; lost power but no damage to his ex-wife's house. I don't know if he's been back to his house yet. My guess is he hasn't. My dad doesn't ask questions AT ALL when people tell him stuff. He texted me and my siblings and said "everything's fine in FL. no power, no damage." And I'm like, that was his ex-wife's house, DAD. What about HIS house?? Ugh.

My nephew is definitely okay. He's been to his house and the plants took a beating but there's no damage to his house. I'm not sure when his wife and MIL will be making the trip back to FL.

Keep hanging in there, everyone. I guess now GA is going to get some serious rain?
posted by cooker girl at 5:43 AM on September 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Keep hanging in there, everyone. I guess now GA is going to get some serious rain?

I believe so. Atlanta got its first ever tropical storm warning for today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:57 AM on September 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Drove down to Miami this morning to make sure my house is still livable. Other than power being out to the whole neighborhood and some minor tree damage, all's good. Tree damage is worse deeper in the hood, but it still looks like that is primarily it. Corner store status: Open.

I did notice on the way down that there are some pockets of heavier damage, probably due to tornados, based on prior experience. Both my neighborhood and Georgia's parents are in/near areas like that. Other than that it's mostly just shredded billboards, though I'm sure some have it much worse, that seems not to be the norm at least for Miami north. No idea how Homestead, Kendall, etc fared aside from a few Reddit posts seeming to say things are mostly OK down that way as well.
posted by wierdo at 7:33 AM on September 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

Friend couldn't get to my house - power lines were down blocking her way all over. Might be days before they're cleared up. Good thing I booked this place through to Thursday. I pinged someone on Nextdoor and asked if they could grab me a few photos. I've got as many trees as can be stuffed into a city lot - six oaks, a giant guanacaste, four crepe myrtles, a palm, and there's probably one I've forgotten. My little patch of jungle. I hope it's still upright.
posted by cmyk at 8:29 AM on September 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

So, anyone have any guesses (unlikely though they may be since the NHC prediction only goes so far) on what the hell Jose is up to? A one-two punch at this point seems like a bit much...
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:33 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was hoping Jose was circling the drain.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:36 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

While the eye was passing over Ft Myers and it was a little calm, my cousin went outside and rescued a bird.

No word from him yet this morning - I assume he's trying to get back to his place. He has a couple of acres with two small houses he built himself, and the property is mostly left wild; in addition to the cats, he has multiple fruit trees - papaya, avocado, mango, coconut, pineapple. He makes part of his living by shrimping. Right now, I don't know if any of it survived.

He's actually been trying to get it ready to sell, because he wants to buy a school bus and convert it to a mobile home, and travel the country with the cats for a few years. (He's done a bus conversion before.)

And just to confirm what you're probably thinking at this point - when my cousin was 12, he and his mom walked out the door of their house in upstate NY, walked a half mile down the road to Yasgur's farm, and attended Woodstock. The original.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2017 [10 favorites]

Nextdoor neighbor came through! I know her, in that I recognize her dog and know where she lives, so I figured it was a safe bet to ask. She doesn't have power so couldn't send photos, but says house is intact, yard is flooded, and trees are upright. Best news! My Tampa friend will pop her head in and have a look once the roads are clear, so that I'll know the power is on before I come home.

Now I can relax and enjoy this ridiculous resort for a day or two. Wonder how much it'd cost for them to defuse my lower back at their Fancy Spa? Probably a lot.
posted by cmyk at 9:58 AM on September 11, 2017 [10 favorites]

I was hoping Jose was circling the drain.

Weather channel just showed a projection that they claimed was the European model indicating Jose finishes this spiral and then shoots off to the NE. For what that's worth this early on.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:07 AM on September 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

Got word from neighbors that say our house is intact except for limbs down in front and back yard. No power as of 3am last night but damn that's good to hear! We may begin trying to return to the promised land as soon as tonight but, more likely, tomorrow night. Figuring on driving through the night to A) make it easier on the kiddos/pets and B) avoid, as much as possible, any crazy traffic patterns from other folks doing what we're doing.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:05 AM on September 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

Came through OK, it was a rough night. No power so no Internet or cellphone.
Large lake in the backyard but no damage to house or pets. No contact with Mrs L's family yet.Have hooked up the genny so have Internet but no phones yet.
Hugs to all :)
posted by lungtaworld at 1:07 PM on September 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

Tallahassee looks to be in good shape; 40k without power, mostly due to downed trees. Thanks for the concern, everyone. I hope everybody else is doing all right, too.
posted by PearlRose at 1:59 PM on September 11, 2017 [7 favorites]

My Florida family (Ocala and New Smyrna Beach) all hunkered down in safe places throughout the weekend, and their updates have been good so far. Our dear family friend in Dunedin even sent videos of her and her sister-in-law having an acoustic guitar & dulcimer jam session that looked downright cozy!

Bits of roof and fence have been damaged, and it sounds like neither Ocala nor NSB has power where my family is right now, but it certainly could have been worse - my mom and aunt are both in manufactured homes and we were all concerned about that. From what I hear, the most disastrous event to befall my family was that my mom neglected to bring any wine to her evacuation spot.

So happy to be hearing everyone else's positive news, too - here's hoping it continues!
posted by DingoMutt at 2:58 PM on September 11, 2017 [6 favorites]

FP&L bucket trucks are at the end of my street! Y'all, my fingers are crossed SO HARD that they are able to restore power tonight!! I'm a bit over 7 months pregnant, it's 90 inside the house..... hoping for a/c!!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:23 PM on September 11, 2017 [9 favorites]

Super noisy night but absolutely no chaos. Curfew has been lifted. A few downed trees, but no major damage.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:35 PM on September 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

..and thank you FPL. I have a place to sleep that has power tonight! With luck, maybe we can go home in a couple of days. Sadly, it may take longer since there is at least one pole leaning over the street in the area thanks to falling trees.

There are obviously a lot of traffic lights out, but more surprisingly, I saw several that we're actually damaged in some way. Not sure how all the employers telling people to come to work tomorrow expect them to get there in less than 8 hours with easily 80% of the traffic lights in Broward and Miami-Dade are out and most gas stations are still out of fuel, power, or both.
posted by wierdo at 5:43 PM on September 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

Got word today that my friend in Tampa has survived in good shape. They never even lost power and have some cosmetic damage outside. Very relieved. Still thinking good thoughts for everybody else.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:37 PM on September 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Power went out mid afternoon on the tenth. Back on in South pbc county for me and most of my friends. Trees and bushes only. Long live AC
posted by tilde at 9:37 PM on September 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Trucks left our neighborhood with half the streets on and half off. We are 2-ish miles from wellington regional. I am like the frickin' Wicked Witch of the West right now- melting!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 10:15 PM on September 11, 2017

Hm, a large prop plane is just now landing at Fort Lauderdale Executive. I just realized that's the first one I've heard since the storm.

Odd thing is that it didn't show up on FR24. According to it, the only thing in the air around here now is the Broward County Sheriff's chopper, so clearly there is an ADS-B station working that should have picked it up. A plane not having it isn't unusual, but it is unusual for a plane that large to fly VFR at night, and FR would have showed it if it were flying IFR. Probably military or other government.
posted by wierdo at 10:31 PM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I remember hearing the first few planes land there post 9-11. Sounded LOUD.
posted by tilde at 4:23 AM on September 12, 2017

No power in Atlanta, but it seems overall we did okay through our first ever tropical storm.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:51 AM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

Still without power, but all humans and felines are otherwise good here at my parents' place.

I still don't know about my apartment. The neighbor who was originally going to tough it out there decided to go to family in New York on Thursday evening. I think that was the right call, as we were in a mandatory evacuation zone, but no idea if we had flooding or not. She did tell me that my place got shutters though, as I left before she did.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:54 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also... for those of us with no power... the stargazing is pretty great. I saw the Milky Way last night. If we must swelter, we might as well find the good in it.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:58 AM on September 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

Saw a few more stars than usual last night about an hour before the power came back. Most of the area did not lose so still a lot of city glow.

FYI as you budget for the next hurricane:

Coro panels, metal, like came with my house, 7-8$ per square foot

Pull perma install shutter (close like curtains) 16-20$ per square foot

Roll down electric (close like a shade) 30-55$ per square foot

Hurricane glass which may still require shuttering dep on your homeowners policy $30-50 per square foot

"Armor screen" 15$ square foot

Plywood 1-5$ per square foot
posted by tilde at 7:49 AM on September 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also for next storm when the power starts to flicker turn off AC. Surges when it does come back can kill the capacitor. I swelter and wait until it's been back on steady an hour
posted by tilde at 7:54 AM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm still without power and water but I'm safe! Really hoping we get power back at some point today.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 9:00 AM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

My landlord just checked in with me. The apartment building is fine, but doesn't have any power. So yay for things not being underwater!
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:26 AM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

Made it through with no permanent damage, got power back at 2:30 this morning. Whew.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:52 AM on September 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

And we are still having brownings today. Ugh.
posted by tilde at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2017

Friend finally got through to my house. It'll need a few hours of yard work in the front, not sure about the back. But everything survived, even my flimsy carport roof. Don't know when power will be back on. Staying put until then.
posted by cmyk at 3:27 PM on September 12, 2017 [5 favorites]

So my cousin got to his property. St. James City, on Pine Island, so right where Irma hit land, basically. And it's practically untouched. He has about 300-400 palm fronds down, but no water in the house, no water in the ditches, and the trash can he left in the yard was unmoved. He said except for the fact that the stores are all closed, you'd never know anything was unusual. There's no power, but the Chinese restaurant is literally cooking with gas. He's now annoyed at himself for tracking mud inside approximately 50 times as he was packing to leave, because he thought he was coming back to nothing.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:50 AM on September 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

That's fantastic news, MexicanYenta!

My neighborhood was pretty trashed in terms of trees, fences, and power lines down. The latter more sporadic. My house, on the other hand, had almost no damage to vegetation or anything. A couple of small plants are leaning over and a couple of palm fronds are broken, but still hanging on 40 feet up.

The surrounding neighborhood has a crap ton of tree damage. Most of the roads were blocked completely on Monday, and the remainder required weaving around fallen limbs. Most directly annoying to me is that the sidewalks are all broken up thanks to the uprooted trees. Also, still without power in Miami, so we're still leeching off Georgia's parents near Fort Lauderdale. Since they and most of the surrounding area have power, it's pretty much business as usual aside from gas being very hard to find and the shelves being slightly, but not ridiculously bare.

Miami is in more of a spot with the power outages being more widespread and persistent. Malls are open now, so people are going there to cool off. Many grocery stores are still closed there despite having generators because of access issues. Even so, lots of restaurants are serving even in areas with no power, so nobody who can get out of their neighborhood is going to starve.

Despite Broward in general doing better than Miami-Dade, there are some places here that are either without running water or are under a boil water order, so there are long lines for water in those areas. I haven't actually heard of any reports like that in Miami, but it very well could be happening somewhere there.

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to what many in the Keys are dealing with. The vast majority of us on the mainland have livable houses, just no power. Some exceptions apply, of course, as there were some houses flooded in a few areas from what I understand. Even there, I'm pretty sure Jacksonville had worse.

We got off super lucky, but even so the power outages are killing the vulnerable daily. If people have any sense, I think you'll see some of the senior-oriented condos/homes/whatever install solar panels to allow at least some light and aircon during extended outages. Wouldn't help in the worst of a major hurricane since the system would likely be wind damaged in that case, but it would help in the far more likely scenario that brings gusts only up to 100mph or so whether from a "miss" like Irma or from a weaker storm hitting directly.

Personally, I'm seriously considering a $500ish generator for next season, preferably along with a suitcase-sized lithium ion pack so it doesn't have to run all day and burn so much gas that it's difficult to keep supplied. That much battery is still really expensive, though. :( I don't need much more than 2kW at peak or maybe 750W-1kW average to keep enough human comfort around to live indefinitely. If I owned a house here, I'd do solar instead, but I don't, so that isn't an option.
posted by wierdo at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

This was found on my friend's mother's car in New Orleans. I'm grateful for these small acts of kindness.
posted by PearlRose at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2017 [9 favorites]

Home solar inverters are set to turn off when the power is cut to a home, because they don't want the lines on the back end to be energized when the utility company comes to fix your power. :/ I wouldn't mind some sort of inverter switch (similar to houses with a generator, I guess) that would allow you to get your power exclusively from your solar panels during outages, but I'm not sure if one is out there.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:22 PM on September 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pearl Rose: as someone who spent a lot of time helping to rebuild New Orleans and completely fell in love with the city and its resilient people, I'm bawling. Thank you for sharing that.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm still exhausted and hurricane brained from all of this. PBC got off somewhat lucky though all of the schools are closed (some will start feeding kids and one supervising adult per group tomorrow).

No internet, got gas in a lucky line break today.

Lion Country Safari drastically reduced their prices for the next couple of days, so that's a thought if the kids are still out Monday and the prices are still down. A lot of internal cleanup to do since we kind of made a mess trying to get things hurricane frindly. Most libraries are opening, too.

A lot of neighbors still out of power and a lot of the unicorporated part of our county where we are is asking us to minimize sewage use so we're still doing things "mellow or brown" style. Heading to a gym without sewage restrictions to shower hot tomorrow (been doing a lot of community pool swimming and taking cold showers at the pool shower (drains to ground, not sewer) and bucket baths ...
posted by tilde at 4:27 PM on September 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

We got confirmation that the power is back on for us on the northern-most barrier island in FL. We'll brave the traffic (backroads again I'm sure, so maybe it won't be bad after all) to return tomorrow and dump what's in the fridge that didn't make it and begin cleaning the yard and getting estimates for the home upgrades that will keep us sane in the future (storm shutters and maybe a small genset or solar setup, who knows what I'll put on the wishlist).

Good luck to those of y'all still in the shit.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:34 PM on September 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

RolandOfEld: Glad to hear the damage wasn't so bad. We were just there for Labor Day, and I want to go back. There was a huge tree in the road across from the hotel we stayed at, and a was wondering how things were.
posted by PearlRose at 6:58 PM on September 13, 2017

Any SoFl mefites need a shower, to do a load of laundry, refill water bottles, to sit in AC for a while, pm me. Our house is scant on furnishings...we were in the process of moving when the storm hit. The place is basically empty, besides the couches husband and I are camping on, so bring your own towel if you have one. Your well-trained pet is welcome too. I have a cat and dog in residence, but there's a room where yours can chill while waiting for you.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 7:18 PM on September 13, 2017 [8 favorites]

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention...I'm in Coral Springs, near 869 (Sawgrass Expressway)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 8:41 PM on September 13, 2017

Ugh, it's amazing the difference a few miles makes. At this point aside from the piles of plant debris scattered along the side of the road and a free flooded low spots you wouldn't know there had been a hurricane if you stayed in the immediate area around here. Well, that and at least half the gas stations are still out of gas, but there has been a vast improvement on that front just since yesterday.

It's not like that right around my house in Miami, but I'm close to Midtown, which is basically 100% open for business now, except for the foot locker that apparently got looted, so even there it's a short walk to normalcy. There's still a long road ahead for many, but at least the people who rely on tourism directly for their income will be back to work soon, up here on the mainland anyway.
posted by wierdo at 10:48 PM on September 13, 2017

I forgot to mention one spot of bad news, and that's that the commuter rail system is out of service indefinitely. Apparently not only are there large numbers of trees on their line and power outages and other issues at many crossings, but one of the stations was damaged severely enough that even when they do finally restore service there will be a break in the line with a bus bridge.

That's going to have a serious impact on thousands of people who commute between counties for work and don't have cars to just drive. (Nor do we have the road capacity, even in normal times!) The express buses between Lauderdale and Miami should help somewhat, but they are no replacement for many people.
posted by wierdo at 10:58 PM on September 13, 2017

Hermeowne Grangepurr: " I wouldn't mind some sort of inverter switch (similar to houses with a generator, I guess) that would allow you to get your power exclusively from your solar panels during outages, but I'm not sure if one is out there."

No reason an automatic or manual transfer switch as used with generators couldn't be used with solar, wind or any other source of electricity. However someone in some thread on Metafilter said that grid tied solar depends on the grid to establish a frequency base line. If that is true then a solar installation won't be able to function without the grid connected. It would seem like a pretty simple thing to add circuitry like exists in generators to regulate the frequency or heck in DIY mode just plug a small generator in parallel with the panels if needed.
posted by Mitheral at 7:12 AM on September 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Got home about 7:30 last night, after getting the electrical all-clear from my friend. Everything is okay! My trees need a lot of trimming. A giant shrubby thing twelve feet wide is leaning in from the neighbor's yard. Internet is out. But that's such a tiny problem, I don't care one bit. I thought I'd be coming home to soaked rubble. I still have my home.
posted by cmyk at 10:03 AM on September 14, 2017 [11 favorites]

WAIT - TRIRAIL? Ohhhhh I'm effed.
posted by tilde at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2017

tilde, you and me both. I can't afford to spend $30-$40 every damn time I need to go to Broward. :(

Got my power back at 5 this evening, though, so at least Georgia won't have to commute from Broward. (Much of my neighborhood is still out, including the corner store :()

(Edited to fix stupid autocorrect error)
posted by wierdo at 4:48 PM on September 14, 2017

FYI, I am okay. I already posted this in the other thread.
posted by snofoam at 7:44 PM on September 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Glad to hear the damage wasn't so bad. We were just there for Labor Day, and I want to go back. There was a huge tree in the road across from the hotel we stayed at, and a was wondering how things were.

It's a bit windblown but ok here. A fair bit of down trees. Our home, we're back, is ok thank heavens. We got back late last night and haven't had a chance to really survey things but it could have been much worse.

Ping me next trip! Maybe we can grab drinks and stage an impromptu meetup. Or I can just give my generic advice for visitors.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:41 AM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Son of a country biscuit. Maria. Storm 15 if it makes you pick.
posted by tilde at 7:55 PM on September 16, 2017

Tilde- I looked at Maria this morning and got so pissed off. I mean, really? If The Earth wants to prove climate change to DJT, can't it pick a more, I dunno, singular way to do it? Must the lesson involve millions of people having their lives disrupted or destroyed? /rant
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:05 AM on September 17, 2017

Also, Tilde, do you have power yet?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:06 AM on September 17, 2017

Yep. And internet. Just ordered the few things I need to replenish from pissed. I want to hold out a few more years so the kids can finish high school here but dammit.
posted by tilde at 6:06 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maria is now a Category 4. Yipes.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2017

I see that Maria is now a 5.... warmer water = bigger storms. Yipes is right!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2017

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