Ernesto Who?

If this sort of thing continues I might have to rename this blog. I arrived here in sunny Fort Lauderdale last night for a class I had planned to take this week. Today at noon, after everyone else in the class bailed out and it was just the instructor and I, we decided to cancel the class.

So here I am. My scheduled flight back Baltimore is on Saturday, and I don’t want to get out of here tomorrow if it means taking a seat away from some old lady, so I’ve decided to weather the storm here. I’ve volunteered with the local chapter of Red Cross, and will be spending Tuesday and Wednesday with them at their Broward County headquarters and supply center. It’s got to be about the best place in this part of Florida to be during a storm. Tomorrow, bright and early, a number of us will be delivering truckloads of supplies to area shelters. Right now I have nothing to do but enjoy the weather so I thought I’d post.

Based on information from NOAA, the storm is headed directly for us. It’s very weak right now, but will probably gain some strength as it crosses the warm water of the Straits of Florida. It looks like it’s 90% that it will be either a Tropical Storm or a Category 1 Hurricane at landfall. In either case, there’s very little risk. It’s more of a problem of dealing with minor damage and storm surge near the beach, lots of rain, and probably some power outages.

Personally, I’ve got water, extra clothes, and a full tank of gas. I’ve also got Internet access through the cell phone network. As long as that’s up I’ll try to get word out occasionally. If the power is out, I’ll turn my phone and laptop off to conserve the batteries, so don’t be concerned if you can’t reach me. I’ll try to take some photos and post them over the next few days. I half expect this to be a very minor event, but I’ve nothing better to do right now than line up ducks.

So far, the only outward sign of impending doom is the lines at the gas stations. I saw a couple of stations that had run out of gas. There was plenty of bottled water and junk food at the 7/11, but apparently the grocery stores have been mobbed. I’ll post more when I can.

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