Well, we were work-camping in the Keys at the time and hoping each morning we woke up and watched the news that Hurricane IRMA would change course and miss us.
We had been working at Fiesta Key for several months and that little piece of coral and sand was a fantastic place to wake up to.
Out of habit, we would wake up, turn on our coffee pot, and my wife would start breakfast while I took a short morning walk over to the Gulf Shoreline of the campground. I would just stand there, staring at the water, the fishing boats hurrying somewhere, and the hundreds of birds feeding off of the bounty of the Gulf.
Then, I would pull myself from my reverie and walk back to my RV, and help my wife finish breakfast. We would eat, and she usually opened the office in the mornings, so she would walk over to the main building, while I would go out for my morning walk. I had a routine of walking up and down each street in the campground a couple of times and get my three miles in early before it really got hot outside.
Sure, the walk was good for me, but I really enjoyed saying hello to all of my fellow workers and the campers as they came out of their campers to start their day. The weather in the Keys gets a grip on your soul, it seems and I truly believe that life there is incomparable anywhere else.
But eventually your luck runs out and your Karma takes over.
So they ran us out a couple of days ago. So we packed up and returned to our home in Ruskin Florida (just south of Tampa). Exhausted with fighting the insane traffic on the highways, we parked our RV in front of our house and essentially, we just crashed until the next day.
At that point, the IRMA track was projected to be over the eastern coast of Florida, so we decided to get our RV loaded with fresh provisions, and spend another day here, relaxing and watching the weather channel.
From what we saw, our side of the coast was going to get a lot of wind, but otherwise we would be relatively safe sitting tight.
So, with one eye on the traffic jams and the other on the status of Irma, we waited.
Then, this morning, we got up, made a pot of coffee and the darn projected track had shifted left to where Irma was coming closer than was expected when we went to bed.
So, we sat down and re-evaluated what was best for us. Here are a few of our facts;
1- the projected high winds for us were now only a max of 70-mph, and the street in front of our house was 22-fet above sea level.
2- the main North/South roads were slow and clogged with panicked Floridians and a few slow tourists.
3- many of the gas stations across the state and specifically the northern part were now out of gas, and those that had gas also had long lines of people waiting.
4- we had food and water in our RV that could last us for a week and a half easily.
5- we had plenty of our personal medications to last us for a month or more.
With this information, we feel that our house and RV are our best bets for surviving this storm rather than get out onto the roads and having to cross several states with the same horrible traffic and gas prospects.
What will actually happen is yet to be seen, but we are comfortable with our situation, now.
by Don Bobbitt, September 2017