Several people have called/emailed wondering if I am in an evacuation zone of Houston as Hurricane Ike approaches.
We are not in an official evacuation zone as we're about 50 miles inland from the coast (our zip is 77035 for you map geeks out there). It's 11am on Friday right now and starting to get pretty breezy, but it's still hot and sunny. Scheduled time for the hurricane to hit our area is about 1am Saturday, although from this afternoon forward we'll have constant winds over 50mph. So our prep needed to get finished by now, and fortunately it is.
The exposed windows of the house are boarded up with plywood. We have plenty of food and water to last several days. The storm itself will be intense tonight but my family will all huddle together in our bedroom and sorta have an indoor campout. Total psychological manipulation to make it as fun as possible for the kids, but that's what parents do! :)
If I had to guess I'd say the recent turns of the storm help us out in Houston. It looks to me like we won't be on the east ("dirty") side of the hurricane's eye. If anything we'll be dead center although there's a slight possibility we'll be on the west side of the eye, which is much better.
Yes, it'll be a night of howling wind and lots of sideways rain, but we've followed all the recommended steps to get ready. We're almost certain to lose power for at least a day or two, and possibly even a week, so don't be alarmed if I don't post again for a while. Cell phones will be my way to keep in touch with people.
Ike will speed up as it hits land, so by Sunday it will be in Arkansas, and by Monday it could be in Indiana. This means that if we lose power and get uncomfortable, we can always head out of town on Monday. Both vehicles are full of gas and we've got family in east Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas, and we have no qualms about inviting ourselves over to see any of them.
Hopefully pretty soon things will be back to normal and I'll be posting deep thoughts once again. This blog has now come full circle -- some of my very first posts revolved around the chaos from Hurricane Rita three years ago. Most of that chaos was due to our attempted evacuations, not the storm itself. We're not repeating that this time.
For everybody else out there in the Houston/Galveston area -- stay safe!