The Quick or the Dead

Bear with me here, it’s 11:07am and I haven’t had my coffee yet.

The question is do I stay or do I go now. Here’s my view:

Some important factors are:

– I’m in a second-floor apartment in a three-floor building.

– I’m in Florida.

– I’m made of meat.

– I can’t fly.

Some more subjective factors are:

– I work for a living and would like to get back to work as soon as possible after the predicted Ivan strike.

Okay, maybe just that one factor for now.

Our choices are simple:

1. Stay; or

2. Go.

Let’s explore those more deeply. I’ll talk about departure first. Possible methods are: Walk, drive, fly (via plane). We have feet, cars and an airport nearby.

If we drive out, we have to drive a long way to get out of the likely paths of this beast. North out of Florida, then either further north or far west. Going East or South is just not that appealing, though East may make more sense if the hurricane seems it will be skipping Orlando.

On the way, we’ll be fighting with the same thousands of motorists for the same gasoline and lodging for a long way. The farther away we get, the less we’ll be fighting for gas, but the first 200 miles seem risky to me. And during that time, we’re in the car. We’d damned well better not run out of gas out in the open like that–I’m not weathering a hurricane in my car by choice. Risky.

If we drive far away, we have to drive just as far to get back. And the drive back will likely be messier than the drive out. If the hurricane strikes us good, it’ll be an outright mess. And it may even be harder to get gas than on the way out if gas trucks have trouble delivering.

On this drive back, our home is exposed, abandoned. As is our garage. I don’t like this either.

And through all this time, if (big “if” here) my business has power (fat chance, but possible) I’m missing work. This is not a major factor.

If we fly, we are likely to be even farther away than if we drove. And we will have to get back. We’ll have to hope that the airport here at home will be functioning (likely). But we’ll be fighting with hundreds or thousands of other people to get back again. Similar to the car scenario. Everyone leaves at the same time; everyone comes back at the same time. I don’t mind sleeping in airports, but that’s time I could be working on the recovery of my home immediately after the storm.

Okay, walking away is not a real option.

Where to stay. I consider myself safer in my second-story apartment than at ground level or on the top (third) floor. With the people below me getting flooded and the roof coming off of the people above us, if it gets really bad, I intend to spend the storm in the bathtub.

I consider myself better off at home (with my food, water, blankets, guns, doors, etc.) than somewhere else.

Even in a hotel, I’m in less control than I would be at home. I’m not going to rely on someone else to ensure I have water to drink and food to eat on an immediate basis.

So do I stay or do I go now? I stay. Is it because A man never abandons his home? No. A man (or a woman, for that matter) does what is best for his family. My reasons are listed above.