Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the path of Hurricane Harvey. I’ve had several emails about quilt donations in the affected area but my belief is that what’s needed in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is monetary donations and I always encourage people to donate if they’re able. We’ve donated through the American Red Cross but donations to any organization helping the relief efforts are good. I’m sure there will come a time when quilt donations are solicited and if I can be confident that they’ll get to those in need, I’ll also contribute to that effort.
Having lived almost 16 years in Florida (we lived in FL for 13 years before moving to the Atlanta area in 2002 and to Minneapolis in 2006, and have been back for 3 years), I’m no stranger to hurricane preparedness. We’ve lived though several but have been lucky that we’ve had very minimal damage to our homes —- yes, in those 16 years, we’ve lived in 6 different homes. When we were buying the Tampa townhouse, I did my research and checked to see if we were in a flood zone – after all, we’re just a block from Hillsborough bay. We’re just barely outside of the flood zone but because I’m a cautious person, we have flood insurance even though it’s not mandated.
Surprisingly, what I failed to check 2 years ago was whether we were in an evacuation zone and it came as a bit of a shock that we were … at the time, our area was zoned for evacuation in the even of a Category 3 hurricane. That caused a bit of concern because with Chesty, going to a shelter was probably not an option as there are very few that allow pets. Chesty died in 2015, I spent most of the 2016 hurricane season in VA caring for my sister-in-law, and then we got Finn in February so this hurricane season we again had to be extra concerned with evacuation plans due to having a pet.
Imagine my shock when I double checked the evacuation maps this week to find them changed — we are now in an evacuation zone for a Category 1 hurricane. Yes, we are in the first zone to be evacuated in the event of any hurricane heading for Tampa. Not sure how I missed the news that it had changed but it’s an unexpected complication.