25 August 2012

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac

As Tropical Storm - soon to be Hurricane - Isaac makes its way across the Straits of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico on its northwestward course, by now you are taking the necessary precautions to keep you as well as your property safe. If your county's emergency management officials issue bulletins such as evacuations, and you live in an area that is subject to an evacuation, please follow their advice so that you can stay safe.

Links to Tampa/St. Petersburg area media outlets for more information on Isaac including school closures and road closures if need be:

Bay News 9
WTSP - 10 News
WFLA - Newschannel 8
WFTS - ABC Action News
St. Petersburg Times

If you think that a hurricane sitting out there in the Gulf of Mexico coming close to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is no big deal, think again. We Tampa/St. Petersburg residents remember - not from Katrina in 2005 (which hit New Orleans), Charley in 2004 or even Andrew in 1992 (which hit Miami) - but from a hurricane out in the Gulf of Mexico over Labor Day weekend in 1985 by the name of Hurricane Elena. While Hurricane Elena didn't do a direct hit, it did plenty of damage to the beach communities.

Even from a tropical storm or a hurricane sitting out there in the Gulf of Mexico on our doorstep, it is still very important to take the necessary precautions in order to stay safe. Just ask the people of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte when Hurricane Charley was churning out there in the Gulf of Mexico setting its direct hit sights on the Tampa/St. Petersburg area; in a dramatic move which baffled weather forecasters, Hurricane Charley changed course and set its direct hit sights on the Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte area. After Hurricane Charley hit, we were reminded by images on television of the damage that Charley inflicted, not to mention the needless loss of life.

Again, I cannot over-emphasize this enough: Please take Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac seriously, especially if you live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. If your county officials order evacuation and you live in an area affected by evacuation orders, please take their advice and head for higher ground - I don't care if it's a friend's or relative's house, a hotel or motel or even a public shelter - your own personal safety comes first.

A house can be replaced.
A condo or townhome can be replaced.
But a human life cannot be replaced!

Please be safe out there!

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