If you are anywhere on the Florida peninsula, today is the day where you need to decide what you are going to do to prepare for this storm. It’s tough to do, because we are still 4 or 5 days from landfall, meaning that the cone covers virtually the entire state of Florida. Will you evacuate? If so, to where? Will you prepare to ride out the storm? What you decide will depend on your own unique situation.
If you are a tourist in the Keys, for example, get out. There is no reason to stay. All of the tourism businesses are going to close, so there will be nothing to do. Why risk it?
If you live in the state, make a plan. Use the Florida evacuation zone maps to guide you. Staying put in a home on the shore in the face of a hurricane is a pain in the ass at best, and dangerous at worst.
Me? I live dozens of miles from the coast and I don’t live in a flood zone, so storm surge and flooding aren’t an issue. Wind, having to live without power for up to 2 weeks, and possible tornadoes are. So for me, I don’t even consider leaving for anything less than being in the direct path of the core of a Category 4 hurricane. If you do decide to leave, do it early. If you haven’t left by 48 hours before the hurricane is due to make landfall, you risk being trapped in traffic on the road as storm force winds approach.
This is forecast to be on the low level of Cat 3, or the upper end of Cat 2. So I am staying put. My three day checklist is done. One of the items for the day that many overlook is data. If for some reason your possessions are destroyed, the one thing that is most difficult to replace is data. Make sure that there are scans and backup copies of personal data: your driver’s license, professional licenses, birth certificates, bank information, etc. I used to put them on a thumb drive that was encrypted by True Crypt, but that software has been discontinued. I do not yet have a recommended replacement.
My suggestion would be for the people who invented the ransomware that attacked me in 2020 to write some encryption software. No one can crack that shit, so go legit and make a pile of money. Anyhow. BE ready.
For now, I am off to work.