Florida again becomes the focus of national attention this week as Hurricane Isaac saunters slowly up the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and as Tampa prepares for the Republican National Convention. Now lots of jokes come to mind but given my conservative bent, I'll refrain.
Florida natives have a healthy respect for hurricanes as we seem to be the brunt of most of their end of the summer/early fall visits. We know how to prepare (lines are already forming for gas purchases and Walmart and Home Depot have moved the water, flashlights, and batteries to the front of the stores). We know how to chart the hurricane track on free hurricane tracking maps. But most of all, the true Florida natives know when to prepare for an indoor hurricane "party" and when to take it seriously, pack it in and head for the opposite direction of the projected track.
And then there's the other extreme, brought on by the Jim Cantores of the world. Yes, fans of Cantore are already making plans to head to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) on Monday to welcome Cantore and his entourage to "the beaches". Now I'm sure Jim is a really nice guy. I'd even be willing to show him a great wind tunnel location located in "condo canyon" that would make a great location for his standard wind whipped, rain soaked camera shot in his personalized, custom tailored Weather Channel wind/rain suit. Cantore's visit the week before Labor Day will be just as helpful on the local tourist business as the sensationalized reporting on the BP Oil Spill that caused most of the devastating loss of business in early 2010.
I have a wonderful idea for Mr. Cantore and his crew, head back this way in early October and report on the amazing sunsets, cool breezes, warm Gulf waters and extraordinary fishing that the rest of us based our decision on to move or stay here.
See attached for Hurricane evacuation route information, in case we need to "pack it in" and head northeast.