I got the mandatory evacuation order on Monday.
Tuesday at 5 am the cone looked bad for Tampa, I planned on picking up the trailer and heading East. Vero? W. Palm?
By the time I actually left, got gas, and drove to the storage yard, the cone looked better for Tampa, worse for Sarasota.
I decided to stay and wait. I'm under cover in a strong building. I have 30 amp power so I had all the comforts of home. As the gusts increased and the rain came down at 45º, the trailer did a little rocking. I doubled up on wheel chocks so the tongue jack couldn't slide off the block. The dog was uncomfortable, seeing me a bit stressed.
At 8 Pm last night (wed) power went out. I brought the generator but the truck was exposed in the rain so I decided to wait until morning. Early to bed, temp in the low 70's.
We (Tampa) dodged a bullet. I feel sorry for folks in Port Charlotte, Ft. Meyers, and even Naples. They got slammed.
This morning with sunrise, the rain had stopped and it was breezy. Just as I went to fire up the generator, the evacuation order was lifted. Came home!
Things I wish I did differently. Have a battery radio. I was spoiled in that I use my phone to stream radio using the I ❤️ app. No help when you have 1 bar and 5 million people are searching with their phones too. (I really missed high speed internet.)
Next, have a way to charge your phone that doesn't involve ac power. You might not have it. I did, but it took some searching for cables.
I did have a NOAA weather radio and it was torture. It's so detailed, that warnings that have nothing to do with you take forever. ("Flood stage on the Manatee river expected to match the 1963
record!") Okay, it's important for those folks, but no one listens to a recording an hour long. Tell me where the storm center is and what direction it's moving.
My internet was phone data so the NHC map or weather radar sometimes wouldn't even load. I tried the phone as a hot spot and use the I-pad, but that was worse. 1 bar just takes forever, or fails.
At home, I have about a million Oak Leaves and 50 palm fronds. Thankfully no big trees down, never lost power. The city workers are clearing branches from the streets this morning. City did good! (two thumbs up) Mail being delivered too.
Looking out my window, I see nothing but blue Sky. Amazing. I was 100 miles from the eye and I saw enough to hope I never ride one out.
The worst part is never knowing if you made the right choice. Stay, go? Which direction? At some point it's too late to change your mind. I was okay.