Above is a map showing the most likely path of what is now Tropical Storm Isaac. The bright blue is the area where the storm should be located Saturday and Saturday evening. The more transparent blue is the forecast location of the storm's center Sunday into Monday evening.
Isaac may strike Haiti which is a nightmare all its own. Note the lower right corner of the illustration.
With regard to the United States, here are two scenarios about which I wish to make our readers aware:
- If the storm moves through the northeast half of the shaded area it may make hurricane intensity, perhaps up to category 2, when it makes landfall.
- If Isaac moves through the southwest half of the shaded area, it will likely make hurricane intensity and may become a major hurricane. Because of the warm spring, hot summer, and lack of tropical storms in the Gulf in 2012, heat content (the fuel for a hurricane) is at near record levels.
From the posting two items down you'll recall it has nearly been seven years since a major (category 3, 4, or 5) hurricane struck the United States (Katrina was a 3 at landfall). It has been exactly twenty years since a category 5 (Andrew) struck the U.S.
I'm concerned that people relatively new to coastal areas may not fully understand the level of potential threat if Isaac turns into a major storm.
So, it is time -- now -- to begin considering how you would protect your family and assets should a major hurricane threaten.
There are plenty of hurricane preparedness references on the web, including a number on this blog. Go ahead and start. If they turn out not to be necessary fine, no harm done. But, considering we have a weekend coming up, things like prescription refills*, a hurricane evacuation kit, roadmap (for an evacuation), etc., will be needed eventually, hurricane or not. Go ahead and get those low-cost but time-dependent items done soon. You'll have peace of mind and you and your family will be ahead of the game if a hurricane threat develops.
* I almost forgot. During Irene last year, someone asked me why I always mention refilling a prescription in these early cautionary posts. Here's why..
Suppose you have twelve days ( = 12 pills) of Acme Wonder Drug in the bottle. Plenty, right? Wrong!
Assume you, your pharmacist, and physician live in Mosquito Junction By-The-Sea. An evacuation is ordered Sunday afternoon (you are down to eight pills) for a storm predicted to strike Mosquito Junction By-The-Sea on Tuesday (down to six pills). Further assume that, unfortunately, weather science is correct as usual. The National Guard comes in and ropes off Mosquito Junction for a week (which is common). You are down to a single pill.
Given that you are in a motel in Hogwash Falls waiting to return home and your physician and pharmacist are in the same boat, how are you going to get that prescription refilled? So, you want to make sure you have plenty of prescription medicine and other critical supplies before an evacuation order might be issued.