Why You Shouldn’t Evacuate for Hurricane Irma
Honestly, the fact that you opened this means one of two things. You either knew I was fucking around, or you’re an idiot and thought, “Yeah, this guy says it’s okay to stay. I’m staying!”
Either way, I’m glad you’re here.
I have lived through every hurricane that has hit the panhandle of Florida since 1982. I have only ever evacuated once. That was for Opal back in 1995. If you don’t remember or weren’t here for Opal, it was mass chaos and destruction!
Okaloosa Island was literally destroyed, as you can see in the photo. The sand dunes that were once on the south side of the road, along the beach were now in the Choctawhatchee Bay. When Opal made landfall it was a strong Category 3 storm. Irma has every intention of making Opal look like a thunder storm.
Walton and Okaloosa counties are already running out of water, fuel, and other necessities. This means that you won’t be able to get essentials if you stick around.
If a bridge or road gets knocked out in our quaint little town, everything is fucked. We only have one main thoroughfare, and if it gets washed away, who knows how long it will be before it’s back up and running again. You could definitely be stuck in your neighborhood for weeks. Imagine, having to hang out with your neighbors kids that long.
Don’t forget that schools, jobs, etc will all be closed until the government says it’s okay to open back up. That could take weeks as well. Especially if there are any roads that get messed up. Pro tip: if Irma makes her way anywhere between Pensacola and Panama City, this is exactly what will happen.
If you live in South Walton county, there is a good chance Irma is moving you without your permission. Look up some before and after photos of what Hurricane Andrew did to South Florida. It’s not pretty.
What I’m saying is, leave. If there’s any chance that storm can hit here, you need to get out of dodge. Bring your pets, keepsakes, anything you want to keep, and plan on being gone for at least two weeks. I’d plan for longer. Stay safe out there, and don’t underestimate nature.