Today I spent hours cutting up 6'-by-8' wooden fences to make them fit and then set them up to cover the 4' tall windows on our back porch; with the wind expected to hit our house from that direction, those single-paned windows were the house's main structural weakness. Meanwhile Jen and the kids got a bunch of things ready indoors.
It's also worth noting that we have a cement brick house with almost all of the main windows rated to be able to cope with hurricane-force winds. Oh, and the roof was replaced this past March. So the house is in good shape.
With (Hurricane) Irma threatening a visit, we were looking all week trying to work out what to do. Should we bail at the first sign of it heading inland, or just hold on and wait through it?
We decided to wait until this evening if we were going to bail; with South Florida doing an official evacuation I was already hearing on Tuesday from coworkers in Atlanta that hotels were filling up. By the time we decided a hotel room might be worthwhile the closest we could find to accept us (with our pets) was in Virginia, 750 miles away; this would be 750 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic which would balloon its normal 12 hour drive into 20 or 24 hours. At night. With two adults, three kids, three cats and a dog. This meant just running to a hotel wasn't such an easy decision.
Anyway, on Thursday evening the 5pm weather update suggested 90mph winds with gusts to 115mph because the eye was estimated to walk right over us. This obviously scared us quite a bit. But we didn't want to panic, especially when the alternative was the possible 24 hour, 750 mile drive.
The 11pm weather update had the storm starting to move west, which would save us from the full strength of the storm, and then this morning (Friday) the estimates put the eye fifty-ish miles west, leaving us with bare tropical storm winds.
So we're staying. We have a load of supplies, a BBQ grill to cook food if we loose power (which we expect to) and plenty of water. And a bunch of books to read. We'll be fine.