The time to prepare is now

It has been a long week here in Pensacola. I want to pause to thank so many who have contacted me to inquire about our safety and well- being in the wake of our recent storms. It is touching that so many have been concerned.

We did not have a hurricane, but the weather professionals say we may have received more rain this week than we did during hurricane Ivan. We had significant rainfall here Tuesday night. Some estimates run as high as 20 inches of rain in a twenty-four hour period.

I managed to reach the PNS office Wednesday morning, though many streets and major highways were flooded and impassable. There are some days it pays to drive an old truck! Power was out, but I was pleased that our inspection revealed no damage to premises or equipment. We did have to close the office for the day due to lack of electricity and in deference to local official's pleas to keep traffic off the roads. It is amazing how we take it for granted that flipping a switch will result in light, or that pushing a button will bring us an elevator. We regained power late Wednesday evening.

We had an overcast day Wednesday with the unfulfilled threat of additional rainfall but Wednesday night brought light rain. Thursday brought clear weather and some chance for those with damage to dry out. Flood waters receded some. There are still homes flooded in the area.

Thursday night brought overcast, and as I write this (0400) there is a steady rain falling. Perhaps it will not continue too long. I have received many contacts from around the state asking if the office, OJCC staff and our local attorneys are well.

I am grateful for your interest and positive thoughts. I blogged this week about getting your emergency plan up-to-date for the 2014 storm season. Then I found myself a little unprepared for this storm. If you have not updated and reviewed your plan for the season, do it now. I thought with storm season a month away (tropical cyclone season begins June 1 officially) I had some time. I was wrong. The time to be prepared is right now. This is a great time to talk with your staff and family about what you will do if a storm or other event affects your area. How will you remain in contact with each other? How will you protect life and property? What will you do in the event of property damage or transportation issues? Plan now.

Thanks again for the many inquiries about our safety. Please consider reviewing your emergency plan today or over the weekend...

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