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Fleeing Hurricane Dorian. . .In Advance

August 29, 2019

We are opening a new call center. That’s why I’ve been in Florida for the past two weeks. . .wait, it was three weeks. (They all start to run together.) My job is IT. I have to make sure the computers are set up, the network is setup, the security cameras are setup, the anti-passback systems are setup.

There are a million things that can go wrong. My job is to come up with a million and one solutions.

It’s a job I really love. We have call centers around the United States. This is our newest. It won’t open for a couple of months. But, even though I’m here working on the new site, I also have to maintain and deal with issues at other sites. Today, I was on a conference call with all my other sites.

So, Rodney, how’s Florida?

Where exactly is our Florida center?

You know the hurricane, Dorian, that’s headed for Florida?

Yeah.

Well, do you see the spot it’s projected to make landfall?

Sure.

I’m right there.

Hurricane Dorian is headed straight for my location. I’m reminded of a famous line from the classic WWII movie, “The Longest Day” about the invasion of France on D-day. The German commander calls headquarters,

Maj. Werner Pluskat : [on the phone again] You know those five thousand ships you say the Allies haven’t got? Well, they’ve got them!

Lt. Col. Ocker : And just where, my dear Pluskat, are those ships going?

Maj. Werner Pluskat : Straight for me!

My travel plans were made over a month ago. I had planned to spend all week here. I arrived on Sunday because our training started on Monday morning at 7:00am. It went well, better for me being here. I planned to stay through Friday in case anything came up that needed attention.

My return flight is scheduled for Friday around noon. It’s about an hour to the airport. It’s also the evacuation route. People have told me to expect it to take several hours.

I’ve never been in a hurricane zone. My hotel is on the beach. Literally, you can walk out of the lobby and onto the sand. (Yeah, I’m not sure how it’s in my approved corporate price range either.) The entire island I’m on is an evacuation zone. If I stayed, I’d have to move.

I filled up my rental car today to avoid having to do it tomorrow. I waited in line.

My coworker left work around 4:00pm.

I have to go hurricane shopping. Have a safe flight back.

If I don’t have someone to eat with, I typically just go to WalMart and grab a salad and some fruit.

The lines weren’t crazy, but the empty shelves were.

I’ve met two different types of Floridians. The first group is those who’ve been here for years.

Well, it’s only supposed to be a Class 3. I’ll throw the shutters up, but we’re generally fine. My house doesn’t flood. I don’t even typically lose power.

The second type? They are going to be on the evacuation route with me tomorrow. It’s odd. I feel like I’m running away. And in some ways, I guess I am. But, I scheduled this flight long before Dorian was a thought in the mind of the National Hurricane Center.

My flight is confirmed and the hurricane isn’t scheduled to arrive until Monday or so. So, I shouldn’t have any trouble getting out.

I’ll be praying for my friends and coworkers in Florida. The storm may be a Category 4 by the time it arrives. And while some of them are pretty nonchalant, they are all in my thoughts.

As is everyone in the hurricanes path.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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