It's windy and raining outside, whitecaps on the waters of Garrison Bight seen through the windows as we are not allowed to leave the building for as long as we are locked down. It would be silly for us dispatchers to disperse and find ourselves unable to return where we are needed, so for as long as this "event" continues we are always close by and able to report to our desks as needed. So far we are doing the waiting thing, as always happens before the storm. Anxiety levels usually rise exponentially among those choosing to stay in town, as the storm gets closer and the wind starts to howl. I took these pictures yesterday from Highway One of the Sugarloaf K through 8th grade school which is being used as a Lower Keys hurricane shelter. In Key West the county Gato Building and Key West High School serve the same temporary purpose.
Hurricanes change the Emergency service response protocols because normally the policy is to send people out on demand to help citizens but when Tropical Storm winds reach sustained speeds, technically 39 miles per hour, equipment is locked down and routine calls have to wait till the storm clears. In the event someone needs fire or rescue we route the request to the respective bosses and they decide what to do, if anything. It may be hard to understand but people trained to respond to help have a very hard time refusing a request from a citizen needing help. And at wages that make the private sector laugh.
I slept well this morning on my cot, and when I shuffled out into daylight all I could see was a summer thunderstorm lashing the city. Situation normal, so far, all screwed up for summer fun. As Isaac keeps barreling towards us at nearly twenty miles per hour I worry now for people Up North who will face the same storm after at least a couple of days of travel over warm waters.Good luck to them, and good luck to us as long as the storm keeps moving fast and fails to gain too much strength. The slow movers that build immense power are the scary ones.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad