There are times when I really wish I didn't live along the Gulf Coast. Hurricane season is one of those times. Right now, Houston is being hit by Tropical Storm Erin. She came ashore at Port Aransas earlier this morning. We've got pouring rain and lots of flooding in the Houston area because of her. And by "pouring rain" I mean the rain that is coming down so hard that you can't see anything else. We've gotten 3+ inches of rain in the last hour. I'm supposed to have the back door replaced today but now I'm not 100% sure that's going to happen. I guess I'll find out in the next few hours.
And now there's Hurricane Dean, who is currently still in the Atlantic. However, there is a chance he will enter the Gulf of Mexico and that, of course, means that he could possibly make landfall in the Houston area. If he does enter the Gulf, he will likely make landfall towards the end of last week - of course, that could change depending on how fast or slow he is moving. Unfortunately for me, I'm supposed to be flying out of Houston next Thursday for a conference in Pomona, CA. If it does look like Dean will affect Houston I will not be attending my conference. This will be the second time a hurricane has prevented me from attending a conference. The last one being the National AAZK Conference that was canceled due to Katrina.
Since this is a conference I've been helping plan (and am scheduled to do a presentation at) I've already been in contact with the chairs to make them aware of the possibility that I may not be attending. I've also mailed all the items I was responsible for getting to the conference to a lady in Michigan. She will make sure they get to the conference. I truly hope that all this turns out to not be necessary and that I leave as scheduled, however, those items are necessary part of the conference. It's imperative that they get there (I was in charge of the name badges and a banner for the registration table. I'm also in charge of on site registration but someone else can take that over if I can't get there).
I've also got plans in place in case Dean does make landfall near Houston. One of my friends will evacuate to my house with her animals (she is in an area that floods easily). She has already said that she will take care of my animals for me if I am not there. There is a chance that I will be on the disaster team at the zoo again. If I'm there, we'll just ride out the hurricane together. I'm lucky in that my house is in an area of town that does not flood easily. Hopefully, all of this is just going to turn into an exercise is planning but one never knows. In the meantime, I'm still planning on going to my conference until Dean tells me otherwise!