I've been through one hurricane in my life. A Category 3. This was back when I was in high school. We got a little water in the house, lost a lot of branches, and lost power for ten days. Ten days without electricity. In August. In Houston.
Needless to say, it was miserable.
Around our neighborhood, trees were down, tornados had hit, the downtown was littered with shattered glass.
It looks like Rita is heading toward my old stomping ground (which also happen to be my folks' current stomping grounds). This one is currently a Category 5 but these things change. The forecast right now has this hitting about 120 miles away from my folks. With luck, this will hold and they will avoid the worst of it. But who knows how these things will go.
The worst part is being up here, trying to convince them to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice, knowing that they don't really have any intention of leaving unless it looks like a direct hit. Also knowing that by the time they determine just where landfall will be, there won't be time to outrun a direct hit.
Their house is full of windows and surrounded by huge trees. Not the best place to be when there are high winds. Luckily, the house doesn't flood.
I'm sure they'll be fine and the house will be fine. But I still worry.
UPDATE: I finally got through to my stepmom and they are indeed bugging out. They were in the middle of prepping the house and packing the car. According to the storm track, the hurricane is pretty much going to be a direct hit. I can't get in touch with my other friends down there, so I have no idea if they've evacuated. I can only imagine they have. This is pretty fucked up.