The steering currents that are creating a nightmare for Mexico are actually buying Florida some breathing time in the race to prepare for Wilma’s landfall.
The downside, says Gov. Jeb Bush, is people, including himself, tend to get impatient with all the hurry up and wait, and he’s urging Floridians to stay focused.
Gov. Jeb Bush says, "Floridians should take advantage of the slow pace and use this time to stock up on supplies and prepare, and this weekend would be a good time to do that."
That extra time also means state disaster planners can actually sit down with their federal counterparts in the same room, rather than do it by phone or wait till people get into town, and that can make a big difference.
Craig Fugate, Director of Florida Emergency Operations, says, "Everybody knows what the message is, and everybody understands roles and responsibilities. Again, our key here is getting to victims with speed. We want to be efficient, we want to be accurate, we don’t want to duplicate efforts."
Search and rescue and relief supplies are already in place in several locations in central and south Florida, ready to head in where needed as soon as the storm hits.
One thing you won't see is one-way traffic on I-75 northbound. That's because that stretch of highway is not set up for reverse-laning, but the Florida Highway Patrol is not anticipating any major traffic crisis.
Only a handful of evacuations have been ordered so far, but that will change as we head into the weekend and Wilma makes her intended path a little clearer.