How do you solve a problem like Maria

For those in the Caribbean, be careful.

For everyone, review your response plan just in case.

Irma Saturday evening check-in

For all community members down in Florida —
Please check in if possible.

Be safe

Open Thread

Irma’s die is set

Be smart, be safe. If you are in south Florida, the window to start running north will be shutting down by day break

Open thread

Be smart down there

Be smart as you evacuate Florida. And if you can’t or won’t evacuate, be lucky.

Open thread

Irma — time to be smart

The Leeward Islands are about to get whacked hard by Irma. Puerto Rico is on deck and the Dominican Republican is in the hole.

The long range projections are still fuzzy as to where exactly Irma is going. There is a chance it ends up in the Gulf and goes through New Orleans. There is a chance it grinds all of the Florida Gulf Coast like a creep at the club. There is a chance is swings north just before running into Florida and wallops the Carolinas. There is still a lot of uncertainty.

Mainland US readers, we still have some time to get ready. Let’s use that time wisely.

Make sure you check the Florida Disaster planning list.

Make sure you have water. Make sure you have food. Make sure you have batteries. Make sure you are in a strong shelter. Make sure you have contact information for your friends and family. Make sure you check in on your neighbors and friends who need extra assistance. Make sure we take this seriously.

Open thread

Irma and time to prepare

Irma is still at sea. She is getting big and strong. Here is what Wunderground’s Bob Henson is saying:

Over the last day, there has been some convergence of two of our best long-range track models, the GFS and European models, toward a possible landfall in or near the Carolinas around Monday. Both models are consistent in bringing a strong upper-level trough across the United States and off the East Coast by this weekend. The models also suggest that a small weakness will be left behind, somewhere near the lower- to mid-Mississippi Valley. If so, this could help bring Irma toward the United States. However, the path of least resistance for Irma might instead be toward the large departing trough and out to sea into the Northwest Atlantic. These two scenarios have hugely different implications, but they depend on fairly subtle differences in the atmosphere that may not become clear for several more days to come.

We don’t know where Irma will end up. There is a reasonable chance that Irma brushes the coast and heads out to sea. There is a decent chance that Irma goes bowling at landfall. We don’t know.

We do have time.

Use this time wisely. I’m starting hurricane prep today. I am doing things that if nothing happens, the only cost is time. I have filled six two-liter bottles two thirds full of water and put them in the freezer. That increases the family water reserve and builds thermal mass in case the electricity goes out so that the food can stay cold. I cleaned up the patio already and moved some furniture to the storage unit. I’ve pulled the camp stove and cook gear out of the storage unit. I am filling my son’s asthma prescription tomorrow instead of over the weekend. I am buying some extra bottled water and refried beans. I’ll pick up batteries and a gallon of bleach this afternoon. I’ll fill the gas tank.

If nothing happens, I just shifted purchases and actions I would have taken some time in the next two weeks forward. If Irma does come to North Carolina, we’ll be in good shape and not storming the stores on Thursday.

We have time, so use it and don’t panic.

And always bring your towel.

Bring out your problems

Good morning.

We have big challenges but we’re not going to focus on those in this post. Instead we’re going to focus on smaller, more solvable challenges in this series of posts.

Do you need to know if your deductible applies to a preventative visit?

Are you getting a ton of mail about Medicare Advantage plans?

What does redetermination mean for Medicaid?

Or any of the 1,001 other confusing things about health insurance that we have to deal with every day no matter what happens in Washington.

Let’s be a helping community for each other. Put your questions and situations in comments. We’ll try to solve them and I’ll recap a few at the end of the week.