While many residents have taken to the roadways to head north away from Hurricane Irma, some Floridians are planning to ride out the storm from home.
One of those residents is Cheryl Brugna who is braving Irma in Ormond Beach with her family at their home on Hunters Ridge.
The mother of three and her husband Christopher had originally planned to head to Georgia and wait out the storm at a hotel.
The Brugnas bought their house in Ormond about four months ago after living in Palm Coast for 13 years.
Brugna said when they first heard about Irma they began planning where they should go, eventually booking three hotel rooms in Columbus, Georgia. She added they chose this location as it was further inland but saved them from driving too far. The hotel rooms were supposed to be for the Brugnas, their dog, Cheryl’s parents, and her husband’s parents.
They booked the rooms for Saturday, Sept. 9 through Monday, Sept. 11, but as more weather updates came in and the storm predictions changed, the family switched the dates to Sunday through Monday.
“We were all planning to leave Saturday morning,” Brugna said, adding she made preparations to ensure the fridge was empty.
Brugna noted she “felt even better” about their decision to leave when the hurricane was forecasted to continue heading east toward Florida’s Atlantic coast.
It wasn’t until Friday, Sept. 8, that Brugna saw the storm could potentially move in the same direction her family would be headed. She called her husband and the two of them decided if the storm was going to hit they would rather be at their own home instead of being stuck in a hotel.
The rest of the family decided to stay as well and the hotel reservations were cancelled.
“We actually left our stuff packed and figured if we have to go at least we’re packed and ready to go,” Brugna said.
On Saturday morning Brugna went out to get extra food at the local Publix, which she said was well-stocked.
She said they don’t plan to board up their house but did buy several sandbags for their doors. She added there were only about six or 10 houses in their neighborhood that were boarded up for the storm.
Brugna said she had bought water last week and had recently also filled up empty water bottles. They filled up their bathtub in case they needed additional water. The family also has flashlights and glow sticks if the electricity goes out.
When the family went through Hurricane Matthew, Brugna said they didn’t have power for around six days.
“It’s a little windy and it’s just kind of steady rain,” Brugna said. “We’re going to weather the storm at home and see what happens.”