SARASOTA, Fla. – A longtime Portlander who spends half his time in Florida had many stressful moments before Hurricane Irma decided to change course and skip by his city.

Joe Ierulli’s work has him in Sarasota so much that he lives there a good portion of time. On the eve of Irma’s arrival it appeared the community might take a direct hit.

But instead Irene made landfall south of where Ierulli was and caused severe damage and flooding in Naples, and then traveled north up the Florida peninsula, skirting east of Sarasota.

“We expected to be camping and flushing the toilet with water from the bathtub for a week, and none of that has come to pass,” said Ierulli. “Bad for Naples, good for us. I know they got hit pretty hard down there and the storm surge was going to be bigger than here.

"But one thing I’ve learned with Hurricanes is: You don’t know exactly where they’re gonna go until they’re practically on top of you.”

Another thing Ierullui has learned is to be prepared with supplies and a plan, in case you do need them. It’s a lesson for all of us, no matter what the potential disaster might be.