A student writes:

        Dear Dr. Patt,

        The programming lab 2 is due on Sunday night
        and the news reports say that the now category 4
        hurricane RITA will arrive in Austin (due to its
        projected path) on saturday afternoon. I was
        wondering if this might hamper students' efforts
        towards completing the assignment on time and thus
        is there any need for extension of the due date?

        <<name withheld to protect the concerned student>>

So, I will say a few things.

First, I will not intentionally put anyone in danger.  If there is
a real danger associated with completing this programming lab on time,
then use your good judgment and do not put yourself at risk.  That is,
figure it out as the week progresses.

Second, assume that Austin will not face dire circumstances, and
plan to get the job done.  If the assumption is wrong, we will take
corrective action.  We can always extend the deadline if we find out
that things are bad.

But sitting at home and doing nothing because you are afraid the
weather might get bad is not a good idea.

If this not clear, please ask me again.  I will try to do better.

Meanwhile, your first priority this weekend is to proactively make
sure you are safe.  That may involve doing nothing special because
Rita becomes a false alarm, or going to a proper hurricane shelter
if Rita comes in with a vengeance, or doing something in-between.

Good luck to us all.

Yale Patt