I grew up near Mobile, Alabama and my parents still live there. Luckily, (for my parents anyway) it looks like hurricane Katrina is going to make land fall quite a bit west of them but they will still experience hurricane force winds. My parents have boarded up, have experience riding out hurricanes, are not in a flood prone area and are far enough inland that the storm surge will not be a problem so I expect they will be a fine.
My brother lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and it looks like Katrina’s eye is going to pass pretty close to him. I am not too worried, though, he is young and can take care of himself. When I talked to him today he had not decided what he was going to do, but he did have several options, none of which sound too bad.
It is hard to tell how bad this is going to be, no one has experience with this class of hurricane. I have seen pictures of 12 foot thick (at the base) concrete sea walls that were moved 30+ feet by Camile and Katrina is the same strength but twice the size.
I especially feel for the people in New Orleans, it looks like they are going to bear the brunt of this hurricane. That would be bad in the best of conditions, but a city which is below sea level it is not the best of conditions. All we can do now is hope for the best.