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General Discussion >> Hurricane Ask/Tell

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Prospero
Weather Guru


Reged: Fri
Posts: 145
Loc: Gulfport, FL 27.74N 82.70W
Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips?
      #98176 - Mon Sep 04 2017 07:49 PM

I'm not a moderator, but have been on this site enough years to know that the Storm Forums start to get very active when a storm approaches with posts that may or may not be appropriate for that particular forum. I am one to push those limits more often than I like to think.

That said, as Irma starts to put her plan into focus, all of us in Florida are eager to ask questions and share our experience. So maybe a forum in the Ask/Tell is a good place for us to speak freely without fear of embarrassment.



I have in front of me a PDF download from BayNews9 which is my favorite local news/weather station in the Tampa Bay area. This PDF is their Hurricane Kit list.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/dam/news/images/2017/05/02/BN9_HURRICANE_GUIDE_2017_WEB_001.pdf

It is a good list, but as one who spent a couple weeks without power after Hurricane Jeanne crossed the state and blew down a bunch of trees knocking out the power on September 26th of 2004, I see one important item that should be on EVERY Florida Hurricane list.

Battery operated fans.

And of course enough batteries to keep them running.

After Jeanne, laying around the house with the windows open during the hot and humid calm days after she passed, a simple battery operated fan would have been a very welcome addition to our lives. It was strange how quiet it was with no power in the neighborhood, but it was horribly muggy and stagnant.



Buy fans before they sell out. We now have two each that we have used during power outages from thunderstorms and what a difference it makes. Ahhhh.....


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Lamar-Plant City
Storm Tracker


Reged: Mon
Posts: 347
Loc: Plant City, Florida 28.01N 82.12W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Prospero]
      #98179 - Mon Sep 04 2017 08:02 PM

Yep...good catch. We bought the last one in the camping section of the local WalMart today. We have another one from back in my daughter's softball days (would hang it in the dugout on still days or on the fence in front of us). They are great to have when the A/C is out....even better when the power is also at so the ceiling fans can't work.

--------------------
If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...
2017 Season Prediction: 16/7/3


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Prospero
Weather Guru


Reged: Fri
Posts: 145
Loc: Gulfport, FL 27.74N 82.70W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Lamar-Plant City]
      #98188 - Mon Sep 04 2017 09:12 PM

Yup, we have two sizes of the 02Cool fans (two each). They work great and are quiet. What a relief when there is no air conditioning!!

Plus my wife has one small one she wears around her neck almost daily. It is her "work" companion to keep her cool.



A spray bottle of water to mist oneself combined with the breeze of a battery operated fan can make the difference between sweating and horrible suffering and being in a lazy bliss on a couch when the power is out.


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TPuppy
Registered User


Reged: Sun
Posts: 8
Loc: 28.34N 81.37W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Prospero]
      #98204 - Tue Sep 05 2017 01:09 AM

I think you were also asking about insulin. During Charlie my husband was on several different types of insulin and some of the pens were good for 28 days, some for only 14 after the first use. Our insurance had changed to a 90 day supply which was a large quantity of insulin on hand. I called the insurance company for information, and was informed that I could exchange any questionable pens (not refrigerated, not used) by calling them back and arranging for an even exchange with my local pharmacy after the electricity was back on. But that was back in 2004, possibly that has changed, also they may still be dealing with Texas, so contacting someone at the mail pharmacy may take some time. Good wishes, it's hard enough for us healthy souls to make it through, let alone someone with special needs.

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Stork
Verified CFHC User


Reged: Sun
Posts: 11
Loc: 27.16N 80.27W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: TPuppy]
      #98220 - Tue Sep 05 2017 09:42 AM

Palm City (Martin County) here. This is on a slightly more ephemeral level, but one thing I would add is some kind of 'indulgence' food. It's hardly a difference maker, but if you (or your kids or grandkids) really love MnMs, get a big bag or two. Or plenty of your favorite soda. (If you like chips, watch the salt, though.)The familiar and comforting can be great assets, especially after the prep has ended and the waiting begun. People will be very stressed out...be good to yourselves and one another.

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Fay
Registered User


Reged: Tue
Posts: 3
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Stork]
      #98246 - Tue Sep 05 2017 01:40 PM

A few things we learned from Charley in 2004:

We needed cash, especially small bills, because the stores that were able to open were without power so credit cards weren't being accepted. We were without power for 11 days.

When they tell you to fill your bathtub with water, it's not for drinking - it's for flushing toilets. Punta Gorda's pumping stations were off-line. Luckily we were able to use buckets of water from our pool for that purpose.

If you have pets, especially cats, think about how you will keep them in the house after the storm. None of the doors in our house have screens because we have a pool cage. That, of course, was destroyed. With no power we had to keep the doors open, hoping for the slightest breeze. Keeping our 2 cats safely inside the house was definitely an issue that we hadn't planned for.

--------------------
2004 Charley/Punta Gorda

Edited by Fay (Tue Sep 05 2017 01:44 PM)


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Lamar-Plant City
Storm Tracker


Reged: Mon
Posts: 347
Loc: Plant City, Florida 28.01N 82.12W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Fay]
      #98252 - Tue Sep 05 2017 02:18 PM

Charge every cell phone and battery that you have up until the storm arrives. Then with the power out, turn them off most of the time. You might pre-arrange a time for concerned relatives to call you when they know you will have it on. Maybe every hour on the hour. If the towers are down at first, there will be no need to use your cell phone. One thing we discovered during Charlie was that my mom's cheap prepaid Tracfone was able to get a signal when neighbors who used the big carriers couldn't. Something about Tracfone being able to use multiple towers from multiple carriers. It was an unexpected bonus of a cheap phone/plan. Also, get any loose lawn debris out for collection if they will come by before the storm and bring in anything that you usually leave outside and that could get blown around.

--------------------
If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...
2017 Season Prediction: 16/7/3


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eulogia
Weather Watcher


Reged: Sun
Posts: 27
Loc: SW FL 26.57N 81.96W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Lamar-Plant City]
      #98256 - Tue Sep 05 2017 03:26 PM

When the storm is very close, turn down A/C as low as possible and let it run until electricity goes out. We were able to utilize about one day of extra non-humid and hot air during Charley.

--------------------
Agnes (1972), No Name Storm (1993), various and sundry, Charley (2004), Wilma (2005,) et. al


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JMII
Storm Tracker


Reged: Thu
Posts: 289
Loc: Margate, Florida 26.26N 80.22W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Lamar-Plant City]
      #98261 - Tue Sep 05 2017 03:55 PM

Things I've learned...

Glow sticks are a great hurricane box item. No batteries required, will not burn the house down, water proof, last 8 hours (overnight). Basically use them like nightlights: put them in bathrooms and hallways. With the power out and shutters up your house will be pitch DARK at night.

Don't forget a radio. Cell towers will be likely be down, thus your only communication may be an old AM/FM radio. Laptops and tablets will run out of juice. Internet services might not work.

Send text messages. During Wilma voice calls wouldn't go thru but text did easily even with only 1 bar of service.

Get heavy duty gloves for putting up panels and cleaning up broken glass, split wood, twisted metal.

If you have an ice maker start emptying it into your freezer now. Eat anything frozen now (pizza, waffles, ice cream, etc). If you are evacuating throw out all food in the fridge/freezer, then leave the fridge doors open so it can air out while your gone. Unplug or flip the circuit breakers on your major appliances, TV, etc to protect from surges when power comes back on.

Take down your satellite dish, just the reflector (oval part), leave the brackets and wiring in place. When you return its alignment should be OK so you'll have TV again. During Wilma as soon as we had power we had TV, our cable neighbors didn't have service for nearly 2 weeks due to equipment damage and lines being down.

--------------------
South FL Native... experienced:
David ('79) - Floyd ('87) - Andrew ('92) - Georges ('98) - Irene ('99) - Frances & Jeanne ('04) - Katrina & Wilma ('05) - Matthew ('16)


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Lautermilch
Registered User


Reged: Sun
Posts: 5
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: JMII]
      #98266 - Tue Sep 05 2017 04:32 PM


I live in a historic building in downtown Hollywood. If we are facing a direct hit I want to be in a shelter but was surprised there are none near me when I checked the Broward county website. I am being offered a 17th floor condo on Brickell but I think I'll pass on that. MY manager is leaving town and wants someone to be in his unit but I think I would fare better in my wooden building in 1924 or a nearby concrete shelter if I can find one


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Lamar-Plant City
Storm Tracker


Reged: Mon
Posts: 347
Loc: Plant City, Florida 28.01N 82.12W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: eulogia]
      #98272 - Tue Sep 05 2017 05:00 PM

Quote:

When the storm is very close, turn down A/C as low as possible and let it run until electricity goes out. We were able to utilize about one day of extra non-humid and hot air during Charley.




Just don't overdo it and blow your capacitor. A/C repairmen will be at a premium. I also might not run mine right up until lights out as a surge could fry something and leave you hot even when the power comes back....having blown a couple of capacitors on really hot days the past couple or years I have learned. I WILL check with my A/C guy for any recommendations if I get a chance!

--------------------
If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...
2017 Season Prediction: 16/7/3


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Bev
Weather Guru


Reged: Fri
Posts: 126
Loc: Port Charlotte, FL and Abaco, ... 27.03N 82.06W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Lamar-Plant City]
      #98300 - Tue Sep 05 2017 10:14 PM

Update: If you're considering leaving it's probably too late.
There are no hotel rooms left in Georgia.

*edited by Moderator: I spent 5 minutes researching available rooms and came across quite a few.. see if this helps you out:

https://bookings.mapquest.com/hotels/res...ty_id=800047625



Edited by RedingtonBeachGuy (Wed Sep 06 2017 01:33 AM)


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MikeCAdministrator
Admin


Reged: Sun
Posts: 3856
Loc: Orlando, FL 28.49N 81.47W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Bev]
      #98303 - Tue Sep 05 2017 10:30 PM

Quote:

Update: If you're considering leaving it's probably too late.

There are no hotel rooms left in Georgia.




I-75 may be a madhouse. I guess Chatanooga/Gatlinburg/Knoxville, etc are still options.


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gvl, fl
Registered User


Reged: Thu
Posts: 7
Loc: Gainesville, FL
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: MikeC]
      #98317 - Wed Sep 06 2017 12:09 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

My neighbors are having a pool installed (see picture). The installers are definitely taking their time. The shell of the pool and the huge pile of rocks have been sitting across the street from me for about three weeks. They managed to break the first pool they brought and also tear up my front yard, which is why you see the stakes, etc. I'm wondering... Gainesville saw 65 mph winds during Frances and Jeanne. Would it take much more wind than that to start blowing the rocks around like a hailstorm? I think it would take a tornado to toss the pool itself around, but I'm not sure.

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Bev
Weather Guru


Reged: Fri
Posts: 126
Loc: Port Charlotte, FL and Abaco, ... 27.03N 82.06W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: MikeC]
      #98324 - Wed Sep 06 2017 03:08 AM

Yes, further north likely still available.

I have two rooms reserved in Moultrie, GA. If this thing trends East as the latest 00Z's are showing, I won't be using them since I'm on the west coast. Just a podunk little motel called Regency Inn, but I was happy to get them.

I'll post if I decide not to use the rooms, let you guys have first dibs.

--------------------
Survived Charley at Cat 4 under a staircase. Won't do that again. I watch SW Florida and Abaco primarily.


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Ed G
Weather Hobbyist


Reged: Thu
Posts: 69
Loc: Clermont, Fl
Forgive me if this has been asked several times [Re: Bev]
      #98336 - Wed Sep 06 2017 08:15 AM

at what wind speed would you consider boarding up the windows and doors?

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Lamar-Plant City
Storm Tracker


Reged: Mon
Posts: 347
Loc: Plant City, Florida 28.01N 82.12W
Re: Forgive me if this has been asked several times [Re: Ed G]
      #98341 - Wed Sep 06 2017 09:13 AM

Quote:

at what wind speed would you consider boarding up the windows and doors?




I would do it at any level of hurricane....not for a tropical storm unless it was rapidly strengthening or possibly very close to hurricane force. Distance from the eyewall is also a factor. 75 mph is plenty to lift objects and throw them and you need that protection to keep from breaking windows.

--------------------
If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...
2017 Season Prediction: 16/7/3


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DMFischer
Weather Hobbyist


Reged: Fri
Posts: 70
Loc: Palm Bay 28.32N 80.77W
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Prospero]
      #98355 - Wed Sep 06 2017 12:17 PM

For the last few hurricanes instead of going to sit for hours in line for sand bags, I went to Lowes and bought 10-12 bags of the cheapest SOIl they had. 2.50 a bag this year, last year was 1.89. I put each bag in black trash bags, then put them at sliders and doors, etc. Later, sprinkle the SOIl in my garden!

Also, fill a broiler pan with water, freeze it. That big a chunk of ice takes time to melt.

Most importantly, check everywhere around your house for things that can become a projectile.

Stay Safe Everyone. God Bless.

--------------------
Survived: Mitch '98-Charley's crossing'04-Frances '04-Jeanne'04 Survived near fatal fear from Floyd's threat.
Nearly grew gills with Fay'08


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Owlguin
Weather Hobbyist


Reged: Thu
Posts: 52
Re: Irma Preparations in Florida - Tips? [Re: Prospero]
      #98359 - Wed Sep 06 2017 12:32 PM

Other than the normal items, don't forget to take out plenty of cash. After seeing what Andrew did, the best tip I can give with a hurricane like this is to leave if at all possible. I am afraid that I-95 and the turnpike will become parking lots though. I would like to hear from people who are on the road on the traffic situation if possible.

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justmeinflorida
Registered User


Reged: Wed
Posts: 2
Loc: Pasco County, FL
Re: Forgive me if this has been asked several times [Re: Lamar-Plant City]
      #98377 - Wed Sep 06 2017 03:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

at what wind speed would you consider boarding up the windows and doors?




I would do it at any level of hurricane....not for a tropical storm unless it was rapidly strengthening or possibly very close to hurricane force. Distance from the eyewall is also a factor. 75 mph is plenty to lift objects and throw them and you need that protection to keep from breaking windows.




This is going to be my first hurricane (besides Mathew). With the projected path as it is what will the impact be in our area? We're neighbors I live in Crystal Springs in a mobile home that needs a new roof (like last year). It's me and my 6 year old son, my best friend, her hubby and their three kids 2, 8 and 14. I need to decide if it's best to find a hotel/motel from Friday night to Monday or ride it out here at the house. Thoughts?


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