In the Path of Destruction of Irma.

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Morpheus
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In the Path of Destruction of Irma.

Morpheus here, Long time original member, been inactive quite a while here but not inactive in my preps for "whatever is to come'. 

I live in Palm Beach Cty Florida and right now both the US and European forecasting models have a Cat-4/Cat-5 eyewall slamming right into my house. 

Maybe not as bad a a currency collapse, but it will be worse for me. 

Anyways, to make a long story short, we think that we are well prepped, at least we thought so. 

But crisis' of this magnitude get you to think even deeper than you normally would. And boy o' boy, I wish I had thought deeper. 

We're better prepped than 99% of the population out there but now all that procrastination over the years is grating on me like sandpaper. 

Ohh the easy things that I could have done a month ago, 6 months, a year ago. 

In fact, I've been feeling smug at how well prepped me and Trinity are. Except we never got that portable solar unit. We never prepped for the loss of our structure. We have months of food but that Wise Food shipment, due next week, would've helped with energy use reduction. 

The point is, if you're feeling pretty good about your accomplishments then I'm willing to bet that there are a handful of things that you haven't done yet. Don't wait. Don't get smug. We had a week's notice and did better than everyone else BEFORE that notice. But with a week's notice the clock's up. Too much competition. Good luck getting stuff. Most crisis' are not going to give you that additional "code Red" time. 

Get going folks. You do not want that sick feeling that Trinity and I have now, as well prepped as we are. 

 

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cmartenson
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Best wishes Morpheus

Morpheus,  

It's good to hear from you again, but sorry to hear that you are in the projected path of the most intense storm ... on record.

I doubt you missed it, but I'll cross-post it here anyways, which is Rector's early observations from being impacted by Harvey.

We live south of Corpus Christi and Harvey just missed our area.  We began the usual fire drill of preparing for the hurricane, but it veered north just in time.  Bizarrely the follow on weather was delightful - sunny, crisp, and breezy - while the rest of the gulf coast became an apocalyptic nightmare.  As I watched the news I was painfully aware of how close we came to being flooded, displaced, and disrupted.

As a card carrying member of the Peak Prosperity Preparer's Club - I came to the realization that Chris articulated - nothing can prepare you for this kind of Black Swan event.  No matter what - losses will occur.  My takeaways after being grazed by the Harvey bullet are (so far):

1.  Be prepared to accept refugees.  Family members are on the way (I think).  At this point they are without resources and fractured.  Dad is a cop and cannot leave Houston.  We are happy to accept them into our home - but it wasn't exactly planned.  In a wider emergency the same might happen and I will say yes then too.  I need to expand my preparations for the likelihood of more people camping out with us.  Turning everyone away outside of a pandemic scenario is not an option (really).  What's the point of all this anyway if you can't help people?

2.  Being 5% prepared is WAY better than zero.  As I watch people in Houston it has occurred to me that I need a boat.  I live on a body of water which has flooded before and will flood again.  I built my home well above the flood plain - but Harvey just made a joke out of that math.  As I watch people wade in chest deep water while others float by in boats; I'm buying a boat.  Today.

3.  Being prepared is great!  I needed to do NOTHING to get ready for the hurricane at my home.  Turns out that was really helpful because my time was spent getting other people and places prepared.  All of my employees (save one) asked for the day off (to get their homes ready) leaving me alone in my preparations.  Thankfully I didn't have to waste time at the gas pump, ATM, or the grocery store.

4.  Evacuation plans are a real priority for me now.  With four kids my mental default position has been to "hunker down".  "We don't evacuate for hurricanes here" has been the attitude because we are prepared and have always done well.  Harvey has demonstrated this is NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.  

I will now focus my considerable prepping energy to developing a viable evacuation strategy.  Not an overland hike in ghilli suits - but a real strategy to get this group of people somewhere else quickly and safely.  Routes in every direction.  A list of destinations.  Checklists for packing, securing, and evacuating.  Documentation, asset relocation, etc.  I am even going to develop a plan to go into Mexico.  I had a day and a half between threat presentation and expected landfall.  Some events may present even less time.  

5.  I need to be able to execute a plan at less than 100%.  As luck would have it, I pulled a muscle at CrossFit a week before and would have needed to do all the above while limping around in pain.  I represent the lion's share of muscle power for the family - but can they execute in my absence or incapacity?  Hmm. . . not ready for that.

6.  It is possible for two bad things to happen at the same time.  The financial crisis could begin, North Korea could strike, or any of the other crap I worry about could commence at any moment.  WHILE LIVING IN A FEMA SHELTER because I hadn't planned on evacuating.  Am I ready to execute trades, etc. while in that shape?  Hmm. . . not ready for that either.

I am thankful that we were spared the apocalypse but it has (again) identified holes in my plan that are the result of false premises.  Challenge yours because you just can't make this stuff up.

Rector

Your and Rector's observations have really gotten me thinking...the idea of a catastrophe that results in the loss of my primary structure is not something I have planned for.  Sure, I have plans to be able to cart away a good chunk of my most valuable possessions (water filter, spare food, cash, etc) as we have a van with a tow hitch and a 10' trailer, but that's cold, thin comfort to just how badly my preparations would otherwise be impacted and set back by the loss of what was left behind.

I assume people under fire threat in the west face the same difficult decisions and possible future.

Ditto for earthquake zones.

This all leads me to really be reconsidering how to go about being even more resilient.  I keep coming back to the idea of owning a second place, even if it's a small cabin on an acre, somewhere well away from the primary residence.  

Best of luck, and for everyone's sake, I wm wishing that Irma loses strength and wobbles east.

When you are able and if you are willing, we'd all love to hear the after report from you.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  That's how we learn.

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ccwesq
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Right there with you Morpheus

I'm in Vero Beach, just up the coast from you.  We, too, have food and water for months but no solar and no contingencies for the loss of a primary dwelling, which I have no intention of leaving since that's where all the preps are in the first place, as well as all sorts of things I'm not going to just abandon.  So we'll be armoring up, hunkering down & hoping for the best.

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Evacuation?

Have you considered evacuating?  Depending on your specific location, the storm surge could be huge and winds ferocious.  How high are you above sea level and how far inland?

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Board up house, go inland

I am no veteran of hurricane country like some of you, but I am a big advocate of retreat in the face of overwhelming adversity!  Doug's advice sounds smart to me.

Picture:  Smaller fighter Realistically Re-assesses his Situation.

---------------------

The Hurricane Center has the wind velocity predictions. Pretty nasty in Southern Florida.

 

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Good to hear from you, Morpheus...

...although not necessarily in the current conditions!

Will have a good thought for you & Trin (and the rest of the E Coast of FL).  Keep us posted on how you go.

VIVA -- Sager

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FL East Coast Man-made Beaches

FL East coast man-made beaches (i.e. former wetland buffer land) may all be swept away if Irma goes up the coast.   Mommy, where's the beach?   There are nuke plants to consider too.  Man builds cheaply and pays the price.

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The AquaDam

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Doug wrote: Have you
Doug wrote:

Have you considered evacuating?  Depending on your specific location, the storm surge could be huge and winds ferocious.  How high are you above sea level and how far inland?

Evacuate to where? A one degree shift in any direction will make anything short of a full blown exit from the state just as risky. 

Leave Florida? It's 350 miles to the GA border and gas is no where to be found in the state. Now add gridlock traffic to the mix. VERY risky proposition indeed. 

It's the ultimate catch-22. 

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Hmm

That's not the impression given by your governor.  As I recall his news conference this morning, traffic is flowing well and he encouraged people to buy no more gas than they need so that those evacuating have enough.  I don't believe he mentioned length of gas lines, but he strongly suggested that people evacuate.  And, there is still 2 1/2 days before Irma is supposed to hit south Fla.  Of course, he may be full of BS.  His stance on climate change suggests he isn't really reality oriented.

You are much closer to the situation than I and you certainly know the terrain better.  Best of luck whatever you choose to do.

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Wow, Morpheus

Good to hear from you. I hear you about the boat. We just had some solar rechargers delivered, as Hurricane Harvey made us go over our own list of thing's we'd put off. 

My son is in Palm Bay, just south of Melbourne, on the Space Coast. His reasoning sounds exactly like yours. He's above the floodplain, inland, and despite the devastating winds that may come he's decided the risk of leaving is worse than the risk of staying. He mentioned the horrific evacuation traffic, the gasoline shortages, and reminded me that he'd moved away from the house he'd owned near inland waterway for just this reason. We just had a long discussion about his preps, and his plans if the wind take the roof off the house (safe room and all that). He's got places to go if it all comes apart, like with us in SC or in Tampa with other relatives. He rents, so if they have to leave afterward, he'll not be facing the loss of his own house. 

I suggested he watch this, a documentary about Hurricane Camille in 1969

FYI, we're hunkering down, but we're 90 miles inland of what is projected to be the 2nd landfall in the Carolinas. 

Keep us posted. 

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Traffic is getting pretty

Traffic is getting pretty nasty and there is no more gas to be found anywhere that isn't a 4 hour wait, and then lucky if the tanks are not empty. 

The news is, and has always been divorced from reality. I am actually here, witnessing this unfold and it is very difficult to get gas, regardless of what the TV says. I'm glad that you know that, as inferenced by your comments. A lot of people put way too much trust in that news garbage, where the reality is divorced from the narrative, and in this instance I fear that it will get some people hurt. 

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Michael_Rudmin
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On prepping...

On the boat issue:  For those that can't get a boat, I have a few suggestions: 
   (1) Buy a few sheets of plywood, and 2x4s, and build yourself an 8'x8' box.  Line it with pool noodles on all sides, then put air mattresses inside pool noodles, then more pool noodles, then top off the box.  Now build yourself a cabin... and attach whatever motors you can come up with.  One quick idea for motors is 3 weed whackers, with homemade propellers attached in the place of weed eater cord reel.

Give your boat a pair of keels on the sides, as well, and a nice rudder.  They may come in handy.

---

For surviving the winds, don't forget prestressed concrete buildings, out of the range of the water.  But worst comes to worst, you can try to get between the girders of a bridge, near the abutments. 

---

Sharing what you have in an emergency is a *very* good maneuver. 

---

You discovered that your prepping was not appropriate to the disaster that actually comes?  Fine.  Don't hold on to your stuff.  Get out of the way of the disaster.  Remember what your purpose and means are, and don't let the means get in the way of the purpose.  If your house goes, your house goes:  it can be replaced. Or you can go to a better spot where your preps make more sense, like Yellowstone (okay, just kidding). To do otherwise is to be arrogant at the worst possible moment, which means that you didn't prep the one thing you should have -- your mind.

 

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rheba
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Keeping you in my thoughts

Up here in the northeast I am canning/freezing pears and peaches. One of these big winds will come our way soon I am sure. We have already had two multi-day outages this summer. Our generator is a rusty hulk after 15 years. Walmart says they are planning to bring me a little propane one tomorrow just to keep a couple of lights and the computer on and run the freezer every few days.

I have a small solar panel and the hook ups but haven't gotten to it yet. Also have two Coleman extreme 6 coolers that were on sale at a local discount store. I am making big blocks of ice in the currently running freezer just to see whether 6 days is realistic if I don't open and close too much. I have two of them so I can experiment. Also have wood stoves and just got a Silverfire Hunter for quick hot water. I have decided solar hot water is too complicated. As a young person I lived with only cold water and a hot wood stove. It is doable.

I got my ham license and a little radio but I am better test-taker than operator and there are no towers near me. The only other ham in my town died a couple of weeks ago. RIP Mark:(

So I feel that communications is my weak link in addition to a house that would surely lose part of its roof in a really big hurricane.

No bugging out for me. We have livestock.

Hoping for your safety in Florida. I will be watching this site to hear that you are OK.

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Morpheus
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cmartenson wrote: Morpheus,
cmartenson wrote:

Morpheus,  

It's good to hear from you again, but sorry to hear that you are in the projected path of the most intense storm ... on record.

I doubt you missed it, but I'll cross-post it here anyways, which is Rector's early observations from being impacted by Harvey.

We live south of Corpus Christi and Harvey just missed our area.  We began the usual fire drill of preparing for the hurricane, but it veered north just in time.  Bizarrely the follow on weather was delightful - sunny, crisp, and breezy - while the rest of the gulf coast became an apocalyptic nightmare.  As I watched the news I was painfully aware of how close we came to being flooded, displaced, and disrupted.

As a card carrying member of the Peak Prosperity Preparer's Club - I came to the realization that Chris articulated - nothing can prepare you for this kind of Black Swan event.  No matter what - losses will occur.  My takeaways after being grazed by the Harvey bullet are (so far):

1.  Be prepared to accept refugees.  Family members are on the way (I think).  At this point they are without resources and fractured.  Dad is a cop and cannot leave Houston.  We are happy to accept them into our home - but it wasn't exactly planned.  In a wider emergency the same might happen and I will say yes then too.  I need to expand my preparations for the likelihood of more people camping out with us.  Turning everyone away outside of a pandemic scenario is not an option (really).  What's the point of all this anyway if you can't help people?

2.  Being 5% prepared is WAY better than zero.  As I watch people in Houston it has occurred to me that I need a boat.  I live on a body of water which has flooded before and will flood again.  I built my home well above the flood plain - but Harvey just made a joke out of that math.  As I watch people wade in chest deep water while others float by in boats; I'm buying a boat.  Today.

3.  Being prepared is great!  I needed to do NOTHING to get ready for the hurricane at my home.  Turns out that was really helpful because my time was spent getting other people and places prepared.  All of my employees (save one) asked for the day off (to get their homes ready) leaving me alone in my preparations.  Thankfully I didn't have to waste time at the gas pump, ATM, or the grocery store.

4.  Evacuation plans are a real priority for me now.  With four kids my mental default position has been to "hunker down".  "We don't evacuate for hurricanes here" has been the attitude because we are prepared and have always done well.  Harvey has demonstrated this is NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.  

I will now focus my considerable prepping energy to developing a viable evacuation strategy.  Not an overland hike in ghilli suits - but a real strategy to get this group of people somewhere else quickly and safely.  Routes in every direction.  A list of destinations.  Checklists for packing, securing, and evacuating.  Documentation, asset relocation, etc.  I am even going to develop a plan to go into Mexico.  I had a day and a half between threat presentation and expected landfall.  Some events may present even less time.  

5.  I need to be able to execute a plan at less than 100%.  As luck would have it, I pulled a muscle at CrossFit a week before and would have needed to do all the above while limping around in pain.  I represent the lion's share of muscle power for the family - but can they execute in my absence or incapacity?  Hmm. . . not ready for that.

6.  It is possible for two bad things to happen at the same time.  The financial crisis could begin, North Korea could strike, or any of the other crap I worry about could commence at any moment.  WHILE LIVING IN A FEMA SHELTER because I hadn't planned on evacuating.  Am I ready to execute trades, etc. while in that shape?  Hmm. . . not ready for that either.

I am thankful that we were spared the apocalypse but it has (again) identified holes in my plan that are the result of false premises.  Challenge yours because you just can't make this stuff up.

Rector

Your and Rector's observations have really gotten me thinking...the idea of a catastrophe that results in the loss of my primary structure is not something I have planned for.  Sure, I have plans to be able to cart away a good chunk of my most valuable possessions (water filter, spare food, cash, etc) as we have a van with a tow hitch and a 10' trailer, but that's cold, thin comfort to just how badly my preparations would otherwise be impacted and set back by the loss of what was left behind.

I assume people under fire threat in the west face the same difficult decisions and possible future.

Ditto for earthquake zones.

This all leads me to really be reconsidering how to go about being even more resilient.  I keep coming back to the idea of owning a second place, even if it's a small cabin on an acre, somewhere well away from the primary residence.  

Best of luck, and for everyone's sake, I wm wishing that Irma loses strength and wobbles east.

When you are able and if you are willing, we'd all love to hear the after report from you.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  That's how we learn.

Will do Chris. Trinity and I will definitely do a post-mortem (hopefully the hyperbolic variety and not the real thing). Then I'll share it here. What we did right, what we did wrong, an all the do-differentlys. 

On a lighter hearted note, here's a pretty funny anecdote that someone posted on FB that Trinity shared with me. I think its important, and although I am grateful to some very good hearted and well meaning people here, it shows that perception and reality are often two different things. For instance, the risk of trying to leave the state right now is FAR HIGHER than sheltering in place. Roads are jammed, gas is absent, tempers are flaring. It's ugly. 

Trinity and I had a great laugh over it because we've had relatives and friends, all non-Floridians calling, texting, and emailing us all day "giving us advice". 

Well, this guy absolutely nails it! Enjoy. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not my words, but it sure rings true:



Dear Non-Floridians,

Rules when discussing the hurricane with Floridians:

1) Calling people who don't evacuate "idiots" or saying "they deserve what happens to them" is a judgement statement that without facts, you are not qualified to make.

We live in a state that is not the 'Spring Breakers' idea you have in your mind. We have more 55 plus communities than you can imagine. Elderly who can't drive because of age, or leave because of finances. A lot of our elderly, don't have "blood family" so they are relying on their "God made" family. We aren't leaving our grandmas and grandpas behind alone to face Irma. They need younger people right now to make sure they have what they need to survive this storm and the devastation. Most of them have pets that are as old as they are. Just like your kids would be your priority, their furry companions are theirs.

2) Just go get a plane ticket! (You can't just fly out.) Don't make statements or give advice on how we should evacuate. You don't have the slightest knowledge of what we are up against. There are challenges to leaving. Flights out are being changed, cancelled, delayed. Tickets are $2-3,000 higher than they normally are. To fly out of Florida today, if you got a flight, one-way, could cost about 3,000.00

3) Don't say "Get in your car and drive fast out"

A) Gas stations are getting fuel still, but that fuel is gone before the lines are empty.

B. ) There is no driving fast. Cars are moving 5-7 mph on highways trying to get to safety. The lines are long and imagine, with a gas shortage, being stuck on highways in jams for 12-15 hours.

4) Florida has one way out, and that is through the top (Northern) part of the state. There are basically 2 major roads out. Those roads are jammed, backed up, and not expected to change.

5) To post "Florida is about to be wiped off the map" because you are watching the news reports and panicking from 3,000 miles away- is not the most uplifting thing for us to see. Plus, don't speak your devastation to us. Be positive!

6) "If I lived in Florida, I would have evacuated a week ago." Well I'm not so sure that you would have. It's not that simple if you have a heart...not only that, you don't know until the final days which path the storm is going to take. Homes have to be boarded up. Things have to be done to ensure that if you do leave, you have somewhere to return. Then after our homes are secured, we again...have elderly who need their homes secured. So I'd say if you were here, you wouldn't leave so fast.

7) Stop saying God is angry and that's why Texas went through what Texas went through and that Florida is being hit.

God isn't angry. Every person in the path of destruction was created in His image. He is not angry. He is not judging us. He is not putting His wrath down. If you believe that, we don't serve the same God.

Floridians are talking to God right now, He is giving us peace, He is giving us direction, and He is going to get us through this storm - THAT HE DID NOT SEND.

8.) "Go to a safer part of the state." Yes, we thought of that. No one knows exactly what part that is. If Irma takes a turn it could hit the west coast- if we are all fleeing to the west coast because it says the east coast is the most dangerous, then that could be costly. We know what we need to do and we are monitoring the situation.

Feel free to stand in faith with us as we prepare for Irma's arrival.

Feel Free to pray for divine intervention.

Feel Free to pray for our elderly, our people who can't leave, our communities.

Feel Free to check on us, text us, call us. But, don't text your fears of our demise. Don't call us crying because you are scared for us.

We have a storm to conquer. As warriors we need to be healthy, mentally and physically.

When your son or daughter or friend gets ready to go play in a competitive sport ... before the game, do you call them and say ....

"you are going to lose" 

"don't show up for the game" 

"The odds are against you"

I would hope not... while we are preparing to overcome this storm, please send us some prayers and encouragement! We welcome it! If you are going to do anything less than that, turn your TV or radio off and keep your lips zipped.

Rules will be strictly enforced...I don't know how yet but don't break them... Now, I have to go see what I can do to help my community get ready for Irma's arrival.

God bless all, stay safe, love and help your neighbors. ❤️
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ccwesq
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Evacuation issues

As far as evacuation goes, a tractor trailer flipped over on northbound I-95 today just north of my exit, blocking all lanes, and traffic was still stopped hours later at 5:00 p.m. today when I got the news.  Traffic heading west out of my sleepy little FL burg was bumper to bumper west of 95 at the same time.  There is just no evacuating within this state anyway because you don't know where these things are going to go.  Outside the state it's really just 95 and 75.  Check out the track of Jeanne in 2004 if you think there is any certainty to it.  

Don't want to be caught in the mother of all storms in your house?  Just try it in your Prius.

I've loved being here almost my whole dissolute besotted life and these stupid things are just a cost of doing business.  It's not like weather is an existential threat 4-5 months out of the year every year where you have these ridiculous winters like you have up north.  I'm good with it.  If my subscription doesn't automatically renew next year you'll know I was wrong and you can say I told you so.  

Casey

With a glass or two in him.

 

 

 

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hurricanes vs earthquakes

I lived all my life focusing on preparing for earthquakes - in California.  With them, you don't get a chance to evac ahead of time.  Its all after-the-fact - pulling yourself out of the rubble and then sorting out what to do next.  I never put much thought into preparing for a slow-motion crisis like a hurricane arrival.  It seems to be a different beast entirely.

However, maybe not.  Unless you are willing to evac ahead of time, and thus live with a fair number of false alarms (how would Noah feel about building an ark for 10 floods that never came?) and a ton of second-guessing and feeling-stupid.  So if we eliminate evacuation as an option (given that evacuation has its own perils - who wants to ride out a hurricane in a car that has run out of gas on a traffic-jammed freeway?), then the only thing left is to sort out how to survive the impact, and then how to provide for your household - and neighbors - in the aftermath.

Which brings me back to earthquakes again.  Insurance, location selection, and preparations for after-the-strike life.

Alternatively, one answer might be, "don't live in California because its a freaking earthquake zone."

That's an answer that's less helpful after the quake hits, of course.

Last point.  We focus a lot on "getting it right" and "being smart."  But just maybe, whatever happens will end up being a really positive experience in some way that you could not possibly predict ahead of time, and that you're exactly where you need to be.  You just never know.

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LogansRun
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Morph...

Trust your instincts. Trust is the bottom line of everyone's decisions in life.  You've done unbelievable well for years on your own gut so...do the same with this!

 

Live;)

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kaimu
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HURRICANE ALICIA 1983

Aloha! I stayed for Hurricane Alicia in 1983. It struck Galveston and Houston Texas directly and cause $1.7bil damage in 1983 dollars! What's that $17bil today? I think over 20 people died then.

Glass got sucked out of downtown Houston high rise buildings and in Galveston where I had a house I looked out at my street and saw all the new construction homes with the new modern building codes were demolished. My house was built a few years after the 1906 Galveston Hurricane that killed 10,000 people. The damage to my house was one slate shingle blew off and one window pane was broken even with the shutters closed. Why did the new construction homes get demolished and the old 1908 homes survive? Because the 1908 house I owned had enough wood in the construction for two houses. All framing was 2x6 and 6x6, no 2x4s anywhere. On the outside I had shiplap siding and the inside walls were all 1" tongue-in-groove. On top of that was cheese cloth and on top of that was 1/2 drywall. No clips used only the old style rectangle nails. If you do not want to lose your primary dwelling in a hurricane zone then use the time tested old style construction techniques which is much more costly but then it ends up cheaper after the first cat4 hurricane! After Alicia I had about $200 in damages. It is earie to look down your street and see 75% of the homes half gone or only slabs. You could tell which houses were old construction. They were the only ones standing. My street at M1/2 Street by Stuart Beach looked like a war zone! It literally looked like Berlin in 1946!

What killed a lot of the coastal properties was the storm surge. I drove 15 miles inland on the I-45 freeway towards Houston and saw a few 20ft and 30ft sailboats laying on the side of the freeway. Without the seawall in front of my house the storm surge would have washed away the house. I saw the houses outside the seawall and there were none left just wooden foundations that were 16ft off the ground. Back then in order to get flood insurance houses had to be at least 12ft above sea level, so people built on raised platforms at 16ft and they still do in the Texas gulf region.

If you have never been hit directly by a cat4 it is a powerful lesson in how insignificant humans and their technology are when put upon by natural forces. During that storm I saw green lightening and 125mph rain and the debris like corrugated roofing was like a flying guillotine!

I have a friend in Stuart, Florida who is battening down the hatches as I type this!

Carry on bravely and God speed!

Below photos: Alicia in 1983

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 317
Charleston

Morpheus....my thoughts and prayers are with you and all my family and friends in FL.

I'm from the NW where we're surrounded by fires this year, but I've got the good fortune to be in Charleston this week on business..  There is one flight every other day direct to Seattle which I'm booked on leaving tomorrow (Friday) around 5pm.  I checked for earlier flights and was told everything is booked.  But, assuming everything goes well, I'll be out of here before Irma arrives.  Still closer than I like to cut it.

The gas station across from the hotel was briefly sold out earlier today.  My hotel is downtown and as best I can tell, at or below sea level.  I'm on the 7th floor, but I'm not sure if that would help or hurt.  I travel a lot for work and prepping while on the road is, if not impossible, very close.  I have a couple of gallons of water in the room and a well stocked mini bar.  I would not want to weather the storm here, and I hope I don't have to.

As Chris pointed out recently, there have been more than a couple of 500 year floods in the last few decades.  The west is facing the worst wildfire season on record...for probably the 5th year in a row.  This Feb, while visiting customers in NJ I got stuck in a Nor'easter.  I couldn't leave the Extended Stay for two days....fortunately we never lost power and I stocked up on whatever food I could get at the Target down the street an hour before the snow started. But I had a bad cold the whole time that I must have picked up on a flight so I wouldn't have fared well in the cold in my business suit (hard to pack snow gear in a carry on).  My point isn't to make this about me, but rather to point out that where ever you are prudent preparations are now long overdue.  If you haven't already, get started prepping now.

I thought I was prepped at home and I've accepted there's not much I can do when I'm traveling.  Then, as I was leaving for the airport at 4am the other day and had to wipe ash off my wind shield from the fires I realized how much the frequency of threats that impact my life have accelerated over the last few years.  I looked up at the dome of mt. baker visible from my front yard and thought: I should do more.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 959
Irma

Hey Morpheus,

Was going to drop by and meet you in FL about five years ago when visiting my folks there but my dad got suddenly ill and died after six weeks. Like others, glad to see your post but bad circumstances. My 90 y.o. mom is in a gated community in Boynton Beach in a single family dwelling with two other wtf old people and a generator. She foolishly and now regretfully turned down my Tues plane ticket to BOS and will not have a good time there either. I was wondering if the surge would get her before Irma decided to hit Naples instead, am more optimistic now that a surge won't make it six miles inland. I don't understand why Weather Channel folks talk only about surge height and not how far inland it would go. Good luck to you and Trinity and CCWESQ in Vero. Let us know what happens, I'll post how my mom fared.

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sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1587
Storm Humor

On a beach this afternoon in southern Florida.

https://www.facebook.com/andrewian86/videos/1683759064975963/

Mohammed Mast's picture
Mohammed Mast
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2017
Posts: 72
Gas

I am sort of surprised that preppers don't have a pretty good stash of petrol. When Katrins hit I drove to New York with 35 gallons of extra petrol (stabilized of course) I keep quite a bit on hand for just in case situations. We are still in the fossil fuel age. Solar panels are somewhat limited in a shtf scenario.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2199
Mohammed Mast wrote: I am
Mohammed Mast wrote:

I am sort of surprised that preppers don't have a pretty good stash of petrol. 

I have 5x 5 gallon gas containers, and keep a good watch on the upcoming weather.  Ready to top off all of our vehicles and collect fuel for the generator.  

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herewego
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Posts: 139
Anybody heard from Morpheus? Or ccwesq?

Or are we all still waiting for the A-OK?

Susan

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 959
Mom

Lucked out, had a windy and rainy 24 hours and lost power, got it back. No flooding in Boynton, just trees down where she is. She said it was still traumatic somewhat and next time she will be on first plane out. Oops, she just called, lost power again as I write. Wtf  hot/humid in FL, no A/C is intolerable. Back across the street to neighbor with generator.

Well, bad recent FL joke on seeing looter leave Lauderdale store wearing new red shoes. I told my son I thought looter was lucky to find his size. My son said he thought he was a .45.

Morpheus's picture
Morpheus
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2008
Posts: 1200
Power's back up Chris. Only

Power's back up Chris. Only 2.5 days without electricity. Some damage to the patio, and a lot of landscaping destroyed but nothing major. Our area caught a very powerful feeder band so we had winds in the 105-110 mph. It got a bit sporty here for a while. cheeky

Will post a post-mortem here shortly. All in all I think we did extremely well and would grade us an A-. That's what years of preparing will do for you. 

BUT, there are some lessons learned, including a few that I never thought of nor have seen people talk about here. 

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1587
Irma bug out post-mortem

I would love to hear the reflections of the Florida PP members on their experiences.  We have already hear from some.  Thank you guys and gals.

I will abbreviate one bug out report.

10 Lessons Bugging Out Ahead of Irma –

Prepping 101

What is the best way to make G-d laugh? Tell him your plans.

That was my experience in bugging out from South Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. If you are a regular reader here, I’m sure you would think that I was well prepared for a short term natural disaster. And overall I would say that was true. But though I was much, much more prepared than most people, nothing went quite the way I had envisioned. I didn’t have to stand in line for food that doesn’t need refrigeration. I was able to drive past thousands of people stuck at gas stations because I had enough fuel in Gerry cans to travel out of the state with two cars. And when I landed at my destination, Tallahassee, Florida, I was able to shop very quickly for all the stuff I couldn’t carry.

#10 – Short term emergencies are not (necessarily) the collapse. – I have been trying to explain for years that prepping isn’t about short term natural disasters, but after bugging out from Irma, I think I have a much better perspective of how to explain it.

Don’t by any stretch think that we are done with the damage of Hurricane Irma. .... But still, Irma is what I would consider a very short term emergency, and as I said, I think I figured out the key difference. In a short term emergency, there will be people who can help other people, and who are willing to help other people. In the collapse, the only “safe” place will be where you personally have food, water, security, and a roof over your head, and that isn’t flooded with water, radiation or refugees.

I knew that if I went out of the storm track, there would be no pandemonium, no lack of supplies, and nothing preventing us from having the baby without any drama. So I was able to go to my cousins, who were friends with a midwife up in Tallahassee.

People who don’t perceive a threat to themselves will help other people. With the collapse, for a time people will help each other, but as it becomes more and more clear that there will be no return to normal, that will end, and it will end ugly.

#9 – You can’t always take it with you. – Most of the long term readers here will tell you that I am no advocate of bugging out. But even so, I have a whole trailer of supplies that I can tow on the road. ... I left the trailer behind and only took a large cooler and some road food.   In the cars we really had no room because…

#8 – Gas takes a ton of space. – We ended up having to take two SUVs out of SoFlo, because we bugged out my mother in law and a total of 6 pets. I had 60 gallons of gasoline on hand in cans, and after topping off both tanks, we traveled with 8 steel Gerry cans, which took up about half the storage space in one car. There was no gas on the road at all, and thousands of families were stuck waiting, many of them fuming that they had gas coming to them, yet none arrived. About 100 miles out I pulled into a rest area North of Orlando and parked amidst the standing big rigs so I could hide and fill my tanks. By then people were already really angry, and desperate, and I think that breaking out that much gas would have caused a stir, if not a gunfight.

#7 – Sheep is a kind word for most people, and an insult to sheep. – It took us 13 hours to make a normally 7 hour trip, and it was not because there was too much overall volume on the roads. The delays were only before the rest areas, and created purely out of stupidity. After we passed a rest area we would go from stop and go traffic to instantly 70mph, then as the next rest area approached traffic would get slower, then there were red brake lights. Going North, this delay started as 5 miles before the rest area, then turned into 20 miles before as people decided that they needed to stop and top off, because they thought the rest areas had gas.

The problem was, none of the rest areas had any gas, and each rest area had hundreds of vehicles backed up and turned off before the pumps. A ton of people left last minute, with nothing, and very little gas.

In the back of the line nobody knew this, so as people came up to the long line on the left, many decided that they didn’t want to wait so they figured they would go to the front and cut the line. But the line wasn’t moving, so there was nobody to jump in front of. They would then stop and wait, until the second line backed up, then the third line would start, and that was when the Florida Turnpike turned into a parking lot.

#6 – Battery powered optics are for soldiers. – My “ready rifle” is a Tavor SAR, and it has an EOTech [sight on it.]  Of course the battery was dead, and in my brain fog of trying to get out, I forgot that I had relocated all of my oddball batteries to a single box so “I wouldn’t lose track of them.” Thankfully if I really got stuck, the SAR has flip up irons, but the experience told me that battery powered optics are for soldiers who use them every day, and who carry backup batteries.

#5 – Stock up when you land. –  When we first landed in Tallahassee, I filled up two carts with food, got two bottles of propane and a double propane stove from Bass Pro. My cousins, like most Americans, only have a few days worth of food in the house, but after one inexpensive trip to Walmart, we all could have survived a month. It ended up that we only lost power for a day, and everything was fine, but it’s easy to Monday quarterback when things go well. When it eventually doesn’t go well, all of the Monday quarterbacks will be dead.

#4 – Knowledge is survival. – I’m sure many of you reading this are long time readers, and you have learned with me all about calories per dollar, how to cook off grid, how to get water, etc. Don’t discount how important that knowledge will be if you get displaced with a bunch of people and you have to stock up from scratch.

When I went to Walmart, everyone was clamoring for the canned food, and I was able to get hundreds of pounds of flour, sugar, beans, rice, and pasta for a fraction of the price that similar calories would cost in cans. Generally canned food runs at about 100 to 500 calories per dollar, as does Velveeta cheese and nonfat dried milk. Walmart flour in 25 pound bags is over 5,000 calories per dollar. Beans and Rice are over 1,000 calories per dollar, as is sugar and pasta. I’m not saying don’t indulge in some Dinty Moore. But if you only have a “30 Day Supply” that you paid 100 calories per dollar for, you might want to take a look at some of my prior work here. Because…

#3 – The mouths will most likely stack up. – You may think “hey it’s just my wife and I,” but whether you stay in or bug out, most likely you are going to get wound up with other people who help you, or who you help, and your contribution to the relationship may be food. I personally ended up with a total of 14 humans to feed.  ... The more you plan for unexpected mouths, the more likely it will be that the other people are a help, and not a hindrance.

#2 – We all can be blindsided. – I think most preppers have a scenario in our heads of what we will do when “it all collapses.” The government will cease to exist. Money won’t work. Yadda yadda yadda. But if this past month has taught me anything, it is that nobody knows the future. I had never even considered that weaponized weather would be sent at us, as opposed to government storm troopers. I wasn’t prepared for anything to do with a flood. Where would I even keep a boat, assuming that a boat would even help? My prepping stuff is good for all 99% of all situations, but what if lost in that 1% is the key ingredient to survival?

#1 – This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. – From a famous poem by T.S. Eliot. And I wonder. Maybe there won’t be an event that we associate as "the day the collapse happened." Maybe we will just slip into a period where things will get worse and worse, and they never get better. Is this the beginning of a wave of compounding crisis that eventually leaves humanity grabbing for what once was?

When I saw South Florida plummet into crisis literally days after our trucks left for Houston, it made me start to think about things that are going on in the world. ...

If crisis are stacked on top of each other, each of us will help the next guy, and then we will get hit ourselves. There will be no mass realization that the game of musical chairs is over. Eventually there will be nobody who can help anyone, and everyone who was somewhat prepared will have already given up their [surplus] resources to help others.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 61
(The) Galveston Hurricane was in 1900...

I lived in SW Houston in 1983 and sat the storm out. While it did a tremendous amount of damage, a friend picked me up the next morning and we toured much of SW Houston in his car.

I found a couple of tropical storms in the late 80's to be worse from a safety standpoint. These I experienced in Galveston... The wind was so strong we couldn't keep the casement windows closed at our apartment. I never doubted the structure itself as it was a former VA hospital (4400 Ursuline) that had walls a couple of feet thick or so.

Petey1's picture
Petey1
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 13 2012
Posts: 54
Post Irma lessons

We are way to dependent on electric and fossil fuel!  My area got real lucky as the storm veered east and wind speeds dropped just before making contact.  We still got 95 mph gusts which caused major power outages.  Some people are still without power.  

Without electric most stores and gas stations without generators closed and cell phone towers only worked for calls and texts.  So no data for gps, weather updates or YouTube browsing.  AM/FM radios worked,  I have two small portable units and no longer get made fun of for having them.

Tip one have old fashion maps and small radio.  

We all know it but I will say it anyways,  almost no one is prepared for even the slightest emergency!  Even with weeks of notice people were not prepared for being without power for more than a day.  This scares me the most.  I witnessed many people just lock up and do nothing but panic and expect that someone will fix it for them.  

Tip two the bathroom!  In my city we count on electric powered lift stations to pump our waste out of the city.  Guess what happens when the power goes out and the backup generator runs out of fuel or breaks down.  We had giant semi truck tankers pumping waste and trucking it out.  We never backed up but came close.  

 

Petey1's picture
Petey1
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 13 2012
Posts: 54
People don't understand energy

People are so desperate to maintain their current standard of living they won't take the time to understand energy usage and availability.  My goals have been to steadily use less energy and in a emergency shut off everything I don't need.

My emergency power preps include the use of my Ridgid cordless power tool batteries.  I bought three adjustable output lights,  two fans and two USB power sources.  They will run from 4 to 12 hours depending upon usage and battery size.  We also have solar panels without battery backup.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-GEN5X-18-Volt-Hybrid-Fan-Tool-Only-R86...

http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-GEN5X-18-Volt-Flood-Light-R8694620B/20...

Honda EU2000i - I can't say enough good things about this generator.  I have my original which has thousands of hours on it and still runs.  I used it for camping over ten years ago and it has run for seven days straight with extended run tank.  I bought a second one thinking it would quit at anytime and drained the fuel and put it in the garage where it went untouched for five years.   We have a older neighbor who lost power and I pulled it out and she started on the seventh pull and ran for seven days straight!  He only ran  fans, lights, tv and coffee pot.  In seven days I put around ten gallons of gas in it.  

My second Honda is converted to tri fuel which makes storing propane much safer and easier.  

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/eu2000i

Before the storm hit a coworker bragged about his 15,000 watt generator that would run his whole house.  He has had it for ten years and never tested it or figured out its fuel usage.  One day after power outage he comes in all sad.  Guess how much fuel it used?  Thirty gallons!  Imagine if we had the big storm and we had no power for thirty days.  Where the heck do you store 900 gallons on a city lot.  He refused to not do without modern comforts for even a day.  This is echoed over and over as I here countless people dicusss buying giant generators.  Where will this fuel come from in a real emergency?  

 

 

 

 

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