Disaster Response isn’t Socialism

Social media is today filled with leftists claiming that Republicans asking for disaster relief are all of a sudden supporters of socialism. Not everything done by the government is socialism.

Let’s start with a couple of definitions.

The purpose of government is to provide for mutual defense, settle disputes between citizens, and protect citizens from being victimized by others. Socialism is where a government goes beyond that and tells businesses what goods and services they must produce. Socialism isn’t a synonym for “anything that a government does.”

There was a time when the fire department was a private business. Fire companies would contract with insurance companies to provide fire protection to the properties insured by those insurers. Fire companies would mark their territory with “fire brands” so arriving fire companies would know who had the contract for that particular building.

Fire companies did outrageous things like engage in fistfights to for the right to put out the fire and the right to bill for extinguishing it. Engine crews, knowing that whoever controlled the water would extinguish the fire, would send the meanest, toughest goons they had ahead of the pumper to guard the plug. Anyone from another crew who came near it would have to fight him.

So it was obvious that system didn’t work. Governments began assuming responsibility for fire protection. Fire departments, facing budget cuts due to better building codes reducing the number of fires, began looking for other things that they could do to remain relevant. So they began doing things like EMS, hazardous materials, and other disaster response.

Just because the government is providing a service doesn’t make that service socialism.


Wrap Up and Roll Call

The storm is past us now to the north, as indicated by the fact that winds are out of the NNW. That puts us in the lower left side of rotation. So, this storm for us is over.

We lost power last night at around 0245. It was back on almost immediately. Winds maxed out last night at 24 miles per hour, and a maximum gust at 38. We got a total of 3.4 inches of rain.

I did my post storm walk around, and damage is almost zero. The only damage I have is a UPS that was damaged by the power surges. That seems to happen with every big storm.

For my family:

  • The eye passed directly over my brother’s house last night. I believe power is out where he is, because I can’t get ahold of him. He should be OK though, because he lives on the east side of the state, and the storm wasn’t even a hurricane anymore by the time it passed him by.
  • My sister has been without power for 14 hours, but reports that she is OK.
  • My mother, daughter, and grandkids are all OK. So are my in-laws.
  • One of my wife’s cousins lives in Englewood. We offered them a spot up here and begged them to evacuate. They waited too long and were not able to leave because of traffic. The northern eye wall was over their house for hours. No one has heard from them since yesterday morning. We are hoping that it’s just power issues. This is why I always tell people to get out early.

The reports from the area between Bonita Springs up to Venice are pretty bad, but remember that the majority of the damage is usually limited to a mile or of the beach and the press is going to focus on the worst of it because ratings.

This storm made landfall in nearly the exact same spot as Hurricane Charley did in 2004, and then followed nearly the same path. The two storms paths were only about 20 miles apart on the west coast, and 45 miles apart on the west coast.

Anyway, that ends my part of hurricane Ian.


A Miss for Me, I think

It looks like we are not going to get anything close to what they were predicting. It appears as though the storm went in about 60 miles further south than originally predicted. That means that it is crossing the state that much further away than they were telling us. The local news is forecasting our peak winds to be in about an hour, and it just isn’t happening.

The strongest gust so far has been 27 mph. It hasn’t even rained in this area for about 2 hours. My Internet is even back up. The winds have gradually shifted from easterly to northeasterly, meaning that we are now on the left side of the storm. That is, since the winds of a hurricane rotate around the center in a counter clockwise direction, we are now on the western semicircle of the storm.

At its peak, Ian’s hurricane force winds extended out 40 miles from the center. A 60 mile miss makes for a huge difference. I also don’t think that the 155 mile per hour thing is very accurate. It looks like sustained winds of 100 miles per hour or so is what was actually felt by real people on the ground, with gusts a bit higher.

Combine those two factors and we will escape this with a breezy, rainy night.

My sister, who lives in Apopka, says her power is out. My mother in Altamonte tells me the weather there is just light rain, with my daughter and grandchildren in Winter Garden reporting the same.

The people down there in Port Charlotte and Naples are getting hammered, and I wish them the best. I have some friends down there, and I hope they dodge much of the damage.

Just remember: prep for the worst that you will probably face, and anything less is a walk in the park. If you do your preps correctly, things should be boring. If things are exciting, you didn’t properly prepare.



I have long suspected that the strength of hurricanes has been overstated by the powers that be to generate scary headlines. Look at this picture of Ian making landfall.

Not a single personal weather station is reporting a wind speed of more than 50 miles per hour. Now in all fairness, large areas are without internet and power, so some reports may be missing.

My guess is that we won’t have winds over 40.

So far here, our highest wind speed has been 22 miles per hour and we have gotten right at 2 inches of rain. So far, so good.

EDITED TO ADD: I just found a station reporting 94 miles per hour.

Also, our entire area lost hardwire internet and cable television connectivity at 1547. I am making this update by cell phone.


So Far

Weather has been dreary, but no bad. Then again, we aren’t forecast for much until early tomorrow morning. It started raining yesterday at around 1415, and we wound up with 1.4 inches of rain for the day. Since midnight, it’s been a steady drizzle that barely registers on the rain gauge, 0.13 inches.

Since there was a question about that, my weather station is mounted almost 10 meters off the ground, on the peak of the roof. I measure it at almost exactly 30 feet. So call it 9 meters. No real wind yet to speak of, though.

I am working today until the hurricane crew relieves us at about 1500, if all goes to plan. If not, I have my BOB and a handgun locked in the vehicle safe. Worse comes to worse, I could walk home in just an hour or two, even if the streets are impassible to my 4WD pickup because of debris. I seriously doubt it gets that bad.

On a side note, there are those who don’t think that hurricanes like this can be destructive. I used to deploy to hurricanes and other disasters for a living. I have deployed to over a dozen disasters, including hurricane Katrina and Ivan. I rode out Charley, Frances, Jean, and others. There was an F4 tornado that I worked as well. Yes, most of the damage is within a mile or two of the coast with these storms, but there are pockets where it gets ugly, even far inland.

When I have more time, I will post some pictures from my time on the Mississippi coast. They are on the NAS that I shutdown for the storm, so later.


Idiots on Rails

Democrats are now blaming DeSantis because it is taking so long to evacuate Tampa, a city of 3 million people, in the face of Hurricane Ian, because Republicans think that a train costing $3 billion or perhaps even $7 billion between Orlando and Tampa is a waste of money.

Let’s look at the facts and do the math, because that is what we do here. Normally, Interstate 4 carries 150,000 people per day. The evacuation has more than 2.5 million under evacuation orders, many trying to leave the city along I-4 and I-75 within a 24 hour time frame.

So let’s say we add a train to the mix. A train carries a maximum of 1,000 people. The distance between the two cities is about 70 miles. The train ride would take just over an hour on a high speed train. One hour there, one back. That works out to 12 trips per day at 1,000 passengers per trip- the MOST that a train would do is move 0.5% of the evacuation traffic, and that ignores the problem of congestion at both ends, the difficulty of where you park a million cars on the Tampa end, and what you do with 12,000 people milling around outside of the Orlando train station.

Crime economics

Food Deserts are Racist

So-called food deserts. The Democrat claim is that low income neighborhoods have few places to buy food, and this is because stores are racist. Of course, that is complete bullshit. The real problem looks just like this:

Higher income neighborhoods don’t do this. White neighborhoods largely don’t do this (exceptions being places like California and other liberal strongholds that have decriminalized theft). If you are stealing the food markets blind, they will have no choice but to close.


Florida Man

Gear Prepping

The Latest

The forecast seems to be changing every time there is another update, but this is what I know for now:

  • There is a 90 percent chance of 40 mile per hour sustained winds at my location.
  • Likewise, a 50 percent chance of 50 mile per hour winds
  • A 25% chance of 75 mile per hour winds
  • And a 10 percent chance of sustained winds of over 90 miles per hour
  • Gusts would be higher

Now all homes in Florida built in the past 25 years are supposed to be able to withstand winds of up to 110 miles per hour. I will say that I felt like the winds being reported by the NWS were grossly overstated, so I bought a personal weather station. I guess we will be getting a chance to test that out.

We are also being told to expect up to 14 inches of rain. We average 60 inches of rain in a year, so we are getting three months’ rain in three days. That means flooding. Our house is on high ground, so I think we should be OK.

My biggest concern is having the power be out for several days. I have an 8KW genny and a bunch of fuel, so I should be OK. We are working on building a new house about 30 minutes south of here, and it will have a 24KW propane or natural gas fueled backup, but for now 8KW gasoline is all I have.

The nasty weather is supposed to begin before lunchtime tomorrow. My checklist is complete with the exception of shutting down the NAS, buying some subs from Publix, and doing a final check on comms.

My mobile and handheld radios are all good, I just need to check the main radio set. It’s a nice one, a Yaesu FT-897 with an interface to allow digital and voice communication. I have two antennas mounted in the attic, a dual band for VHF, and the second is a G5RV wire antenna for HF. At 52 feet long, it stretches most of the way across the house, but this antenna allows me to transmit in all bands from 10 meters down to 40 meters.

As soon as the wife gets home from work, we will head out to dinner and Publix, then settle in for the night. I still don’t know for sure what my work schedule will be. For now, I am scheduled to work 9-9 tomorrow, but that may change.

It’s 1415 on 9/27, and it just began raining.


The Path

As of this morning, I am in the path of the storm. I need to get my 24 hour and preevent checklist completed today. Complicating things is that I am working some today and 12 hours tomorrow. The ride home from work tomorrow evening should be interesting.