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Prepping

5 days

As of this morning, all of the Florida peninsula is within the 5 day cone of a potential major hurricane.

Now if you have been watching these sorts of things for any amount of time, you know that the 5 day predictions of hurricane paths are about as accurate as a coin flip. The hurricane is as likely to hit here as not. However, it is still prudent to keep an eye on things. Even a 40% chance of disaster is worth keeping an eye on.

So I have a well used checklist for hurricanes around here. At 5 days, we do the following:

  • Retrieve extra fuel and water containers from storage.
  • Ensure that there is a good supply of batteries.
  • Check the yard for loose debris.
  • Since you can’t run a genny during a hurricane, you need chemsticks for light when the power is out. Safer than candles and more reliable and useful for general light than flashlights, you can get them for less than a buck apiece. Make sure you have plenty.
  • Watch the storm updates as they come out every 6 hours: at 0500, 1100, 1700, and 2300.

It’s important to remember that the predictions of the hurricane folks are for the center of the hurricane. Tropical storm force winds are located far from this point. For example, in the case of Hurricane Fiona, the latest forecast shows 35 knot (40 mph) winds extending 290 miles to the northeast and 350 miles to the southwest of the center. Since the storm is moving at 35 miles per hour, damaging 40 mile per hour winds can be expected to begin 10 or 12 hours before the center arrives. If the above prediction cone is correct, we can expect the onset of heavy winds to begin on Tuesday night, sometime around sunset.

What this means to those of us in Florida is that the five day cone is really a 4 day warning of storm conditions. That means my three day checklist would have to begin tomorrow evening, except I am working tomorrow. That means I will have my wife get some of it done.

The pre-event checklist will need to be complete by Tuesday Morning. We haven’t had to prep for a hurricane since Labor day weekend 2019, and that one was a bust. The last storm we had here was Hurricane Irma in 2017, and we were without power for about 4 days.

12 replies on “5 days”

If it’s a permanently installed one, you can. A portable genny outside will get blown away. Can’t run it on the porch, garage, carport, or inside because of carbon monoxide.

I’ve lived in Hampton Roads VA for the last 35 years. Anyone who lives on the Eastern Seaboard, or the Gulf Coast should have this drill down pat. It always amazes me to see the people waiting to the last minute to stock up on essentials.
As we use to say in the Boy Scouts during the last century, “Be Prepared”.

One of my AC’s crapped out this morning. Timing could be better, could be worse. At least it didn’t happen next week.
I’m in the Northeast at work, so I’ll have to fly in on Monday to shutter up my house if it goes that way, I suppose, but other than one jerry can being empty, and a bunch of 5 and 10-liter cubitainers to fill with water and freeze to keep the fridge happy, the only real horror is that I bought a mostly-glass house, and 8 million shutter panels to put up.

From your link to prior post I noticed your stock up includes pop tarts. Are they strawberry by any chance? That seems to be the hands down favorite for hurricanes according to data miners at Walmart (just behind beer). Data miners typically being astronomers with Masters or PhDs as they are about the once discipline that studies the math of pulling patterns from extremely large datasets. Companies started hiring them at much larger salaries than they got as budding or experienced astronomers.

https://www.snowdatascience.org/post/how-data-science-helped-walmart-predict-sales-during-a-hurricane

Gas cans are filled and rechargeables will be charged in another hour or so. Heh. That leaves time for some real prep, like realizing how much stuff has accumulated in the back yard since we took a serious look at it all. A few years ago I experimented with USB powered LED strings and lamps and it worked out well. They use so little power that they easily got us through until when we could fire up the two generators. Still have chem sticks in various colors and will probably just use those if necessary to get to the expirations, and they have lasted well past the printed dates in the past.

Please come to Texas and just be a rain storm to fill our lakes and reservoirs and turn things green cool things down.

Bought some solar charged walkway lights. Can leave them on the window sill to recharge. They are good for several hours. Stick the bases in jars, using cat litter to keep them upright.

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