Basic preparations for every season

This will be the place to find all your hurricane prep information. Whether it be preparing your home, family, pets or evacuation plans here is where to find the information you need.

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cycloneye
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Basic preparations for every season

#1 Postby cycloneye » Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:56 pm




Any time a hurricane approaches the coast you're likely to see television film and news photos of people wasting their time and energy "preparing" for the storm.

In fact, you might have seen these images so often that you think the folks shown are doing the correct thing.

If a hurricane is approaching, forget about:

Rushing to a building supply store to buy plywood for your windows.
Taping up your windows.
If your house is in danger of being hit by a hurricane, protecting windows and sliding glass doors is almost always the number one thing you can do to ensure you'll have a livable house if the worse happens.

But, if you wait until a hurricane watch is posted, you are almost surely too late.

Taping up windows is a waste of time because tape isn't going to keep your neighbor's garbage can - which he should have stashed in a place where the wind can't grab it - from breaking your window when a 100 mph wind flings it at your house.

True, the tape just might keep the glass from flying around the room when the garbage can hits it.

But, an important rule for any wind storm is don't be in a room with windows that can be broken. If your house doesn't have a windowless room, you should at least do something like cowering behind an overturned table or a heavy sofa in case glass starts flying.

If you waste time taping your windows, about the best you can hope for is that the storm will miss your house, and the tape won't be too hard to remove.

While tape doesn't do much, heavy plywood or metal shutters are vital. But, you can't wait until a storm is bearing down to go buy the plywood because by then it's almost surely too late.

This is because the plywood has to fit the windows and it has to be firmly attached to them.

Experts recommend using 3/4 inch plywood and drilling screw holes 18 inches apart all around it. Are you going to have time to do this after a watch is posted?

This is the kind of thing that should be done well ahead of time so the window covers will be stored with the screws started, and everything you'll need to install them,such as a ladder and the correct size screwdriver handy.

The big question you have to answer ahead of time is: Who's going to install the plywood covers, maybe with a 20 mph wind gusting to 30 mph as a storm approaches? It's probably a sure bet it's not going to be your 70-year-old mother, by herself.

Why is protecting windows so important?

Once a window is broken, the wind blows inside to not only wreck the interior, but also to apply upward pressure on the roof, which might be enough to sent if flying. If this happens, the walls collapse and your house is done for.

Protection can include impact-resistant glass or other permanent materials that have passed the State of Florida or Miami-Dade County (Fla.) impact standards tests, sturdy shutters, or pieces of marine plywood, marked and cut to fit each window and glass door.

Here are some other things you should do before a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning is posted:

Remove weak and dead trees or tree limbs on your property.
Know whether your home is in a zone that could be flooded by storm surge, meaning you'd have to evacuate.
Have plans for where you will go if you evacuate, when you will leave (maybe early to avoid traffic jams), and how family members will contact each other.
If you might have to evacuate, have a "grab and run" bag ready with important papers, such as your home owners insurance policy, and prescription drugs.
If you live outside possible storm surge zones, and your house is sturdy, you should plan on riding out the storm in a "safe room" inside the house.
Have an evacuation or survival kit ready with nonperishable food, water, a first aid kit and other things you'll need.
Have a battery-powered radio, maybe a battery-powered television set for keeping up with the latest advisories.
After a watch is posted, you should have done all of the things listed above. How you should stay tuned to forecasts and possible warnings. If you are in an area that could be flooded, you should be ready to evacuate.

Of course, if you are living in a mobile home, or a house that isn't sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, you should evacuate early, avoid the rush.



As we get closer to june 1 when hurricane season 2005 starts officially now is a good time to make all the preparations needed at your house and that way you dont have to rush at the last minute.You never know if your area will be threatened by a hurricane and that is why every year the preparations are needed.Prepare for the worse case scenario but hope for the best.In my case I always prepare before june 1.

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/
Last edited by cycloneye on Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2 Postby depotoo » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:03 pm

just a thought for those in prone areas- if you are staying and you live here year round - and your cell phone did not work after the storms last year - look into getting a gps phone - it will work when others won't. mine was the only one of all our neighbors that did for about 4 days after - turns out it's because it is gps. it is more expensive - i had to have one to get good coverage with my carrier where we live so was very lucky - everyone was using mine.
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#3 Postby Ixolib » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:25 pm

I appreciate the intention, but because this post contains some relatively precise guidance on specifications and application, I'm wondering if this data is a reprint from an official source or is it a personal recommendation?
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#4 Postby Rainband » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:16 pm

Ixolib wrote:I appreciate the intention, but because this post contains some relatively precise guidance on specifications and application, I'm wondering if this data is a reprint from an official source or is it a personal recommendation?
why does it matter??
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#5 Postby mikey mike » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:20 pm

now c'mon ixolib!! this is good sound common sense advice.what does it matter where it comes from? cyclone eye is a very good source of info no matter where and how he gets it.
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#6 Postby gtalum » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:22 pm

The only reason it might matter is that it shoul dbe credited if it's someone else's work. The information is very good, regardless. I will never again be unprepared in hurricane season like I was last year (and every year before, sadly).
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#7 Postby Persepone » Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:13 pm

This does not sound like "plagiarism" to me and I'm an ex-English teacher.. I have been collecting such articles for quite a while and have not seen the information presented quite this way. So I think that the question might have been better posted in a PM. I'm sure that Cycloneye has "sources" for this information. However, it does come into the "common knowledge" category. So I think the question is irrelevant. If you want a "for further reading" list, that's another story. PM me if you want one... Or look at the Red Cross site, NOAA, etc. for futher information.

Now, back to the Cycloneye post. I think it is a very good summary of the problem.

People do need to prepare in advance, and they do need to make preparations based on their specific home, its location, their capabilities, etc. And they do need to think about who is going to put up the plywood, and so forth.

I'd actually like to see a whole compilation of some of the ideas for preparation, indiviedual people's lists, and so forth on this board in some special place because I think that reading other people's lists often strikes a spark! I happen to live in an area where hurricanes are unusual (although not unheard of)--but I still have in place emergency preparations--and they came in handy with our recent winter storms. As an example, last summer someone posted a list that included: "go to the library and get things to read" and that task went on my winter storm "to do" list! It was invaluable. You can read by kerosene lantern... I did during our winter power outages. Another handy reminder is to do all the laundry you can in advance of the storm! If you are out of power for several days, it's nice not to be staring at a heap of dirty clothes...

A reminder of the not too obvious:the emergency preparedness people tell us that full freezers are more efficient than empty/half empty ones. But of course you don't want to fill it up with food before a storm. But as one of the posters reminded us, you can fill your freezer with "ice." So since reading that, as I use food, I replace it with water to make blocks of ice. Then if I buy something to put in the freezer, I use or toss the ice. But now my freezer is always "full." And I always have block ice for coolers, parties, etc. and don't have to remember to make it/buy it. I don't have to "remember" this anymore, because now I "just do it." Now my freezer is "always full."

I have actually been in several hurricanes, but not recently! And, as I said, hurricane preparation is just a variant of general emergency preparations. But you don't remember all these little things in the heat of the moment! So lists are critical, as Cycloneye reminds us.

One thing I'd add to Cycloneye's emergency list is to go to the store and buy the correct size and type of wrench to shut off gas to house, water to house, etc and hang them where you can get to them in a hurry (and all other things being equal, outside the house or near the exit you usually use!) While you hope you never need to use this wrench, if you do, you probably don't want to be rummaging around on the top of the tool bench in the basement looking for it! Buy a spare and dedicate it to the purpose.

Cycloneye is absolutely right about needing a lot of time (and money) to cut and measure and fit plywood and to predrill screw holes, set anchors, etc. It's better if you do these preparations long before you need them because you will have several trips to the hardware store, you will spend a lot of time on getting it right, etc. etc. etc.

By the way, if you have any idea of using a generator, you'd better buy it and prepare for it well in advance. For one thing you need to ground it properly. For another you need to figure out how to safely store fuel for it. You need to locate and purchase appropriate (portable) GFCIs for it. You need to buy whatever lengths of ground wire, appropriately rated extension cords, etc. for it and probably build a sort of shed-shelter for it that lets the exhaust fumes go out, but keeps off rain, snow, sleet, etc. You need to make sure everyone who might need to know knows how to operate it safely. There are 6 steps to complete before you turn ours on. And of course since it almost certainly does not get stored where you are going to actually use it (if it is portable), you need to think about how you are going to move it to its location. What about your wife? My husband is not necessarily home during storms, etc. Our generator has both wheels and a "sled." It took a bunch of trips to the hardware store before we had this figured out correctly, grounded safely, etc. Also, if you buy one "off season" you pay a lot less than if you wait until everyone is trying to buy one. (Same for just about anything else, by the way.) Perhaps most importantly, you need to plan, in advance, what you can/should plug into it. We do NOT plug ours into the house--we plug stuff into it. There are some major safety issues with generators and if you have the one that plugs into your house, if you don't throw the switches properly you can electrocute the electrical workers trying to restore power. But you need to determine how you will plug your freezer, furnace or whatever into the generator and have appropriate and properly rated extension cords, etc. to do this.

The tip about the cell phones, by the way was also very helpful.

I'd love to see other people's contributions to this thread.
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#8 Postby cycloneye » Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:29 pm

I only posted a combination of my thoughts and a small part of an articule as an orientation thing for the members.
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#9 Postby Rainband » Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:57 pm

I have an article about this in the up coming Newsletter. Good advice folks 8-)
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#10 Postby rolltide » Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:34 pm

Very good info guys. (and gals) I would like to add one thing. If you prepare like you are going on a campimg trip to the middle of the woods (as in no campground facilities) you will be much better off. After Ivan we were without power for two weeks and water for 10 days and getting supplies in the aftermath was next to impossible. However, we camp out a lot and before the storm hit we prepared as if we were going camping and we made it just fine. While I NEVER EVER EVER want to do that again, I will do the same thing if and when there is a next time.

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#11 Postby Ed1 » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:34 pm

I hope a Preparation List is posted frequently

Good job CycloneEye ..it's appreciated

There's no better time than the present ..to stock up on certain supplies.
Catch Stuff while it's onsale.
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#12 Postby Ixolib » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:40 pm

mikey mike wrote:now c'mon ixolib!! this is good sound common sense advice.what does it matter where it comes from? cyclone eye is a very good source of info no matter where and how he gets it.


I'm not contesting the fact that he's a good source of info - I agree. But, in terms of "what does it matter" where it comes from, I just believe that specific recommendations or guidance regarding how one prepares to save their life and/or property should be sourced, or it should be worded in a manner which indicates it is one's own viewpoint. Doing so will allow the reader to react accordingly. I certainly didn't mean to imply that Cycloneye's credibility is in question as it is not. In viewing his past threads, it is obvious he's well versed in topics relating to tropical wx, and I regularly view his comments with interest.
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#13 Postby Scorpion » Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:42 pm

You also definitely need a good source of entertainment and info, such as a battery operated TV. Boredom sets up real fast during the aftermath.
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#14 Postby Rainband » Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:07 pm

Ixolib wrote:
mikey mike wrote:now c'mon ixolib!! this is good sound common sense advice.what does it matter where it comes from? cyclone eye is a very good source of info no matter where and how he gets it.


I'm not contesting the fact that he's a good source of info - I agree. But, in terms of "what does it matter" where it comes from, I just believe that specific recommendations or guidance regarding how one prepares to save their life and/or property should be sourced, or it should be worded in a manner which indicates it is one's own viewpoint. Doing so will allow the reader to react accordingly. I certainly didn't mean to imply that Cycloneye's credibility is in question as it is not. In viewing his past threads, it is obvious he's well versed in topics relating to tropical wx, and I regularly view his comments with interest.
The choice to take the advice is that of the one that reads it. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
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#15 Postby depotoo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:33 pm

you know guys - we need to get bak to the subject at hand here -


make sure you have plenty of water - for drinking as well as the whatevers, you need to have a good first aid kit, plenty of flashlights, batteries, battery operated tv or weather radio - the tv with both is wonderful - that is what we relied on for news.

who else wants to add here?
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#16 Postby mikey mike » Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:26 pm

Okay,I see every ones point about the information.Sorry.
The only thing that matters is that everyone stays safe and makes whatever preparations they deem necessary to survive during and after the storm,no matter how they get their info!! :) :) :)
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#17 Postby iceangel » Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:32 am

A grill and charcoal come in handy(Even for heating up water for instant coffee.) We also had alot of canned goods and jugs of water. cell phones came in handy also after the hurricane.

oh. we also used the touch lights alot. (especially when we needed alot of light)

When the cable went off and we could no longer watch the battery operated TV.. The local News station simulcats over the radio. So a radio is a must also for the info you need. Like where to go to get food, ice, batteries, tell you what stores were open for a couple of hours...where new shelters were opening and so forth..where you could and couldn't go!!
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#18 Postby depotoo » Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:59 am

a real help for us was getting a room air conditioner - they have them for as low as $80 at Lowe's and Home Depot - you can run it in one room and stay cool if you have a generator. and the gas grill is essential. to be honest because of all the great ideas from here last year we weren't too uncomfortable when the electricity went out. we learned alot.
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#19 Postby george_r_1961 » Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:57 pm

The whole point here is not to wait until a hurricane threatens to make your hurricane plan. Have a family? Well divvy up the pre hurricane prep responsibilites now. Of course the adults will end up doing most of the work such as making sure all family vehicles are gassed up, the home is stocked with water and non perishable foods etc. If evacuation is in order decide now who will be allowed to take what with them since obviously you cant take your whole house unless you live in an RV. In fact the staff here at Storm2k should designate a "Hurricane Planning Day" for all its members. Dont wait for the red and black flags to be hoisted!
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#20 Postby Lindaloo » Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:34 pm

george_r_1961 wrote:The whole point here is not to wait until a hurricane threatens to make your hurricane plan. Have a family? Well divvy up the pre hurricane prep responsibilites now. Of course the adults will end up doing most of the work such as making sure all family vehicles are gassed up, the home is stocked. with water and non perishable foods etc. If evacuation is in order decide now who will be allowed to take what with them since obviously you cant take your whole house unless you live in an RV. In fact the staff here at Storm2k should designate a "Hurricane Planning Day" for all its members. Dont wait for the red and black flags to be hoisted!


Well said george!! :D
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