OT: Need advice from Florida people

quinnfyre(z7 PA)August 26, 2011

Please help me with hurricane advice. I'm serious, not joking around. I need advice from you Floridians who deal with hurricanes and potential hurricanes on a regular basis. This also includes other people who have experience with hurricanes, so even if you're not currently in Florida, or live in a different area prone to hurricanes, I could use your advice too. I'm asking here because I know there are a bunch of you who live in hurricane zones and I want to hear it straight from a real person, not news media people or such.

I'm being told that we are potentially in the zone of a category 2 storm, ramped up from the previous prediction of category 1. I've never lived in a hurricane region before and never had to learn what this means. What does this mean? What sorts of precautions should I be taking? I'm not super anxious at the moment, is this unwise of me? I would rather be safe than sorry, or at least forewarned and better educated. I have no point of reference as to what it means to be in winds of over 100mph. It doesn't sound good.

I know it's not the worst type of hurricane, just like our taste of earthquake here was not the worst. But I'd rather not sit around here in ignorance and be shocked at what happens. I'd like some idea of what I might encounter. Thanks a bunch, from a native midwesterner who is way more used to tornadoes than hurricanes and earthquakes.

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Okie_Deb(6 OK. zip 737)

Hi Jane,
You know I'm not anywhere near the hurricane zone but have a bit of advice that I gathered from friends who are.
If you own a car get it full of gas. Don't wait till the last day or there will be long lines at the pumps. This way if for some reason you have to wait in a long evacuation line you won't run out of gas at least. Also if power is lost gas pumps don't work.
Get extra food (animal food too for your kitties) and bottled water in case grocery stores are shut down due to damage.
You live in an apt. if I remember right so no boarding up of windows. That would be up to the owner of the building I assume. I'd probably if it were me get all my plants in a closet or the bathroom in case windows get broken. Be a shame for them to get blown across the room and broken to pieces.
I'm sure to hurricane survivors I sound like a nut. haha. Let's hope someone who knows more important things to do posts and can give better/more advice and calm your nerves!
I do hope you will be ok!!!,,,Debbie

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:40AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Debbie gives GREAT Advise! I lived through a few hurricanes living in FL and the best advise is basically as Debbie suggested. Be prepared...have enough food, water, gas and if you have a propane gas grill or camping stove for cooking or heating water. Have several gallons of Water,food for your dog, medicines that you might need. The biggest thing that I went through was NO power for 5 full days. Only a handful of grocery stores were open because most of them didn't have a GENERATOR...also waited to fill up my car with gas for over 3 hours only to find out the gas station ran out of gas by the time I was almost through the line...again because at that time MOST Gas stations didn't have a generator. They've since fixed that problem in FL now...I think ALL gas stations are required by law to have generators in the hurricane prone areas. Best advise...HEED their warnings...evacuate "if" they tell you too. We had to put hurricane shutters up on all our windows at the time and we had a small window we can "peek" out of and the wind was blowing SO much stuff around it was unsafe for people or any living thing to be outside. Flooding is also a very real danger so if you live in a low lying area prone to floods...Please be aware. Get some CASH as ATM's and Credit Cards may NOT be taken again due to NO electricity during a power outage.

My post is NOT to scare you...I hope I haven't done that...it is to inform you and hopefully "prepare" you. Best of luck! I hope its Nowhere as strong as the predictions. Hoping for the best to everyone in its path...PLEASE Be Safe!!

Here's a post that I attached from the Florida Forum...hopefully it will answer more of your questions and gives you some ideas and help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hurricane Post from the Florida Forum

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Jane, listen to Pug. She is right about everything. I keep empty gallon jugs available to use for water in case of hurricanes. We had no power for 5 days. So we cooked on the grill. Pulled it out from garage to use.
In 2004 we had hurricanes Frances and Jean. It stalled right over Florida. We lost roof shingles and pool enclosurs screens. We had no broken windows.
I brought in all my plants that were in pots outside (over 100 orchids, close to 75 hoya, and misc others) into the garage and house. A lot of hoya went into bathtubs.
Small pots, chairs, etc have to be brought inside so they don't become flying missiles.
Last, keep drapes closed in case of broken windows.
We have been spared this time, buy I have worries about my children in SI, NY and PA. They won't move to FL because of hurricanes but they get them more than us.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Make sure all loose items like chairs, toys,rakes, shovels, pots, etc. outside are brought inside so they don't blow around... trim tree limbs so they don't get blown into your windows, get rid of any brush lying around, it is amazing how that wind can pick up anything loose and whirl it around in the air.... fill the bathtub with water, save all milk and water jugs for water, get drinking-water from the store.... stock up on canned foods that don't need heating, get extra crackers and dried fruits, nuts, etc.-- if you plan on using a Bar-B-Q to cook on, make sure it is outside far enough away from the house so you don't breathe the fumes, they are deadly... do NOT use it in any enclosed area... every year people are killed by this.... get extra flashlights... a battery radio... batteries... candles.... extra tarps in case a window blows in, bring a few boards inside where they can be accessed if needed for a window..... stock-pile old towels in case water needs to be mopped-up... have your important papers and Insurance Policies in waterproof wrapper handy in case you have to evacuate... stock up on prescriptions and have them in waterproof container in case of evacuation.....GOOD LUCK... sally

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Whoa. This advice is intense! And interesting! Like you, Quinn, I'm from the Midwest, where it goes more like: Really? There's a tornado coming this way? Shoot, what about our picnic? Crap, there goes my roof.

Anyway, good luck!! ^_^ I kept reading through these expert posts and thinking: Quinn's arms are going to get a workout this week, hiking back and forth to the store! Just remember, whatever blows away, you won't have to move! (j/k of course!)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 5:20PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

For me, it's tornado warning? Oh man, gotta go down to the basement AGAIN. Sky turning green? Ok, move faster! Although not here. Never heard a tornado siren or anything similar while in Philly. Though the way things are going, I shouldn't have said anything :P

Thanks so much for the advice, Debbie, Pug, Eileen, and Sally. There are things you've said I would never have thought of, like the whole cash thing. I use my debit card for everything and don't have much cash on hand anymore since I've quit working at restaurants, so I would've been pretty sad trying to barter hoya cuttings for something I needed. If we get the kinds of winds they have been predicting (80-105 mph) I can totally see the power going out. There was a wind storm when I was in Anchorage, and like the earthquakes I experienced, I finally decided to google it and find out the details. That was around 50 mph sustained, with gusts from 80-100+ mph, and that definitely took out the power. So, now I have some point of reference, I guess.

Mainly, I am worried about power outage, and flooding. I'm not so worried about flooding in my house, but the possibility of flooding contaminating the water supply. We've been getting so much rain already this month (apparently record setting amounts of rain) that flooding is a very real possibility. I'm slightly worried about my windows. I think I'll try and move the hoyas further into my room and away from the windows tomorrow after work. I hope the people here who live in the Carolinas stay safe and sound, along with their families, hoyas, and pets. I think it will still be a category 3 when it hits there, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everyone comes through with little to no damage, if possible.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:29PM
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eileen44_gardener(4 Central Vermont)

I want to throw in prayers for everyone.. no matter where they live!... I grew up on Long Island (all those years ago..) and hurricanes are scary... so in Vermont... snow storms.. floods and an occasional earthquake!... (I live on the downside of a "mountain".) the predicted winds for here will cause power outages.. but I don't live near the coast.. 3 sisters in Florida and one in NC and one of my daughters lives near the coast in NH... so all my hoya friends... please be safe.. I have candles and will pick up batteries tomorrow.. and hope I have power to make a cup of coffee; and of course the Pug won't want to go out until its all over... so much water and wind!" I'll have to truss up her back legs like a turkey!lol.. but.. I pray for the rest of you all!.. be safe.. I know you all love your plants.. but they can be replaced.. if you can't get them in safe places in time... leave it up to the "Creator"... and keep yourselves safe!... and stay tuned!... hugs Eileen

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:02PM
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Jane, you have all excellent advices. I think you are in the track of hurricane, be careful.
I'm alright here, just got some rains.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:13PM
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like everyone is saying, fill gas tank in as many cars as you have. If you have a grill make sure you have gas for that too. Make sure to get extra food for animals and for yourself. none parishable(sp) if possible. Get extra water. any patio furniture bring into you garage. any plants you have that you want to keep bring inside. Make sure that all items that are unable to be brought indoors is secured somehow. Make sure that you have plenty of cash in hand. No power means no ATMs. If you have a generator, make sure it is outside before starting it. Have a safe place to go in case there is a tornado. Have all important documents in a water tight bag or container. If you can take pictures or video of your items in your home, so that you know what you have incase you need to provide info to the insurance companies. For example all electronics, furniture, collectables etc... If you like I will post a link to the guide that they give us here in florida. It has info for before and after a storm.

Here is a link that might be useful: hurricane get prepared

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:10PM
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Okie_Deb(6 OK. zip 737)

Eileen44 check at the grocery store for the Folgers by the cup coffee packets. If you can heat water you will at least have your cup of coffee!! I'm a coffee addict so I am not without them,,,just in case. With each packet I usually make 2 cups of coffee. I don't drink real strong coffee though.
My husband travels internationally and always packs a box to take along. A lot of countries drink instant coffee only. Bluk!!!,,,Debbie

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:32PM
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eileen44_gardener(4 Central Vermont)

Deb... thanks for the idea!.. I generally use French Press.. so have to heat the water for that.. I have an electric stove! Think I might just make up some iced coffee today in the frig... iced coffee is better than no coffee! I'll grab a bag of ice today to reinforce the frig... just in case!... I LOVE coffee....couldn't find any D cell batteries last night. Will work the crowds this morning and hopefully find them for my flashlight!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:18AM
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Jane and Eileen,

When Irene has passed, please post when you can so we know you're safe.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:01AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Great idea Lisa...we definitely want to hear from everyone that is on Irene's path so we know you guys are okay! Hoping for the best for all...and Be SAFE everyone!!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:20PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

If my power doesn't go out, then will do! I think we'll be ok here, hope it's not too bad for anyone else either.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:40PM
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eileen44_gardener(4 Central Vermont)

Yes.. I will as well.. if we have power!... all's quiet on the northeastern front!... actually a lovely pink sky tonight, humid.. and only the sound of crickets!... Iced coffee in the frig... 2 bags ice in the freezer, gas tank filled... batteries and 2 of my plants (not hoyas).. happily repotted this afternoon! I hope everyone else along the way has is ok so far today.. and thank you for your concern about us up here in the far north.. sweet dreams all!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:12PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

I find it completely weird to say that both the earthquake and hurricane, in a place that tends not to get either, were quite uneventful. Not a bad thing at all, just saying it's weird to say. We did also have a tornado warning last night, so it's like a mixed bag of natural disaster potentials arrived this past week. Our power in my neighborhood stayed on, my basement didn't flood, we discovered new leaks in our kitchen roof and bathroom window, we have lots of water pitchers residing in our fridge now, and my hoyas are all on my sewing table, where I can now examine them, clip wayward vines back onto their trellises, maybe get some pics before putting them back in the window. Extra water in the fridge isn't a bad thing although it takes up space, the leaks were not totally unexpected, just in new places, and an afternoon chilling with the hoyas will be nice and relaxing. Here's hoping everyone else had an uneventful hurricane experience!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:11PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

GREAT to hear Quinn!! Those are the BEST Hurricanes to get... the "uneventful" ones! Glad you're okay. Hopefully, everyone else fared as well as you. Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 7:06PM
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