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Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero Beach St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,509 posts, read 7,728,544 times
Reputation: 1969

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What follows are some of the responses; call them “Hurricane Hacks,” advice beyond the obvious to help you ride out the storms. Even as you keep your fingers crossed that the storms steer clear this year.

1. Do all your laundry before the storm hits. It might be a while before you can use your washer and dryer again.

2. Clean out your garage and trim trees now, well ahead of any storm. The last thing you want to be doing as a storm approaches is dealing with clutter so you can park your car inside. Likewise, trees you ignore now might need professional (and pricey) “surgery” after the storm.

3. Check your fences and figure out if you’ll need to secure them with zip ties or rope, prop them up with a 2-by-4 or remove gates altogether, which just might permit the wind to blow through your yard and keep the fence upright.

4. If you rely on a generator when the power goes out, buy another gas can and fill it, now. Remember how hard it was to find gasoline last year after Hurricane Irma? The more you have now, the better.

5. Talk about a handy device: Look for a hand-crank emergency radio that also serves as a flashlight, alarm, and can charge your cell phone. Just make sure to have rechargeable batteries for it.

6. Fill every container you have with potable water and stick them in the freezer. That way you’ve got plenty of ice, and when it melts you can drink it.

7. In that same vein, buy a collapsible 5-gallon camping jug or two, and fill with water before the storm approaches. There is no need — repeat, no need — to frantically run around searching for bottled water as the storm approaches. Water does not go bad. (there is a buy one get one at Publix right now)

8. Buy LED battery-operated lights and tape them to the wall; they look like light switches, are relatively cheap and last a long time.

9. Set your air conditioning as low as it can go the night before the storm. Your house will be freezing for a few hours, but when you lose power and the temperature starts to rise inside and outside, you’ll be happy you did.

10. If you have lots of meat in your freezer, consider cooking it before the storm hits rather than letting it thaw, and maybe spoil, when the power’s out.

11. Buy battery-powered fans now, before the rush.

12. Park your car in the garage and back it up against the garage door to prevent a cave-in. Experts are split on how effective this is, but it can help prevent the door from “twisting” from high winds.

13. Lastly, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, will hand out bottled water after a storm. But if you want anything stronger, remember to stop by the adult beverage store beforehand.

Again, hopefully the hurricanes will stay away and you’ll need none of this advice.

But hope is not a plan.

Stick to the above, and other well-worn tips, and you’ll have a pretty solid one.

Don't wait to do some of these things - do them NOW
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:05 PM
 
2,960 posts, read 1,850,372 times
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Generators belong OUTSIDE with the exhaust POINTED AWAY from windows, patios, garage etc.. Don't win the Darwin award and kill yourself and or your family with exhaust.

If it is a Cat 4 or 5 consider leaving the area. Don't equate the wimpy stuff we've seen, Wilma, jean and francis included with something that is category 4 or 5. Wind pressure is a squared calculation, even a small amount of increase gets squared in the final calculation so 110 to 130mph is a huge difference when we are talking sustained winds.

If you evacuate, try and bring a few 5 gallon gas cans with you as gas will be scarce on the exit routes.

Use stabilizer in gas that will sit longer than a few months.

If you stay, the best time to get gas is around 4am or so at the large chains like WaWa off Gatlin. Interior, smaller stations might not fill up.

Watch the models. You can watch the 10 day models on a variety of sites and you can get an idea of the trend of where the storm is heading or at least an idea of where it might favor so you can plan accordingly. If it is favoring an eastern arc and spin out to sea you can expect the west coast to be safer than if it is trending west. You don't want to evacuate into the area that gets hit like people did with Irma.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:01 AM
 
3,740 posts, read 6,793,385 times
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Some things to think about.... Sorry this is so long.....but 42 years of experience......David, Erin, Francis, Ivan, Jeanne, Wilma, Mathew, TS Fay(over 20 inches of rain in less than 12 hours) and the big scares of Andrew and Floyd. Oops forgot Charlie(our son was a RA at UCF for that one and had to worry about him helping run the shelter for the students).
#2......If you park your car in the garage will the car insurance pay for the damage or will it come out of the home owners? We always leave ours outside because the auto insurance will cover damage. Hopefully it will also give you wheels after the storm in case you can't get out of the garage. But .....in Andrew as houses deteriorated in the storm some people ended up inside their cars in the garage to protect them as houses fell apart.


#3. The 2X4 s propping up the fence could become torpedoes hitting your neighbor's or your house so I say just let the fence go. I wonder if removing a panel of a fence every so often would work the way they save docks in the Bahamas. They remove boards for the water to get through and it helps to not break it apart. We still use the chain link fence because it does not come down in storms, rot , or get ugly mildew stains on it.

#4 If you live in a condo/apartment building and use a generator-after the storm make sure it is far enough away from yours and other peoples balconies. We ended up sleeping on our balcony because it was cooler than inside. 2nd thing about using a generator- have plenty of cash to buy gas afterwards. ATMs may not work. Also your bank may be down for a while. After Jeanne we had a few damaged and they did not reopen. If you have a portable generator, do not use it during the storm. Keep it and the gas safe in the garage. Also make sure you have the right kind of electrical cords long enough to get to the item you want to use. Make sure you know what it can power. Some will not run a well pump, refrigerator etc. Figure about $30+ a day to run the portable generator for 12 hours. We tried not to run ours during the day. Also lock it down because in 2004 people stole them.

# 8 We rely on LED lanterns and give everyone one of those thin LED flashlights(like police use) to naavigate the house and to check the yard when you hear something. 1 of those pretty much lights up most of the backyard.

#10 Starting July 1st we usually start using up what is in the freezer and buy just enough at a time to get by. We also start freezing water containers. In 2004 we though putting bags of ice in freezer would help, but bags leak and water goes everywhere because the evaporator is not working. Poor neighbors under us got water running down their walls from our refrigerator. Also after storm do not use-even the condiments in your fridge if without power for more than a couple days. Throw everything out for safety. Your Publix stores will open as soon as they can get people in. Next day if possible. Almost all have generators after 2004. Do not expect them to have everything, but they will get trucks everyday.

#13... I always believed that FEMA would be here because in 2004 the fire department brought ice to our neighborhood almost every night. Also stores, banks, churches set up in parking lots all over to distribute free water and ice sent down in trucks from other areas. But after Irma there was none of this happening here. So don't depend on them. Make sure you stock up. It won't go to waste even if we don't have a storm. Also my hometown flooded really bad last year and FEMA did not show its face. Don't depend on FEMA. Even people with flood insurance have not seen any money for repairs. About the only thing they do is demand you build up 10 feet or tear down even if it is the first time your house ever flooded.

Also in movies you always see the food trucks and tents from charities handing out meals in neighborhoods. Does not really happen. People had to drive or walk 10-20 miles to get to the one set up in 2004. Maybe it is different if destruction is worse like in Andrew.

I will also add...... 1. don't forget about your neighbors. Help them out if you can.
2. If you are like me you have a million pictures. Put them on flash drives, or your laptop, the hard drive of your computer and take them with you that way if you leave. Be sure to seal in plastic bags. We use plastic totes and garbage cans to store the hard copies. Then use yard bags to cover the totes to try to keep rain out of them. Store in a sturdy closet. We do that with anything we don't want to lose. Be sure to put names and phone # in each container in case they get blown to tim buck too.
3. Have your copies of insurance, wills, etc. in waterproof container and bring with you if you leave. It is also a good idea to designate someone up North to hold copies of everything for you.
4. Have a contact person for family. If your family is scattered and can't reach you choose a family member from up North for each of you to call to say you are OK.
5. After Irma we did not have electricity, home phone, wifi, cell phones for 9 days. Watch for librairies to be open. We used ours to charge the laptop and cell phone(could not call out but it gave us data at home) While at the library could message on Face Book to let family know we were OK. They still worried until they actually could talk to us.
6. Another important 1..........REFILL your meds before the storm. Don't wait till the last minute because they may run out. After a storm it may take a week to get it.
7. If you are on oxygen, pregnant and due soon before a storm , or need a medical shelter for any reason set that up now. Let the county know you need assistance to evacuate.
8. After Maria and Irma I also think if you have a nursing home situation with a loved one, if you can they might be better off with you or check to see about sheltering and volunteering at the nursing home.
9. The thing to remember is......Everything can be replaced. The only hurricane we evacuated for was Hurricane Floyd which ended up staying off shore. We learned what was important.....It was not our house, our cars, our stuff.......it was us, our friends and family and our pets.

Let's hope and pray we never get that big one. But if it does come our way be prepared. At least have a plan. Don't wait till the last minute to evacuate. And if you are a praying person pray for the first res ponders and the people who have to stay.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:07 AM
 
3,740 posts, read 6,793,385 times
Reputation: 3491
Quote:
Originally Posted by aridon View Post
Generators belong OUTSIDE with the exhaust POINTED AWAY from windows, patios, garage etc.. Don't win the Darwin award and kill yourself and or your family with exhaust.

If it is a Cat 4 or 5 consider leaving the area. Don't equate the wimpy stuff we've seen, Wilma, jean and francis included with something that is category 4 or 5. Wind pressure is a squared calculation, even a small amount of increase gets squared in the final calculation so 110 to 130mph is a huge difference when we are talking sustained winds.

If you evacuate, try and bring a few 5 gallon gas cans with you as gas will be scarce on the exit routes.

Use stabilizer in gas that will sit longer than a few months.

If you stay, the best time to get gas is around 4am or so at the large chains like WaWa off Gatlin. Interior, smaller stations might not fill up.

Watch the models. You can watch the 10 day models on a variety of sites and you can get an idea of the trend of where the storm is heading or at least an idea of where it might favor so you can plan accordingly. If it is favoring an eastern arc and spin out to sea you can expect the west coast to be safer than if it is trending west. You don't want to evacuate into the area that gets hit like people did with Irma.
In 2004 and Irma we had better luck getting gas at neighborhood stations than at ones on US1 or I95. You had to drive to see which one was lucky enough to get gas that day but usually no long lines.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Finally the house is done and we are in Port St. Lucie!
3,488 posts, read 2,528,765 times
Reputation: 9818
After Irma and being without power for an extended period, we chose to get a whole house generator.

Make sure your propane tank is topped off when you hear a hurricane is possible. Ours does a wellness check every week and the propane used during that 10 minute check is minimal but it does add up.


All very good tips here! Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:37 PM
 
2,960 posts, read 1,850,372 times
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Home insurance never pays for your functional auto, inside or outside the garage. Only comprehensive coverage will pay for hurricane or flood on your auto policy.

The only time home insurance might cover an auto is if it was parted, non business type situation. At that point you could possibly make an argument for contents coverage.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,509 posts, read 7,728,544 times
Reputation: 1969
VIDEO ON WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN CASE OF A HURRICANE provided by TCPalm



https://www.tcpalm.com/videos/weathe...d-do/34561953/
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,509 posts, read 7,728,544 times
Reputation: 1969
more thoughts...

If you plan to purchase battery run fans, think about:
how many batteries they will need, and how often you might need to change them out
can it also run off electric if you have power- decide if that's important to you or not
can it be recharged
do you want or need a usb port for your cell phone or anything else
Pay attention to size - a 5 inch fan is tiny.
GET THEM NOW....NOT when a storm is approaching. Prices will go up, a lot of them have to be shipped, and they will disappear immediately! If you shop now, like I just did, you can compare prices and pay less. The same with BATTERIES....they will disappear in hours!

Surge protectors. We seem to have had a lot of quick power losses lately for some reason. That made me think of of surge protectors and realize I hadn't changed them out in a long time. I don't know how long they are supposed to last, but I decided to get new and better ones. Buying a new TV or computer because of a power surge is not something I want to do.

A neighbor who recently move in was out checking his shutters this weekend. A good idea for any others of you that have never checked yours. Do you have the bag of screws and bolts?

PETS--if you plan on going to a shelter in case of a hurricane, remember, they don't accept pets!
Animal shelters can't accept them either. Some places will board- check it out ahead of time!
All the more reason for tags, CHIPS, etc. and making plans now.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Sunny South Florida
6,886 posts, read 3,584,691 times
Reputation: 8237
Since my apartment building was/is in the mandatory evacuation zone, I decided to check into a hotel locally rather than evacuating during Irma. If I had it to do over, I would have done my research much earlier and formulated a list of places. It was a scramble to find a place that 1) was not also in the mandatory evacuation zone, 2) planned to stay open, and 3) wasn't fully booked. There's also the issue of it being clean and at least half-way nice, but when your selection starts to dwindle, you get a lot less picky.

So yeah, my advice to those who, like me, aren't allowed to shelter in place but want to stay close, put together a list of three or four local hotels where you would want to stay and contact them early on. Don't be running around last-minute like I had to.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:37 PM
 
12,018 posts, read 9,671,191 times
Reputation: 13420
Buy a manual can opener and canned Tuna and canned chicken and vienna sausages and crackers. They will stay fresh, Most people cook with electric and when ti's out you can't cook. By then most of your food has spoiled in the fridge and supermarkets after Irma took about a week to get any refrigerated meats or cheese or eggs or cold cuts.

These pictures are of a Walmart supermarket area a few days after Irma.
Attached Thumbnails
Hurricane advice before they happen-wm-2.png  
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