What 'worked' and did not work in your Storm Preps?

I made a comment in a thread here that I made a few mistakes and a few guys asked me to list them so that we could all 'learn' the things that did work well and what to try to avoid, as well as what things did work well, so I'll start off and hopefully, we can keep the important info in this thread for future Reference......

Mistake # 1: I failed to completely lock up all shutters, on all four sides of the house. I assumed that the winds would be the strongest on the front/north side of the house and that a few shutters on the back/south side would not get much wind. WRONG!

On the back/south of the house, we have three sets of big, storm rated French double patio doors. Two on the main/second floor and one on the bottom patio. I properly set up the shutters for the front door as it is on the ground floor and on the north side. There is a metal 'track' that I must screw into the concrete decking outside the front door. It was very labor and time intensive but I got it done and the door was 100% secure. I heavily taped along the bottom of the door seal and up another 15-18".

When I started to open the big patio shutters I had a decision based on how hard the front door's little 4-foot wide bottom track was to install. I had three, 10 foot long tracks with 12 big screws each to screw into pre-drilled/sleeved holes. The 'screws' have wide, big slots for either a special tool or a really big flat screwdriver. I had neither which is why it was so hard to install the front door track.

Being also time-constrained due to needing to get back to Lauderdale to secure that house and the boat and get ready to Evac that house, I gambled at the Key Largo house that this big, stiff, heavy shutters would be 'okay' without the bottom tracks. I lost.

The wind obviously got very rough on the back/south side of the house, got in behind a few of the door shutters and literally peeled them back like a can opener! Here's the second floor, main patio door/shutters and beyond that, the double doors coming out of the Master. If you look closely, you can see where the bottom of the shutter flapped back and forth for who knows how long. Looking at the flooring, that had only been put down about 6 weeks prior and it was awesome! Now it's all gouged up. I just hope the guy can repair it and not have to do the entire/big patio again.


Same patio from the other end. The door frame piece laying on the patio was found around a corner, about 12 feet away. You can see on the (freshly painted!) wall, that this door panel was bent back so far that it whacked the wall hundreds of times.


I told Jenn once we saw this, "Can you imagine had we been here, what this would have sounded and looked like with these large metal panels flapping around like a flag on a windy day? It would have been pretty horrifying. Glad we left." In the future, as soon as I see a storm kind of coming our way, I'll grab a cold beer and lay down those securing tracks days in advance..... They would have prevented all that flapping and I would not need to replace 2-3 big doors and to have the new flooring repaired! :banghead

Obviously these photos bring up Mistake # 2. Paddle fans. I should have taken the blades off. Two little screws per blade. These two fans and three more on the bottom patio. We had fan blades, seemingly everywhere across the back of the house! The funny thing was, that I found most of the little screws right below the fans. They fell straight down while the blades went flying! :huh

My mistakes will be paid for in the aggravation and the frustration that it was self-induced as well as with my own money!

Things that worked well:

1) Empty the fridges and freezers. How many times have we all heard horror stories of what people found in their fridges after losing power for a few days. Many have to replace the entire units. Toss the **** food!

2) Unplug the fridges and freezers. Who knows what quality of electricity is flowing during a storm with thansformers exploding, trees on power lines, mini-tornados, etc.

3) Prop the doors open. Jenn did a simple wipe of the inside of the fridge, plugged it back in and we were good to go.

4) Ground floor. We picked up all area rugs, hallway rug runners, etc..... just in case we got some flooding. Not only to protect them, but to avoid sopping wet rugs from sitting in a closed up house for days/weeks on end.

5) We left all interior fans on Low so that when the power did come back on, air could at least circulate a little inside.

6) I used plenty of Duct Tape to try to seal the bottom 15-18" of all ground floor doors. With seaweed piled up at the bottom patio doors, I know we had water that tried to get in. Don't assume your door is sealed tight all on its own. We also placed beach towels behind and packed in tight against, all bottom floor doors so that in the event that there is some seepage, it might be contained.

7) Get the hell out! Our house is a concrete fortress and with my baby Honda genset, we'd have been 'okay' after the storm. But what a nightmare we would have endured! Nope, seen enough nightmares, going back to 1960 in Ocean Springs, Miss, seeing the aftermath of Camille, going through the north wall of the eye of Andrew, no power for over a week after Katrina and then Wilma...... too old for that kind of excitement anymore. Panama City Beach was 100% stress free!

What worked well for you? What did not work so well? What mistakes did you make? Please add your own comments for all of us to gain from and thanks for doing so...... :USA


  • JaxJax Posts: 41 Greenhorn
    You need to replace the screws for the tracks. They're called side walk bolts, with Phillips heads. They have big heads, about 3/4" and they have tapered edges. They're made for side walks and don't cause a tripping hazard. Put them back in the holes after you remove the tracks and no dirt will fill up the holes. The special tool for the slotted heads doesn't work a ****. Glad you didn't have more damage.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,295 Captain
    It might be even easier/quicker to disconnect the wires and remove the whole fan from the j box instead of removing the blades.

    Good post. We all learn things each storm. I hope we never have to use our knowledge again though.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Al BundyAl Bundy Posts: 222 Deckhand
    What didn't work? Got up at 5am on friday and packed the wife and small kids up to leave Ft. Lauderdale (because that was where the eye was going) and driving to a friends house in Sarasota. Arrived, cracked a beer and started to relax, until wifey kept reminding me...it's following us, it's getting closer!

    What worked...getting up at 5am Saturday morning and driving BACK to Ft Lauderdale.

    I agree with Gary, won't ever stick around for a big one
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,105 Officer
    This might seem like old history to most but i spent a lot of time after Hurricane Andrew studying houses that survived the eye wall of this category 5 storm.

    i lived in Kendall during Hurricane Andrew and experienced ONLY 146 mph sustained winds according to the Hurricane Center in Coral Gables that verified this speed for my location. The hurricane center was located further from the hurricane's center then my house. Using a formula from the Hurricane Center that estimates wind gusts can be as high as 30 % of sustained wind speeds.....this means I could have had gusts as high as 185 to 190 mph. i can attest that i had my hands on the east wall of my house and felt the entire eastern concrete block wall move inward during some of the strongest gusts. I also at one point had my hand on a small plane of semi-circular glass panels that were located in the top of my solid wood front door that faced the direction of the strongest winds. During some gusts the glass seemed to become flexible and filled the contours of my hand.......this is when i moved quickly away from the door, since it became bowed in quite severely. My neighbor's houses two lots down (same model house) had her solid wood front door blow in. Then the wind blew out every one of her windows and the siding glass doors to her patio. I had several friends that lived further south in the eye wall and one of them (a former girlfriend) lost most of her roof, but her walls stayed up. Her large Florida room & wet bar was under the house's roof and that structure disappeared entirely. I had minimal damage and only lost a backyard steel shed and PVC panels that covered a small patio. My roof only lost about ten asphalt shingles. Only two houses on my entire street had hurricane shutters up of any design.....mine and my neighbor across from me, but despite this fact most houses suffered only minimal damage. My opinion for this is there were no houses in my old (1960) neighborhood that had anything but asphalt shingles on their roofs. In newer developments further south most houses sported heavy clay barrel tiles that all went airborne and seemed to pulverize every window not covered by shutters. Twenty five years ago very few houses in Dade County had hurricane shutters of any kind, and the ones that did were of such poor design they did not stand up to the strongest of Andrew's winds.

    One 3/4 inch plywood shutter on my Kendall house that covered a large double window facing the wind was hit so hard in the height of the storm that the entire house shook. Then i could hear a very heavy object dragging across my roof..... when it reached the apex of the roof it obviously went airborne. Later i noticed a triangular hole (one inch plus in diameter.) in the panel that took the hit.....this hole almost penetrated completely through the thick plywood.

    On the second day after the storm i was finally able to get out of my neighborhood and drive down to "Ground Zero" ten miles to the south. This drive seemed to take hours. I was forced to drive my truck over so many wood and concrete power poles i lost count. Navigation was near impossible, since there were no street signs and many landmarks were unrecognizable. i was forced to ask people what street they lived on, so I could figure out where i was on a street map. Some people were so much in shock they had trouble remembering the name or number of the street they lived on. i drove through the area where the eye wall came ashore, but i stayed inland far enough to where the houses were not effected by storm surge, i found only one house that seemed to be unscathed. All of its windows were intact and its roof of asphalt shingles sustained little damage. Went I walked up to the house to see what kind of anchor bolts it had for his shutters that had already been removed, i heard a loud voice bellow out ordering me to leave. (Probably at gun point). As i promptly departed he answered one simple question i voiced aloud concerning the material of his shutters......he said they were steel. and from my observation they were affixed to the house with expansion bolts, that no doubt went into the concrete blocks.

    I also saw houses where lead anchor bolts that secured hurricane shutters had failed completely and left large gaping holes in the wall around every blown out window. I then realized my plywood hurricane shutters would have failed in the eye wall of this storm. In the next few months i upgraded my shutter's anchor bolts to Red Devil expansion bolts long enough to go inside my concrete blocks.

    I eventually built a 3/4 inch plywood "Storm Door" that fit snugly behind the front door of my Kendall house. It was held in place by eight to ten long sliding brass bolts that locked into place into holes that i drilled into the concrete around the door frame. I also want to mention that Blue Tap Con concrete screws were not available in any quantity or simply did not exist before Hurricane Andrew, so people installing plywood shutters in haste were forced to use normal nails or so called cement nails. I doubt any of these survived in the eye wall, since i did not see any plywood remaining on windows or businesses. BTW the wind speed of Hurricane Andrew is unknown, since no wind speed instruments survived near the center of this storm. The storm surge at the historic Deering Estate on Biscayne Bay was measured to be 16 feet.

    i now live a bit closer to the bay (5 miles) in the East Redland's and do not feel this newer house would stand up to a Cat 5 storm like Andrew despite the fact that i have approved and permitted accordion shutters and special hurricane braces for the inside of my two car garage door. I feel the weak point of this larger house is the roof with a hip and valley design. A plain hip roof without a cupola would be much stronger IMO. i also feel clay barrel tiles should be illegal in hurricane prone areas, since i have witnessed first hand that they only stay affixed to roofs in category one storms or less in strength.
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 137 Deckhand
    I also saw houses where lead anchor bolts that secured hurricane shutters had failed completely and left large gaping holes in the wall around every blown out window. I then realized my plywood hurricane shutters would have failed in the eye wall of this storm. In the next few months i upgraded my shutter's anchor bolts to Red Devil expansion bolts long enough to go inside my concrete blocks.

    Was there too...152nd st 72ct. I rode it out a bit farther north. Was a difference 10 miles makes. Our home was hit by the hurricane, a tornado, and flooded. About 3-4 miles from the Deering Estates. Crazy stuff happened...regardless regarding the above are you referring to these types of anchor bolts?

    And replaced it with these?

    If not what was replaced with what? I have the ones up top about every 12 - 16 " apart with sidewalk bolts that secure hurricane fabric.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 486 Deckhand
    To answer your question from the previous post, our village was hit pretty hard. Our elevation is 13'8" and we are not in the flood zone, but the surge did crush all the lower units on the oceanfront. A few units were destroyed, a few were left badly damaged, and a few made it through with no visible damage. At least 30 power poles came down and have to be replaced before power can be restored to those units. Winds were clocked at 99 knots at Molasses Reef Station, thus I would believe all in all we did better than can be expected. I installed 1/4" stainless cable (Sailorman-Laud.) sailboat rigging as tie downs and credit that for keeping our driveway roof on. We inherited accordian shutters which kept the interior sealed. Our damage came from other houses on the beach coming apart and striking our roof. There were three gashes in our roof which we closed up Tuesday when we got there to take a look. A neighbor had a 2x4 go through his back wall. One of the hits to our carport roof was hard enough to bend a 3x4 section down at least 2'. All in all the tie downs and shutters spared us from what could have been much more serious interior damage. As to the bait freezer, I filled it to the top, duct taped it and strapped it down. Everything seems to have refrozen and I will just start chipping away as I need it. There was no odor, so I would think it stayed frozen for some time. I left some ice blocks in my food freezer which my neighbor said were still frozen a week later. Like I said, we were going to remodel anyway, so now it's sooner than later due to mold in the house because of the roof leaking. If anyone has a good roofer - contractor for Key Largo please let me know.
  • robert cibranrobert cibran Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    Try Bob Hilson Roofing, he mine about 7 years ago in my Key Largo Home, I believe the old man still lives in Key Largo, they are out of Homestead.
  • firemedic1560firemedic1560 Posts: 138 Officer
    Jax wrote: »
    You need to replace the screws for the tracks. They're called side walk bolts, with Phillips heads. They have big heads, about 3/4" and they have tapered edges. They're made for side walks and don't cause a tripping hazard. Put them back in the holes after you remove the tracks and no dirt will fill up the holes. The special tool for the slotted heads doesn't work a ****.

    I use a food grade light grease on my bolts. It keeps them from corroding and makes them easier to adjust as needed. Some could argue that this may reduce the holding power of the bolts a bit, but in my opinion, the reduced friction during install is worth it. I wouldn't use the grease on a hole that was going to be left empty as it would cause the hole to fill with dirt etc.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    Jax wrote: »
    You need to replace the screws for the tracks. They're called side walk bolts, with Phillips heads. They have big heads, about 3/4" and they have tapered edges. They're made for side walks and don't cause a tripping hazard..

    99.99% sure that's what we have.......
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    Al Bundy wrote: »
    What didn't work? Got up at 5am on friday and packed the wife and small kids up to leave Ft. Lauderdale (because that was where the eye was going) and driving to a friends house in Sarasota.

    Haha! As soon as the Evac order was given based on the forecast that it was sure to make a hard right turn north and so right up the beach of eastern Florida, I told Jenn, 'Look for a place in Naples or Marco so that we won't have far to come back!" :willynilly

    Thank goodness everywhere in Florida from Tallahasse to south Georgia was booked!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    I use a food grade light grease on my bolts. It keeps them from corroding and makes them easier to adjust as needed.

    Great idea! You need to come down for a 'Grease Gary's Shutter Bolts' party!

    When I pulled the bolts out from the front door track, I had Jenn give each hole a blast from the power blower that she was using to blow all the seaweed away from the front of the house! The bolts went in much easier....

    I went through Andrew at SW 120 st and just west of 87th ave...... just north of the Falls. House was a short, one-story built in 1958, with a flat-ish, gravel roof and no shutters. We had to YELL at each other, huddled up in the hall way, hearing 'things' hitting the block walls. Wild air pressure made our ears pop. I recall that the NWS main office was across from U of M on US 1 in the Gable. The wind meter showed a max of 212 mph......... right before it ripped off the top of the 6 story building! :hairraiser

    This was the first time that I ever Evacuated. I was against it as I knew the little Laud house would be okay. But the Governor said that because we were a few blocks to the east of US 1 that we should go. Happy Wife = Happy Life so off we went and that was probably the best of all the things that we did!

    I was bitter-sweet in that nice, 10th floor condo right on the beach in Panama City! We watched TV 12 hours a day while it was all going on..... feeling bad for our friends....... wondering how the KL house was faring..... yet being cool, enjoying some great food, great sunsets with wonderful Docktails each evening, sleeping with the sliders open to hear the waves below...... totally stress free.

    And the condo Management gave us a great deal on the room since we were Evacuees! I will never hesitate to hit the road again if it's a Cat 2 or above coming......
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,105 Officer
    To jbdba01:

    Yes, the lead anchor bolts that secured my 3/4 inch plywood shutters during Andrew were similar to the one you pictured. These lead anchor bolts did no go into the concrete block, so all that was securing them was the stucco on the exterior of the house. The second photo you posted looks like an expansion bolt. I used the Red Devil brand and made sure they were long enough to go completely into the concrete block and leave enough of a stud protruding, so I could to hang the heavy plywood shutters without any assistance. I left the lead anchors in place, but installed enough expansion bolts that made the lead anchors only useful to keep the board from warping after they were saturated from rain. (i would not remove the plywood until they were bone dry). I sold that house 15 years ago, but the new owner is still using my original plywood shutters. (I used exterior plywood and treated them with Wood Life).
  • Ron@.38 SpecialRon@.38 Special Posts: 6,702 Admiral
    I didn't mess around with this storm. I even put shutters on my hurricane rated doors. Lucky, we didn't have that bad of a ride up here in Deerfield Beach. Heck didn't even loose power.

    But none are to be take lightly. During Andrew, when my house was just one year old up here, I had the upper floor flex and dry wall screw popped thru the drywall on the wall facing the wind.

    We had an offshore project working on the Boca Outfall at the time of Andrew and when we came back on site I could not believe the things that moved on the bottom. There was a large pile of jetty stone over the pipeline we were working on and after the storm, not one rock was found, they all moved somewhere unknown. The ocean can be a powerful thing in a storm.

    During Irma, we did have a 140' barge under charter and moved it to the marine by the Marine Stadium and spudde it down with two 50' long and 20,000lb spuds. Even with that, the barge swung 180 degrees toward the shoreline. Lucky, no damage.
  • spear40spear40 Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Tile roofs stayed on no problem during Andrew and I was about 3-4 miles from the eye. We did not loose one tile off the roof and my family has been in the house since 1956. The reason back in 1992 some tiles failed was that they used mortar to adhere the tiles to the roof. If you do not mix the mortar correctly you have roof tiles flying (how one person mixes it will be slightly different from the other). With the new foam method it is consistent so you no longer have that issue. If you go to Entegra roof tiles they show you the different roof tiles and what they will stand up to with new foam system using the large paddy system. The foam is expensive....poor roofing contractor companies will try and save money by using less foam thus not meetIng the large paddy system. The old style flat Bermuda tile (like we have) from memory is good up to somewhere around 233 mph winds, low profile S tile is around 202 mph, and regular S tile, which is most of what you see, only 158 mph. Shingles are not rated very high. If you have a hip roof (the best), without a high profile slope and tile you have one of the better roofs. The weight of the tile helps to hold the roof down as that roof breathes. The older houses like we have, many had 2x6”/2x8”s/2x10”s for roof trusses on 16” centers made of Douglas fir with tongue and groove boards on top, no pine 2x4”s on 20” centers with plywood like today. The old style construction makes a big difference.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,105 Officer
    When Katrina came across Fla in Aug, 2005, many of the one year old 3000 Sq ft. houses in the East Redland's had their clay tiles messed up. The tiles did not go airborne, but scores of them came loose on many roofs. Mine stayed intact. I don't know the official classification of these tiles, but according to the post above they sound like they are "S" tiles. Most of the damage seemed to occur when just one tile at the edge of a roof came loose then the wind was able to get under a lot more and the damage would cascade up the roof.

    Katrina was only a Cat 1 when it crossed Fla from east to west. (All of these houses have hip roofs with a cupola above the front entrance)
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 2,796 Captain
    everything worked for me xcept my tble was was not hi enuf
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    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
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  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,699 Captain
    Best thing we did was get the boats out of the water. The little boat rode it out in the carport and the big one inside at Harbor Towne. Both were fine.

    Moving EVERYTHING inside the house kept damage to a minimum.

    Biggest mistake? Loving trees. We have a lot of landscaping and large trees. The vast majority of our damage was caused by trees falling and/or breaking and hitting structure. I love my landscaping, but I'm starting to think pea rock and ground cover is the way to go.

    Interesting regarding ceiling fans. Not a one of them was damaged . That includes one in Broward that was facing the brunt of the wind and gusts for 12+ hours. Gary I'm wondering if you didn't get some type of micro burst or tornado at your house?
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,105 Officer
    In Hurricane Andrew my girlfriend's ceiling fans INSIDE her house lost their blades and the some of the fan motors were pulled out of the ceiling.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 2,796 Captain
    removing boat from keys
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    Somebody clocked the max wind gust in Key Largo at 130mph and I'm guessing that as Irma moved north, that when the winds swung around from the W-SW-S that the damage to the back (facing due south) of the house happened.

    We will research the fans next time down. If the still work, all we'll need are new blades.

    My GC and friend, Eric Ensign had his boys come over this past weekend to give the entire house a pressure cleaning...... just as they did before painting everything months ago. I had 90% of the shutters still closed to I told Eric to have the guys pressure clean the shutters, then open them and do the windows, frames, etc.

    In order for repairs:

    1) Replace the bent shutters.
    2) Repair the scratched new decking material from the shutters.
    3) Replace/rebuild the fish cleaning station and table.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    Gary M wrote: »
    This was the first time that I ever Evacuated.......so off we went and that was probably the best of all the things that we did!

    Because we had been paying attention to the Evac that was going on, we knew that getting gas would be critical. We had two choices for vehicles. 1) My Hyundai CUV that holds a lot of gear and gets about 25mpg, or 2) Jenn's much smaller Hybrid that gets 43mpg!

    I had some good quality gas cans that I had filled a day earlier so we opted for the Hybrid, knowing that gave us about a 700-750 mile range with using the 'long range tanks'.

    Shoved off from Laud at 0330 Friday, topped off at Ft Pierce before getting on the T-Pike. Exited at SR 60 near Vero and drove the pleasant and empty back roads coming in under Lakeland where we had a nice lunch.

    The Game Plan was to stay OFF I-75 and I-10 and with our booking in Panama City Beach, I hoped that the smaller roads would be less crowded. Wrong! Right before we shoved off, Gov Scott told everyone along the west coast to run for the hills as well and we got caught right in the middle of that exodus! Bumper-to-bumper for 10-20 miles at a time!

    Small gas stations were not only full with looong lines, but they had no gas. We stopped at one to find people sitting at the pumps, with no clue when they'd get gas. No clue.

    The line for the Rest Room was 50 feet long. Being dark, I found my own rest room off in a lonely corner near a side road. That's when I told Jenn, 'This is like the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Everyone running and no gas to be found."

    With her tank showing about 100 miles before 'Empty' at about 11pm, I saw up ahead a gas station that had two cop cars out if front with lights on and the cops standing outside. "Pull in behind this cop car and pull around to the right near that fence. I'll be a bit in the dark as I top off the car with our two gas cans", I told Jenn. I did not want to look 'obvious'....... The guy with the Jeep Cherokee right next to me was doing the same thing. No doubt we could have sold those cans for $100 a piece.......

    We stopped at another well lit gas station for a potty break and some food and coffee. A nice man walked up to the car. "Here's the situation. There is no gas here but the store is open. Rumor has it that a tanker truck will be here in 3-4 hours. Just so that you know...." It was near midnight.

    Dinner that night was stale coffee, a bag of Doritos and a small roll of donuts. I was grateful.

    We stopped at Perry, Florida at 0130 and went into an open Wal Mart so that Jenn could get some eye drops. The parking lot was jammed with RVs of all sizes. It was eery and I kept my head on a swivel in the parking lot.......

    I nearly hit a big deer on lonely (Hwy 20) south of Tallahassee. I was like driving down a pitch black tunnel. I now have seen a 'deer in the headlights'. Missed him by a foot..... maybe less.

    Getting into the outskirts of PC Beach, we saw an open gas station. We pulled in, topped off the car and the cans......

    At 0330 Sat morning we arrived at the huge condo building. Twenty-fours after we left the Laud house. We had seen and experienced things that we could have never imagined in our lives. "What's going to happen to all those folks with no gas if they have nowhere to hide when Irma is on top of them?", I asked?

    Next time, I'll prepare a lot earlier and if I feel that I want to Evac, I'll do it at least a day earlier........
  • wahoo1wahoo1 Posts: 87 Greenhorn
    We rode the storm out in Naples and were as prepared as possible for the storm and and after the storm. Some things that I don't normally do when we have storms coming that I did this time were:

    1. Filled 4 large coolers with ice. I had access to a big ice machine at work which made it easy. I was able to give ice away to people for up to a week who needed it. I also filled several large ziplock bags with ice and froze them in blocks in my freezers. This kept all kinds of things cold which was great. We had a boil water notice for almost two weeks after the storm which meant no ice unless you boiled the water first and then froze it. It was certainly a creature comfort but was very nice to have on the 8th day with no power.

    2. Borrowed a portable ac unit to hook to the generator. This was a huge plus being it was 90 degrees in the house for days after the storm. Kids slept with us on air mattresses in our bedroom and we ran the ac unit at night.

    3. Took all my food in my fridge and put it in a cooler and then put the cooler inside the refrigerator with big time ice packs in it. We rode the storm out at my brother's place and I didn't know how long it would take for me to get back to my house after the storm. I had a generator so I knew I could fire the refrigerators up when I get back to the house but I didn't know how long they would be without power until I got to them and was worried about losing all the food. Putting the food in the smaller space with big time ice packs saved everything. Food would have spoiled if I hadn't done that.

    4. Put braces on my fence gates. I screwed pieces of 2x6's to each side of the gates of my wooden fence. I have no doubt this saved the gates as the latches would of never held with the 100mph winds.

    5. Filled my boat with gas so I could siphon it out if needed for the car or the generators. I had 35 gallons of fuel in cans and both cars were full. Gas became a serious concern about day 4 after the storm, the generator had used all the fuel and both my house and neighbors needed more gas for the generators. Next time I'll have four or five more cans full. Gas was a serious problem down here the week after the storm, If we would of gotten a bigger storm gas would of been critical for at least two weeks after the storm. People were waiting up to 4 hours at the pumps for gas 5 days after the storm.

    6. Filled two large drinking coolers with good water from my refrigerator filter. Because we had the boil water notice we needed that water to make coffee, drink during the day etc... Kept us from drinking all the water bottles too fast.

    Things I would of done differently:

    1. Put sandbags in front of my garage. We didn't flood but because of the driving horizontal rain I had a bunch of rain come under the garage door.

    2. Bought an extra propane tank for the grill. Ours ran out after the 5th day. Fortunately we got power back quickly.

    All in all we were very fortunate. We had minor house damage but major tree damage. It was really nice to see my entire neighborhood outside helping each other pull trees out of living rooms, pools, driveways etc... Naples got hit pretty hard but it definitely could of been worse. My heart and prayers go out to the folks in Immokalee, Everglades City, and Big Pine/Marathon.
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 430 Deckhand
    If I ever evacuate again, it will be with ten 5-gallon gas cans in the bed of the truck, and the tent and air mattress just in case.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    Great stuff guys, thanks.
  • gtpvettegtpvette Posts: 181 Officer
    We're at 103 bayside in a 2 year old home. We rented a warehouse in Fl City for a month to store 2 non-running hot rods, a skiff and my car,, just in case the water rise was too much. Plan was to take the wife's truck pull the big boat and head off. When pulling the boat the trans blew. Keep in mind this is a 2013 truck so not that old. We decided to stay. House was fine,, outdoor fans not so much LOL. Also, it was a ton of work to move everything in my shop downstairs upstairs,, then back down. Granted we have an elevator but what a PITA. Again wasn't worth taking the chance of everything getting soaked in saltwater not to mention a couple of motors and transmissions becoming worthless. We didn't have a generator for after. That's been fixed as well as a small window AC that we can run. The 2nd, 3rd night was horrible with no air!!! Got two small inverter generators that will run a few lights, window AC and one refrig.


  • mikeloewmikeloew Posts: 303 Deckhand
    One thing I did learn, (small thing) I wish I would have taped all my door locks with zip lock bags. I had a hell of a time getting in any of my 3 locks. The salt water did not get that high but the wind driven salt did. I sprayed all of them and was able to get in a half hour later after really working at it.
    Marathon vacation home for rent

  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 742 Officer
    I learned hurricane prep after going through Hugo in Charleston. I was told one simple rule. If something is more than 1 square foot secure it or remove it.
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 693 Officer
    Gary M wrote: »
    Great stuff guys, thanks.

    X2! This thread has been great for covering all the stuff that isn't normally written about, but happens in the real world.
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 8,843 Admiral
    Gary the other mistake you made was not letting me know you were up here in Panama City. Would have shown you around. Had a cocktail or two.
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,052 AG
    That would have been a blast! We really enjoyed Schooner's on the beach, we had a nice Brunch at The Grand Marlin and had a fairly good dinner at Capt Anderson's. We even did a Day Trip to Pensacola for a nice lunch on the water before visiting the amazing US Naval Air Museum there!

    With regards to the 'cost' to Evac and in our case booking a wonderful 2/2 condo on the 10th floor looking down on PC Beach, when looking online, that was the first place that we could find that was not booked full. Tallahassee, Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City and up into southern Georgia had no openings. We also did not want to get any farther from home than possible, yet to be out of the path.

    It was more $$ than a Motel 6, but that was offset in that we were able to make most of our meals in the condo. Add the price of 4-6 meals a day to a Motel 6 and it's easy to see that we actually lucked out. We had our own washer/dryer too as we obviously did not pack for 6-7-8 days..... When we mentioned that we were Evacuees, the condo folks lowered the cost even more. Don't hesitate to ask if you do Evac.

    So, if we do Evac ever again, we'll try to book some sort of unit that has at least a kitchenette.......

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