Tag Archives: hurricane preparedness

Another Dylan Winter Video

It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything nautical here. I get caught up so easily in the music I love. It’s appropriate that I go back to Dylan Winter and his trip around England in a 19′ sailboat.  Here he is taking off for another leg of his trip early on what looks to be a chilly morning. Getting underway is always one of the delightful parts of boating. Cutting loose from the land. Getting the boat back into its natural element and original purpose. The anticipation of the adventures to come, and those adventures don’t have to be high winds and heavy seas.  Adventure can come simply and quietly exploring quiet secluded gunkholes and those moments are often the most memorable.

You might notice that as he’s departing the port he’s leaving the red markers to starboard. The Brits don’t use the “red right returning” rule of the U.S. but then again those buggers drive on the wrong side of the road, too.

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Dodged Storms This Time

Well, it looks like we dodged Ana and Bill.

Ana looks as though she’s going well south of us:


And Bill is curving to the north which means there’s the possibility it might bother North Carolina yet and projected to be a Category 3 Hurricane with sustained winds of 111-130 mph it could be serious.


These storms can pop up overnight. Tropical Storm Claudette wasn’t on the screen when I posted yesterday but there it is now. All these storms lose intensity quickly when they hit land and while Claudette won’t cause much wind damage, it is dragging a lot of rain along with it, so look for stories of flooding in the next few days on the t.v.



While south Florida avoided Ana, it will slide into the Gulf of Mexico and with the warm waters there, which feed the storms there’s a good possibility it will grow into a hurricane before slamming into the coast somewhere and kicking some serious ass.

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Sometimes Life Sucks

Not only am I having trouble selling my Boston Whaler, now, this Saturday afternoon, there are two tropical storms headed towards south Florida: Ana and Bill.

Ana’s projected path looks like this:


I live just above the T in Thursday. What this picture shows, to those of you who have never had the privilege of dealing with these things, is that the dark green circle with tits represent the center of the storm. The larger green circle represents the area where the center of the storm could be at the times shown. The strength of the storm’s winds diminishes the further away from the center but those green circles are pretty good at determining where you can expect to get a lot of rain. The picture above is a guess drawn from computer models that are shown in drawings like this one:

Ana model 1

Each of those lines are guesses to where the center of the storm might be as time progresses. As you can see right now the computer guesses show the eye of the storm passing well south of us, but, like reports of traffic on the Interstate during rush hour, it’s subject to change at any moment. One thing for sure is that when a storm tracks south of the Florida peninsula it enters the Gulf of Mexico and someone is going to get creamed for certain.

Bill looks like this right now:


The change in color of the dark ball with tits represents the current guess as to what the strength of the storm is expected to be. As you can see it changes from green (37 to 73 mph) tropical storm force winds to yellow (74-95 mph) on Wednesday which is a Category 1 Hurricane and to Orange (96 to 110 mph) or Category 2 on Thursday.

Bill’s computer model at this time looks like this:

Bill model

So while Bill seems to possibly be the more threatening storm at this moment most of the models show a strong possibility of it swinging northward except for that pesky white line.

My friends are hoping that one of the storms hits us since storms mean damage and damage = repair work and the state of the construction industry has really been in the dumper for the last year and a half and headed nowhere.

The panic at the stores hasn’t hit yet. That’s when people decide at the last minute to buy hurricane supplies. My roommate and I are in pretty good shape. We already have a pantry full of food. We would have to lay in some bottled water and top off a couple of gas cans for the car and the generator. A tropical storm can have the electricity shut off for a day or two. After Hurricane Wilma we didn’t have electricity here at the house for almost a week, and the water was off for two days. But with the generator we don’t have to worry. We’ll have refrigeration, television and fans. There won’t be any air conditioning and the stove is electric. However prior to Wilma I bought a two-burner RV stove that connects to a 20 lb propane bottle so we’ll be able to have hot meals.

People rarely think about their water supply for anything other than drinking and cooking.  Growing up on Cape Cod where winter Nor’easters and the occasional hurricane would shut the electricity off regularly one precaution my mom would take was to fill the bathtub to the brim. Back then we didn’t have Town Water. Every home had its own well and when the electricity went out so did the water supply. Once the water supply is cut off you only get to flush the toilet ONCE! Then what are you going to do? That’s where the bathtub full of water comes in. You also have to wash up after cooking and since it’s hot here you also need to take a shower.

We have two solar showers like this:

preparednesscenter_2064_77677223You fill it with water and lay it out in the sun. In a couple of hours the water is extremely hot, but at least you’re not taking sponge baths or using up propane to heat water to wash yourself with.

That’s how it stands at the moment. I’ll keep you posted.

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SomeTips for Hurricane Preparedness

In one month another hurricane season will be upon us. Since Katrina and Wilma there are thousands of new residents here in Florida and along the Gulf Coast who have never had to deal with a storm that their worst nightmares never prepared them for. I have spent most of my life living in hurricane target areas; Cape Cod, south Florida and Louisiana and have learned a few things in 66 years. Here are a few tips for those new to hurricane preparedness and reminders to those who have but weren’t paying attention the last time.

1) You don’t want to do your emergency shopping the day before the storm hits. The Publix, Winn Dixie and Wal Mart Super Stores, Sam’s Club and Costco are going to be a veritable ZOO. Stock up early! It’s truly simple to do. At the start of each hurricane season every time you go to the store buy a little extra. If you usually buy two cans of tuna, buy three and put one away in a closet separate from your pantry so you won’t be tempted to use it in your every day cooking. Pick up other canned goods, Spam, pork and beans, ravioli, spaghetti sauce, Ramen noodles. Stuff you can just put in a pan and heat up. Just a couple of items every time you shop and in a few weeks you’ll have a couple of weeks worth of food in reserve. But the important thing is KEEP IT AWAY FROM YOUR USUAL SUPPLY.

2) Buy a large package of batteries AA, C, whatever your flashlights and portable radios use and keep it with your food supply. Stock up on paper plates to eat off of because the water is going to be off for a couple of days at least and you aren’t going to be able to wash your regular dishes.

3) Buy one of those flashlights that you can charge up with a crank on the side. You can pick one up for about $10. They even make flashlights that  charge up by solar power. And they aren’t expensive, either.

4) Have a portable radio so you can listen to the news. The one I have, since before Wilma, run between $35 to $50. Cranking them up is a bit of a pain but they really work and mine also works off a couple of AA batteries that I have stored away. It has AM/FM and NOAA weather stations.

5) DON’T BUY CANDLES!!! You’re going to be miserable enough when the lights and water go out, and sometimes for weeks at a time. Think how miserable you’re going to be if your home burns down because a candle set it on fire.

6) Store up some drinking water the same way you stored up food. You need a half a gallon per person per day to drink and to prepare some foods, like the Ramen noodles and spaghetti you’re going to put that sauce on that’s sitting in your emergency supply.

7) If you can afford to right now, get a camp stove that runs on gas. I’ve had a two burner stove that I bought at an RV supply store years ago, again before Wilma. It runs off the same gas tank that powers the grill on the patio. And don’t think you’re going to do all your cooking for a week or so off that patio grill, either. Especially if it doesn’t have a couple of auxiliary burners.

8) DON’T USE A CHARCOAL GRILL INDOORS. The carbon monoxide will kill you!

9) Want’s to take a hot shower when there’s no electricity to run the water heater? Go to a marine supply store or a place like Bass Pro and get a “solar shower.” It’s a heavy-duty plastic bag, one side is black and the other is clear. Fill it up, lay it out in the sun for a couple of hours and I guarantee it will be hot enought to scald you.

10) Here’s one people almost never think of…make sure that the plug on your bathtub is REALLY WATER TIGHT AND WON’T LEAK!!!  When the storm is about to hit fill your tub to the top. You’re not going to drink this stuff, but when the water goes off like the electricity, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FLUSH YOUR TOILET? After the water goes off you get ONE FREE FLUSH AND THAT’S IT!!!  With the water in the tub you take a bucket and pour a gallon or so into the bowl and voila, you’re done. And for heaven’s sake don’t flush it if you’ve just used the toilet to take a whizz. That’s a waste of water, and you ladies, it’s only a couple of drops on the toilet paper when you wipe so throw it in a trash bag and not in the toilet bowl. That bathtub water is for getting rid of the really nasty stuff. You can also use the bath tub water to wash your dishes.

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