Hurricane Resources

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This will be updated from time to time, but its info I've gathered over time and deem generally useful.

Useful links

FEMA Floodplane map: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search#
NOAA Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
General wattage for home appliances (for generator scaling): https://www.lowes.com/projects/pdfs/portable-generator-wattage-chart.pdf
Explanation of spaghetti charts (and why they say not to use them): https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/please-please-stop-sharing-spaghetti-plots-of-hurricane-models/
Florida emergency management: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp
Storm surge simulator map: https://ss2.climatecentral.org

Important notes

Very Important notes:

  • DO NOT run combustion devices (engines, generators, gas stoves) indoors. Gas stoves can be used indoors but make sure to have good ventalation.
  • Make sure to keep any burning candles/hurricane lamps/ect on non-burnable stable surfaces and to extinguish when not in the room with them.
  • Make sure to have a medical kit with bandages/first aid because emergency services will be swamped, try to take care of yourself as best you can and do not call for non-emergency.

Some Common Sense, but trying to cover what I can think of

  • Generators:
    • My (and probably most) generators need to have their oil changed every 20 hours of running
    • My generator takes normal 30W oil (I live in Florida, doesn't get cold), yours probably does too, go get it at a car parts place (and a funnel for filling and a pan for draining)
    • Test the generator *before* the storm
    • Have enough electrical cable to run to appliances
    • Do note that most generators are 'modified' sine wave (square wave), and may damage things like AC motors (they may overheat so dont run them for long) and may damage medical equiptment such as cpap machines. If you need cpap or other medical devices best to get a inverter generator if you can but they are much more expensive.
  • Power:
    • Having some usb batteries is invaluable to charge your phone and other usb devices
    • To charge your devices when stored (battery) power is dead, generally there are 3 options: Solar (backpacking or larger, only when sunny - think a solar panel with charge controller and battery, or fold-up usb solar panel), Generator (duh), and car (very portable generator)
  • Water:
    • Fill all tubs with water (maybe a bit of bleach) and have a bucket: for Flushing toilets, cleaning yourself, general non-drinking water usage (can drink in a pinch if the tub is super clean and you added a small bit of bleach to keep it sanitary)
    • Have potable water off to the side, believe the rule of thumb (especially for working hard outside after the storm) is 1US Gallon per person per day
    • Have a way to filter water - Iodine tablets, neckerchief (for getting material outta water, not for 'cleaning'), backpacking water filter. Note that non-flowing ground water is usually not ok to drink and is tainted with chemicals from yards and sewage
  • Food:
    • I've seen notes about keeping enough food for 3 days, you should probably have enough for a week or two (what you would normally buy for a week or two but try to go for canned (doesnt go bad, can cook in can or just eat cause its precooked if it comes down to it)
  • Shelter:
    • If in direct path of a 4/5 storm, best to leave
    • If in direct path of 3 storm, assess your situation, is your property covered in trees, in a flood plane, may wanna leave
    • If non-direct 1-5 - have supplies and button down stuff just in case, flooding and outages happens way out away from the direct cone
    • Tape on windows does nothing so sayeth the internet. That said putting gaffe tape on your window (exepcially french style) may help if the window breaks to keep many pieces together.
    • Plywood on windows is better then nothing, but having storm shutters (steel/aluminum) is the best but is a forethought item.
    • If weathering the storm, stay away from windows, unplug electronics to keep from getting hit from lightning
  • People:
    • Always give the elderly and children the best of care, as much water/shelter as they need, give them the most comfortable place to sleep, ect.
    • If some people (especially sick or elderly) are in dire need of air conditioning, seek a shelter or if not possible, use a car, not the most awesome thing to use but it provides both power and air conditioning.