Hurricane Preparedness–Floridian Style, by R.L.

Florida. The name conjures images to people from around the globe. Sure, most people imagine the beautiful beaches, Disney, NASA, the Daytona 500 and others, but one cannot think of the State of Florida and not think hurricanes. Hurricanes are not concerns for Florida residents only, no way, as we have witnessed many of the most destructive hurricanes in the United States impacting states such as Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, Texas, even New York State! The reality is that a major hurricane (Category 3 or above) is going to wreak havoc and devastation anywhere the storm impacts. This article is not about the destructiveness of hurricanes or a plan for surviving a major hurricane, instead, I’d like to shed some light on the unique challenges that major hurricanes pose to residents of the State of Florida.

I am a Floridian, born and raised. I’ve lived my entire life residing in this state. I grew up near Cocoa Beach, have lived in Tallahassee and currently reside in Jacksonville. I have been an active participant in most every hurricane since my birth in 1979. During that time I have hunkered down for storms, evacuated for storms, witnessed the destruction of homes, roofs, windows and trees due to hurricanes. I have lived without electricity for days and weeks, and unfortunately witnessed friends and neighbors who have suffered complete losses due to hurricanes. There is no other way to put it….hurricanes are horrible. They destroy, kill and devastate. And yet, with God’s grace, we overcome. Along the way, I have learned a few lessons that I would like to share.

In case you were unaware, the State of Florida is at the extreme southeastern portion of America. In reality the state is a giant peninsula. Florida is surrounded by water on three sides with over 1,300 miles of coastline. The waters of the Southern Atlantic, Straights of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico are warm year round and are perfect breeding grounds for storms to strengthen from Tropical Storm to major hurricane overnight. In addition, unlike other states that hurricanes impact, due to the peninsular shape of Florida, evacuation routes are limited to just two Interstate highways and a handful of State Highways and local routes. Florida also boasts a population of nearly 22 million people, the majority of which reside on the peninsular portion of land mass. In other words, when evacuations are ordered, gridlock ensues.

The population grows every year in the state with many new residents who have no clue when it comes to hurricane preparedness and evacuation. State and local officials do a fantastic job of making sure that residents receive the information needed with regards to storm shelters, flood zones, items to prepare and evacuation routes, but unfortunately the implementation from residents come too late in my opinion. So what to do?

By The Numbers

First. Be aware of the storm. Does this sound ridiculous? Of course it does. I am not ashamed to admit that I faced this dilemma in 2001. While attending college in Tallahassee, my wife and I were typical poor college kids. Needless to say, we did not own a television or follow local radio reports. Tropical Storm Barry was moving into the Panhandle from the warm waters of The Gulf of Mexico towards Tallahassee unbeknownst to us. What resulted was record rainfall with flash flooding while both of us were away from home that evening. The entire city was caught off guard. Electricity was lost, cell towers were offline, streets flooded, disabled vehicles clogged local roads, there were even a few deaths from drowning. Both my wife and I lost our cars due to rapidly rising waters. Point is, Be aware of the storm!

Second. For a major hurricane, have a evacuation destination out of the State. I cannot stress this enough. Get out of Florida! I have witnessed people evacuate the East Coast and head to the West Coast, and vice-versa, only to get caught in a rapid shifting hurricane! They would have been better off staying put, instead they are holed up in a hotel, out of power, no preps, in the middle of a hurricane. Never make the mistake of assuming that the hurricane will not affect another portion of the State. Florida is around 160 miles wide for the central peninsular portion of the State. Hurricanes are generally 300 miles wide. When hurricanes make landfall, on either coast, you will be impacted if you are in the peninsular portion, guaranteed. If you are in the panhandle portion of the state, there is a better chance of missing the direct impact of a hurricane. But with the elusiveness of the hurricane’s track, I would evacuate if I were within 150 miles of a Category 3 or larger storm. The goal is to put as many miles between you and the point of impact. Panhandle evacuations are oftentimes no safer if you head North into neighboring Alabama or Georgia. The hurricane will chase you. You may need to adjust your destination East or West away from the storm’s path.

Third. Evacuate early. How early? If you reside in the southern portion of the state or the Florida Keys, no less than 4-5 days before landfall, the central portion 3-4 days and the northern portion 2-3 days. Again, this is before anticipated landfall. You may be asking yourself, “Why so early?” Prior to landfall, all traffic in Florida will increase. Residents will be driving around attempting to purchase preparations for the storm. Shipping trucks, fuel trucks, National Guard and emergency vehicles will be pouring into the state with anticipation of the hurricane. Inside of 3 days to landfall, the unprepared will be frantic and driving erratically searching for water, plywood, bread and gas. Your best bet is to avoid these types at all cost. They will be panicked, short-tempered and ready to engage. By evacuating earlier you also will avoid the bumper to bumper gridlock of the highways. The Interstates and Highways will be clogged. This cannot be stated enough. I’ve had family members stuck in traffic for 8 hours, only to move 60 miles, because they delayed evacuation. In addition, another benefit of earlier evacuation is that you arrive safely at your destination with time to watch the hurricane’s path and plan a safe return. Hurricanes are very unpredictable and change paths fast. If the storm shifts in it’s path, you may be able to get an early start back toward home. Please be advised that after the storm passes, you will be limited to travel. Road closures, downed trees and flooding prohibit movement. This is especially true regarding barrier islands. Due to bridge closures, it’s likely that you cannot enter. One thing all evacuees have in common is the desire to return home ASAP. Proceed with caution.

Fourth. Preparations. Your reading Survival Blog, have your preps ready. The most important preparation you need is a destination that you are familiar with to evacuate. I have heard stories of people evacuating with no plan, only to end up in an undesirable part of town in a raunchy hourly-rate motel. When a hurricane is imminent and evacuation orders are given, expect lodging throughout Florida, and the nearer portions of Georgia, Alabama and even Mississippi to be full. In your hurricane preps, make absolutely sure that you have a safe destination for your family and pets. I am fortunate to have family in surrounding states, but if I didn’t, I would choose a safe location that I am familiar and have visited before.

If you decide to stay, expect the worst, prepare for the worst and pray for the best. The evacuation timeline applies here as well. I would be ready three days before landfall at a minimum! In addition to your long-term and storm preps, make sure you have everything you need days before the storm hits. Stores will be stripped bare of essentials, gas will dry up, ice will become critical and then impossible to find, propane refilling stations will have 30+ guys standing in line all day long. You can forget about purchasing a generator and cabling. People literally lose their mind with an approaching hurricane. If you do not have to be out among the un-prepared….don’t!

Fifth. Mindset. All the preparations you buy cannot substitute a proper mindset. Experiencing a hurricane is a uniquely singular event that can test even the most prepared individual. Tornados and other destructive weather events possess similarities, but none offer the combination of situations a hurricane presents. For example, with a hurricane, you have months to prepare, weeks of warning and days of all-out panic with the coming storm. It’s like the anticipation of Christmas morning as a child, except you lose everything rather than gain it! Schools and businesses are closing, the local media is running non-stop hurricane coverage and you have mission-critical decisions to make with regards to evacuations and timing, while your neighbors are losing their minds. A clear and focused mindset is critical to making these decisions. The ritual of watching the weather updates, witnessing the wrath of death and destruction during the storm’s approach is a psychological exercise that will test even the most stoic.

During this period, most people make the mistake of hasty and erratic decisions based on a haughty “I will escape this” attitude. This results in people to make critical mistakes that sometimes prove to be deadly once the storm hits. The loss of sanity and reason are the norm in the events leading up to landfall, and yet, sometimes all for naught. The storm may simply pass and impact our neighbors in the Carolinas or in Gulf States. Many a weatherman have been on location, preaching gloom and doom, anticipating the storm with live coverage, only to have the storm miss them completely.

What happens next is automatic. The non-prepared residents ridicule those who were prepared and or evacuated. The same people who less than 36 hours before were losing their collective minds, have now crowned themselves as the authority on all things hurricane related. Pay these people no mind. It is my opinion that they ridicule the prepared residents to justify their lack of foresight. By mocking the prepared, they falsely obtain redemption from the embarrassment, shame and fear they recently suffered due to lack of preparation. Hurricane fever is real. Don’t fall victim to this. Develop a strong mindset and you will weather the storm.


Florida presents unique challenges with regards to major hurricanes. Namely: It’s landmass and shape, the number of evacuations routes, and a population largely of retirees and non-natives with little to no experience of major hurricanes. If you have never experienced a major hurricane in Florida, then please keep these words in mind during the next approaching storm: Mindset is absolutely critical to your survival and safety. Be prepared, not scared.


  1. Sitting here in SWFL reading this as Sally is passing by(rain with a name),only thing I want to add is have plenty of gas cans.I have 15 5 gallon cans I’ve got over the years.only keep 2 full,but there are there when needed.Cans were harder to find than gas after Irma.

    1. With all of the hype on the news about hurricanes, blizzards, etc., that never come to pass, many folks choose to ignore the warnings, especially from the government, which has lied to the American public again and again, particularly concerning Covid 19.

      Sometimes I wonder if the meteorologist has a deal going with the supermarkets to boost sales……

  2. The entire article is absolutely correct. In today’s world, the internet is, in my opinion, the best source for up to date storm info: in particular National Hurricane Center ( and for local weather which includes radar. We lived thru, and came thru relatively unscathed, Hurricane Charlie while living in the Port Charlotte FL area. We had one of the few mobile homes that was not destroyed nor suffer significant damage. Now we live in a house, with a storm rated roof, covers for all windows, storm braced garage door and can quickly and easily secure all outdoor items within 2 hours. We are always prepped for at least 3 months, actually closer to 6 months. We are not worried about us and our home but have 6 new families on our street of 22 who have never been thru a hurricane and we worry about them not being prepared. We’ve even been asked by the new next door neighbor if they really have to take in potted plants because “they’re really heavy and shouldn’t blow around”. Hurricanes don’t usually last long, they pass on thru, but the damage can be extreme from winds, rains, and floods. As was stated – Mindset is everything – and that includes the mindset of being prepared

    1. Bellen!
      From your post: “We’ve even been asked by the new next door neighbor if they really have to take in potted plants because “they’re really heavy and shouldn’t blow around”. ”

      Seems like a crazy thing to say, and it is! The example you shared really does make the point that people do not understand the forces of nature, and the risks that come with those. Those of us who have seen the consequences of the forces of nature realize that safety must be the top priority, and preparedness is key.

    2. @ Bellen

      Many years ago I was camping/working at a campground when a hurricane was due. As I was helping evacuate the campground to a shelter I had campers ask me if they needed to take down their tents before they left or could they just leave them standing so they’d be able to just come back to them after the hurricane was over! 😉 Really.

  3. I am a 5th generation Floridian. Our family remembers the lessons learned from our experiences. It has been so long since a big storm has hit the state most people are clueless.
    The real problem with Fl is the excess population. In 1995 i was part of a group that crunched numbers for Florida DOT to help them establish a cat 5 hurricane evacuation plan. We concluded that we needed a minimum of 5 days to evacuate south Fl. Since 1995 the population of Fl has continued to explode.
    If a cat 5 ever makes direct landfall over Miami or West Palm the loss of life will be staggering. Many will die on gridlocked highways attempting escape.

    1. Jen Day… You make a great point about the problems of gridlock and last minute evacuations or escapes. In fact, this is a danger in many scenarios. For everyone committed to preparedness… Know your exit plan!

    2. Jen Day… for clarification, it has been a long time for some of the state… Michael was a Cat 5 when it came ashore about Panama City and Mexico Beach last year. The scars from that storm are still apparent even on the I10 corridor around Tallahassee. Let that be a lesson.

      And another point well made, A storm doesn’t have to be a direct hit to have dire consequences. Katrina was such a lesson there. It never really hit New Orleans, it was further East on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but the rain associated with it cause the levees to fail and well, the rest is history. The best tools in your tool box are to be informed and have a plan AND by all means, know when to execute it.

    1. Duane Donovan, I like the way you think. I was just talking about that subject with my folks, because my mom loves sunshine. (don’t we all) I added a few items: Don’t live where there are: hurricanes, sink holes, alligators, pythons, brain eating amoebas in the water, and frequent shark attacks at the beach. But that’s just me, lol.

      My choice of danger will be living in grizzly country, with mountain lions, black bears and rattle snakes. I am not making a joke when I say I will feel safer than continuing to live in Western Washington with liberals. Krissy

        1. ThoDan, You are correct. I was poking fun at myself that deadly things in Florida scare me more than deadly things out West. I didn’t say it was rational. smile. Krissy

      1. “Don’t live where there are: hurricanes, sink holes, alligators, pythons, brain eating amoebas in the water, and frequent shark attacks at the beach.”

        Ahhhh…home sweet home. You forgot: lovebugs, mosquitoes, daily lightning storms, and TOURISTS! lol

        You and I are just the opposite. Cold scares me. Mountain lions scare me. Tornadoes scare me (at least with hurricanes we get warning!). Nope, I’m not rational either! 😉

  4. Hurricane Andrew was a Cat 5 and there was not huge loss of life. The southern 3 counties have very strong building codes. Most of the damage from Andrew was in areas where there was a modern relaxation of that code. For example new inland developments were not concrete block because they had less flooding risk. They blew away. I live a mile from the coast and my family rode it out in the house. The only big change I have made is better window protection. Many homes were lost when sliding doors blew in and then the wind took the roofs off from the inside out.
    An old Civil Defense Ham operator a block over had a new tower with 6 month old recording wind meters. They were factory installed and calibrated. They lasted 20 minutes longer than the many Government transmitter sites along the coast. Those meters were destroyed at first landfall of the storm His data showed higher winds and became the official max wind speed.
    Evacuation of all South Florida is NOT an option. Evacuation from coastal storm surge is most important. I know several people though that had “Third Pig” houses and moved inland to newer “2nd Pig Houses”. Not Fun!
    If Andrew hit other Florida counties that have a lot of wood frame housing it will be devastating.
    Mindset: Live in the “Third Pigs” house!

  5. Thank you R.L. for the words of advice. I live on the opposite coast in Oregon but your advice applies to many catastrophic disasters. We are burning up with fires throughout our state that are destroying towns in their wake. Last minutes evacuation stories are More common than you think. You talk of mindset and I can’t agree more. Even the most prepared are sobered by these experiences and can learn and gather ideas on preparation strategies from articles such as yours. Mindset – be willing to critic your plans continually.

  6. I, too, am a lifelong resident of Florida. Kudos to RL for an excellent article. Had to laugh when I read the comment “the unprepared will ridicule the prepared“. We see the same pattern over and over again. But very few ever learn anything or change their behavior.

    You learn something about your neighbors when the storm approaches and the hurricane shutters come out. Those people likely have other preps set up as well. Those are the ones who can probably be relied on in bad times. Those are the people that I want to grow friendly with.

    1. Kenfr…
      From your post: “We see the same pattern over and over again.”

      This sounds a bit like the definition of insanity where one repeats the same behavior over and over anticipating a different result!

  7. Thank you, RL!

    Many good reminders and sound advice… I would expand on the conversation of “water danger” to include events beyond hurricanes. Even in relatively small amounts, water possesses powerful force — it doesn’t take as much as people might imagine to create very dangerous conditions.

    Also to expand on your conversation about weather awareness… Our weather will continue to change with the process of the magnetic reversal (and the current decline of our magnetic field), and with increasing sun spot activity in the current cycle. Remember to stay aware of SPACE WEATHER which will impact everything from hurricanes to electrical storms and tornadoes too.

    1. You are so right about water danger…that is number 1 item, more than wind many times. People die from trying to go through water and then be swept away. I have lived in FL for over 70 years and been through a lot of hurricanes. There are no such thing as “hurricane parties”…..When i went to school many years ago I had to paddle a boat to get to the highway then to the car. Prepare ahead, do not wait until the last minute. I guarantee many new people will lose their mind if they have not prepared. FL is now overloaded. We are moving soon out of state!
      1000 people are moving here PER DAY and most are not familiar with hurricanes.

      Seek knowledge and be prepared!

      1. Great points all, Hugh Gentry!

        …and thank you for sharing your personal experience too. What people imagine and what is real are not always unified in their minds. Many do no understand (and so underestimate) danger. as a result!

        Wishing you all the best and every success in your relocation when you decide to move from Florida!

  8. A little off topic, but this development may have implications for both Florida and Georgia… The news account came to my thinking because of the geographic proximity. There is no way to assess the intentions of the organizers (or their affiliations with other groups), but for the sake of conversation, we might stipulate that the land buyers are generally well-intentioned… Even in such a case, the results are likely to be riddled with adverse unintended consequences.

    Of course this stipulates (for the sake of conversation) that the organizers and land buyers are generally well-intentioned (and may be naive).

    1. I saw that! I was thinking much the same…I sure wish them well (isn’t that what we all want, after all? Safe areas for our families?), but am very concerned about unintended consequences and them getting taken advantage of and hijacked.

      1. Hello Bear!
        Reading your post… I was thinking about the risk of “hijacking”, and it really is true. All causes (and people associated with them) should be aware of the risk of this — and all are vulnerable. Perhaps this is because causes generally are often filled with energy and enthusiasm — they often have momentum, and that momentum can carry away both organizers and participants! They can be, as the expression goes, “carried away” or “swept up” (and may not spot the infiltration of bad actors). It’s easier to see it all when it’s happening to someone else, but maybe the most important reminder is that we must watchful for ourselves — pause, think and assess, proceed with caution, engage good common sense and sage wisdom, and do our level best to be sure that everything we do is for good.

  9. I moved to Florida about 2 years ago. Fortunately, I had had family who lived down here before and so took their advice on preparations to heart. But one thing I thought was funny was that some stores had to put up signs saying that Hurricane Supplies were not returnable. And then when I saw the shelves in the grocery stores being restocked, I commented to the employees that some of these people would not need to buy food for six months. They said no, they would return it and then buy again before the next hurricane. Strange way of looking at it from my point of view.

  10. The power of even a Cat 1 hurricane is not to be underestimated.

    Regarding Mindset, Hurricanes are unique in that with modern storm tracking, you have a few days of simply waiting to see if the storm is going to hit you or not. If you have your hurricane supplies together it doesn’t take that long to secure your home, so you have endless waiting for a day or two. People will snap.

    Make sure you reinforce your garage door, like sliding glass doors, that is the weak point for the wind to get inside and rip the roof off.

  11. SB community … to those who may live / have knowledge regarding fires in OR and CA… are the fires in areas that will have direct impact on the logging industry / building and trades… have the fires impacted milling and storage facilities… any information to be shared will be appreciated…TY

    1. I heard a Mill burned in Omak (N central WA)
      Life could get a bit challenging but there are still lots of trees that haven’t burned in Washington and Oregon. Although I’m hearing lumber prices are up anyway.

  12. SWFL resident here, near Port Charlotte. Currently waiting for the rain to stop from TS Sally.

    Somebody asked about a “Don’t live in a Hurricane Zone” plan. But, every place has issues, be it earthquakes, forest fires, cold/freezing temps, lack of water, etc.

    We chose a solid concrete block home, new roof, storm windows, above 15 feet elevation, on a freshwater canal brimming with fish, but still in an X flood zone, about 2 miles from the Gulf, in a neighborhood with large lots, and mostly conservative neighbors. There are a lot of seniors here, but mostly they have old fashioned manners and attitudes and while I’m not yet a senior, I consider them to be my people and salt of the earth. Plus they have a lot of knowledge and skills that will help in a personal, short term, and/or long term emergency.

    The official population density is high now, but a lot of those people are only residents here for a few months in the winter, and in the summers my area is a ghost town. Since Florida has no state tax, a lot of people are counted here for tax / census, but actually don’t live here year around. In an extended emergency, a lot of people will return north to family, and natural attrition will, unfortunately, weed out the old and frail who remain. As they say, Mother Nature is a bitch, but the competition for resources will be less than indicated by the currently recorded population density.

    In addition to having no state income tax, Florida has very good veterans benefits, good gun laws and stand your ground laws, and has a balanced budget with little debt. So in summation, Florida is a better place than most to live in now, and to survive what may be coming…

  13. Run from the water, hide from the wind. Hurricane Irma was my first since moving to Florida. We left central west Florida 4 days ahead of the storm. We ended up on the Alabama Mississippi border to wait it out. With forecasts of 15 foot storm surges Staying was not an option as my house is only 7 feet above sea level. But the drive out felt more dangerous than if I had stayed closer to home. Next time I will relocate just a few miles away in a strong building to wait it out.
    And while it hurts to write those checks, I keep paying for flood insurance in case the worst happens.

    1. Steve…
      From your post: “And while it hurts to write those checks, I keep paying for flood insurance in case the worst happens.”

      You’re wise to do so!

  14. R.L., Thank you for writing this article. While I never plan to live in Florida or a known hurricane zone, I will apply your wisdom to my situations.

    I loved the psychology you shared about various mindsets. That was eye-opening for me, and will be extremely helpful for any future event.

    “By mocking the prepared, they falsely obtain redemption from the embarrassment, shame and fear they recently suffered due to lack of preparation.”

    I was baffled when I experienced this response from others during the covid toilet paper shortage. I was not judgmental, yet some expect perfection of themselves and/or censure themselves without any compassion.

    I truly appreciate your explaining it!

    Blessings to you and your loved ones, Krissy

  15. In regard to Freedom Georgia, I find it really strikes a nerve. This past spring a group of African American’s in my state wanted to start their own farmer’s market. No white vendors allowed. We have spend sixty odd years trying to move past segregation and all of a sudden it is cool to do again. Freedom Georgia is no different than Soul City. Nothing to see there but decay now. This stuff makes me want to smack my head. I am sorry for the rant, and I apologize to the author for hijacking his great article, but I have spent my entire life up close and personal with this stuff. Will we ever move past this??? I am thinking not.

    1. sewNurse… It’s disheartening. I have lived my life in beautifully diverse populations of people. …and I would say this: in most (almost all) ways really, people are people. They share many of the same hopes and dreams for themselves and for their families. Each life journey is unique, but there is a tremendous amount of commonality among us too no matter who we are or from where we come or the color of our skin. One of the unintended consequences that bothers me so deeply is that which will come from division and segregation. I respect individual liberty, and believe people have the right to self-segregate if they so choose, but I think it will not turn out well for anyone. Simply stated: in my view this is not a good idea.

  16. Moderator,
    Prior to posting this report, I proof-read every sentence several times.
    After posting, proof-reading shows a significant section missing.
    I verified my editing, re-posted, and several sentences are convoluted.

    For over a week, our visibility is <three hundred yards… and often eighty miles from the nearest fire, yet this *** NUCLEAR WINTER *** is caused by fires in faraway California and Washington the state.

    Should I use the words ‘less than’ instead of the mathematical symbol ‘<` for 'less than'?

    in loving service,

    1. I just posted a comment that had the sentence indicated. Was the words “worsh” used on purpose? 😉

      The comments were slow earlier this morning, so I got to work. When I checked again, there were over twenty.

        1. Yes, I understand this well. I had to ask, because Large Marge has proven that she is very educated, and is an excellent writer and speller, so I kinda assumed it was spelled that way on purpose. Otherwise, I would have edited it for her. When I have the time and inclination, I correct folks grammar and spelling. Sometimes, I can be a grammar and spelling Nazi. 😉

          I have heard folks pronounce the word ‘wash” in that way, “worsh”, but I cannot remember which part of the country pronounces it in that way, on a regular basis. (Update: Oh, duh you said “New England”. I think I’m starting to get old or there is just too much on my mind and I’m not concentrating enough, excuse me please.)

          I enjoyed reading your post yesterday and had a few chuckles.



  17. [ moderator, this version of my report eliminated the mathematical symbols for ‘less than’ and ‘more than’ I used in prior versions. Please post this instead of the chopped versions. I owe you one!]

    west coast fires

    We have a small organic teaching farm near the outskirts of Eugene Oregon.

    We haven’t seen any flames nearby, either in the Coast Range or up the Cascades.
    No sirens from local firetrucks indicating local buildings afire.

    We are in a *** NUCLEAR WINTER ***.
    No exaggeration.
    For over a week, visibility is less than three hundred yards… and often less than two hundred yards.

    We are contracted for deliveries to local grocery stores, so we are out in the murk daily.
    Each morning, we worsh the windshields on our trucks… then re-worsh them part-way through our route.

    Because we are among that bunch of wierdos known as ‘preppers’, we have a few breathing-protection contraptions called ‘respirators’ with goofy double filters hanging off our fashionably-thin cheeks (facial cheeks!).

    So far, the air-filters on the trucks are good.
    Following the check-list for each truck, we check each filter each morning during our pre-start walk-around.
    We use K&N brand worshable/oilable air-filters, so we should be good for most of forever.

    Radioprogramming and televisionprogramming:
    The propaganda department of TheGovernmentAgents claim this air is in the ‘unbreathable’ category… ‘inhale and die’, that sort of nonsense.

    Business is nearly at a stand-still.
    Few businesses are willing to risk the safety of their cow-orkers… or the wrath of the Occupation Safety authorities-n-officials (aka OSHA) for intentionally endangering everybody.
    Accordingly, move small business over to the ‘endangered’ category.

    Geographic proximity to a forest fire has zero-zero-zero correlation to the amount of smoke from that fire.
    Eugene Oregon is more than eighty miles from the nearest fire; our *** NUCLEAR WINTER *** is caused by hundreds of fires in faraway California and Washington the state.

    Odd result:
    The airborne muck absorbs sound.
    No train whistles, none of the usual traffic noise, no sunrise garbage-trucks with their back-up beeping.
    The sense of isolation is phenomenal!


    On a funny note:
    According to bureaucrats at TheCenters, aka Centers For Disease Control And Prevention aka CDC, those masks (aka ‘face-masks’) recommended to eliminate all the invisible cooties such as ThePandemicVirus are woefully inadequate to stop visible pathogens such as smoke.

    Show of hands — how many predicted the utter ineffectiveness of cloth and paper masks (aka ‘face-masks’) to maintain any level of health?

    Break into small groups, discuss.


    Conspiracy Theory:
    Simultaneously, forests are ablaze hundreds of miles apart.

    What would it take for a couple folks in a small aircraft to toss a few dozen Molotov cocktails during low passes over our national treasures?
    Multiply that by a few dozen aircraft over several forests, and an observant person might start to think this looks a lot like enemy action aka ‘terrorists’.

    The terrorists declared war.
    They are soldiers.
    Responding with LawEnforcementOfficials is inappropriate.

    Break into small groups, discuss.

    1. Our ranch is also now in the “Nuclear Winter” smoke. It is mostly from the fires in Washington, Oregon, California and southern Idaho. It’s awful! It is much colder than it should be. I can now understand why it would be difficult to grow food in this kind of environment. Stock up, now! Seriously!

      1. Avalanche Lily… So sorry for the news of the “Nuclear Winter” smoke at the Rawles Ranch! Terrible and praying the fires can be resolved quickly, and the air clears for everyone. We have family in the PNW and everyone is reporting the same. Those with asthma are really struggling.

        You make an excellent point. People don’t realize how much light can be blocked by the smoke of fires — or the ash from volcanoes as an alternative example. The is an important wake-up call. If we should face similar conditions for an extended period of time, growing our food will become extraordinarily difficult (and may be effectively impossible). This has implications not only for the direct consumption of our own fruits and vegetables, but also for growing the food that is needed for farm and ranch animals.

        How could these conditions arise? One possibility is related to increased volcanic activity that may come with the weakening magnetic field, the magnetic reversal, the descent into the next “Minimum”, and the possibility of a solar excursion.

    2. “Radioprogramming and televisionprogramming: The propaganda department of TheGovernmentAgents…”

      Mare, Marge, Marge. We must get you in for some serious reprogramming. It’s the MINISTRY of TRUTH. The last guy that made the same mistake, a feller named Winston, had a rat cage strapped to his face while hungry rodents got it through his head that it’s the Ministry of Truth.

      I like your Cessna/Molotov cocktail terror plot. I’m adding that one to my see-how-easy-it-is list. Easy, cheap, very little preparation, nothing to arouse anyone’s suspicion, nothing to scope out, and no one can stop you until the deed is done. Perfect. A lit sparkler tied to the bottle will ensure the fuse is still lit when it hits ground.

      One more reason I don’t believe there’s been any genuine terrorist activity since 9/11. One more reason to worry that Antifa/BLM will be resorting to more of these types of activities when things aren’t going their way as quickly as they’d like. They’ve shown total disregard for life and property, I expect soon enough they’ll start acting on a much larger scale, destroying a lot more property and people in a more efficient ways.

    3. Large Marge, So glad to see you post and know you are safe.

      The nuclear whiteout up north of you but south of Seattle was a first for me yesterday. I took pictures as proof that one could only see 50′-60′! After that, it was total whiteout starting at the height of the roofline. Giant fir trees over a hundred feet tall and just 150′ away were “completely invisible.”
      It looked like a blizzard without the snow. The temperature drop amazed me. Today’s visibility is somewhat better.

      Btw, three separate arsonists were caught starting new roadside fires.

      Blessings to you and yours, Krissy

  18. My mother is from Florida. I spent summers there as a child visiting my grandparents. Got a tour of the Andrew hurricane devastation as a child. My grandparents lived on Miami beach, way back in the day, when it was a paradise of sorts. They ALWAYS left the state a week before a hurricane was due to hit. On the other hand, my great Aunt, never left the state. During one hurricane, she and her sister, both elderly, clung to one another in the bathtub while the hurricane ripped the roof off the house. There was so much damage, it took many months to get roofers out, but they did tarp houses until they could do the work. Seeing and hearing about that devastation turned me off from living in Florida. Although, living in California earthquake country is “scarier” to most folks because there’s no warning when a big earthquake hits and I lived through many. In Idaho, we have earthquakes, although apparently not as severe as California, and we have severe winters at times, and yes, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, etc. The midwest is appealing to me, but I’m more terrified of tornadoes than just about anything else. I guess you adjust to wherever you live and prepare the best you can. Thank you for the article!

  19. Native SW Floridian here, we call ourselves “Crackers” and we say it with pride. I also have experience many hurricanes. R.L. is correct about evacuate early. I also have heard the horror stories of friends stranded on the interstate in grid lock as the worst of the hurricane passes over. Knowing when to evacuate is the million dollar question. Hurricanes can shift directions fast and with little warning deviate from the best forecast. Hurricanes Elana, Charlie and Irma are good examples of that.

    Four years ago I built my “3rd Pig” house. We moved from a house within sight of the water to a rural area 30 miles inland. We were on a tight budget but we decided to forgo the nice cabinets and flooring and put our money in extra concrete re-reinforcements, impact resistant windows, additional roof tie-downs and a 15kw military generator. Our grown kids call it the “bunker” but you know where they go when there is a hurricane in the area. I attribute much our our mindset for building this house to JWR. Thanks James.

    Natural disaster events are a great way to get your loved ones to open up to prepping. Don’t call it prepping, call it “hurricane supplies”. My daughter just started getting her “hurricane supplies” (beans & band-aids) together this year. I am so proud of her. The threat of a hurricane is a tangible reality for those who may not see other threats on the horizon. Hurricane supplies will cover most any disaster. I will work with her on the other “necessities” as we go along.

    So if your loved ones live in other parts of the country encourage them to stash away blizzard, earthquake, tornado, wild-fire or what ever supplies. Get them to take responsibility for themselves. Otherwise, they could end up like those unfortunates that depended on good ole’ Uncle Sam after Katrina…that went well.

    Soyes Ferme’

    1. “Natural disaster events are a great way to get your loved ones to open up to prepping. Don’t call it prepping, call it “hurricane supplies”.”

      Bingo. That’s what we’ve been doing this year and it seems to have worked well with certain family members.

      P.S. I’ve heard that calling ourselves Crackers is now un-PC. The correct term is now “Saltine-Americans” 😉

      1. I’ll stick with “cracker” even though I am out of the cow business now. Too late for a wall at the north border, but good to know there others like you around. And your right about the soil. I can’t hardly grow a tomato without locking it in a safe with grow light. Makes you wonder how the industrial farms do it. “Mullet and grits” for the good times and the hard times.
        Keep watch!

  20. Hi R.L., you make lots of good points. Your grocery store story about people returning things is spot on. My local grocery store and Walmart both posted signs that they would not accept returns on toilet paper or paper towels. People are incredibly short sighted and will be scrambling again in November after the election, just as surprised as they were in March. Normalcy bias is a real killer.

  21. Also in Jacksonville, can attest to waiting till day -1 of impact will leave you in the interstate (I-10) going as far north as state line Valdosta GA for 8 hours (about 1 hour typically). Nothing worse than listening to the radio chatter about the oncoming hurricane when you are stuck in traffic inching along. Good points in the post!n Thank goodness I had extra gallons of gas strapped on the roof rack or would have been caught out.

  22. A question for RL as the author and other SB community members who live in Florida… In addition to hurricane precautions (and other water safety concerns that apply widely and essentially to all), it would be interesting to hear about the preparedness advantages of a location like Florida. Water access for fishing, warm climate for food production, and more. Florida is extraordinarily popular for many reasons… It would be neat to hear more about its unique advantages.

    1. Personally I would not want to live in Florida. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but in addition to the hurricanes and high population density (8th place), it also has some of the poorest soil anywhere in the USA. It is lower in all of the following atomic elements: Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Potassium, Sodium, Vanadium and Zinc. It is also rather spotty in Phosphorus and Sulfur. I would pick Texas as a place to live over Florida any day. The soils highest in general overall mineralization are Washington, Oregon and the northern third of California.

      1. If I lived in FL I would add lots of compost plus trace minerals such as what’s found in Azomite. Also rock dust(quartz) if available(imported from elsewhere). It is possible. You should see what is grown in the desert in Israel!

    2. “It would be neat to hear more about its unique advantages.”

      Since you asked, two words: NO SNOW! 😀

      D&G’s right about the soil, though. People grow wonderful things but they have to compost the heck out of the soil first.

      I enjoyed reading Alas, Babylon partially because it was set here, and the characters faced challenges unique to an environment I am familiar with. So many survival stories tell of characters having to deal with that otherworldly frigid white stuff…

    3. re: Telesilla of Argos

      I would be glad to pen an article on the many advantages of Florida living. Of course, I can only attest to the areas I have lived, Central and North Florida, which differ dramatically from South Florida. God Bless.

  23. Anyone thought of concrete housing? I’ve never been to FL, but always wondered how I’d build a house there.
    Lots of 1 inch rebar, 12 inch walls, 24 inch roof with internal bearing walls to stiffen it up. Lots of nasty stuff gets airborne. In tornados, semi tractors and cars get tossed up to 2,000 feet high. They come down, too. Hence, the tough roof. You can always put a fake, pitched roof on top to blend if that’s important to you. Siding can hide the concrete walls.
    The Swiss manufacture what is called a PD Cover, essentially a concrete filled door 8 inches thick that measures about 3′ x 3′ square (you cast the empty door into the wall inside, let the wall cure for two weeks, and then pour concrete into the door leaf while it is closed to assure proper fit. It is wind/water proof. The idea here is to have your windows made to fit the opening of the PD Cover. Swing the PD Cover open during normal use, enjoy your window as usual. When the storm comes, simply close and lock the PD Cover. You may have to replace the window, but NOTHING will get past the PD Cover. It is rated to 3 atmospheres of a nuclear shock wave. 20 atmospheres, conventional explosion. The difference is the duration of the nuclear shock wave.
    Andair USA offers Swiss shelter components, including blast doors and the PD Cover, ventilation systems, blast valves, etc.
    A sturdy concrete house, located high above the surge zone, would be the perfect place for a hurricane party. Deploy solar panels outside later to maintain power. Close armored doors, turn on the DVR, ride out the storm watching favorite movies. Season as necessary.
    As the Ron White story about hurricanes says, “it’s not THAT the wind is blowing…’s WHAT the wind is blowing. If you get hit with a Volvo, it doesn’t matter how many pushups you did that morning.”
    Evacuation seems fraught with hazards and problems. Build the house from hell and stay put.
    We don’t have many hurricanes in Utah, but we sure have wildfires. So my rural cabin is built of steel. A large clear-cut zone around the building has been created. Embers and heat from trees 100 feet away will not ignite a steel building. NO WINDOWS. If the wife ever wants windows, I’ll install cameras and put monitors on the walls to sub for windows.
    Great article on hurricanes, btw! Covered a LOT of ground, good job!

    But it’s ugly. Since I’m not visible from any road, I DON’T CARE.

    1. Concrete housing is a worthy consideration — even outside of hurricane prone areas. Sturdy construction works for all kinds of weather events. We are looking seriously at the question of in-ground shelter for protection from tornadoes — and from the possibility of a solar excursion as well. Related wild fires, the concrete might even contain materials similar to those of kiln bricks — and we’re looking into the question of how such a material might act as a heat shield in the event of fire. If a kiln can keep extreme heat contained well inside, could it shield the occupants of a structure — and as well keep the heat outside — this is a question we are trying to explore!

      1. Telesilla of Argos,
        In Germany during WWII, the government built thousands of “Bomb Proofs”, which were essentially concrete structures with four foot thick walls and ceilings, heavily reinforced with large rebar. The object was to protect the population from direct hits from Allied 500 and 1,000 lb demolition bombs. Many took direct hits and not a single injury is recorded inside a “bomb proof” during the war. The Left, always opposed to civil defense in the west of any kind, mingle into any discussion about shelter efficacy with basement shelters, which were not really shelters at all….and open trench shelters, which provided protection from splinters but not from overpressure if the bomb exploded too close to the trench. Many Germans perished in trench and basement shelters, often from smoke inhalation or fire because of the dense fuel loading in German (and Japanese) cities. Many were prone to firestorms such as Hamburg and Dresden. Apartments and houses were built ON to one another and had narrow streets separating them.
        Wildfires don’t last very long, but get very hot for say, 15 minutes, unless your trees are very dense and substantial. A home will burn to the ground in less than an hour, typically.
        So your concrete walls won’t heat up all the way through before the fire outside burns out assuming a 12″ poured concrete wall. I’m not a fan of filled concrete block walls. The Swiss do not allow them for shelter construction (they have rigid building codes there that require government spec shelters in all buildings intended for human habitation).
        Germany had high water tables in many urban areas so they built their bomb proofs up to four stories high. Imagine that! Many were struck with bombs but they worked splendidly.
        Swiss shelters for residences specify a 10 inch reinforced poured wall using 4,000 k.s.i. concrete. One inch rebar was closely spaced, say, 6 inches apart on a grid. The rebar extended at least 24 inches above the wall and were bent over to be tied into the rebar for the ceiling, which is 30 to 36 inches thick. The 10″ wall spec assumed the walls would be entirely underground to take advantage of the radiological shielding properties of the earth. If the walls are above ground, they specify 48 inch walls to shield against fallout radiation on the ground. But you don’t need that much for urban or wildfire, or tornados. Of course, there’s no penalty for over-achievement here, but if you want some extra protection in that area, consider sandwiching packed earth between two walls, the innermost being 10″ thick so you can cast a Swiss PT2 armored door into the wall on pour day. The doors and PD Cover will work on thicker walls, too. But you need that 10 inches for supporting the ceiling and the weight of the 8 inch thick Swiss doors after you fill the door leaf with concrete. An athletic child can swing the door shut. Advise the cat not to dart through the door as it is closing.
        The concrete building is expensive, but provides security from all sorts of assaults. The PT 2 doors have locks on the latches on the inside of the door. The locking hardware can be disassembled from the outside, but it takes time. Like over an hour if you know what you’re doing. The doors are tested by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Defense (BZS) with 500 lb MK 82 demolition bombs from 12 feet standoff. Tough door. A pickup thrown by a tornado isn’t going to impress this door, nor is a home invasion team. If you hear a thunk on the door during a tornado ignore it until after the movie.
        We selected corrugated steel pipe shelters because they cost a fourth of the (properly built) concrete shelter per square foot and because they can be buried far deeper than needed for maximum protection factors from blast, heat, and both prompt and delayed radiation. Ten feet of cover will absorb all prompt neutrons, fast gammas, fallout gamma and any future exotic spectrum weapons effects provided the ENTRANCES are correctly designed and installed. Other shelter manufacturers do not pay any attention to entrance specifications and geometry. We have a nuclear engineer on staff that calculates entrance protection factors for various threat levels in the nuclear arena. The effect of storms and fires are light annoyances for a good corrugated steel shelter.
        My shelter is 10 feet diameter, 50 feet long. It runs on solar power, and of course i have spare components to restore power if the topside array is damaged or destroyed. You can tour my shelter by searching Nat Geo, Peter Larson. Pete is a close friend and also owns a shelter of similar dimensions on the property but the film crew used my shelter for the interview. I was wallpaper, and was welding a new gas spring bracket on my door. But you can see the inside of a shelter for an idea of how a few hundred clients have done it. It’s 22 years old, so the kitchen was not as nice as later production shelters. But is has the Swiss NBC air handling system in it and I am running it by hand.
        I live like a Saudi prince on 900 watt of solar panels. It is not my primary residence! But it could be if I lost everything else.
        Another great feature of corrugated steel pipe shelters is their excellent Faraday cage effect. Not much nuclear EMP could penetrate that deep in the soil, but in any event, the 12 gauge galvanized steel hull has a 126 Db attenuation factor against all components of nuclear EMP. Each factor of 6 cuts the signal strength in half. Get out the calculator. The first 6 cuts a 200,000 volt/square meter RF signal to 100,000. The next 6 cuts it to 50,000. The third reduction, 25,000. The fourth, 12,000. By the time you’ve factored through 20 reductions, you’re down to less than a volt per square meter. Hardly threatening to electronics. I have to use a cellular repeater to get my signal outside to communicate or use internet services. Same with my steel building.
        Corrugated steel pipe shelters were blast tested with nuclear explosives at the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s and 1960s. Clusters of up to 20 different types of shelters were constructed at various distances from the shot towers used to test new nuclear weapon designs. Full instrumentation was installed inside and outside of the shelters including high speed armored cameras. Edwin York, one of our mentors, managed these tests and engineered the photography portion of the testing protocol. He also filmed the first nuclear explosion in New Mexico in June, 1945, so this wasn’t his first rodeo.
        As long as you’re hardening up for storms, fires, etc….might as well do nuclear effects, too. The world isn’t getting any safer, as we see.
        Remember all the BS about the “end of the Cold War”? LOL.

        1. @Paul
          Whoa. That is an incredibly impressive amount of information… thank you for taking the time to post that. I shall now spend the remainder of the day looking up the cost of materials, and will most definitely be printing this out for “the manual”. Will also look up the tour of your shelter at the natgeo search term you suggested.

          I’m probably not alone in my secret wish that you would expand on this for a feature article here on SB. Again many thanks.

        2. WOW!!! What a wonderfully helpful response… Cannot thank you enough for this information and the insights. What a great video! I am feeling totally inspired. I would also join in the thoughts of Klaude Flaugstein who suggested a feature article submission to the SB! Thank you, thank you. The next steps in the development of this idea are to follow forthwith!

          1. Telesilla of Argos

            You can contact me at for more information on various shelter concepts. I can send photos and instructions or refer you to a capable shop that is now making corrugated steel pipe shelters to our specifications. I don’t normally put my email out there, but shelters is what I did for 30 years and now consult on.
            Not every place is suitable for a shelter. High water tables plague all types of shelters. Locations that get 25 inches of rain in one day….not a good place for a shelter, at least underground. The above ground concrete shelter would be the way forward in those zones.
            I’ve already made all the mistakes… take advantage of my experience to avoid pain and cost overruns.
            I’ve always marveled at how many cars and other mobile property is left in flood zones. Like pusher diesel motor homes left in the path of huge wildfires. Maybe they’re upside down in payments!
            The advantage of a larger shelter, rather than a bolt-hole (cheapie, tornado shelter) is that when threatening tornado weather moves in, the family can sleep in the shelter and be comfortable, make meals, watch TV, etc instead of waking up in another county. I’ve never had a client say he wished he’d made his shelter smaller.
            My main emphasis is NBC because I believe that no weapon man has made is ever too horrible to use. If your shelter can protect against a nuclear blast a half mile from zero, a tornado is an annoyance.
            On a national scale though, Americans are EASY to kill. Just turn off their power and wait a year. Every hostile nation on earth knows this. And so do the insurgents now burning down our cities and trying to cause mass chaos for this election. Imagine shutting down the power for months in 10 major cities. They would become uninhabitable until power was restored. The cascading hits to the supply chain are incalculable.
            We’re really on our own.

        3. Thank you, Paul! My husband and I are reviewing your notes carefully, and very much appreciate your contact information. We look forward to checking in with you, and hope that many members of the SB community will be working toward shelters of the quality you describe. We believe that a shelter capable of sustaining the forces of a nuclear detonation will also be capable of protecting occupants during a solar excursion. The added benefit, of course, is that a tornado is then a nuissance with regard to acute survival concerns.

          Your thoughts shared have already helped to guide our thinking and design development. We don’t have the challenge of water table issues on most parts of our land, but we are in a mountainous area. Initially we were considering an entirely in-ground shelter, but we are thinking more and more about a partially in-ground shelter at this point with the reinforcements described.

          There is a lot to consider. We are working to narrow the options for placement, and will be checking in with you! Again, so very many thanks!

  24. Fl would be a great place to live if it weren’t for the “Dam Yankees”,to quote a prior SB writer. You know the I-95 anti gun liberals who come down from up north and want to turn your neighborhood into a dung pile just like the one they just left. This heavily involves Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Not to be left out don’t forget Tampa,Orlando Gainesville, Tallahassee, and to a lesser degree Jacksonville. This is where all the anti gun legislation comes from. Yes FL would be a paradise if it weren’t for the @##$$^% Democrats (demonrats). Maybe we need to build a wall at Florida’s northern border. I can live with the hurricanes.

    Started on emergency preparedness just before Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida Aug 24, 1992, Sunday night and changed my life forever. Began my journey into hurricane prep. Then found survival blog and learned there were people called “preppers”. After years of being on my own I found that you people were all out there. Who knew. Been with SB since close to its start. Very glad I found you. SB has been an incredible asset to furthering my family’s safety and security. Hope to see it continue. You people feel like my on line family.

    1. Cooked Frog!
      From your post: “You people feel like my on line family.”

      What a lovely sentiment! We feel the same way, and are grateful to the dedicated editors, JWR and Avalanche Lily, for making this internet place possible.

  25. Great article! MINDSET is the KEY!!!

    I have not experienced a hurricane (yet!), but have managed to survive…
    (2) forest fires 1980/1982
    (2) small avalanches/sloughs–ski resort
    (1) small avalanche/slough– back country
    (1) massive ice fall–Mt. Rainier 1977
    (1) flooding–aftermath Hurricane Agnes 1972
    (1) flooding– early snow/rain Mt. Rainier 1977
    (3) 5-6 pt. earthquakes–Alaska 1983
    (1) volcanic eruption–Mt. St. Helens 1982
    (1) whiteout/lightning storm– Mt. Rainier 1981

    With the exception of the icefall/avalanche on Mt. Rainier, which was in God’s hands (nothing we could do but watch & hope to survive), all of the other events were survived due to proper planning & equipment. Which, was ONLY possible due to a proper mindset that allowed for planning to occur.

    Kudos to my military instructors for instilling proper work ethics, (truly I already had those due to my upbringing), but in HOW TO WRITE A PROPER LESSON PLAN. Once this was hammered into my head to the point that I got it right each time I submitted one; planning out any type of an event became that much easier, because the correct steps to take were right there in my head, ready to go.

  26. Prepare for the unexpected. The powers that be now classify the Iowa Derecho as equal to a level 4 hurricane. The two largest differences being no water surge and NO WARNING.
    Do not depend on the government. Local government had No plan for this and didn’t ask for federal aid till 7 days later.

    Neighbors came together and removed the trees. Shared generators, gas, grills, propane, chain saws, and elbow grease.
    Small restaurants took their mobile smokers and grills to feed neighborhoods with no power for free.
    Churches brought in semis of ice and water.
    It was the people and local businesses that came together to help our community.

    The best location is not a place, but where local friendly people put helping each other as a priority.

    1. Rachel hit the nail on the head. Mindset is everything, both with the individual and the community. If you have like-minded community, you can make do with just about any problem. if you don’t…..
      I might add the Three Commandments we teach in our tactical courses:
      1) Don’t go to stupid places.
      2) Don’t hang out with stupid people.
      3) Don’t do stupid things.
      Wish I’d learned that when I was 12.

      1. @Paul
        “Wish I’d learned that when I was 12.”

        I did. Then I did again. And again. For some reason kept forgetting. Fortunately that very sage advice FINALLY attached itself to the neuron.

    2. Rachel… You make such an excellent point about government having had no plan in place. We saw this also when — as DJT reminds us — the cupboards were bare with regard to pandemic supplies. People too often think that the government has real plans in place to handle emergencies — and the means to accomplish those plans. I am convinced — and have been for many years — that this is an illusion. The safest assumptions are that 1) there is no plan in place, 2) that no one is coming to help, and 3) that the best strategy is personal preparedness in every way possible. In the event of an emergency, should assistance show up — consider that a bonus!

    3. Hi, Rachel! I agree with your 3 assumptions. Also, I think the people of Iowa were uniquely prepared to deal with this challenge because they have hosted the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) for the past nearly 50 years. We had our first experience with RAGBRAI when we supported our son’s team 2 summers ago. The support that the people of Iowa give to this annual event is an amazing thing to experience, and I’m positive it helped them get through the aftermath of the derecho this summer.

    4. @ Rachel

      Good points. A big problem with liberals is that they really do think the government has a plan to protect them and will be there if needed. Thus they don’t think any of us need to worry ourselves about any of this, including having a way to protect ourselves and our families. Thus they see guns as just unnecessary and only used by those intent on evil as of course the police will soon be there if they call them!

    1. Ice is used in situation where there is impending loss of electricity and you do not have an emergency generator to keep your freezer/fridge online (food in your fridge, temperature sensitive medications, and ice for chilling drinks cold). People also use dry ice in freezers. After the storm passes, you will be without electricity in an area naturally prone to 90 degree plus weather with humidity, resulting in a “feels like” temperature surpassing 100 degrees. After the storm residents will be charged with clean-up from the storm. Having the ability to regulate your body temperature with cold drinks at a regular interval is critical to health and safety.
      In metro areas, utility companies often will have electricity back online within 3 days. By utilizing ice, residents can safeguard their cold food stores from spoilage. This is a cost saving and prudent action. Having to replace all the contents of your fridge may cost upwards of $100 when you consider dairy, eggs, condiments, lunchmeat and perishable vegetables/fruits. Seasoned Floridians attempt to “eat-out” their fridge contents in days leading up to the impending loss of electricity (less food to ice in coolers).

      I hope this answers your question.

  27. RL….a fellow Space Coaster. I’m a native Merritt Islander and lived on Merritt Island for 37 years then moved a few miles south but still on the Space Coast. At 50+ years I’ve seen and experienced plenty of hurricanes. Each one was different and presented different challenges.
    Born in 1979? That would have been Hurricane David that hit the Space Coast that year.
    I bugged out for only one hurricane, Hurricane Frances. Mostly because my wife was in freak-out mode. Total waste of time and energy. We drove all the way to Lake City, FL and it took forever because of the traffic. After that, we stayed home for everything that comes our way.
    We have plenty of preps plus a generator and solar panels. Our house withstood 22 inches of rain during one storm and didn’t come close to flooding. Our biggest problem is downed fences and loss of power which is a pain in the a**.

    1. Yes, I was a baby when David hit. Question, did you lose water services during Mathew and Irma? My parents live in South Merritt Island and were without running water for 2 weeks.

  28. I’m a native Treasure coast Floridian, (1961). I’ve seen a lot of Hurricanes over the years and man are they a lot of work! I stay prepped up year round but amp it up a bit when the season hits. I never evacuate and would never willingly go to a shelter but I understand why my less prepped neighbors would want to.
    My advice, in addition to all the standard stuff;
    1) Honda EU2000. + gas (me, 40 gal year round)
    2) Get a Ham radio license
    4) 10 cases of bottled water (year round)
    Good luck Folks!

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