Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

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RooseveltG
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Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by RooseveltG » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:01 am

We are new to Southeast Florida and hurricane season is upon us. Besides preparing and knowing where the hurricane shelters are, I have 2 specific questions.

1. What is the optimal time frame to leave the area? Leaving too early each time is cumbersome and leaving too late is too risky. Hurricanes can be unpredictable and it is a challenge knowing when to vacate.

2. Where do people from coastal Southeast Florida go (by car)? Is staying at an airport hotel further west (e.g. Sawgrass Mills) a safe bet or just as risky? Is there a good place that is a high probability bet?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Roosevelt.

livesoft
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:02 am

Search the forum for hurricane Matthew for some ideas.
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Gill
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Gill » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:46 am

Heading West certainly isn't the answer. Look into the history of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 which headed West through Miami to Homestead and on to Naples. There is no easy solution. I lived in Naples for 30 years and often had the same concern. I-75 and I-95 are certainly not equipped to handle a mass exodus from South Florida. I've lived in South Florida now for over 40 years and have always hoped for the best. I guess it's part of the price we pay for living here.
Gill

Eric76
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Eric76 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am

In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:59 am

Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
I would phrase that another way: If you go early, then go far. Say to Yosemite and have some fun.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by thangngo » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:03 am

Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
^ This. If you live in the area susceptible to storm surge, evacuate sooner than later. Other than that, I'd rather stay home, be prepared and keep a close eye on the hurricane.

Look up hurricane Rita. It was a nightmare for those who evacuated from Houston.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:07 am

I have property in south Florida but don't live there full-time. If I was there right now and didn't have to work, I'd probably consider a road trip. Given the forecast, I'd wait until after the holiday traffic before heading out, and would have a little more info by then. Historically there hasn't been a lot of hurricane damage in say, oh, Michigan or Ohio. Almost everywhere has some kind of weather risk but certainly not equally distributed and the risks usually occur at times of the year. You have to leave early enough and be prepared to stay for a while. If you're in the financial position to not have to worry about the cost of not being around when a storm hits, and are in sufficient health to travel, why go through that hassle?

Of course the same logic doesn't work here in Oklahoma, where the storms tend to have much, much less warning and are much more localized. You'd need to be gone for the entire tornado season at least to minimize your risk.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am

Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
Evacuate EARLY. It is hard for some to grasp the unbelievable power and water height that storm surge can produce. My daughter was stuck on I-4 for hours once when she belatedly left Stetson University when Daytona got a blow. And, of course started across the state without a full tank of gas. :oops:

When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.

Once my MIL and wife's aunt came our way to escape east coast hurricane, and the hurricane came our way, though not a direct strike. Lost power for a few days, and they couldn't return home because of road washouts, no power, and fallen trees and such.

We are not near coast, so we hunker down. If we were very near coastline or waterfront, we would ABSOLUTELY evacuate without question. There is just no reason to risk life if alternatives are available.

I have hardened our home with wind-rated windows, garage door and such. Although we could be cut off with flooded roads, our home site is high. If it floods, I'll be on lookout for Noah to stop by.

We tested our generator two weekends ago, it's powered by a Honda engine, cranked right up. Love those Honda small engines!

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by janiebegood » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:28 am

When we moved to Orlando from North Carolina in 1996, my mother was super anxious about the hurricane factor. I told her then and I'll tell you now that all evacuation routes from both coasts lead to Orlando. It also has the second-highest number of hotel rooms in the country (after Las Vegas). September is a great time to visit Disney because all the kids are back in school. Just sayin'. ;)

In the six years we lived in Florida, we had one tropical storm and ZERO hurricanes. North Carolina, however, had FOUR landfalls in that time.

Anecdotally, we suffered from a "dry hurricane" in Cincinnati in 2008 - the remnants of Hurricane Ike held no water but plenty of wind: 50 MPH sustained for 4+ hours. We got a new roof out of it. Many were without power for days.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:46 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am
Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
Evacuate EARLY. It is hard for some to grasp the unbelievable power and water height that storm surge can produce. My daughter was stuck on I-4 for hours once when she belatedly left Stetson University when Daytona got a blow. And, of course started across the state without a full tank of gas. :oops:

When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.

Once my MIL and wife's aunt came our way to escape east coast hurricane, and the hurricane came our way, though not a direct strike. Lost power for a few days, and they couldn't return home because of road washouts, no power, and fallen trees and such.

We are not near coast, so we hunker down. If we were very near coastline or waterfront, we would ABSOLUTELY evacuate without question. There is just no reason to risk life if alternatives are available.

I have hardened our home with wind-rated windows, garage door and such. Although we could be cut off with flooded roads, our home site is high. If it floods, I'll be on lookout for Noah to stop by.

We tested our generator two weekends ago, it's powered by a Honda engine, cranked right up. Love those Honda small engines!

Broken Man 1999
1999, thanks for the anecdotes. Love the Russian tennis guys story.

TravelforFun
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:46 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am
Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
Evacuate EARLY. It is hard for some to grasp the unbelievable power and water height that storm surge can produce. My daughter was stuck on I-4 for hours once when she belatedly left Stetson University when Daytona got a blow. And, of course started across the state without a full tank of gas. :oops:

When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.

Once my MIL and wife's aunt came our way to escape east coast hurricane, and the hurricane came our way, though not a direct strike. Lost power for a few days, and they couldn't return home because of road washouts, no power, and fallen trees and such.

We are not near coast, so we hunker down. If we were very near coastline or waterfront, we would ABSOLUTELY evacuate without question. There is just no reason to risk life if alternatives are available.

I have hardened our home with wind-rated windows, garage door and such. Although we could be cut off with flooded roads, our home site is high. If it floods, I'll be on lookout for Noah to stop by.

We tested our generator two weekends ago, it's powered by a Honda engine, cranked right up. Love those Honda small engines!

Broken Man 1999
1999, thanks for the anecdotes. Love the Russian tennis guys story.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by KSOC » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:52 am

What kind of structure do you live in? How old is it? Do your rent or own? Most homes/apts etc. down there are built expecting Hurricanes. Where would the closest family or friends be? Being in SE Florida is very limiting if you feel your home is not safe. Should be some safe havens in the state. Seldom does the path hit all the major areas.

I live NE of Orlando Metro, about 35 miles from the coast. I live in a pretty solid cinder block home. Years ago, after Hurricane Charlie, I bought customized polycarbonate panels for all doors and windows. Metal braces for the garage doors. The are all light weight, stored in my garage & can be installed in about 2 hours by 2 people or 1 hour with 4. Screws are permanently anchored in home. I have a large gas generator. And gas jugs. Fill them up before the hurricane events.

Be prepared just in case. When I first got here I was without power for durations of 2 weeks, then 10 days & the last one 3 days. We were affected by 3 hurricanes in about 1 month time. I quickly became proactive.

Our plan for a monster storm is head to family in Jacksonville or Miami.They can bunker down with me if they're in the path. I can be in Tallahassee in 4 hours, Tampa in two.

We know where Hurricanes are, general path & timelines. What scares the hell out of me? Tornados. They'll catch you completely unprotected.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:17 pm

[Post removed --admin LadyGeek]
[Response removed by admin LadyGeek]
KSOC wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:52 am
What kind of structure do you live in? How old is it? Do your rent or own? Most homes/apts etc. down there are built expecting Hurricanes. Where would the closest family or friends be? Being in SE Florida is very limiting if you feel your home is not safe. Should be some safe havens in the state. Seldom does the path hit all the major areas.

I live NE of Orlando Metro, about 35 miles from the coast. I live in a pretty solid cinder block home. Years ago, after Hurricane Charlie, I bought customized polycarbonate panels for all doors and windows. Metal braces for the garage doors. The are all light weight, stored in my garage & can be installed in about 2 hours by 2 people or 1 hour with 4. Screws are permanently anchored in home. I have a large gas generator. And gas jugs. Fill them up before the hurricane events.

Be prepared just in case. When I first got here I was without power for durations of 2 weeks, then 10 days & the last one 3 days. We were affected by 3 hurricanes in about 1 month time. I quickly became proactive.

Our plan for a monster storm is head to family in Jacksonville or Miami.They can bunker down with me if they're in the path. I can be in Tallahassee in 4 hours, Tampa in two.

We know where Hurricanes are, general path & timelines. What scares the hell out of me? Tornados. They'll catch you completely unprotected.
I agree with almost all you have said, EXCEPT:Our plan for a monster storm is head to family in Jacksonville or Miami. They can bunker down with me if they're in the path. I can be in Tallahassee in 4 hours, Tampa in two.

I would NEVER head to a coastal area especially such a populated one as Miami, given hurricanes can wander all over the state. It could be disastrous attempting to flee if shifting hurricane sends it that way. Tampa could be "iffy" unless 10-15 miles away from Tampa Bay.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:34 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am
When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.
What a great story - one for the family history books!

There are many worse ways to ride out out a hurricane than smoking and drinking vodka, and few better.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:39 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:34 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am
When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.
What a great story - one for the family history books!

There are many worse ways to ride out out a hurricane than smoking and drinking vodka, and few better.
Nothing more dangerous than dehydration! A well-stocked bar helps change unpalatable pure spring water into nectar worthy of drinking! And, burning tobacco keeps the mosquitos at bay. Also, usually my wife. :D

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by KSOC » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:48 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:17 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:52 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:24 am
When she finally arrived, she had brought home a couple of the men's tennis team. They were from one of Russia's satellites, can't remember which country. Great young men. They stayed on my back porch most of the time smoking and drinking my vodka. They had never experienced a hurricane.
Perhaps they were "great young men," but with the Russians (and their satellites) "trust but verify" is always appropriate. A friend from the U.K. was telling me that when their group was going to a pub, the Russians were notorious for never reciprocating with the rounds.

Victoria
Who knows? Perhaps they wrote home to their family to say they had stayed in a rich capitalist's home and drained his vodka supply!

KSOC wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:52 am
What kind of structure do you live in? How old is it? Do your rent or own? Most homes/apts etc. down there are built expecting Hurricanes. Where would the closest family or friends be? Being in SE Florida is very limiting if you feel your home is not safe. Should be some safe havens in the state. Seldom does the path hit all the major areas.

I live NE of Orlando Metro, about 35 miles from the coast. I live in a pretty solid cinder block home. Years ago, after Hurricane Charlie, I bought customized polycarbonate panels for all doors and windows. Metal braces for the garage doors. The are all light weight, stored in my garage & can be installed in about 2 hours by 2 people or 1 hour with 4. Screws are permanently anchored in home. I have a large gas generator. And gas jugs. Fill them up before the hurricane events.

Be prepared just in case. When I first got here I was without power for durations of 2 weeks, then 10 days & the last one 3 days. We were affected by 3 hurricanes in about 1 month time. I quickly became proactive.

Our plan for a monster storm is head to family in Jacksonville or Miami.They can bunker down with me if they're in the path. I can be in Tallahassee in 4 hours, Tampa in two.

We know where Hurricanes are, general path & timelines. What scares the hell out of me? Tornados. They'll catch you completely unprotected.
I agree with almost all you have said, EXCEPT:Our plan for a monster storm is head to family in Jacksonville or Miami. They can bunker down with me if they're in the path. I can be in Tallahassee in 4 hours, Tampa in two.

I would NEVER head to a coastal area especially such a populated one as Miami, given hurricanes can wander all over the state. It could be disastrous attempting to flee if shifting hurricane sends it that way. Tampa could be "iffy" unless 10-15 miles away from Tampa Bay.

Broken Man 1999
Well, I think it depends on the path. They do joggle/wobble some, but meteorologists got these pretty well tracked. I'd never say never.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by BogleTails » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:40 pm

you can't outrun a Florida hurricane from South Florida. best plan is to have food, water, make sure you are not right on the coast, and that your home is up to code. Anything built after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 should be good construction wise, assuming your are living in a real concrete structure.

Source: lived in the strike zone of Andrew and watched it all through a small window.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:44 pm

Do people along the coast ever "safe" rooms inside their homes?
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:37 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:44 pm
Do people along the coast ever "safe" rooms inside their homes?
problem. A safe room has to be at or below ground level?

And it could flood. Users would drown

The best protection against a tsunami is a reinforced concrete multistory structure like a car park, w open walls to prevent water overpressure.

One shelters on b upper floors.

Hurricane one still needs shelter, and I doubt such a structure would be feasible for most people.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by JBTX » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:00 pm

I grew on east coast of Florida and was working in Miami during Andrew. Seems like hurricanes hitting east coast of Florida is comparatively infrequent compared to NC or gulf coast. I lived in north Miami way inland. I was going to stick it out but eventually the day before decided to head north to Boca raton and stay with friends. The path of Andrew was very linear and kind of predictable. That isn't always the case. 95 was jam packed but I took a tollway that was wide open.

I'm glad I left. My apartment area wasn't heavily hit. But still you don't know if you will have power or if stores will be open or water working. Even if you don't get much damage living in the middle of its is a major pain in the arse. Went back days later. Went down to homestead with some friends to volunteer. Could not believe the devastation. This was not on the coast. You don't have to be on the coast to get hurricane damage. Andrew wasn't an extremely wet storm and storm surge was bad but not as bad as expected. The damage was wind, some places approaching 200mph. It was speculated there were some tornados within the hurricane.

You would see some things that really defy physics. Cars in trees. A small stick from a tree somehow penetrating an exterior house wall. One house completely missing roof and trashed. The one next to it relatively unscathed. From what I read and was told in the strike zone afterward it was pretty dangerous. No electricity. No water. No real security at all.

So I would probably leave. But it is hard to judge. At least now you have advantage of google maps and traffic. You leave too early you feel like an idiot when it completely misses. You leave late you may not have enough time. Some of the major highways will get jam packed. Become familiar with alternative routes. Somebody mentioned l-10 out of Jacksonville. I-10 going west is a parking lot if a hurricane is heading their way.

For all those people complaining about Houston not evacuating, where are all those millions of people supposed to go? Last hurricane headed towards Houston many evacuated and jammed up the highway to a complete stop. A bus full of old people caught fire or something and most died.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:20 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:59 am
Eric76 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:55 am
In terms of evacuation, only evacuate if you are in the highest risk areas (right on the coast, mobile home etc.). Trying to guess even 3 days out exactly where a hurricane will hit is almost impossible. In other words, you could end up evacuating into more danger.
I would phrase that another way: If you go early, then go far. Say to Yosemite and have some fun.
+1. Get out of Florida.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:58 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:00 pm
For all those people complaining about Houston not evacuating, where are all those millions of people supposed to go? Last hurricane headed towards Houston many evacuated and jammed up the highway to a complete stop. A bus full of old people caught fire or something and most died.
Point of fact:
Rita 2005, "Bus carrying elderly evacuees burns; 24 dead".
Ike 2008, successful evacuation of more than a million people. There are actually plans for where all those people go and to keep gas stations along routes supplied.

Houston has excellent evacuation plans that work given time.

So Rita was not the "Last hurricane", Ike was.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:06 pm

I think bogleheads can tell you when to go, too.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by likegarden » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:07 pm

This is much too risky for me to live there, so we live in the NorthEast. I am risk adverse, I also own mostly low-risk index funds.
I remember an old Victory Garden show where a nursery owner showed what had happened to his vacation home on a Caribbean island. His house had concrete walls, and literally that' s all what was left after a hurricane passed over it, nice concrete walls and floor, nothing else.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by KSOC » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:36 pm

likegarden wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:07 pm
This is much too risky for me to live there, so we live in the NorthEast. I am risk adverse, I also own mostly low-risk index funds.
I remember an old Victory Garden show where a nursery owner showed what had happened to his vacation home on a Caribbean island. His house had concrete walls, and literally that' s all what was left after a hurricane passed over it, nice concrete walls and floor, nothing else.
You get a breach at a door, window or garage door, it's game over. Roof gone. I've done my best to counter that, but if it's a Cat 5 in my path, I'm gone. Pray if you're gonna get hit it's with the left side of the storm.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:16 pm

BogleTails wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:40 pm
you can't outrun a Florida hurricane from South Florida. best plan is to have food, water, make sure you are not right on the coast, and that your home is up to code. Anything built after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 should be good construction wise, assuming your are living in a real concrete structure.

Source: lived in the strike zone of Andrew and watched it all through a small window.
I don't think there are many "real concrete" residences. There are a lot of concrete block residences. And once you have a residence you can't really "make sure you're not on right on the coast" (mine is about a mile away.)

But it's easy to outrun a hurricane, you just have to accept you're going to outrun about 20 of the next 2 hurricanes that are going to hit your area.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by qwertyjazz » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:02 pm

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

Read it through and follow the links. Have a good weather app on your phone. The answer in regards to evacuation is it depends which although not satisfying is correct. Learn more
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by JBTX » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:03 pm

I know some people who have lived in Jacksonville beach for about 40+ years. I think they have had to evacuate once or maybe twice and luckily have never been hit to a serious extent. I grew up on east coast of Fl and i think one category one storm hit there over the 18 or so years there. I think if you don't live there you tend to see an exaggerated frequency risk. The risk is certainly real, but for any given home really unlikely. Same here in north TX with Tornadoes. At least with a Hurricane you have some advance warning.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by ladders11 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:41 am

Lived three miles from the Atlantic for two years, and sat through two hurricanes. I was never ordered to evacuate and I'm pretty sure the only people who were, lived right on the beach.

The thing to prepare for is more the loss of electricity, and basically all the stores and restaurants closing. You need to have some of those big 2+ gallon water jugs, and some non-perishable food that doesn't need to be cooked. Important to have these stashed away before the storm because the shelves clear quick once local news shows any possibility of landfall. The other thing is that gas pumps require power, so people panic and line up to fill their tanks in advance.

I really don't think they would evacuate too many people, because the traffic would defeat the purpose. No benefit to riding out a storm in your car, hurricanes can pick up cars or move them horizontally.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Cosmo » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:50 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:58 pm


Houston has excellent evacuation plans that work given time.

So Rita was not the "Last hurricane", Ike was.
The problem is they have never been really tested yet since Ike. Since Ike alone, the population has increased around 30%. This will require an even longer amount of time to evacuate safely. Evacuations kill. Besides the bus of elderly evacuees who perished during the Rita evacuation, there were additional 75 citizens who also died during the evacuation, which was compounded by a heat wave caused by subsidence ahead of the storm. In fact, of the 120 people who died during hurricane Rita, just a dozen or so were actually due to the direct impacts of the actual hurricane.

Florida has also encountered a population boom since their last big one in 2005. Run from the water, hide from the wind. If you are on the coast, move inland. If you are already inland and outside of flood zones, stay.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:09 am

Just bought a home built with poured concrete and steel and plan to stay put....in a relatively new house built with newer hurricane codes. I'm not on the immediate coadt.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Blueskies123
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:11 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:09 am
Just bought a home built with poured concrete and steel and plan to stay put....in a relatively new house built with newer hurricane codes. I'm not on the immediate coast.
Several people have said in this thread that they live in concrete houses and plan to ride out a storm. Did you see the pictures of Homestead? For new homes in the last few years, the strongest building code only requires the roof to stay on the house up to a category 4, and that assumes our Florida "craftsman" follow the building code, the slightest weakness will be found by the storm. If your roof is older than 10 years it is weaker. In Wilma, a Cat 1 we did not have power for 6 days and I recall a turnpike overpass under construction had those concrete beams fall down and block the highway.
While I might stay for a Cat 1 or 2 I am leaving for a Cat 3 or higher. I do not trust our "craftsmen" and I expect most of our infrastructure cannot handle a Cat 3 or higher. There is nothing you can do around your house with no electricity, no water, all the stores closed, all the gas stations closed, debris all over the road and so hot you cannot sleep.
Outside of Miami Dade you building codes are weaker.

http://www.floridabuilding.org/fbc/publications/FBC.pdf See page 20.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather- ... wind/31021
http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/hurri ... e%20andrew
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Andrew
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Rupert
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Rupert » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:38 am

My personal rule of thumb is to evacuate for any storm that is a category 3 or higher and stay put for category 1 and 2 storms. I've lived on the northern Gulf Coast most of my life and have been through many storms. For someone living on the southeast Florida coast, I would recommend a northwest heading. Stay off the interstates as much as possible. Hotels and motels at interstate exits will fill first. Call ahead and make a reservation in a small town some ways off the interstate in the Florida panhandle (above I-10) or in southern Alabama or Georgia just over the Florida line. Dothan, AL, and Albany, GA, are good choices: big enough to have lots of hotel rooms but far enough off the beaten path to not attract hordes of evacuees.

Edited to add this thought about when to go: It's a really tough call. Your goal, of course, is to start driving just a little while before everyone else realizes they need to start driving. Most people will wait until the day before the storm's expected landfall because they work and have kids in school. If those are not obstacles for you (if you can work remotely and don't mind taking your kids out a day early), I'd go the day or evening before that. Sometimes it will be the wrong call. The storm will shift a little east or west of where it was predicted to hit. But that's life: you can only do the best you can with the limited information you have. Do go ahead and fill your gas tanks well in advance. I fill all my tanks up as soon as a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico just in case. Take two vehicles with you when you evacuate (if you have a family). One or another of you may need to come back sooner than the other to check the house, get back to work, etc.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:54 am

KSOC wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:36 pm
likegarden wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:07 pm
This is much too risky for me to live there, so we live in the NorthEast. I am risk adverse, I also own mostly low-risk index funds.
I remember an old Victory Garden show where a nursery owner showed what had happened to his vacation home on a Caribbean island. His house had concrete walls, and literally that' s all what was left after a hurricane passed over it, nice concrete walls and floor, nothing else.
You get a breach at a door, window or garage door, it's game over. Roof gone. I've done my best to counter that, but if it's a Cat 5 in my path, I'm gone. Pray if you're gonna get hit it's with the left side of the storm.
Is there not a significant risk that you won't know what Category it is until it is too late to evacuate?

Roads get jammed with traffic, or unusable.

That is why they did not order an evacuation of Houston, I believe. The Rita experience was that the road network jammed, people died in the traffic jams.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Rupert » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:54 am

Is there not a significant risk that you won't know what Category it is until it is too late to evacuate?
There's some risk of that, but the forecasts are generally better at predicting intensity than they are predicting precise landfall location. They are actually very good at assessing whether the storm has any potential to strengthen as it approaches land. For a perfect example of a tragically incorrect prediction of where a storm would make landfall, look back at media coverage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It was supposed to directly hit Mobile, AL, and many people there evacuated. But within 24 hours of landfall it had one of those eyewall adjustments that sent it farther east to the Florida/Alabama line. Folks in the Florida panhandle had not been expecting a direct hit, and it was devastating.

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englishgirl
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by englishgirl » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:30 am

My old house was in a mandatory evacuation zone for category 3 and higher. I did end up evacuating twice, and both times went south to family in Miami, because the track of the storms was heading more north. If the projected path was heading more south, then I would go north. I evacuated as soon as I could, bearing in mind the need to go to work (my work didn't officially close until it was certain that the storm was heading our way), then I had to put my storm protection up. By the time I left, the police were patrolling the neighborhood telling us it was time to go, but actually I was still in good time compared to many of my neighbors, or so I thought. I ended up driving on US 1 instead of I-95 because I had to drive through feeder bands, and it was very slow going. And scary in parts when there was heavy rain coming down plus a lot of rain water sitting on the road.

I rode out a category 1 storm, and felt very unsafe when the windows were rattling and barrel tiles were falling off the neighboring structure. However, it was helpful being home and being able to start the cleanup immediately. Also, it was good to really feel like a community as the neighbors rallied to help one another (I mean, we had done that anyway for the other storms but it feels different when you are all *just* emerging from hunkering down vs. rolling back into town 3 days later).

My thoughts - hotels anywhere close by will fill up quickly. And yet you will not want to go too far. Leave early so you are not driving through the storm - those feeder bands can extend out days in advance. When I evacuated, I felt very antsy waiting to go home, especially when a friend managed to get through to me to tell me they'd swung by my house and there was half a tree down in my driveway. I wanted to see the damage and start cleanup. And I worried a little bit about looting, even though there was initially a curfew in the area. Be flexible with your evacuation plans, as you may need to go north or south. Or directly inland. It really depends on the path of the storm. I think most people will automatically head north/to Orlando so I would think hotels north of you would fill up faster - if you are able to go the other way, you may have an easier option finding somewhere. I would regard shelters as being a last resort, especially if you have the financial means to get out of town and into a hotel. But definitely find out where your local shelters are.

Now we are further inland than my old place, and so we would probably stay put for up to a category 4. I would probably want to bug out if a category 5 was coming our way, even though we don't technically have to.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:32 am

A lot depends on your employment situation. Some jobs require employees (and not just first responders) to stay and not evacuate. Many more jobs will not allow evacuating as early as would be necessarily to do so safely.

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midareff
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by midareff » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:56 am

Depending on the storm Category and expected wind direction I would make a decision about 2 days out. Either go to the airport and take a flight to almost anywhere or start driving north or west then north. I've been in Miami 54 years now and have been in some of the majors, as has the 50 year old building I live in. Large object impact glass all around except for the balcony which has new shutters and it's third floor so water level rise is not a concern and it would take a storm surge in excess of 30' at the building before it got close which would be > Cat 5.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:58 pm

Rupert wrote: . . . the forecasts are generally better at predicting intensity than they are predicting precise landfall location. They are actually very good at assessing whether the storm has any potential to strengthen as it approaches land. For a perfect example of a tragically incorrect prediction of where a storm would make landfall, look back at media coverage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It was supposed to directly hit Mobile, AL, and many people there evacuated. But within 24 hours of landfall it had one of those eyewall adjustments that sent it farther east to the Florida/Alabama line. Folks in the Florida panhandle had not been expecting a direct hit, and it was devastating.
South Florida here, live not far from the National Hurricane Center. 8-)

Another example of this inability of the Hurricane Center to predict precise landfall - and I would add, to predict the accurate path of the hurricane once it makes landfall - is Hurricane Katrina when she hit Florida. Yes, THAT Katrina - she hit South Florida first, before Louisiana.

Katrina was off the southeast coast of Florida and on Aug 25, 2005, the 5:00 pm hurricane advisory said she was 15 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale in Broward County, Florida, moving west and expected to make landfall near Ft. Lauderdale then continue due west as a category 1 hurricane, crossing Florida to the west coast.

Katrina actually made landfall as a category 1 about 7:00 pm on Aug 25, about 15 miles south of Ft. Lauderdale, on the Broward County-Miami Dade County line, and the Hurricane Center predicted she would continue west across the state.

Then the Hurricane Center lost Katrina. They looked up. Katrina was literally blowing over their heads in western Miami Dade County, miles from Broward County, heading south to Key West 8-) - not west across the state.

Katrina then moved southwest down the western edge of Miami Dade County into Monroe County and emerged off the southwest coast of the Florida Keys, 60 miles north of Key West and a very long way from the initial projection of west across the state.

The Hurricane Center wrote this change of course was due to "a northerly flow around a strong large mid level high centered wall to her northeast" which can and did "control the motion of the hurricane."

The hurricane force winds extended out from Hurricane Katrina only 15 miles and she was only a category 1 at that point, so her change of course did not have a major impact on life and property.

However, hurricanes do not obey the best efforts of the Hurricane Center to chart their direction or intensity. These are dangerous unpredictable storms, they grow bigger and smaller, wobble here and bobble there, and before you know it, they're in your yard :annoyed

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:17 pm

tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:09 am
Just bought a home built with poured concrete and steel and plan to stay put....in a relatively new house built with newer hurricane codes. I'm not on the immediate coadt.
Do the hurricanes know, understand and will abide by the codes?
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:24 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:32 am
A lot depends on your employment situation. Some jobs require employees (and not just first responders) to stay and not evacuate. Many more jobs will not allow evacuating as early as would be necessarily to do so safely.

Very true. Most people will lose their jobs if they do not show up for work. I guess you can take vacation if they let you. Before I retired I worked for a utility and they were not letting anyone off, in fact everyone was on overtime. This is another advantage of being retired.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by BogleTails » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:07 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:11 am
tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:09 am
Just bought a home built with poured concrete and steel and plan to stay put....in a relatively new house built with newer hurricane codes. I'm not on the immediate coast.
Several people have said in this thread that they live in concrete houses and plan to ride out a storm. Did you see the pictures of Homestead?
As you recommend, it is best not to underestimate the destruction of these storms. However, I stayed in Miami through Andrew, about 20min North of Homestead. It all came down to distance from the water due to the surge, the construction quality of your home, and if a "tornado" hit you. It sucked to go weeks without power in August and have a leaking roof for months, but the same concrete block walls stand today. Most of the destroyed homes far from the water did not have their roofs attached at all due to corrupt and poor construction.

I don't ever expect to evacuate for a hurricane as I'll have to go to work and be stuck anyway.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Kitty Telltales » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:13 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:44 pm
Do people along the coast ever "safe" rooms inside their homes?
My mother used to crawl into her walk-in closet with a mattress over her. She would then sleep through the storms. True story as told by my sister who was with her once, scared to death. I believe she only went to a real shelter once.

Wilma hit just a few miles south of her condo, which is located quite close to the Everglades. That one fooled us because it came from the west. The only thing we lost were her antiquated, early 1970s hurricane shutters on the balcony. It's now replaced with an up to date version.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by Miriam2 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:14 pm

Kitty Telltales wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote: Do people along the coast ever "safe" rooms inside their homes?
My mother used to crawl into her walk-in closet with a mattress over her. She would then sleep through the storms. True story as told by my sister who was with her once, scared to death. I believe she only went to a real shelter once.
As Kitty described, the South Florida "safe" room is your inner bathroom or an inside closet. You can use your inner hallway, but if your windows break, the wind will whoosh you down the hallway.

During Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 with a gazillion tornadoes spinning off it, many friends used their inner bathroom tub (no water) as their safe area, covering themselves and children with mattresses from their beds. One of our friends had to pull one of the mattresses off the tub to brace against the bathroom door to keep the wind from blowing the door in after house windows broke.

Another friend left his wife and child in their master closet while he bravely checked his car in the garage :oops: . Then due to wind pressure, he couldn't get the door back open to get back into the house, so he finished Andrew in his garage with his beloved car while his wife and child huddled alone in their master closet (his wife was not impressed).

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:34 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:14 pm
Kitty Telltales wrote: My mother used to crawl into her walk-in closet with a mattress over her.
During Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 with a gazillion tornadoes spinning off it, many friends used their inner bathroom tub (no water) as their safe area, covering themselves and children with mattresses from their beds. One of our friends had to pull one of the mattresses off the tub to brace against the bathroom door to keep the wind from blowing the door in after house windows broke.
This gives a new meaning to hiding your valuables under a mattress!

Victoria
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:15 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:17 pm
tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:09 am
Just bought a home built with poured concrete and steel and plan to stay put....in a relatively new house built with newer hurricane codes. I'm not on the immediate coadt.
Do the hurricanes know, understand and will abide by the codes?
Lived through Super Storm Sandy, countless Nor'easters, blizzards, hurricanes in NY, I ain't running nowhere. Get some courage!!
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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RooseveltG
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by RooseveltG » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:48 am

I appreciate the suggestions. It looks like it makes sense to sit tight until 2 days out and then either drive/fly away.

Can anyone comment on traffic conditions to Orlando 48 hours before a hurricane is projected to make landfall?

Thanks.

Roosevelt.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by abner kravitz » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:56 am

I think its a good idea to book a hotel room in your preferred destination EARLY if you might need to evacuate. Right now, you can get free cancellation up until next Saturday or Sunday. As the storm gets closer, that benefit usually disappears along with the rooms. I have no idea if Irma is going to hit in my area, but I already have a room that takes pets. I'll cancel if the storm goes elsewhere.

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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:04 am

RooseveltG wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:48 am
I appreciate the suggestions. It looks like it makes sense to sit tight until 2 days out and then either drive/fly away.

Can anyone comment on traffic conditions to Orlando 48 hours before a hurricane is projected to make landfall?
Every single hurricane is different, so I would never go by what people did in the past. So it is possible that 48 hours out and it's a parking lot.
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Re: Florida Hurricanes: When and where to go?

Post by mouses » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:28 am

likegarden wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:07 pm
This is much too risky for me to live there, so we live in the NorthEast. I am risk adverse, I also own mostly low-risk index funds.
Not near the coast, I assume.

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