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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A survivor of Hurricane Michael just posted some great advice on preparing materially and emotionally for a major hurricane. Hopefully, none of you are in DORIAN's path, and if you are, I hope this isn't too late. (See liink or attached images.)

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157496960489686&id=828314685

It looks like this Dorian will miss me, but I'm geting 'gun shy'...
We moved to Florida on January 1, 2016.
No hurricanes hit Florida during the 10 previous years, 2006-2015.
The last time Florida had hurricanes in four consecutive years was 1947-1950.
THEN:
2016: Hermine (+ Matthew brushed the coast)
2017: Irma
2018: Michael (missed us by 50 miles)
2019: Dorian approaches
 

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It's well said

I couldn't figure out how to see all of the attachments but what I read was spot on. My sister and her family took a direct hit from Michael. She was texting during the storm and at one point we received a text that said, "We are in the garage because the roof is coming off the house. Don't know how this will turn out, love you."

We were sending them updates of the track of the storm because they had no power, no TV, no voice service only text which wasn't great either. They weren't physically harmed but when things died down enough so they could safely go outside about 20' of one end of their roof was gone. Not just the shingles, not just the roofing paper, not just the sheathing but trusses and everything including part of the brick gable end. This was a new roof that had basically been reinforced to handle a normal hurricane. It did not handle 155-160 mph wind so well.

Our son was in Mississippi and drove over the help as soon as he could. A couple of weeks later, my brother and I took my tractor, chainsaws, tools etc. down to do what we could. They were "camping" in the least damaged part of the house. You couldn't get in or out of their drive because a power pole and transformer were lying across the drive. The first thing I did after unloading my tractor was move the pole and transformer with the grapple. No worries about it being hot, the transformer had popped the cap and the line wires were a tangled mess. Had there been any back feed from a generator somewhere, there would have been sparkles. There wasn't an intact section of power line for miles, even large high voltage lines were down. It's the only time I've ever seen the large concrete poles that are 3' in diameter broken off due to wind.

We spent some long days moving damaged stuff to the roadside pile for pickup, cutting trees, putting on temporary roofing over the part that still had trusses etc. A lot of neighbors stopped by offering ice, cold drinks etc. The only formal relief agency I saw was a Red Cross truck with two guys. They had ice and some rakes. Since my brother in law had generators to keep things going, (and fuel) we declined the ice but did take a rake as his tools were still buried under the collapsed shed in the back yard.

They had one spot in the yard with cell service and left a stool there as it was their "office". For some reason, that was the spot. Not even when I was standing on what was left of their roof did I have service but I could call out from that one spot. That meant calls to and from their insurance companies were dicey so my wife and I ended up relaying messages. The adjusters showed up fairly quickly, in fact while we were there. My brother in laws truck was under a large pecan tree and was immediately deemed a total loss. Before we left, my brother and I cut the tree back, propped the trunk and jacked it enough to snatch the truck out. It was a little bent here and there but driveable. Settling the house claim took a long time and it was eventually settled as a total loss. Had that been an isolated house or even something like tornado damage, it could have been repaired more quickly and with less subsequent water damage. However with essentially tornado winds over a 25 mile wide swath that was 40 miles deep, there was no way to get a contractor in to fix it back to code before additional damage occurred. They eventually sold the remnants although in their hearts, they loved that house.

To say the storm left a scar on them is an understatement. It left a scar on me and I wasn't there. I'll forever wish my brother and I could have taken more material, stayed longer and helped more. My sister and her family were lucky, they had a rental house they could move into although it had damage, it was much less than their main house. They had generators and resources that many less fortunate people did not have. The physical, financial and mental scars are still deep and long lasting.

I've stayed through tropical storms and Cat 1 hurricanes. They had stayed through Cat II hurricanes before and been fine. Michael blew up from a 2 to a 5 so quickly there wasn't time to evacuate. In spite of the best efforts at forecasting, we don't really know what these storms will do. My advice for anyone in the track of a major hurricane is to get out unless you have a building that is built for 200 mph winds and enough food, water and other supplies to live for a month. Don't count on city water, it will likely be down. Don't count on city sewer, it will also go down. Don't count on relief showing up in days, they won't. You will be on your own for some time, certainly weeks, maybe months.

Treefarmer
 

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