The Hurricane list is out - how do you prepare for one outside the "zone?"

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The Hurricane center has predicted a much greater than usual season with the possibility of several cat 5 storms. While I am substantially inland, the recent issues with a sick tree have made me wonder what I should be doing to minimize the risks of hurricane damage should one hit. I used to feel safer from such storms, but since a tornado hit 5 blocks away, I am beginning to think no place along the east coast is really safe from hurricanes and wind storms. Especially since an F5 "super twister" hit just 50 miles away a few years ago in LaPlata, Md.
Here are the names selected for this year's hurricanes.
Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie and Walter.
Which ones are going to be the killer storms of 2010? Here's a list of some of the most damaging cat 5 storms to make landfall in chrono order.
Janet - Yucatn Peninsula Mainland Mexico 1955 Donna - Bahamas & Florida North Carolina, New York & Connecticut 1960 thel - Mississippi 1960 Carla - Texas 1961 Hattie - Belize Mexico 1961 Beulah - Texas Yucatn Peninsula 1967 Camille - Mississippi Cuba 1969 Edith - Nicaragua Louisiana Belize & Mexico 1971 Anita - Mexico 1977 David - Dominican Republic Florida Cuba, Bahamas & Georgia 1979 Allen - Texas 1980 Gilbert - Mexico Jamaica Mexico 1988 Hugo - Guadeloupe, Saint Croix, and South Carolina Puerto Rico 1989 ndrew - Eleuthera and Florida Berry Islands Louisiana 1992 Mitch - Honduras Mexico & Florida 1998 Isabel - North Carolina 2003 Ivan - Florida Grenada & Alabama 2004 Emily - Mexico (twice) Mexico Grenada 2005 Katrina - Louisiana & Mississippi Florida 2005 Rita - Louisiana 2005 Wilma - Mexico (twice) Florida 2005 Dean - Yucatn Peninsula Veracruz 2007 Felix - Nicaragua Grenada 2007
Based on this list, those beginning with D have the most hits (3) and the A's, C's, E's, H's, I's all have 2. That makes the most likely picks:
Alex, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Hermine and Igor.
Just based on the sound, I am voting for Hurricane Igor to be this year's killer storm.
-- Bobby G.
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On 6/4/2010 2:34 AM, Robert Green wrote:

I remember the politically correct silliness that went on years ago that resulted in adding male names to the hurricane naming procedure. I looked it up, in 1979, men's names were added to the list and I seem to remember some women's organization complaining about the storms were only named after women. Here's a quote from a website that's really funny and shows the stupidity of political correctness:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/36qosyx
In 2003, a member of the US Congress demanded hurricanes be given names that sound black. The US representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said that the current names are too lily white, and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting African-Americans and other ethnic groups.
All racial groups should be represented, Lee argued. I hope the federal weather officials would try to be inclusive of African-American names," a request that is still under discussion.
I can't wait for Hurricane Shaniqua or Hurricane Yolanda. I wonder if there has been a Hurricane Leroy? DJ Yakazoolu and Mad B Billy Jammy might work? Well, Lamont, Beyonce, Jarell and Kenyatta are actually some real names of Hip-Hop performers. I'd like to see some really bizarre names given to hurricanes. Perhaps a contest? A good start:
http://www.myrapname.com /
TDD
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On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 03:48:21 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Male named storms should then be call Himacanes.
(Donna was a Cat 4 and not at 5) I was kid, we took a direct hit in Lee Co. FL.
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On 6/4/2010 6:27 PM, Oren wrote:

Why not "Hisacanes"?
TDD
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On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 20:43:49 -0500, The Daring Dufas

That would mean the female names would then become Hissycanes.
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Oren wrote:

And the first male name was "Bruce."
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wrote:

I had no say, but would have voted against that name as a first choice. What a poor name....
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On 6/4/2010 9:04 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Yea, that storm sort of sashayed inland.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

But its footprint was light...
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I'd worry about these:
Hurricane Nancy Hurricane Harry Hurricane Obama
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
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On Jun 4, 7:23am, "Stormin Mormon"

We are now in the eye of Hurricane Obama.
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Robert Green wrote:

We live on the water, but haven't gotten direct hit. Our worst winds were about 70 mph...took out the huge skylight in atrium of our condo, but it wasn't secure because of roof damage. 5x15' plexi and aluminum skylight landed with the frame hanging in the top of one of our palm trees, plexi smashed all over the yard. That amount of wind loosened even concrete roof tiles on nearby homes, although I don't know if any became missiles.
The first thought is to keep exterior in good repair, caulking all tight and leak-proof. Expect wind and rain, so weather radio and a plan are most important. Secure important papers, have food and water for at least three days, a place for pets if you need to vacate, plenty of any rx meds, a plan to contact or meet neighbors in case neighborhood is trashed, flashlights and batteries. Reinforce fasteners for roof rafters> Install brackets to brace garage doors - that is one quick way for wind to destroy a home, the weakest point in many. If there are tree limbs overhanging roof, get them trimmed so they don't bang on the roof.
We have had two mandatory evacuations, one of which lasted three days. We had to secure stuff like trash cans because there is no indoor storage for them...If there are elderly or disabled neighbors, make sure they are taken care of. Hurricanes usually have tornadoes dancing around the edges, so be ready for anything. I'd be inclined to have hurricane shutters even if not on water.
During some flood several years ago, there was a news item about a guy who sandbagged all around his house after laying up plastic tarps. There was about 3-4 feet of flood water, but none got into his home, I was impressed :o) Dang lot of work.
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wrote:

You left out a gun with plenty of ammo :)
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clipped

I thought of it :o) Those inclined probably already have it on their list :o)
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Of course. Still, it should be a reminder to those who are not so inclined.
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After a hurricane, FEMA should sponsor tours of the devasted areas. I don't believe people can appreciate the scale of serious weather disasters until it happens to a place that you're familiar with and you see it and touch it and realize it goes from horizon to horizon.
I recall visiting the path of the twister that went through our town and was just shocked. Not only by the huge oak trees scattered like pixie sticks, but by the general rearrangement of stuff. The tornado sliced right through the local Home Depot, it got caught with huge bags of mulch and all the other stuff they keep stacked outside vulnerable to the wind. Mulch was everywhere, signs were everywhere (except where they should be) and it went on for blocks and blocks. The tornado had followed, almost exactly, the path of a small stream. It lifted cars 12 stories up, killing the occupants. Until that day, tornadoes were something that happened to Dorothy in movies and people in the midwest and the devastation was about a TV screen's worth. It just did not compute until I saw it for myself.

aluminum
I had a bird cap fly off the chimney and become a missile. It smashed my car windshield on the other side of the house. It was steel, sharp and pointy and easily could have killed someone. I am stunned by the people who know bad wind is coming and don't secure the basics like trash cans, lids, patio furniture, etc.

When I know a major storm is coming, I begin charging every chargeable battery in the house (many!) and empty and replenish the emergency water supply. I secure all external items that I can. If I were in the middle of the hurricane belt I would convert my decorative window shutters to real ones. I also backup the main computer to DVD-R and lock a copy inside the FireKing. It weighs over 500lbs so I assume it won't get far in a storm.
I don't know the record for storm-carried objects, but I recently saw a doco about the 1935 hurricane that described how some Rhode Island kids were carried safely to the next state in a raft that was actually the top portion of the attic where they had sought safety from the surge. Amazingly, it had broken free, floor and all, when the surge reached that height and sailed off in the storm like a little lifeboat.

Lots of people still have hurricance parties to try to ride out the storm. I don't think I would now in my post-youth. (-: The problem with evacuations is that most cities long ago exceeded their ability to move so many people so quickly. I heard one forecaster, I think it was Bob Sheets, say that if you have serious rush hour traffic problems on a daily basis, evacuation is probably going to be very difficult. So many places are dependent on one or two choke points like bridges that throttle the flow severely. And you can count on people being so freaked out that they drive worse than usual.
A friend on Hawaii says that after several false tidal wave evacs, he's certain a lot of people will just ignore the warning when a real one hits.

If you've even had a grazing hit, shutters are a great idea because they really lessen the damage potential. Even without a hurricane, a good Florida frog-strangler rainstorm can dump an enormous amount of water through a broken house window, especially wind driven rain. I spent some time there in the 80's and I've never seen rain like that anywhere ever. And then five minutes of feeling like you're driving a submarine, the clouds vanish, the rain burns off and it's like nothing ever happened. Florida is where I learned to always check my sunroof on the car, no matter how blue the skies were that second!

My friend, a fireman (they call them fireys) in Oz said that after several serious brush fires, people have installed diesel powered roof sprinklers, slate roofs and even have built insulated "safe rooms" inside their house to wait out the blaze. I saw a picture last week of a man who had built a similar safe room in his house in the tornado belt and sure enough, everything else was smashed flat and he stood in the door of his still-standing safe room, happy to be alive but not to cheered by the state of the rest of his house. You can do that with a tornado, but it would have to be a waterproof unit with a heavy duty snorkel or scuba tanks to survive the massive storm surges that often accompanying the big ones. I often thought the escape egg that Donald Pleasance rides in the movie Escape from New York would be a handy thing to have in the hurricane or tidal wave vulnerable areas. Maybe a surplus Mercury space capsule would work, too.
As for names, I think we should have unisex names for hurricanes. Here's Pat! (or Alex, Sam, Chris, Jean, Terry, Bobby, Dweezel, Moon Unit, etc,)
-- Bobby G.
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We had family in northern Indiana at the time of the Palm Sunday tornadoes, 1965. Part of that storm was a double funnel, and the damage was eerily evident for many years afterward. There were loads of stories in the papers...2x4's driven through tree trunks, kids pulled from the arms of their parents, etc. Weird stuff, like a bottle of aspiring turned to powder inside a medicine cabinet but no damage to the structure. One large subdivision was small homes all built on slabs, which we toured a couple of weeks after the storm. It is really an awful sight. Can probably still see the path in places where trees were mowed down, just like seeing a path mown through tall grass in the lawn.
During one of our mandatory evacs in '05 for hurricanes, we were still potentially in the path of the eye, so there was no thought in my mind about staying at home. My hubby would not leave, so I went to a motel with a girlfriend. Went back home to pick up more important stuff, and, hopefully, my hubby. He still would not leave, so my "stuff" really did not matter any more :o) A twenty-foot storm surge would put about 5 feet of water in my upstairs neighbor's condo...when I go, I don't want it to be from drowning or being crushed by part of a building.
My city is still building right up to the sandy beach...totally insane. I was raised in Chicago and there are miles and miles of waterfront that are open and scenic. Florida is a dump. I'm tempted to pray for tarballs to wash up on our beach...I'd be glad to go out and help clean up and enjoy being able to get out of the neighborhood on a weekend without tourist traffic :o)
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Robert Green wrote:

...
Indeed, that's generally true and in my observation while living in VA and TN is far more so for those east of Mississippi and not on the coasts where really severe weather isn't so common or generally _quite_ as severe. City dwellers also generally are more protected from the consequences other than the rare direct hit than are more rural areas w/ fewer services, etc., also, I think contributes to the problem.
...

I've no idea about "records" either, as I don't think there is any such thing other than anecdotal evidence generally collected as anything except novelty (as opposed to an actual study of same except as done by NOAA/NWS for classification purposes).
But, my latest relatively local (<100 mi) example of the incredible is the Greensburg (KS) EF5 that obliterated 90+% of the town. It left a JD 9600-series combine over ten miles from its starting point in the dealer's lot on the west edge of town.
MANUFACTURER MODEL      John Deere 9670 STS Headers Platforms     25 ft, 30 ft, 35 ft, 40 ft     Row-Crop Heads     ---     Corn Heads     12 Narrow, 8 Wide ...     Engine     Type     John Deere 6 cyl. 9.0 L     Displacement     548 cu. in. (9.0 L) ...     Horsepower     305     Horsepower with Power Boost     338 Grain Handling     Grain Tank Size     250 bu. or 300 bu. optional     Unloading Auger Length     21.5, 22.5 or 26-ft ... ... Capacities     Fuel Capacity     250 gal.     Transport Height (in the field position)     14-ft. 10-in. Base Weight-Less Head     Grain     ---     Corn     32,661 lb. (14815 kg)     
--
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about a

Eventually, either a Cat5 'cane or an F5 tornado is going to barrel through a major US city. We've had a lot of near misses - the F5 that hit La Plata, Maryland could have just as easily hit the nation's capital. If the 'cane of 35 happened today, crossing over Long Island and into Rhode Island, the damage would be close to incomprehensible. Evacuating Long Island wouldn't be very easy if it's possible at all - everyone would have to go through NYC and just a few bridges to find safety.
Anyone who's been in NYC during a bad rush hour knows that many, many islanders won't make it. The same problems go for many, many coastal areas. If that happens, we'll be bailing out the insurance industry, who will make their denial of Katrina claims look like a big money giveaway. The Feds, I am sure, have been vigilant regulating the insurance industry as thoroughly as they did the stock market, the banks and the off shore drilling industry. There hasn't been a big payout from insurers since the stock market tanked and I am sure they bought up junk CDO's just like every other large investor. They've just been able to conceal their losses better than other investors.

Ouch! That's quite a trip. Now that video cameras are everywhere, there's some unbelievable close-up footage of tornadoes and their power. I recall seeing slo-mo footage of a tractor trailer, a cow, a couch and a pickup truck all airborne and whirling around in the debris cloud.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

...
...
I'll venture a guess that was from the terrible movie some years ago. Sounds very much like the epic scene therefrom. :) (I have seen that claimed to be real, not special effects). I would be most surprised if that were, in fact, actual storm footage, amateur or spotter, and quite interested to see it if it really were.
I've seen precious little footage that has much specific debris of major size actually discernible in real footage owing to several factors...if they're really large enough, the amount of dirt and other stuff is such that it isn't possible to see far into the wind field itself. Lots of tin, paper, sheathing, etc., yes; automobiles and such not so much.
Quite often other than on the far horizon when first form, the funnel itself is rain-wrapped to the point it's not even possible to tell there's actually a funnel at all other than rare glimpse that often can't be told from a lower wall cloud, anyway.
Then, on top of that, a large number form from late afternoon or evening mesoscale thunderstorms so that by the time there are tornadoes it's already dark.
Not that there aren't a few, but with as many as there are in the area and with all the spotters w/ cameras monitoring all of them I don't think I've ever actually seen that kind of footage during the event itself; only the aftereffects.
Spotters followed the Greensburg tornado for over two hours and almost 70-80 miles of total track trailing directly behind it but other than a couple of shots against horizon before it got to be truly huge, it was typical in that it was difficult to spot except by lightning or by watching where transformer flashes were as it took out power lines, etc.
--
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