Posted by: guinness222 | August 16, 2008

“Attention shoppers,..don’t forget your hurricane supplies!

Tropical Storm Fay is lurking around, or “in the box” as they say (I’ll explain that later) Did my due diligence thing on the computer this morning on it.

             As a former weather forecaster, and now Association Manager,…well this is my absolute forte! I really know how Robert Duvall felt in Apocalypse Now when he said, “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning!” I get that “rush” when a Hurricane closes in. Not a vicarious fear, or wish for damage, but since we’ve moved to Florida, going on 11 years now, I get to use all my knowledge and training from the service in weather observation, analysis, and prediction. Even after I got out of the service I was always “dabbling” in weather, not all the hi-tech stuff (couldn’t afford it!) but the patterns, contributing causes and factors impacting weather, winds, rain, ,…well everything. Then when I got into property management about five or six years ago they dove-tailed perfectly. Everyone is scared to death of a Hurricane and they break speed records bailing out of here, leaving just the property management guys to handle things. So what do we do?

       Well starting with today and the arrival of a storm about five calendar days away, I’ll start patroling the properties at least once a day, and up to two or three times a day inside the 3 day window. I’m looking to see who’s staying, who’s bailing and when, answering questions from residents and renters, ad staying calm. I try and make sure EVERYONE pulls thier patio furniture off the decks and gets it inside, (if they don’t have room, toss it in the swimming pool if it’s heavy enough to sink, it’ll sit on the bottom and wait for you to come back. If you’ve got hurricane or storm shutters and it’s going to be more than 50 mile an hour gusts, you might want to put them on. (Most buildings here are already , by building code equipped with stronger glass in windows and doors, but always good to be safe.

       Also making sure digital cameras are ready to go (insurance claims demand pictures) , they also can be thrown up on web sites so people can see what thier property looks like and if there is any or what type of damage. Got to be sure all the Insurance policies are readily at hand, list of carrier claims agents and the like, get trash cans and any other “potential missles” battened down, etc.

        I keep my computer on 24/7 and have radio and TV on as well just to be sure I catch any changes in direction, intensification, etc. We make sure we have plenty of water, bottled, old milk jugs filled, and if it’s going to be a really bad one we’ll fill the bathtub and all the sinks as well. Make sure we have plenty of propane (two tanks, nothing like the still after the storm passes and a nice big steak and some baked beans to relax a bit, electricity or not. We keep a box with virtually every size battery you can find, dozens of them “just in case”. You make sure both cars are full of gasoline and will be secured in the garage before it hits, and you relax.

          A hurricane has an anatomy, and the more you know of the anatomy the better off you are. For example, the upper right quadrant of a Hurricane is usually where the really severe wind and rain occurs, the real damaging stuff. Sure there’s som ein the other quadrants but not nearly as much. And yes the eye is dead calm, one of the erriest feeling you will ever be in.

          We watch the weather channel a lot (remember there are absolutely no telephone or electric poles in the Gulf of Mexico, so we don’t lose power and all, if we are going to , until it comes ashore) In fact during our “first” Florida hurricane I took a picture off the TV of the overhead satellite shot of it directly over us, if I can find it I’ll post it later today or tomorrow.

         I’ve posted some hurricane pictures on my “my facebook” account if you are interested in seeing some of the damage from ’04 and ’05 around here.

          Well gotta run for now, things to do, I’ll give you updates as we go and a few more articles anyway from me.

-30-


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