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Irma, Learning Experience and update!

20170910_150935Hey all howdy from sunny Florida.  They said it would be nice and relaxing down here – so much for that.  Thanks all for the prayers and thoughts – Ken AA0UU gave me a shout on IRLP today and passed well wishes along.  Hams are supporting the local shelters. In our town the club listens for

5 minutes at the top of each hour – repeater is pretty much monitored all day though.  There is a central Florida linked repeater system with nightly nets and some HF nets but I have not heard them.  Looks like this is going to be a good time to see what a guy needs when it hits the fan.

Got the Generator ready, filled up and extra gas. Stocked up on food, water, car is full. taking reasonable precautions – I didnt get plywood but I got some other stuff to board up a bunch of windows.  I even took 4 bifold doors off of closets to put in front of our patio doors to break the wind and shield them a bit.   Things get nuts – lesson learned – get hurricane shutters or plywood EARLY.

Gas stations ran out of gas yesterday, food stores were wiped out.  See ya alls later !   73

Joel , KQ0J   Sun City Center Fl

 

Well here is an update. We did OK – we stocked up on fresh water, had 65 gallons saved in a garbage can and various containers. 2 weeks of food and drinking water and beer and bourbon for medicinal purposes.  Medicines, first aid supplies, batteries flashlights etc.

Ham radio: All HT’s charged,  SLA battery charged and adapter for HT.   Deep Cycle battery charged and next to the rigs in case it was needed. Emergency antennas at the ready.   The local club did a good job with people stationed at the Hospital and nursing home and other places.  We had a Net at the top of every hour during the storm to share reports and any needs.   Hams set up an orange sign EMERGENCY in front windows to let neighbors know that they had communications if needed. If you had an emergency yourself you could put a pillow case over your street lantern.  VHF nets and linked reoeaters / IRLP were the best way to know what was going on in the immediate vicinity.

Emergency services:  Just a note -these are all suspended when the winds reach 35 MPH or so. If you have a problem you are just out of luck until the storm passes – they tell you that if you call 911 for any reason nobody is coming out until after the storm.   Shelters filled up early for the people nearby in evacuation zones – we were not in one at 45 feet above sea level but just a few miles from us were evac zones.    The eye of the storm passed 30 miles from us inland – it had weakened to 90 PMH by then and we only had peak winds of 70 MPH – just like a big Tstorm in Nebraska – only lasting for hours.   STRANGEST THING > NO LIGHTNING in the hurricane storms.  There were a lot of tornadoes in the storms and that was a bit scary in the dark when the worst came through.

If you are ever in that situation or for Tornadoes – get you supplies EARLY dont count on ANYTHING being available including gasoline or water – you need to be able to be self sufficient for a week or two after the storm.  Don’t sit on your rear end thinking that the ‘ Government ‘ needs to take care of you – you need to take care of yourself and your family.