View Full Version : Dealing with Isaac

08-23-2012, 12:51 AM
Well, here I am in Central Florida, with Hurricane Isaac due to visit in about four days. Advice?

For example, if I don't run off northward -- not planning to -- what precautions should I take? I plan to have full tanks (water, diesel, propane) and empty tanks (black, grey). That way if power goes out I'll have plenty available runtime on the generator and plenty endurance of all sorts.

When expecting a blow, should I leave the leveling jacks down (for added stiffness against being moved by wind) or up (for a wider footprint, since the tires are farther apart than the jacks)?

How about other stuff I don't think of because I'm new to full-timing?

All advice, all thoughts welcome.

08-23-2012, 07:07 AM
Carl, There is no such thing as being safe in an RV during a hurricane. I've been unfortunate to have been in a couple and the energy in a storm is unbelievable. Best advice is to get the hell out of there. In case you stay, good luck.

08-23-2012, 12:21 PM
Well, here I am in Central Florida, with Hurricane Isaac due to visit in about four days. Advice?

For example, if I don't run off northward -- not planning to -- what precautions should I take?

There is basically one way (Actually several variations on it) to be safe in an RV during a hurricane..

It's called Nebraska (Wisconson, Northern Michigan,, And so on).

08-23-2012, 07:52 PM
High ground inland.

08-23-2012, 08:28 PM
... Nebraska (Wisconson, Northern Michigan,, And so on).

... but not Kansas. They have tornadoes in Kansas, as Dorothy and Toto discovered. If I got carted off to Oz, I'd have to get a new callsign, starting with VK. Even without a number and more letters, that's still lots more dits and dahs than I have now.

08-23-2012, 08:34 PM
The attitude of not leaving does not make sense. You have the warning and the ability to go.

If you must stay find an open field, somewhere that doesn't have material that can blow against you, including a rush of water.

Go to the local hardware and purchase 8 of the large screw in anchors and enough chain to attach each of your four corners with chain over the axle, at each corner, connect each of two anchors spaced at that corner of your RV.

Your windows may blow out and you may not be covered by insurance.

If you are in the path and you stay :poke: you are foolish.


08-23-2012, 08:34 PM
With each update at NOAA, the predicted track moves a little more west, farther away from where I am (Clermont, FL, as you can see on HTTP://APRS.FI ). So I'll just watch vigilantly, but likely won't see much from it.

08-23-2012, 08:44 PM
We don't want to find your trip report in the "Not Good News" forum. :crutch:

I figure 48 hours in a Walmart parking lot is about as much trouble as trying to prepare for the storm. And a point was made that I hadn't thought of...flying debris. Why risk tearing up a perfectly good motorhome?

08-23-2012, 09:00 PM
I haven't decided to stay; I haven't decided to go. I haven't decided. I've got more than half a week to decide. But these remarks help; they incline me to go north more readily, and sooner, if it looks like good ol' Izzy is coming after all.

I have canceled a planned trip to Delray Beach this weekend for a Judo tournament in which some friends will compete. That's 200 miles south, and thus 200 miles farther from apparent safety. Monday, if still in Clermont, I'll find out how they did, and whether they used what little I've taught'em as a visiting instructor.

I have weathered 'canes before. Back when Miami was still part of the USA, I lived there (and in Orlando too) and went through a couple of'em. Can't remember their names, but they probably forgot me too.

08-23-2012, 11:50 PM
There is actually a "good" and "bad" side of the storm. The eastern side is the bad side because of the rotation of the storm. Right now, Florida is on the bad side. So far I am still on the good side.

If I were you, I would seriously think about heading north, even if its just a hundred miles or so. If you decide to leave, please leave early as you don't want to be stuck on the interstate with all of the other cars.

Good luck and keep us posted.

08-24-2012, 12:46 PM
The Eastern side is the bad side, usually, because the storm rotates counterclockwise and that portion of the storm that is on the east and northeast of center has been over open water when the storm approaches the eastern coast of a continent. In this case, Isaac will be coursing up the west coast of Florida, about 100 miles offshore, and any portion of the storm that comes to Central Florida will have been over land for about 200 miles; so the general rule may not apply with its usual strictness.

In open ocean in the northern hemisphere, this is also the case, because the airmasses on the eastern side are coming north and have been over waters to the south, which typically are warmer; while the airmasses on the western side are coming south and have been over cooler waters to the north.

Still, it looks to me as if Central Florida isn't going to see much from Isaac. If I were in Pensacola or Mobile, though, I'd head out now.
None of that reduces the wisdom of your advice to be ready to head north; and I am, and will be, ready to do just that.

08-24-2012, 01:33 PM
I liked the Kansas comment. Hey, I am allowed to have a guest here in Michigan,, Now I do recall one monster Hurricane that made it all the way to Detroit (I'm north of Detroit) but by the time it got there we called it "Scattered Showers" and it did no damage. Not even a downed twig.

If you want to come visit let me know when and I'll let you know where.

08-24-2012, 11:45 PM
Thanks, YXM. Will the offer still be good next summer, when it'll be godawful hot in the South and nice and cool in Michigan? :whistle:

Of course, someone would have to spring for the $1000 worth of diesel --

08-24-2012, 11:50 PM
The thing has wheels for a reason, crank it up and GO. having lived through several hurricanes, you do not want to be in the path of one in any RV.

I sure do not want to see a posting for you in QST as an SK.


08-26-2012, 11:16 AM
Starting to watch Isaac with more interest this morning. That sucker keeps creeping west....dang it.

08-26-2012, 12:04 PM
Starting to watch Isaac with more interest this morning. That sucker keeps creeping west....dang it.

And you're in Lafayette.

I've lived in Florida for a total 31 of my 71 years, and I've been watching hurricanes most of that time.

It's my observation that the predicted track almost always moves west as the storm approaches -- concluded long ago that that's a systematic error in the prediction models. Isaac was projected to come ashore at Panama City, then (later predictions) in Pensacola, then Mobile. The current projection has it coming ashore at Biloxi or maybe Pascagoula in several more days. Me, I'd bet it'll be west of there, and Lafayette is certainly west of there. I'm betting on anywhere between N'Awlins and Galveston, with Lafayette as the likely bullseye. I'd move. Here in Clermont (a little west of Orlando) I no longer expect anything but a blustery day or two, no worry.

I have a friend in Lafayette. Jeff Miller runs a Judo club there. Know him? Haven't heard from him in a while.

08-26-2012, 05:15 PM
No, not really into judo. Sorry.

I just saw the update at 4pm. Looks like it keeps moving west. Now New Orleans is in the discussion. Good thing the generator was just checked out.

Guess I'll head out to the backyard and start to see what needs to be secured (good thing I just cleaned out the garage).

Probably wont be leaving. The truck is still not repaired so no way to haul trailer :(

We will hunker down here or possibly bug out to the north if it looks like it might get to cat 3 or more.

08-27-2012, 10:47 AM
Nothing but rain in Clermont; no significant wind. It's much gentler than our normal daily summer thunderstorms.

Currently it looks like Isaac is going to center-punch Red Stick (aka Baton Rouge), so in Lafayette you're going to be close. Be safe.

08-27-2012, 11:38 AM
Hurricane net control freq is 3.890. Will be activated tonight at 6PM. Hams outside the affected area are requested to not transmit on the freq unless asked by net control.

One Country Boy
08-27-2012, 05:40 PM
Hi Fellers,

I've been watching Isaac for several days. For awhile it appeared it was headed straight for my QTH, now it appears as though Galen has the bullseye on his back.

We got our first rain band a couple of hours ago. We've had a little blow from time-to-time but nothing serious. Carl, you should be OK in Clermont now. There is always the worry about tornadoes. Unpredictable, and travel quickly. You never know what these hurricanes will do once they are in the Gulf. The scientist have gotten very good and predicting the paths but after getting up into the Gulf, they can do funny things. I recall on in years passed that went west, paralleling the panhandle's coastline. Once it got out off the coast of New orleans, did a 180 and came right back along the same path and went in around Perry, FL. Looks as though we will be on the east side (bad side) of this one, but hopefully far enough out we'll only get rain and some winds.

NN5!, when you talk about leaving, it's best to do it early. The traffin tends to get bottled necked if you wait too long. You certainly do not want to get caught on the road, stuck in traffic. Another consideration is driving that very high-profile vehicle. Lot's of wind resistance on that machine.

The genny is ready to go here and I have several containers of non-ethynol gasoline. Hopefully we will not need it, but I strongly expect we will. Our ground is already saturated with all the rain we've had and living in these rural areas, the trees are likely to fall on the power lines. I found plenty of size D batteries for our lanterns. Most place were sold out of the "D Cells". We will fill the bath tubs to flush the johns and I have several cases of bottled water. We have no gas appliances in the house and will have to run the genny to pump water from our well and heat the water for showers. It will also keep our freezer collection frozen. Hopefully any failures will not take long to get us back on-line. I think we are ready.

Keep intouch Galen. I sent you a message on Face Book checking on you.

73 for now guys.

08-27-2012, 11:31 PM
Good evening everyone:

We are as ready as we will ever be...so BRING IT ON :jitter:!

Spent the day yesterday picking up all the stuff in the yard and securing it in the shed or the garage.

We are located south of I-10 and are about 25 miles north of the gulf. The good thing is a lot of that 25 miles is marsh land which will minimize the storm surge. We are about 15 feet above sea level here. Our neighborhood has never flooded and so we should be in good shape as we saw no flooding during Katrina, Rita or Lily.

Worked all day and stopped to fill up the truck with gas on the way home. Filling up turned into about an hour long adventure because all of the usual gas stations on the way home were completely out of gas. Finally found some, but had to wait my turn in line. Filled up the truck and a couple of gas cans. All is good.

We are in good shape with other supplies. We have plenty of water. The pool will suffice for cleaning and bathroom duties. We are on a well, so the generator can give us drinking and cooking water. Generator is tuned up and ready to be put to work on the freezer, fridge, lights and fans.

Did not board up the windows yet. I have all the plywood cut and in storage for such events. I will decide in the morning whether they need to be taken out of storage and installed (usually only takes me about 30 minutes to an hour).

So for all intense purposes, we are ready.

Will keep everyone informed as to our status as we are able. I am really hoping all we get is some rain and a little wind.


08-29-2012, 10:19 AM
Keep us posted, Galen. We care.

One Country Boy
08-29-2012, 11:02 AM
Wonder how Galen and Family are doing. The last post was night before last. I was watching the Weather Channel last night, looks as though he was right in the path and getting some bad wx. It still appears that way this morning.

Carl, you probably received more rain then we did. We had sun most of the day yesterday. Some light breezes and a few gusts. No rain to speak of. Overcast today but no rain. A gust from time-to-time.

Galen may be without power. The bad thing about Isaac is the longevity of it. I'll look over on Face Book to see if Galen has been there.

08-29-2012, 03:06 PM
Looks like Isaac is about over Lafayette now (3 pm EST Wednesday), headed for Alexandria. Borderline strength now, and they've resumed calling it Tropical Storm Isaac. It'll be very windy and very rainy at Galen's house for a while.

One Country Boy
08-29-2012, 04:10 PM
Actually, the eye is about 25 - 35 miles to the east of Lafayette. I'll try to upload these three pics. These are from the radar out of Slidell, LA. They indicate the radar, wind velocity (in knots, to and from the dopplar radar) and the approximate accumulated rainfall. These are collected from my GRLevel3 software package. Taken today at approximately 2:55 PM CDT.

I don't know if the pics are large enough for you to read the values from the colors or not. There seems to still be some 70 knot winds to the N and S of the radar site.

One Country Boy
08-29-2012, 05:14 PM
The center of the circle is my QTH, about 2 miles north of the center of Wewahitchka, FL. The rings in the circle are 25 miles apart. The showers over our area are traveling south to north. The outer bands of Isaac can be seen to the west, over around the Mobile and Pensacola area. We have received more rain from Isaac then any other day, and that was hardly measurable.

Carl, you have scattered showers all around your area as well.

08-29-2012, 06:24 PM
Carl, you have scattered showers all around your area as well.

Very scattered, a normal summer day. I put up a two-meter antenna today on a piece of pipe that I washed into the ground a couple days ago. Rohn gin pole attached to the pipe, and antenna attached to the gin pole. I seem to be in an RF hole here, though.

08-29-2012, 11:42 PM
Hey everyone;

We are doing fine. We are getting a lot of wind and rain but nothing too serious. Winds have been fairly steady around 30-40mph and we have probably received 3-4 inches so far. We have been VERY lucky so far (better than those to the east).

Lost the chimney cap and a few limbs in the backyard. Only lost power for about 15 minutes last night.

Did not board the windows and don't think it was needed.

We will still have a pretty rocky night tonight, but do not expect anything worse than what we had today.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. It is/was much appreciated.

One Country Boy
08-30-2012, 07:56 AM
Nice to see you on Galen. Glad to hear you and the family are OK. That is/was one slow moving storm. It can get pretty nerve racking riding some of those things out. The length of time it takes for the passing should be considered into the catagory.

One Country Boy
08-30-2012, 08:26 AM
This is the current radar out of Polk AFB. Photo taken 8-30-12 about 0718 CDT. Galen appears to be on the south edge of the eye. Sure has been moving very slowly. I'm sorry Wade, but I wish it would go up and stall on you guys a few days, then maybe the Army Corp of Engineers would give us good Florida and Alabama people some water down the river. I could have waterfront property again. :whistle:

08-30-2012, 09:06 AM
Did not board the windows and don't think it was needed.

If they've still got glass in them, you must be right. :whistle: Really glad you got no worse than you describe; it was worrisome. Cheers!

One Country Boy
08-31-2012, 08:53 AM
I think we've received the last of our rains from Isaac as well. Hot and humid for a few days now.

Glad ya'll did so well Galen.