Hurricane Florence

Today is the day we find out if I’m as prepared as I think I am.   While it no longer seems to be a direct hit it does seem like we are JUST outside the hurricane force wind zone and will be in the Northeast Quadrant of the storm where the heavy rains are.  Some forecasts show 20-40 inches of rain in this area which will cause massive flooding.  I fully anticipate our neighborhood will get cut off.

I’m an RTL-SDR geek and in a pinch that means when the NOAA satellites fly by I can download the Automatic Picture Transmission signal (APT) directly from the satellite and receive real time telemetry.   That’s pretty cool I think.  Here’s one from Sep 12th in the late afternoon.


So here are my basic preparations:

  • Westinghouse WH7500E, 7500 watt whole house generator.  My installation set up is here
  • Four, 2kW inverter generators.  Whole house generators supply dirty power.  Inverter generators supply very clean power. Clean enough to charge sensitive electronics.  All four generators have a full tank.  I really only need one but having 4 gassed up and ready to go gives me days of charging power.
  • Emergency Food from Augason Farms .  Actually have buckets from other companies as well.  Just threw one up for an idea of what you can get.  I have about 90 days of food here.
  • Prepper foods like oatmeal, rice, and beans.  These items only need water to be prepared. Peanut butter and a bread machine will take you a long ways as well.  I have several bags of flour and yeast ready to go.
  • Water (of course).  Several cases of water and I have a Rockwood A122, pop up, A frame camper that holds 26 gallons of potable water.  If damage to the house occurs and I can still get the camper out I can cook on LP and have that water.  It has an outdoor shower but not sure the neighbors would appreciate that. Also my hot tub is full.  Will take baths in that if I need to.
  • Radios.  I literally have a dozen battery powered radios, some with NOAA Weather Alert.  All are charged and ready to go.
  • Batteries.  Lots and lots of batteries.  Most rechargeable.
  • Solar battery charger.  Built my own.  Store bought solar chargers cost too much.
  • Police Scanners.  I have 2 police scanners and hope to listen in on EMS and rescue actions and pass information if possible.
  • RTL-SDR devices.  With these you can essentially monitor ALL frequencies. If you are cut off it is nice to know you can listen in to the FEMA folks, or whomever.  I once wrote an article published at regarding using a laptop as a preparedness tool. 
  • Ham Radio.  I am licensed as KN4FMV.  If needed I intend to run emergency traffic for anyone in my neighborhood who needs it.
  • Flashlights and Utility knives
  • Deep freezer full of meat. Rice cooker, bread machine.  In a pinch, it’s bread and water baby.
  • Several day supply of gasoline and a full tank of gas in the truck.  If we lose power for an extended period of time and I cannot get gasoline locally then I’ll hook up the camper and go live off the grid.

There are dozens upon dozens of other little things ready such as movies on the iPad, books, the laundry is all done, etc.  It is the little things that make power outages bearable but having a whole house generator should mitigate that some provided I have enough gasoline to ride out any lengthy power outage.  I’m hesitant to store too much gasoline as it is dangerous and also gasoline goes bad.  I do treat my gas with STABIL however even through routine cycling (using gas in lawnmowers, or occasionally dumping a can in the truck) all that gas just sits and sits and sits.   The more you have, the longer it sits.

So anyway……..we’ll see if I did this right or not.  I’m confident I can live a week here with no power and water and confident I can get out.  I also have enough faith in my President and FEMA that they’ll drop MRE’s and water if we really get in a bad situation.

God Bless all of you and I hope we ride this out with no harm to ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors.

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