Hurricanes and Monday’s Always Bring Me Down

I’ve lived back in the USA about 5 years and now lived through my 2nd Atlantic Hurricane.  Florence put a whooping on New Bern in 2018 and Dorian which just passed was a NEAR miss on New Bern.  We caught the very edge of it.

But every big life event like this teaches you some things.  One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that the news Hurricane coverage just was not up to date.   You could be awake at 3 AM and check the news web sites and their latest updates were 2-3 hours old.  In a fast moving hurricane, headed for you, 2-3 hour old news is age old.

Prior to the storm I set up a GOES satellite receiver which pulls down data from GOES-16 EAST.  The data looks like this:

In most instances those images are less than 10 minutes old from the time the satellite captures, transmits, and you receive the image.  You can take that picture and go to the National Hurricane Center website and get the latest speed and direction (compass heading) the storm is headed.


While I am not a weather bug and don’t understand many nuances of weather movement I can plot a compass heading.

So the news would say at say 10 PM that “the hurricane will be at such and such location in a couple of hours”, and in a couple of hours you’d seek out an update and it would be the same update you heard previously.  So the first update was an educated guess and the 2nd update was old information.

Sorry.  No thanks.  That just isn’t accurate enough.  However, this being said no one else should follow the information that I post in a potential life and death situation. I am NOT an expert. Just a geek.

In addition to GOES I can also download Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signals from NOAA satellites.

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This information is also pretty much real time information.

What else have I learned about typhoons and hurricanes?  These things will help you get through the worst of them.

  • Big, bad, bright flashlight.  More are better. Set around strategic locations in the house.
  • Whole house generator or massive gas powered generator.  I have a WE7500 watt generator.
  • GASOLINE.  Enough to run your generator a few days.  I keep around 30 gallons.
  • A small inverter generator.  Inverter generators provide CLEAN power.  Good for sensitive electronics.
  • Full tank of gas.
  • Little bit of cash in your pocket.  When the power is out the hotel or gas station can’t take your card.
  • Emergency Food.  While you may have power, and you may be able to cook having some of those 30 day buckets of 25 year food is a MUST.
  • Your favorite drink.  If you love Coke, buy a couple packs because you might be stuck a few days.  Your favorite beverage or snack will help you through.
  • DO YOUR LAUNDRY THE DAY BEFORE to include sheets and blankets and stuff. Having clean fresh stuff to sleep on and wear makes you feel successful.
  • Buy one of those lithium, solar, 5V chargers.  Having a dead cell phone in an emergency situation is not good.
  • Have movies, DVD’s, music CD’s, or books for entertainment.  You can play movies and music on a laptop.
  • Shortwave radio,   and/or AM/FM radio for communications.
  • TV with an over the air antenna.  If you have power from a generator having a TV and access to local news can help.
  • WATER.  WATER. WATER.  Don’t wait until the last day to buy it.  Keep several cases in the pantry at all times.
  • Tools.  Simple hand tools can be invaluable.
  • Be CONFIDENT in your abilities to prepare.  Make a plan and be prepared to carry it out.

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