Geeks With Blogs

Neat Stuff Read all my hurricane entries While you are here, visit the Geeks With Blogs main feed
Links Status of the Navy
Channel 9

.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World Hurricane My lessons about survival when the wind blows.
Hurricane Season 2010 Starts
Here we are at the start of another hurricane season. As with past years, I have been preparing. Last year I had the house painted with a high-quality paint, giving the stucco its best waterproofing possible. I have a few cracks to patch with elastomeric patching material. I will paint it to match the house later. I also need to clean out the anchors for the lower angle brackets and reattach them. I had removed the brackets for painting. You can read all my past hurricane entries here. The predictors ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 1, 2010 7:45 PM

Happy Hurricane Season!
Everyone say hello to Tropical Storm Barry. All the forecasters have been downplaying this storm as nothing but a rainmaker, but it looks like we will get a little breeze out of it too. It should be clear by COB Saturday, so overall it seems to be nothing but a refreshing wakeup to everyone who needs to get out and spend money during the Florida hurricane sales tax holiday. I hope the people flying down early are not too disappointed by the rain and wind. Everything should be past for Orlando by ......

Posted On Friday, June 1, 2007 5:14 PM

Hurricane 2006
It begins! We have been innundated here in Orlando with dire warnings of multiple catastrophic storms all trying to fit through our windows. Florida has told everyone to be self-sufficient for 5-7 days while rescue crews work to save the sick, infirm, elderly and stupid (we have lots of all four). Previously, we were told to be able to hold out for three days. I have patched my stucco cracks again this year to help keep out the wind driven water. My storm shutters are standing by. The generator is ......

Posted On Thursday, June 1, 2006 7:48 PM

2005 Hurricane Season Now Really Over
I intentionally delayed posting this until today to ensure my 2005 numbers were really, really accurate. As it turns out, I was brilliantly prescient, because in the last 31 days since the mainstream media produced its cluster of End of Hurricane Season stories, nature proved once again that artificial deadlines really are artificial. We have had two named storms this December, and the last one is still hanging on in the far eastern Atlantic. In 154 years of record-keeping, this year had the most ......

Posted On Saturday, December 31, 2005 3:48 PM

Hurricane Dennis Observations
We are very thankful here in the Orlando area that Hurricane Dennis went elsewhere. We feel for the people in the Pensacola area who are getting whacked by the storm, which is coming ashore right about now. Central Florida got hit by some strong storms from the feeder bands, but they were very much like our almost-daily thunderstorms. I saw some tree damage, but no building structural damage. I also see that my weatherdude and reporter predictions have come true. They are using videophones to go ......

Posted On Sunday, July 10, 2005 12:17 PM

Long-term Hurricane Lessons
After the storms, we have come across some additional long-term lessons. Update 1: Test your computer UPS batteries. One of mine failed quickly during the first hurricane and did not let me do a controlled shutdown. They have all been replaced. Update 1: Do not underestimate the effects of stress. Florida has been the 2004 target, and people are beginning to think every hurricane is going to try to fit through their window. The easiest thing to ease this appears to be simply talking about it and ......

Posted On Thursday, September 16, 2004 6:55 PM

Welcome to the Hurricane Blog
Well sort of, but I have been distracted by external events for the past couple of weeks. Check out all of my hurricane related posts here. Work and weather defense has been keeping me away from almost everything else. Now, a third hurricane (Ivan) is approaching. This too we shall survive, but I wanted to make some comments for those of you who are not in the state. I would not necessarily accuse the news media of lies, but they exist to attract your eyeballs, so they tend to exaggerate and sensationalize ......

Posted On Friday, September 10, 2004 10:10 PM

Hurricane Terminology: Then and Now
The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required) staff has too much time on their hands and has again created yet another comparison of experiences in our hurricane-drenched world. Four weeks ago today Hurricane Charley swept through Florida, and the tropics have remained in attack mode ever since, in the form of Frances and Ivan. Can anybody remember what life was like B.C. (Before Charley)? For sure, the last month has changed our view of certain things in our blustery world. Spare batteries Then: ......

Posted On Friday, September 10, 2004 9:24 PM

Hurricane Frances Survival Lessons
Added Update 4 below. See more hurricane entries here. When you have two hurricanes in three weeks, you are bound to come across new challenges. We are preparing for Hurricane Ivan at the moment. While Charley and Frances made it “X makes the spot,” Ivan will make it an “asterisk.” (Update 3: I was wrong about the location, since Ivan whacked Pensacola instead.) My post on Hurricane Charley Survival Lessons is a good place to start your reading. Here are some additional items ......

Posted On Thursday, September 9, 2004 8:49 PM

30 Things We Learned from Hurricane Charley
The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required) ran a great story this morning about things we learned from Hurricane Charley. Here is their list (slightly modified to remove some specific local references). Water is a comfort food, but 3-day-old Cheetos are too. We shouldn't complain about all the "useless" tools in the garage -- we actually DO need a generator. You can't spell "priceless" without I-C-E. Shadow animals on the wall -- still fun! It's your God-given right to sit on your back porch and ......

Posted On Saturday, August 21, 2004 10:29 AM

Hurricane Charley Survival Lessons
When a hurricane approaches, a computer literate individual (geek) has extra work to do. While most people just bring in the loose outdoor material, the geek also needs to prepare electronic systems. As a point of reference, we live a little east of Orlando. The center of the eye passed to our west, but we were inside the eye wall, so we got hit with the best winds the storm still had to offer with a steady wind of 90 MPH and gusts to 105 MPH. Here are a few things to keep in mind about storms. Power ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 18, 2004 6:57 PM

Service Packs and Hurricanes
Within the past few months, I repaved my machines, removing old versions of win98 and WinME, installing fresh copies of WinXP. I installed Windows XP SP2 on my machines and was pleased to find that all installations went without a hitch. I did not play with any of the Release Candidate bits, so I was underwhelmed by the much vaunted Security Center. I expected it to appear on my Start menu. Nope. I looked at the Start menu properties for a customization to make it appear. Nope. I finally found it ......

Posted On Friday, August 13, 2004 5:46 PM

Florida Hurricane Reality
Any day now, you may turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some blob of clouds out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic meteorological points: There is no need to panic. We could all be killed. Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one." Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 24, 2004 8:22 PM

Hurricane Effects: What a Category Five Hurricane Can Do
Update: MSNBC has a short interview with Meteorologist Robert Ricks who wrote this. He wanted to be wrong, but could not find anything to pull out that was inaccurate. If this comes true, people will not believe what they see. Much of this is from the Hurricane Andrew analysis and lessons learned. URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGENATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA413 PM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005 EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE KATRINA CONTINUES TO APPROACH THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTADEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED ......

Posted On Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:06 PM

When a 747 is Like a Kite
The National Hurricane Center says that Hurricane Katrina has sustained winds of 165 mph. People are throwing around lots of statements about what that will do to buildings. Suffice it to say that most of the modern construction and all the weaker buildings will be heavily damaged if not leveled. I did some quick research to put this wind speed into perspective. Making lots of assumptions about weight and control, it would theoretically be possible to fly a Boeing 747-400 like a kite in Katrina's ......

Posted On Sunday, August 28, 2005 2:57 PM

Hurricane Fixes Artificial Reef

This is neat: Dennis fixes artificial reef by turning Spiegel Grove upright

It is about the only good news I have heard during the last five hurricanes.

Posted On Saturday, July 16, 2005 2:13 PM

Hurricane Recovery: Dangerous Generators
In this post from last year, I stated that you could safely backfeed your house from a generator if you did it correctly, but that doing so incorrectly was dangerous -- dangerous as in someone being dead. It seems that the latest victim is a Georgia electric utility worker who was apparently electrocuted by a generator which was improperly connected. This is tragic and need not have happened. I want to restate a caution that I said last September: you need to know what you are doing with your home ......

Posted On Saturday, July 16, 2005 2:10 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Get in Line for Installed Shutters
The more I read, the happier I am with my choice to install my own hurricane shutters. This article describes the problems people are having trying to get a contractor to do the installation. Once you get past the rip-off artists, it will take time just to get the materials. I know, since I had an eight-week wait for my aluminum panels. With the materials available, you need to get the contractor to do the install. The guy I bought my panels from was scheduled through the end of the year, and that ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 13, 2005 5:14 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Surviving Pontificating Weathermen
I had a great post ready yesterday until the blog ate it. Silly me did not copy to clipboard prior to hitting the Post button. Sigh. That I will be able to survive. What may kill us all will be the meteorologists. Two storms are brewing -- TS Cindy and soon to be TS Dennis. Let the hyperventilating begin! Each burst of thunderstorms since June 1 has been cause for alarm. Each Special Tropical Disturbance Statement has been thoroughly chewed over. Each satellite loop played endlessly over and over ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 5, 2005 7:30 AM

Hurricane Preparations: Avoiding Death
My weekends at home are fairly predictable. I spend the mornings coding the EDR, the afternoons doing house or yard work, and the evenings with the family and again with the EDR. Very predictable. This past weekend also had me perched near the top of a 14-foot ladder drilling into my pre-cast concrete window headers to fasten my hurricane shutter tracks. Ladder work is dangerous itself, but trying to hold up a 12-foot-long aluminum storm panel header track, getting it aligned and the Tapcons fastened ......

Posted On Monday, June 27, 2005 2:53 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Storm Panel Installation Tips
Many people have been hitting my blog from Google for instructions installing metal storm panels. I cannot do that for everyone, since every house is different. Here are a few tips that I have learned based on my personal experience installing my storm panels. Since you are ready to install your metal storm shutters, I assume the following is true. You will be installing on a stucco concrete-block house. You have accurately measured your windows. You have ordered and received your storm panels and ......

Posted On Sunday, June 12, 2005 2:04 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Storm Panel Cost
How much does it cost to protect your windows with metal hurricane shutters? Not as much as you might think. I envisioned my big picture window costing $1500, but it was actually much less (see below). I am saving even more by installing the storm panel system myself. I estimate that each window would be double the cost if a contractor did the installation, though they would install them much faster than I am managing it. Also, you need to remember to include the cost of fasteners. As you can see ......

Posted On Thursday, June 9, 2005 6:45 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Plywood Storm Shutters
I want to move a comment made to an earlier post up to the main blog. Since I made those comments, I have decided to install metal storm shutters on my house. My aluminum storm panels will be more durable and offer greater protection. Concerning plywood shutters, Richard lives in Ft. Walton Beach, FL and wrote the following. (I have made minor editorial edits.) Mark, saw your barrel bolt comment and thought I would write. I have the barrel bolt system (1963 Tampa builder suggestion) on my house and ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 8, 2005 3:12 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Storm Panel Installation Tools
My programming has dropped way off due to my day job, my eldest child's swim lessons (she floats!), yard and house maintenance, as well as storm preparations. Since I am my own contractor, I have to plan this around everything else as well as my day job. After last year's storms, I chose to go with metal hurricane panels as the most cost-effective means of real protection. I would have liked to go with a roller or accordion shutter solution, but they were both cost prohibitive. I will be breaking ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 7, 2005 3:45 PM

Hurricane Baby Boomlet
I guess it was inevitable. Hurricane Charlie roared through central Florida on August 13, 2004. Many people were without power for days. In some cases it was almost two weeks. Forty weeks later was May 20, 2005. Hospital data for the last 3-4 weeks shows a 18-26% rise in the birth rate. The story is here. I guess it had something to do with all those candles ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 7, 2005 10:39 AM

Hurricane Preparations: Aluminum Storm Panels
We are now the proud owners of several hundred pounds of oily aluminum. I picked up our hurricane panel order yesterday. I placed the order eight weeks ago with Hurricane Depot and picked it up here in the Orlando area at a local distribution point (Lake Mary) of their manufacturer Town and Country Industries. The shutters were very fresh from the manufacturing process and still had their sheen of oil from going through the roll forming process. This is a set of custom-cut panels. I measured our ......

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2005 10:51 AM

2005 Hurricane Season Linkfest
The 2005 hurricane season is now underway and will run through the end of November. We probably should not expect much action until July or August, but you never know. Here are a bunch of links to everything hurricane. As I find more of interest, I'll add them here as well as in later entries. NOAA NOAA National Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction National Hurricane Center, Tropical Prediction Center Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names for the Atlantic and the Eastern North ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 4:41 AM

Hurricane Preparations: Scaring People into Getting Ready
The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required) has started their campaign to ensure that everyone in the Orlando region is sufficiently paranoid prepared. This morning's front page story Hurricane Season 2005: Hoping for the best includes the following boxed quote. Now from June 1st right through November, there's this pit in your stomach. I've already got it. First clap of thunder, I start freaking out. I start pacing and trembling. The poor woman. She is scared of thunderstorms. Since central Florida ......

Posted On Sunday, May 29, 2005 9:59 AM

Pacific Hurricane
Well, that did not take very long. The Pacific hurricane season started just four days ago and we already have a hurricane (Adrian) out there. To top it off, it is taking a bizarre track and should pass into the Caribbean by the weekend. Check out the National Hurricane Center's new track charts. You will be seeing more of them. Hurricane Lenny (1999), Hurricane Michele (2001), and Tropical Depression Fourteen (2002) have recently followed approximately similar tracks. Of course, those three storms ......

Posted On Thursday, May 19, 2005 7:43 PM

Catching Up / Hurricane Preps Continue
Posting has been slow recently because of work in the real world and a family trip. When you travel over 2700 miles in a vehicle with two small children (aged 20 months and 3 months) you need to take some time to recover. Other than unpacking, truck cleaning and yard work, there has been little free time. There is still some work I need to do on the EDR and, of course, the Honey Do list. I did manage to get an order in to a reseller of hurricane panels two weeks ago to protect my most vulnerable ......

Posted On Sunday, April 24, 2005 12:14 PM

Hurricane Preparations: Stucco Cracks and Holes
Added Update 2. Stucco is concrete. Concrete is brittle. Brittle materials crack. Therefore, stucco cracks. Boy, do I know stucco gets cracks. I just spent many hours sealing cracks on the outside of my house. Since a crack is also a hole, it lets in water and bugs. Paint is very important when you have a concrete house. A number of houses built by Ryland Homes leaked during last year's storms. Much of the leakage was directly through the concrete walls due a failure of the paint system. (There were ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 6, 2005 11:47 PM

Hurricane Duration
I can see among my referrals that quite a few people are looking for the duration of a hurricane. As with anything, the answer is "it depends." It depends on what you are measuring and where you are. You can measure the duration of a tropical cyclone based on time elapsed of hurricane force winds, tropical storm force or greater winds or any number of other measures. The ultimate data repository is at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, National Centers ......

Posted On Monday, October 4, 2004 7:51 PM

Hurricane Jeanne Survival Lessons
Posted Update 3 below (See all my hurricane entries here.) We have had way too much adventure around here (Orlando) recently. Three hurricanes in a six week period is pretty much enough for everyone for the next decade or so. At work, we joke about going around to all the "Florida - The Sunshine State" signs at the state welcome centers and changing them to read "Florida - We're Over It" instead. You really come to appreciate the small comforts of life when your bathroom fan has no power. As with ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 29, 2004 6:52 PM

Plylox Clip Installation/Removal Tips
I still do not really like these things as I describe in my Frances Survival post, but I have learned a few things about putting up large plywood shutters using Plylox clips. (See all my hurricane entries here.) Since I have not had time to implement my barrel bolt plan, I had to refine my installation technique. Putting up a large shutter is cumbersome. I have four that are large. Installation is greatly eased if you add a handle to the outside of the shutter. My simple handles consist of a length ......

Posted On Saturday, September 25, 2004 9:32 PM

Hurricanes Just Keep Coming
OK, enough now. Our little slice of Florida here near Orlando will shortly be hit by our third hurricane of the year. The outer rain bands are moving across the area now. We got hit by Hurricanes Charley and Frances, then were faked out by Hurricane Ivan. We were sorry (in a sickly happy way) that the Florida panhandle got whacked by Ivan. Now, we have Hurricane Jeanne approaching. The sad fact is that many fewer people are evacuating for this storm than for previous ones. I hope those staying are ......

Posted On Saturday, September 25, 2004 4:44 PM

Copyright © Mark Treadwell | Powered by: | Join free