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Old 06-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #1
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Florida RVers "Hurricane Season"

My fellow RVers who live and stay in FL, AL, MS, TX and or LA year round, I have a question for you. With Hurricane Season being from June to November, what are your plans for your Motor home? Do you have a place to drive to, when the storm is coming, but lets say you are out of state. What are your plans during the Hurricane season.

Do you stay or Go and WHY?

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:50 PM   #2
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Varies with the storm intensity and track. We normally plan to leave. We board the house, take our important papers, load the dogs and try to outguess the storms intentions. The key seems to be to leave early. The day before the storm arrives is 2 days too late.
(Don't tell Jim Cantore [Weather Channel] where you are going and don't go where he is going.)
Realize that a major hurricane in your area will close that area for quite awhile. After Ivan we were 10 days before we could get back to our house. Our neighbors were a tremendous help.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:40 AM   #3
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Even with the house, we plan to leave in the presence of a storm. One year a late hurricane chased us out of Orlando. We headed to Natchez, MS and had a great time.

Best thing to do is to try and determine which way the storm is most likely to turn and move inland and out of the path of the storm. With Ike, we left Houston and as far inland as our home is, we still had very high winds and lots of rain. Most of the damage came from the back side of the storm.

So best advice is to load up and leave. Leave early enough that you are not caught in a massive traffic jam.

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Old 06-12-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
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As a hurricane defeinse plan, having an RV is among the best -- especially if you are retired (in my case, not quite). Like most Floridians, we follow the alerts and forecasts closely. We have a grab-and-run carton with emergency supplies which we can use in the RV or at home.

The darn storms are very fickle, so you are never quite sure when to scram or when to sit tight, and regardless of your choice they can turn at the last minute. Our ideal plan is to be ready with a full tank and provisions and to head out 24-48 hours ahead of a possible evacuation scenario. Class 1 hurricane we might wait longer and consider local hotels (the tall, concrete kind with a good wine cellar). The problem is also that power can remain out for days to weeks after a storm, so being far away in our comfy RV is not a bad thing.

As to the rig itself, if we aren't in it and leaving, it is left to the RV gods (outside commercial storage in our case). It's the last thing on our minds during a hurricane once we have decided to hunker down.

Feel free to substitute the terms "earth quake, flood, brush fire, tornado, blizzard, ice storn" for "hurricane" as applies.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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We live in our MH in Henderson LA which is near Lafayette. We always head the opposite way.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:33 PM   #6
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I leave, with the coach, toad, all valuable papers and the hard drives that contain all our pictures for several generations. The stick house has hurricane shutters all around (including garage doors). The roof has been updated in 2006. The wife decides if she will leave with me or stay. During the 2004 and 5 hurricanes she stayed.

I leave several days (5) before the storm is going to hit.

Going where the hurricane will not go is easy, in South Florida. For Atlantic based hurricanes, they go straight or turn right. For the most part they are trying to get back to the Atlantic Ocean. For Caribbean based storms, they go straight or like Atlantic storms turn to the north east trying to get back over water. My path is to stay south of the storm or head north and west. From West Palm, sometimes the best place to go is south to the Keys. These are general statements it all depends on the individual storm. The final decision is based on the prognosis for each storm. The weather channel is a must have. I agree with the post that says go where Cantore is not.

If one lives in South East Florida, the Herbert's box rule works very well. Get worried only if:

For Atlantic based storms, the storm center has not reached 20 degrees latitude before it crosses 60 degrees longitude.

For Caribbean based storms, the storm center has not reached 20 degrees latitude before it gets to 80 degrees longitude.

If any storm violates these rules, I am out of here within 24 hours. That is 4 to 5 days before the storm hits.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:20 PM   #7
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Interesting strategy, Gary.

On the left coast it's not so predictable. The Atlantic storms can cross the state at almost any lattitude, then swing back and cross it again in the other direction. Landfall is anyone's guess. The Caribbean storms sling shot up the coast and if they veer west we're OK, but sometimes it seems like a guessing game as to when they'll hook eastward. Charley in 2004 looked like a nightmare for Tampa, but took an unexpected east turn and turned out to be a nightmare for Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda and surrounding areas.

Makes life interesting.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:11 PM   #8
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We were on our way to NY, in the DSDP and had stopped in Ashevile for a couple of weeks, when hurricane Charley hit our home in Punta Gorda. We drove through the night to see what was left of our house. It had some significant damage. There was no electricity or water in our area, so it was handy to have the MH parked on its pad next to the house.
We got to our house before the roads were closed, so it was good that we headed straight home.
It is nice to have the MH as an escape pod, during hurricane season.
Tom, Pat and Buster (the Boston terrier)

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Old 06-12-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
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I've lived in my home for 45 years; motorhomes have always been parked next to our home; when the power goes of I run a line in to the house from the motorhome generator.; been through 120 mph winds and 20 foot tides;
some summers we are ouy west or up north; I just pay the insurance on the house and just don't worry about it. everything is replaceable except your life; why worry about things that can be replaced; be realistic, 50 years from now all those things you value so much won't be worth a cup of coffee when your 6 feet under. enjoy life a day at a time and don't burden yourself with posesions.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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You stay until about 12 hours before the storm so that you can see if it's even necessary to leave and if you have to leave, everyone else is gone and you have no traffific at all.

You park the motorhome close to the ocean in an open space and leave in your cars. The MH has full replacment value and it's always nice to get a new one for the deductable.

About leaving just 12 hours before, the truth, you can not even come close to telling where it's going to hit if at all, any sooner. The traffic is bumper to bumper 24 to 36 hours before and a real pain. Nine out of ten times, you would never had to leave anyway if you waited.

About leaving the MH parked in the open by the ocean, not true. It's a son-of-a-gun to try to get a hotel out of harms way during an anticipated hurricane. It's nice to have yours with you, full of fuel, propane, water and a packed fridge. The generator is nice to have when you come back to no power.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:15 AM   #11
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About leaving just 12 hours before, the truth, you can not even come close to telling where it's going to hit if at all, any sooner. The traffic is bumper to bumper 24 to 36 hours before and a real pain. Nine out of ten times, you would never had to leave anyway if you waited.

Last year we had a hurricane warning; my neighbor loaded his family his dog and all the posessions he could carry and headed inland; guess where the center of the hurrican passed over. yep right over him. all I had to do was pick up the trash out of my yard. Had my house built to withstand 120 MPH winds; I've never had any damage.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:38 AM   #12
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I lived 500' from the bay in Nokomis, FL for many years and our motohome was part of our hurricane evacuation plan. Only had to use it once for a close one and would have had to use it again the year after we left full timing and was in Tn. I kept the MH in the driveway, plugged in and ref. on. It was usually ready to go at any moment. Like as has been mentioned, just watch the weather and leave early enough not to get caught in a traffic jamb. We closed up the shutters on the house when Jorges was threatening our area in 99(?) left in MH and went up I75. Stopped at Ocala and watched the storm. We ended up going to I10 then east to I95 and back down to I 4 and returned home a few days after leaving. Back then all I needed was an excuse to go somewhere in the motorhome. It was our first class A.
I lived on the west coast of Fl. from 1959 to 2003 and only had a couple hits close enough to cause damage to the area. Lived in the Sarasota and Venice area from 1971 to 2000 and we never had a direct hit.
If you live down in south Fl. you will just have to go north and keep watching the storm so you can take the opposite path when you get far enough north to go east or west and by then you can head back south.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:36 AM   #13
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As full time residents of North Central Florida, Madison County, our storm strategy is to move our motor home to the north of our property out of any possible tree fall damage along with our cars and sit out the storm. We have several animals and nine miniature horses so our escape has to be very carefully considered.

Best to all...Jack&Rita
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:52 PM   #14
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As a Florida native and a survivor of many hurricanes and alleged hurricanes, I can say the best thing you can do is to use you own brain and common sense. The TV news (especially local) all want the hurricanes to hit in their area so they can be on TV and will be continually shading the facts to suit their own needs. Use the internet and the national hurricane center in Miami to make your own plans and forget what you see on local TV. We start developing our plan several days before D day and generally don’t do anything. With an RV, there isn’t real danger to the coach unless it is within 50 miles of the eye. 90% of Florida is going to be missed. I have had my coach in the parking lot of a shopping mall thru 2 75 mph events a few years back North of Orlando and never even had a leak. You must respect them though, We are packed, charged, fueled up and ready to go 2 days before any anticipated landfall. We find it best to leave way early and then say we didn’t need to leave. Make an event out of a near miss is better than being hit. The real problem now is that so many people in Florida think they have been thru a hurricane and have not. They tend to take it lightly. Just use your head and you will be fine.

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