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4,800 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and see a weather person
pointing to some radar blob out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic
meteorological points:

(1) There is no need to panic.

(2) 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
preparedness plan:


Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three


Put these supplies into your car.


Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween. Unfortunately,
statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most
people will foolishly stay here in Florida. We'll start with one of the most
important hurricane preparedness items:


If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this
insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and

(2) It is located in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, or any other area that
might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer
not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to
pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance
business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an
insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to
the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop
you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane Georges, I have had an estimated
27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and
Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to
my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.


Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors,
and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are several types
of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself,
they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself,
they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get
them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands
will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and
will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have
to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane
protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand
hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He
lives in Nebraska.

Hurricane Proofing Your Property:

As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like
barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc.. You
should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you
don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately).
Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.


If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned
out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your
driver's license; if it says "Florida," you live in a low-lying area).

The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your
home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic
traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand
other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.


If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them
now! Florida tradition requires that you wait until the last possible
minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with
strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM.

In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:
*23 flashlights At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the
power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
*Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the
bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!) A 55-gallon drum of
underarm deodorant.
*A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a
hurricane, but it looks cool.)
*A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody
who went through Camille; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate
*$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can
buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it
is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on
your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next
to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for
everybody to stay away from the ocean.

Good luck, and remember:
It's great living in Paradise!!!

Incorporated Sell Out
17,130 Posts
You also need a sturdy tree to hold on too should you chose to leave the safety of the garagemahal to return to the priumary domicile for an emergency helping of ice cream during peak storm hours.

4,774 Posts
:p Have already recieved notice from my home insurance co. that because people 4000 miles away insist on living in areas that Mother Nature does not want them to , my premiums in Washington State will double ! :: :: :p

1,679 Posts
That's great. ::
Just sent it to my family who lives in FL.

2,392 Posts
That's how the ins co's stay profitable. When they actually have to pay some big claims they radically increase the premiums in unaffected areas. That's what happened to me after Andrew hit the Miami area in '92. Even though I was not affected at all by that storm, my homeowners ins was dropped and I had to find a new company which charged me nearly 4 times more for the premium! Now after surviving 2 direct hits in central FL I'm faced with paying 2 deductables to fix the damage to my home from just the 1st storm :: After adding up the increased premiums I've paid over the last 12 years plus 2 deductables, I'm pretty close to the actual cost of the repairs so I guess I'm breaking even :p Maybe that's the secret to saving money on ins, live in a disaster prone area so you get to file a claim and make the ins co pay you back ::

Premium Member
5,104 Posts
Actually, bleach is a very overlooked item. It is used to purify water. Add about a capful per quart of water. Shake, remove top and let sit for an hour or so to let most of the chlorine evaporate. Just thought you wanted to know that useful bit of trivia.

0 Posts
Great read. :D
I feel for the people in the areas affected but one must find humor in everything to live. ::

Years ago I saw a documentary on TV about building for hurricanes and how some coast people (not saying all) build a great house in prone areas of most damage and then get totaled out. Of course the Feds build them a new home every time. Not sure how that works. ::
Then a smart guy built a semi-underground flying saucer shaped house on the beach. All opening (windows/entrances) shutter closed to form the complete saucer. No wind resistance at all and it was waterproof too. Never saw anything on it again. I bet this guy is like Noah right now. ;)

1,117 Posts
That's funny but certainly with a serious note to it.
Sure the weather is nice in FL but I think I'll take the minus 40 cold's dry cold ::

0 Posts
Well all that really showed was a rounded curved top. It was built for the area's weather, whereas all the other houses where what people (not from Florida) thought beach housing should look like. Straight rigid calpboard type.
I'm sure over the years it was dressed up a little but outside appendiges can be rebuilt easily and the house would still be there.

4,638 Posts
There is a UFO house on Pensacola Beach. Has an alien in the window too.

762 Posts
So how much are the ins companies really paying? A quick survey among my neighbors show hurricane deductibles in the $5,000 dollar range for EACH instance. So if you had under that in Charlie and under that in Frances (or will have in Ivan) its out of pocket. Short of fairly catastrophic claims the insurance companies should be all right on homes...maybe not on business though.

1,011 Posts
Now this puts 44 years of tv reporters gone WILD in perspective. I truly think they all work for home depot. I saw people waiting in line for 8 hrs to buy some plywood and while that was going on HD had the rest of the store closed to the public. Like we didn't need any thing other than plywood nails and shingles!
My roof suffered 75% damage during charly and the other 25% from Frances. The tragedy the Insurance co.will only pay from the first storm and nothing from the second, because of the double deductable. and the amount of the 1st payment is less than half the cost of a new roof. and they got to invest my premiums during the last 15 years to make more than the payment of the claim.
Then my favorite new building code is: new windows must withstand a 2 x 4 being projected at the glass at 150mph and not penetrate, but shoot it at the wall next to the window and it will go right on thru! We've got some real genius's working on the building codes.
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