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Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

NugBlazer
April 28, 2018 05:12PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 311

Well said, Alana! Pay no mind to the rude a-holes that can't handle the truth and just want to make everything sound rosy all the time. Those of us who've spent years in the VI know differently.

Quote
Alana33
I posted this on another thread but thought it might be good information for those considering a move any time soon.

To all those moving here or considering it:

Getting things done before our 2 Cat 5 Hurricanes a week apart in September, took awhile.
It now takes much longer and you may have to go a few different places.
If you're lucky, you'll find what you need. But...you might not.

Prices have definitely gone up whether at grocery stores or other places!

Internet services are still not available in many areas.

ATT cell phone internet service sorta comes and goes, depending on location and time of day.
And they're the best we've got, right now.

VIYA, the local phone company is not providing phone nor internet to new customers as yet. Many of their old customers have yet to have service restored.

Many businesses are still without internet, credit card and phone capability.

WAPA our electricity provider, is having difficulty generating reliable power so outages are numerous.

There are still dangling power lines and lots of overflowing garbage bins and roadside debris.

There are mega potholes and few streetlights. Some roads are downright dangerous.

Individual healthcare insurance is not available and our hospitals are a mess.

If you're not an extremely calm and patient person, our islands, at this point in time, may not be the right move.

BTW - Hurricane Seaon begins again in June. 3 months from now.

This is a Reality Check.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

ms411
April 28, 2018 06:10PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 3,521

The more money you have the more comfortable you can be after a catastrophic event, so for some people it wasn't much of a hardship, especially if they were prepared. Many people didn't even buy bottled water which is hurricane prepare 101. Many people, who are not meteorologists, had a feeling storm wasn't going to hit because there had been false warnings before.

I always tell people that everyplace has its good and bad so you have to weigh what's important to you. You can't be a beach bum in any of the virgins for very long unless you're wealthy.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

AandA2VI
April 28, 2018 11:04PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 2,285

I will never forget the lines TWO DAYS after the storms at plaza east. I’m sorry but you have to be a special kind of stupid to be in those lines. Even under curfew. thinking

Hopefully no one will ever assume a false alarm ever again and properly prepare.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

ms411
April 29, 2018 01:10AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 3,521

And it's not like hurricane supplies are perishable! Get cases of water. Fill containers with cistern water. Have food on hand. FEMA food is mostly inedible so you need to have something you like to eat on hand.

Lots of people have generators now so they should at least be able to keep some perishable food from spoiling.

If you have electric stove have an alternate emergency cooking method preferably solar.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stjohnjulie
April 29, 2018 04:35AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 780

Thanks for the suggestions on the shades! I have sheer curtains now that I pull at night for privacy that still allow air to blow in because they are super lightweight. I am a seamstress, and have some heavier, darker, fabric out of my stores and will throw something up.

Post storms, what I saw, was the people who had deeper roots in the community tended to do a lot better coping. My husband spent a lot of time in those lines getting supplies for those who did not have them or were not able to physically do so themselves. People swapped supplies and shared what they had with people who needed them. We had mini crews of people going from place to place with their chainsaws and hands getting to people who were trapped in homes or couldn't pass a road. On St. John, we were cut off, and didn't have any help for a week after Irma. To me, our community shined during that week. But there are others here that felt very differently. I think that the people who were here during the storms, even the prepared people, will do things a little differently to prepare just because we know where we did good and where we could have done better.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

speee1dy
April 29, 2018 08:49AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,628

I had that problem for a while, found out I had thyroid issues . Might be something to check out. I know it sucks. Ot sleeping and light makes it worse. I haven't had a good. Lights sleep in over 10 years due to living in town . Lights, noise etc...




quote=stjohnjulie]
I am going to give curtains a shot. I will probably have to ditch them come summer time. I don't know if I could adapt to an eye mask. I already am a pretty extreme early bird rising usually at 3am, but now I'm waking up at 1:30 or 2 and can't fall back asleep for more than a few minutes at a time. This morning a have another bright light, the moon! It's hanging out right above me. I just noticed it wasn't one of the street lights lol. Thanks for the suggestions![/quote]

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

islandjoan
April 29, 2018 09:53AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 1,666

The forecasting for not Maria and Irma was pretty accurate as far as the paths of the storms but the intensity forecasts were not quite as accurate. The path of Irene was highly uncertain at the time due to the southern dip and then the redirection north.

I always check all the sites especially category 6 on wundwrground and the weather geek chatter in the comments section. I was OBSESSIVELY checking and comparing the euro and GFS models on tropical tidbits especially for Irma due to the uncertain path.

The take away from these back to back cat fives is that anything can happen. Maria want from TS to Cat 5 in about 24 hours! I think everyone who lives in the northern Caribbean will take each and every storm much more seriously from now on.

Quote
ms411
Many people, who are not meteorologists, had a feeling storm wasn't going to hit because there had been false warnings before.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
April 30, 2018 06:51AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,045

There's so much one can do to prepare in advance for hurricanes.
Have your generator serviced prior to hurricane season, have spare parts on hand, keep your vehicle's tanks filled, keep extra gas and diesel on hand, shop for non perishables food items to keep in stock, extra pet food, medications, clean up around your property, buy batteries, cleaning supplies, paper towels, paper plates, tarps, water, matches, charcoal for grills, keep cash on hand, make sure your flashlights and battery operated radio, lights and fans work, etc.

None of this goes to waste as it will get used whether in the the event of a storm or not. It saves a lot of time, running around at the last minute, dealing with long lines and not finding what you want/need when you could be doing lots of others things.

Always prepare your home for the worst.

Yes, it's exhausting to drag plants, outdoor furniture, etc., off decks and put up shutters especially when it turns out to be a miss instead of a hit, however it's better to do this every time than to being caught unprepared.

The week before Hurricane Marilyn hit, we had a near miss with Hurricane Louis. People were exhausted and Marilyn was predicted to be a Cat 1 so some didn't want to do the Chinese fire drill all over again and got very unlucky.

Always prepare for the worst and pray for the best. These storms can and do change track and intensity.

I have a feeling everyone will be feeling very high anxiety this hurricane season, especially with the fragile state of our already battered infrastructure.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stjohnjulie
May 01, 2018 03:07AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 780

I learned a lesson or two! I didn't have enough cash on hand. And I want to beef up our mobilization plan at work. We were working as full time as possible with limited ways of getting our crew from STT to STJ by the last week of September, but It think we can do better in the future. I started seeing people get anxious about the next season about a month ago and it seems to be growing a little every day. I've got several huge trees that made it through the storms that will likely not make it through another. It's been tough to find people with boom trucks who are willing to cut them down. Thanks for the reminder about pets. We got a puppy that was born just after Maria... so now we have to make sure he is set too. (He's been amazing puppy therapy for the family smiling The stray cats we feed... that was tough. I wasn't sure what to do to make them safe. The one that 'owns us' the most went through Irma under our house, right under our bed where we weathered the storm. I was able to get her in the house for Maria (she was not happy about that). The other one made it through hiding out somewhere. And now we have another one. They tolerate each other at feeding time, but they are not BFF's by any stretch of the imagination. The ACC on St. John was awesome about giving out supplies after the storms. So that helped a lot.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Alana33
May 01, 2018 08:42PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 12,045

I was adopted by a stray cat. Now have 4. Have had all but 1 gray sorta mangy older tomcat spayed and neutered. He is incredibly trap wary.
Haven't caught him yet and don't think I haven't tried!
2 females are tame, 1 male in between as he can't decide whether he likes getting petted or not!.
All outdoor cats as I've always had dogs and while a couple of dogs were willing, the kitties were not.
When I moved to FL, cat feeding was included for tenants. I provided food.
They all survived both Irma and Maria, outdoors.(tenants and cats tho I think cats did better!)

I was amazed and happy when Sweetie, a small female with a very short tail, didn't reappear to rub up against my legs until 3 weeks after I returned at end of January to deal with tenants moving out and getting repairs done to the property and house interior cleaned up.
Thought Sweetie may not have made it.

It's been a long haul getting things done and dealing with stuff.

My house survived really well.
Thank goodness!
Still had roof, doors, windows, decks, most railings, deck roofs and supports, large diesel generator.
Lots of other stuff to deal with tho.
All in all, its been nice to be back, even with dealing with the time consuming frustrations that come with.

I'm also looking forward to getting back to FL and having healthcare insurance.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

lily1025
May 02, 2018 06:29PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 423

Quote
stjohnjulie
Thanks for the suggestions on the shades! I have sheer curtains now that I pull at night for privacy that still allow air to blow in because they are super lightweight. I am a seamstress, and have some heavier, darker, fabric out of my stores and will throw something up.

Post storms, what I saw, was the people who had deeper roots in the community tended to do a lot better coping. My husband spent a lot of time in those lines getting supplies for those who did not have them or were not able to physically do so themselves. People swapped supplies and shared what they had with people who needed them. We had mini crews of people going from place to place with their chainsaws and hands getting to people who were trapped in homes or couldn't pass a road. On St. John, we were cut off, and didn't have any help for a week after Irma. To me, our community shined during that week. But there are others here that felt very differently. I think that the people who were here during the storms, even the prepared people, will do things a little differently to prepare just because we know where we did good and where we could have done better.
I POLITELY DISAGREE.everyone i knew on stx were as prepared as they possibly could.i think it was the intensity of the storm not unpreparedness That caused the problems. PRAY NEVER AGAIN!

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Gumbo
May 02, 2018 09:38PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 489

Yeah, I was as prepared as I could be, my 50 year old wooden house made it through in good shape. Some of my neighbors were as prepared as I was with much newer concrete homes. Some of there rafters and metal was scattered all over my property, but missed my house completely. I will pray as I always have.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stjohnjulie
May 03, 2018 03:00AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 780

The people I know were also very prepared with their homes. I think what they were not prepared for is the amount of time we went without getting supplies coming to the island. It took quite some time for outside help to arrive and three days after it did they largely evacuated and had a lot more people to help after Maria came through. I would bet every island had it's own unique experience. I had good supplies for three weeks. But I would have been better off to have good supplies for 6 weeks. To this day, the barge situation is ifffy. People are still having to wait up to 4 hours to catch one. A couple of weeks prior to Irma we had done a big STT shop. We had our freezers full. I gave away as much as I could find people to take it but still ended up losing a lot. I think I will reconsider doing a shop like that again during hurricane season. Between Irma and Maria some idiots tried to steal several ATM machines. So that complicated the cash problem. We had one open gas station and another idiot tried to rob that and broke the pumping computer. I wish I had had a couple more spare tires for my car. It's all these things that I learned that I may want to be more prepared for.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

fdr
May 04, 2018 03:52PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,217

Quote
stjohnjulie
The people I know were also very prepared with their homes. I think what they were not prepared for is the amount of time we went without getting supplies coming to the island.

Yes, exactly!! There were so many levels of challenge after immediate survival. In addition, the possibility of a second major storm right after the first was not something I had even considered in terms of planning for a worst-case scenario. It will be now.

I too had supplies to sustain two people for about three weeks. I had no idea I would wind up sharing what I had among about 10 people - some who lacked the financial resources to prepare much, and some who lost what they had stored when their houses fell apart.

In order of importance, water, food, fuel, and cash were the commodities in scarce supply post-storm. I have already started preparing in all of these categories.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Fishbait
May 05, 2018 04:55PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 123

We were supposed to come for a PMV to STX last October. Now I'm happy to say that's finally happening in less than a month.

I'm sure everything is not completely normal. It was devastation for cripe's sake and all supplies have to be shipped in, you don't exactly have interstates and long haul trucks.

But we're still into it. I hope we like it, can move next year and make a good contribution to our new home.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

vicanuck
May 07, 2018 08:37AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
Fishbait
I'm sure everything is not completely normal. It was devastation for cripe's sake and all supplies have to be shipped in, you don't exactly have interstates and long haul trucks

STX seems completely back to normal to me.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

stxsailor
May 07, 2018 02:49PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 519

As normal as we can be that is....

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

singlefin
May 07, 2018 06:35PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 725

VIYA even dragged all their fallen wires off my road this week.
I never thought I’d be so happy to my nice “clean” dirt road again!
I’m guessing cable and land-line telephone connections are still quite away off yet though.

Overall,
I agree with the Canadian ;-)
Things are coming along nicely on STX.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

vicanuck
May 08, 2018 09:04AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
singlefin
Overall, I agree with the Canadian ;-)
Things are coming along nicely on STX.

I love that..."The Canadian".

It sounds so official.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Gumbo
May 09, 2018 08:56PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 489

Quote
vicanuck
Quote
singlefin
Overall, I agree with the Canadian ;-)
Things are coming along nicely on STX.

I love that..."The Canadian".

It sounds so official.

I thought so too. It sounds like a title.

Re: Reality Check for Anyone Thinking of Moving to VI this Year

Treeman
May 10, 2018 07:12PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 105

Go Habs!!!!

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