hurricane safety an...
 
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hurricane safety and rental options

 
granolag
(@granolag)
Active Member

We have found a couple of great rental options for our little family (two adults and two kids under 3). One is very close to the beach and one is up on the hills in Rattan. How much should we take into account hurricane safety? Which would be safer in the event of a small hurricane and in the event of a cat. 3?

I know they don't happen all the time, that we're just arriving in hurricane season. However, with the little ones, we want to make sure we're being super responsible.

Is it more important just to have good neighbors with a basement/safe low-level place?

Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : August 27, 2015 3:17 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

What kind of windows do they have, and if not all aluminum jalousie, are there hurricane shutters. That would be my first concern for hurricane safety. Also, when were the houses built? Pre or post Hugo? What type of construction? 100% concrete? Concrete exterior and drywall interior? All wood?

Houses here do not have basements. I would not hide low level anyway when there is a risk of flooding in every storm.

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Posted : August 27, 2015 4:32 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Sliding aluminum shutters are the easiest to deal with.
If property has a generator, that's a plus.
Wapa goes out often enough without a storm.

Don't know areas in STX that are prone to flooding but low lying areas might be more prone than hillside while hillside may be more prone to higher wind gusts.

Concrete house and roof with sliding shutters and generator is the best option. Have a discussion with the landlords about how homes have fared in past storms and what they normally do in the event of a storm/hurricane.

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Posted : August 27, 2015 5:38 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

If you were being "Super Responsible", you wouldn't have waited until hurricane season to move to a tropical Island that sits directly in the path of most storms coming off the coast of Africa. But if you are serious about the hurricane issue don't opt for a room with a view. The most secure places are inland, away from the coasts and preferably a place made of concrete block, down stairs unit, and down in a valley and not hillside. These were the locations most old Virgin Islanders built years ago and quite a few of the old wooden structures are still standing today.

mike

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Posted : August 27, 2015 7:00 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Mike: That is the worst answer ever. I am sorry. I moved here in August. I had no idea it was hurricane season. I lived to tell the tale...

to granolag:Are you a hobbit? Your name sounds hobbitish, or elfin...I can't help you with St Croix except to say Alana is correct. Concrete is good. Shutters are good. An inside bathroom is good- that is what people use instead of basements. If a place survived Hugo on St Croix, that is probably good. Best wishes to you and welcome to the VI.

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Posted : August 27, 2015 9:26 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

I'd definitely put construction first on the priority list as said. Concrete, steel, shutters, solid foundation. Mind the roof too.

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Posted : August 27, 2015 11:29 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

East Ender, just because you were lucky, doesn't mean others will be. There are better times to make the move like Winter or Spring, especially since neither have jobs waiting for them on Island, which would require the urgency to move. I agree, in the last 40 years, the Islands have been, lucky to only get a good lashing from 2 major storms. But and there's always a but, any storm or hurricane should be taken seriously when you live in the path of them.

My point is, there are safer times to make the move especially when there is time to plan, small children to consider, weather, funds and employment. One thing to remember, there is no evacuation on the Islands so find the strongest structure you can and hunker down. Most people think winds are the major issue with a hurricane, but a lot of the time it's rain or flooding and rock slides. My brother in law's tenants lost their car to a rock slide one night during a major storm while they were sleeping. The only reason the huge rock didn't take out a portion of the house was the car stopped it, taking the hit.:-o

mike

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Posted : August 28, 2015 1:03 pm
granolag
(@granolag)
Active Member

One of us has a job and it starts sept 1.

I do have one ear that appears a bit elven.

Thank you to everyone for the advice!

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Topic starter Posted : August 28, 2015 1:28 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Forget the beachfront. Not to mention safety in hurricane season the salt will kill u. All of my friends who live near the water hate it. Two in Judith fancy even sold their homes because of all the salt ruining everything. Also usually not as good of a breeze but that depends on the directing of the place. I can attest the sliding shutters are worth their weight in gold. We don't have them here and I am dreading putting up the old school kind.

I can't tell you enough NOTHING matters other than a breeze. Trust me!! Unless you have 700$ a month for air con. Then who cares 🙂 I like higher up views and great breezes and I like GREEEN. Must be in the "jungle" - on STT high up northside and STX in rainforest.

Someone get mike a beer please - he's grumpy today! 😛

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Posted : August 29, 2015 11:17 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

Forget the beachfront. Not to mention safety in hurricane season the salt will kill u. All of my friends who live near the water hate it. Two in Judith fancy even sold their homes because of all the salt ruining everything. Also usually not as good of a breeze but that depends on the directing of the place. I can attest the sliding shutters are worth their weight in gold. We don't have them here and I am dreading putting up the old school kind.

I can't tell you enough NOTHING matters other than a breeze. Trust me!! Unless you have 700$ a month for air con. Then who cares 🙂 I like higher up views and great breezes and I like GREEEN. Must be in the "jungle" - on STT high up northside and STX in rainforest.

Someone get mike a beer please - he's grumpy today! 😛

(tu)

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Posted : August 30, 2015 11:33 am
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

hahahahahaha, actually coming off of a bout with an intestinal bug that I picked up some where that has kept me close to home and the bed for the past week. I'm finally seeing some relief.

mike

But seriously, lowing areas will be safer than homes perched on hillsides. But then again, most go to the Islands for the view. I on the other hand believe in the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, plus my luck has never been that great, so I opt for low level and in land housing. I can see a view any time I go some where. Now if I were vacationing, then I would opt for the best view possible because I wouldn't be there long enough to take the view for granted.

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Posted : August 31, 2015 3:16 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

just curious why houses lower , you feel, are safer than houses higher up

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Posted : August 31, 2015 3:29 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

because I have seen houses built higher up and on hill sides blown away, especially during hurricane Hugo, my in-laws lost a couple of their homes and had to rebuild, hurricane Marilyn, they lost roofs, but didn't lose the foundation of the houses. But a few of the older wooden houses built down below or in valleys were basically left alone.

mike

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Posted : August 31, 2015 10:53 pm
granolag
(@granolag)
Active Member

Thank you, everyone, for your opinions and humor. What fun.

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Topic starter Posted : September 1, 2015 12:09 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

thank you mtdoramike

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Posted : September 1, 2015 10:44 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Just as long as those lower areas aren't prone to flooding but no location is going to be 100%.
Good luck for a smooth transition to island life.

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Posted : September 1, 2015 10:52 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Mike, absolutely disagree that there is a "one size fits all" correlation to be made. After both Hugo and Marilyn it wasn't uncommon to see random homes totally trashed while homes close by on on either side remained intact and barely touched. Location had nothing to do with it - those mini tornadoes wreaked havoc.

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Posted : September 1, 2015 11:58 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

For true!

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Posted : September 1, 2015 12:18 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

Same thing in Florida, Tornadoes do the most damage and yep, it seems they literally pick and choose which places to hit and not to hit.

mike

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Posted : September 2, 2015 11:29 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

BUt I wouldn't worry tooo much about hurricanes because like I said, the past 40-50 years if not mistaken, there have only been two hurricanes to directly hit the VI. Hell, if Florida, there were and usually are that many hit some parts of Florida each years or close to it.

I'm originally from Florida and chose to have my home in central Florida and away from the coast, but that is me. I have always been of the mindset better safe than sorry, but then again, it has made Mikey a very dull boy too:@)

mike

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Posted : September 2, 2015 11:35 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

BUt I wouldn't worry tooo much about hurricanes because like I said, the past 40-50 years if not mistaken, there have only been two hurricanes to directly hit the VI. Hell, if Florida, there were and usually are that many hit some parts of Florida each years or close to it.

Florida is big. VI is small. On a density basis (hurricanes per square mile), it appears that a house in either FL or VI is roughly equally exposed.

The image below was derived from

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Posted : September 3, 2015 1:08 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Gee! Thanks for that!:-o

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Posted : September 3, 2015 1:15 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

BUt I wouldn't worry tooo much about hurricanes because like I said, the past 40-50 years if not mistaken, there have only been two hurricanes to directly hit the VI.

Hugo 1989 (26 years ago) and Marilyn 1995 (20 years ago). Nor do you need a "direct hit" for devastation to result. The tail end of a Cat 4 can be way more damaging than the direct hit of a Cat 1.

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Posted : September 3, 2015 9:31 am
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