Has anyone checked out the possible path of the next storm? Looks scary for the VI.
Here's an EXCELLENT website: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/tropic.html
Click on the link for the storm and then you will see projected path, links to the meteorological discussion, and at far bottom of the page, images.
Looks like we will be OK we will know for sure by tomorrow if it keeps on its WNW track we are ok. If it goes more NNW we might have problems!
I've found that Radio One's meteorologist does a pretty good job. His recorded update can be reached by telephone at 774-4SUN (774-4786.)
Having gone through Hugo on STT (which I thought was awful but devastated STX far more than STT and then Marilyn which devastated STT far more than STX) I do of course pay attention during hurricane season but don't avidly watch and try to understand the trajectory of everything that comes out of Africa, preferring to rely on up to date local news. Not that that did us much good during Marilyn but that's another story!
Everybody just needs to be prepared "just in case" which means having a couple of lanterns and flashlights on hand, a battery-operated radio, some basic medical supplies, bleach, a few canned goods to tide you over if necessary and whatever absolute basics you need for children. When and if we come under hurricane warning is NOT the time to go out and stash up on basic items because the store shelves empty very quickly. Hurricane warning is when you fill up empty containers with water, get everything free-standing off your porches and outside the house and start battening down the hatches.
Big trashbags are a must, too. If the rain starts leaking in you might want to use them to contain your linens and suchlike. LARGE baby diapers work very well to sop up water coming in through windows and under doors. I know, it sounds rather odd but, trust me, those BIG diapers can contain a lot of water and bloat up to the size of baby whales. Then you just toss them in the sink, squeeze them out and dispose of them. A wet/dry vac? Great while the power is on but be warned that WAPA shuts off power as soon as there's any word of an impending (i.e. within a few hours) hit and the Government proclaims a general curfew. You also can't rely on a free-standing generator DURING a hurricane because you'd be damned stupid to go outside.
Your refrigerators and freezers will be fine for several hours as long as you don't open the doors. Keep them well-filled.
Tourist resorts and large condo complexes generally have big generators which automatically switch on during power outages.
If you have pets, make sure you have enough food for them. Stock up on kitty litter if you have felines.
Oh, and park your car in as safe a spot as possible, gas it up and keep it gassed up during both hurricane warning and hurricane watch, keep an extra tank on hand and, of course, diesel for your generator if you have one. As far as situating your car is concerned, the main hurricane thrust is usually East to West (again, I'm talking STT and not STX which I don't know about.) Then of course there's the turnaround but that's usually not as violent. Park your car - if you can - on the west side and, as much as possible, protected by your building and NOT underneath a tree. Branches get whipped off even the most stalwart trees and can have a rather devastating effect on a vehicle...
After all these years here and having been without power for a month after Hugo and almost five months after Marilyn (September 15, 1995) I've no interest in watching those "Survivor" things on network TV!
Some really nice tourists were in my place early the other night while "Dennis" was headed towards Florida and they asked about the hurricanes here. I gave as good of a brief answer as I could without my spine totally chilling (yeah,the remembrance does that to you for years after and you get goosebumps) and they asked about evacuation, since the TV news was still on and there were pictures of the caravan leaving the Florida Keys.
I gently explained to them that there is no way for us to evacuate. In the Florida Keys there is one road in and one road out. We ain't got no road!
I'm sure I've missed out a lot but that's VI Hurricane 101 over until a next post! Cheers!
For helpful sites, I like www.nhc.noaa.gov, the National Hurricane Center. They have good info (I should HOPE so!) and the cone of uncertainty helps me to visualize a storm. Storms are not points, and while they encompass a LOT of space, the strongest winds are usually in a small area around the eye.
STT Resident has good advice. I luckily didn't participate in Hugo, unfortunately, I did participate in Marilyn. You are right, you NEVER, EVER forget.
I would add keep your car gassed up the entire hurricane season. If one sneaks up on you, the lines will be unbearable, and you will need all your wits and patience for the days ahead. Same with food, water, lights, batteries, etc- "Hurricane supplies"- Don't wait to the last minute. People are not nice when they panic in K-Mart and you will want to stay away from that.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
My favorite supplies: a marine fan that runs on a 12 volt battery (hurricanes come during the hottest part of the year and a little breeze at night is heavenly) and my propane camp stove. And here's to hoping I don't need to use them this year...
One of the best ways to know if our islands are in the threat zone and it's time to batten down the hatches and lock the hurricane shutters is to watch the arrival and departure of the Hurricane Hunter aircraft on STX. The 53rd squadron out of Keesler AFB flies 95% of the hurricane flights every year. (This year they are flying the newer C-130 "J" model aircraft with 6-bladed propellers, which are pretty cool.) NOAA flies the other 5% of the hurricane flights. NOAA typically circles the storms, while the Hurricane Hunters fly through them in a triangular pattern. They're totally NUTS, but they bring back some really awesome photos. The Hurricane Hunters are currently flying the storm (Emily) and are planning to depart STX on Monday after the storm passes.
If they leave a day or two before a storm goes by, it generally means it's passing too close to the island for them to risk basing their missions from here and they head to another air field to continue flying the storm. Consequently we feel REALLY safe whenever they are here on-island. But when they leave... 🙁