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Where do you go during a severe storm like a hurricane

 
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

For those of you living on the islands, I was just wondering where you go when a hurricane passes by. Do you stay in your houses and hunker down, evacuate to some sort of shelter or have you built a storm shelter??

Most of my wife's family used to go to her fathers place and hunker down and for the last 50-60 years or so have come through with very little damage. But then came hurricane Marilyn, it took the roof off of most of the house. Now since then, they have built my mother in law a storm type shelter that can hold a few people.

But I was just curious especially for those renting. I know it hasn't happened that often, but with the weather patterns changing, I figure will might be needed a bit more frequently than in the past.

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2013 7:10 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

But I was just curious especially for those renting. I know it hasn't happened that often, but with the weather patterns changing, I figure will might be needed a bit more frequently than in the past.

or less frequently?

wasn't this year extremely mild so far?

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Posted : September 24, 2013 7:35 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I have always stayed in my (old) house (which is presently a rental), including thru Hugo and Marilyn. Luckily, never lost the roof there tho Marilyn did try to rip it off. I have dogs that they did not allow in shelters (don't know if they do, presently) and do not wish to abandon them. When all hell seemed to be letting loose with Marilyn, we ended up in a closet with a mattress that we could pull over us, in case the roof went. 1 of the 3 dogs in the closet with us was never the same after the storm and became terrified EVERY TIME there was thunder lightning or heavy rain. Can't say I blame her but it was hard to deal with it as she really would freak out.

The house that I presently live in that I bought in 2003 lost the roof in Marilyn. I have stayed in this one during the other storms we have had since then but not thru anything quite like Hugo or Marilyn. Hope it never gets tested like that again but the downstairs apt. should be great to shelter in as concrete walls, floors and ceiling plus this home has a great generator that will run everything when power goes down,
unless, of course, it gets blown away.

They do have shelters that people can go to that open in event of hurricanes usually at schools.
Sometimes, family and friends hunker down together in a home they consider to be able to withstand the storm.
It's a roll of de dice, mon!

And, yes, it's been mild so far but in recent years, October, has been the month we have had storms and hurricane season has a ways to go yet before it's ALL over. Let's not tempt fate.

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Posted : September 24, 2013 7:37 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
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An important question when looking at rentals (or homes to buy) is "Where is the hurricane room?" An inside bathroom or closet, a room against a hill, etc. are good options. Does the place have shutters which are easily put in place? I think most Virgin Islanders would rather "shelter in place."

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Posted : September 24, 2013 8:26 pm
sttpepper
(@sttpepper)
Active Member

I agree that most Virgin Islands would rather 'shelter in place'. The island is generally under a curfew until storm has passed and roads are safe to pass. Most of us want to be on our own property so that you can access any damages immediately after the storm rather than waiting for curfew to be lifted to allow access back to our property.
I have full shutters and feel reasonably safe since no damages in Hugo or Marilyn, but losing the roof is always a possibility. However, I have the downstairs apartment for very safe place. A major advantage for tenants in my downstairs apartment is because it is like a bunker (no concerns with the wind or rain)

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Posted : September 24, 2013 9:07 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

When I lived on St. Thomas in the late 60's and 70's, I had never had any concerns about hurricanes hitting the island even though one had brushed the island in the early 70's and destroyed my fathers boat that he had anchored out by Havensite. But of course I was young and foolish. My wife who was born on St. Thomas never recalled getting a direct hit by a hurricane in the 60's or 70's either. But Hugo and Marilyn changed that way of thinking for most of the islands.

I was just curious how people on the islands would handle this. My wife's family just hunkers down at home and hope for the best. Hopefully it will be a quiet year for storms and hopefully a quiet decade.

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Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2013 12:05 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

We have stayed home during the 2 or 3 minor hurricanes we've experienced here and our kids slept through them.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 12:07 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I was in the same house on STT during both Hugo and Marilyn. It withstood Hugo pretty well with only some relatively minor damage but during Marilyn when the roof started shifting and water started coming in, I went down to the studio apartment down below where my tenant and I huddled up until dawn and all was quiet. I didn't know until morning that the whole top roof had come off, leaving the basic T-111 in place but with a couple of huge gaping holes caused by flying debris; one of my bedroom walls was smashed to pieces. I hate even mentally revisiting the whole mess.

The last many years the hurricane trajectory has shifted to our benefit but one should always be prepared as much as possible. The cottage I'm in now was totally destroyed during Marilyn but was rebuilt to be stronger - but my bedroom and bathroom are tucked in safe and strong so I have a "safe area" to hunker down in if necessary. I hope it never is necessary!

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Posted : September 25, 2013 12:51 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Ric stayed at our house for Omar and TS Jeanne. We had good shutters and got little damage. I always stayed at the Buccaneer where I worked. That place is like a fort.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 12:53 pm
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

For those of you living on the islands, I was just wondering where you go when a hurricane passes by. Do you stay in your houses and hunker down, evacuate to some sort of shelter or have you built a storm shelter??

I always loved it when people asked where we went. Went? It's an ISLAND. Home. With a case of rum, a case of tuna, a case of ammo, a gun, and a can opener. All good.

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Posted : September 27, 2013 3:03 pm
Tottsmom
(@Tottsmom)
Active Member

One of the funniest things I have ever heard during a hurricane was from a man that checked into our hotel and the lights started to flicker in his room. He called down to the front desk and asked me what was wrong. I told him we were experiencing a hurricane and would likely lose power, except for emergency lighting. He yelled at me "I can experience this at home, I only checked in here because I thought it would be safer and we would at least have power." I asked him where he lived. Turns out he lived in the same condo complex as I did. How he thought a hotel two tenths of a mile from his home would be safer and still have power still eludes me. For clarification both hotel and condo were on the water in Clear Lake which is south of Houston and the hurricane was at CAT 3 or 4 I cannot remember.

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Posted : September 27, 2013 4:45 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Many local people stayed at Frenchman's Reef Hotel, in addition to their off island visitors, I believe, in anticipation of Hurricane Marilyn.
It sustained significant damage. Most hotels, these days, seem to want to get their guests "off island" when a large impeding hurricane now threatens. When visiting during the hurricane season months, it is best for visitors to have travel insurance.
It puts considerable stress on any hotel or vacation rental to have guests to worry about and cater to, especially when they don't have a clue, when all hell is about to break loose, is breaking loose and the aftermath, in the event of island-wide devastation.

Granted we haven't had a storm of that magnitude since 1995 but it pays to be prepared.

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Posted : September 27, 2013 5:20 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

I stayed at the King's Alley Hotel with my 21 y/o daughter, her boyfriend, a friend of his, a Labrador, and two cats during Marilyn as we were boarded out of our house. When the sea surge covered the first floor and the sliding doors to balcony glass was bending and water coming in, we headied to the bathroom where we took turns holding cat carrier, as Lab was sitting in sink until first light. I figured since it made it through Hugo, it would make it though Marilyn.
My house didn't fair so well and got a big hole in roof allowing rain to come in and ruin everything.

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Posted : September 28, 2013 12:03 am
tylermark
(@tylermark)
New Member

My sister's place got effected during the hurricane. Her roof was damaged and their area was flooded. They had come to our place for some days.

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Posted : October 12, 2013 4:48 am
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