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Aug. 6th, 2012 @ 03:20 pm Prepping for Hurricanes!
Most of you know I'm a bit Obsessive Compulsive with my building methods but since it's Hurricane season and Ernesto and Florence lurking out the on two sides of me I figured I should make a few helpful hints and tips to get through the initial aftermath of a Hurricane.

Don't count on FEMA for three days.

They are very very clear on this point because to get a supply chain going, move personel and set up a command center or multiple ones doesn't start until the storm has moved on. It's your responsability to provide for yourself for Seventy Two hours.

I take this a bit further though because I cannot stand, standing(pun)in lines and have only once in twenty plus years of living near the Gulf I have only had to go to a station for bottled water because my wife heard on the radio they were giving it out and made me go get a case, which I kept for a year before dumping out cause even sealed in milk jugs it just didn't seem a good idea to ever drink it.

You definately should have containers for drinking and cooking water, I have an eleaborate plumbing system which I'll get to later that constantly stores eighty four gallons of drinking water, constantly refreshed because the main water trunk passes through it before it gets to the rest of the house, and two, six gallon Igloos I fill, but mainly have for when I am working on the tree farm or a rental if the water isn't on.

I built my house to take a very high windload because my wifes illness would make it very difficult to evacuate her, although I do have the ability to do so and live eight hundred feet from an evacuation route. I managed to find a hill in Florida and dug into it so I have a full bottom level underground on three sides and it's possible that if we had a tornado tear the main floor and guest suit upstairs away, you'd be safe in the bottom garage, office and workshop.

The office space is unfinished currently and was to be an office for my wife Mary, but I planned ahead when I realized it would make a very good bedroom to relocate her to before the winds got near, the bathroom down there is plumbed for a full bath and I have shower I am going to install in there, one small window and two steel exterior doors at both ends of the space. The wiring in the house is split so I can isolate the top floors power supply and not cause an electrical fire, but power the bottom level with an eighty point five kw generator, plus the fridge deep freeze, whole house fan, and enough lights to navigate the house, and a light in the three bathroom on the main floor.

All the wall in my house are shearwalls, meaning I glued and nailed plywood to the studs before I finished them over with sheetrock, including the interior side of the exterior walls. These walls essentially get turned into beams once the plywood is secured and the two facing West, the worse direction my my case to have hurricane force winds, I used three quarters plywood. Even the decoaratcive mouldings int eh ceiling of the great room are actually structural. When I framed the house I blocked between the bottom chord of the trusses and the moulding is actually hiding two by fours screwed into the chords or blocks, and the main floor is three quarter plywood toungue and groove and solid Oak planking nailed every six inches and run purpendicular to the floor joist, once again making the bottom level stronger.

Hurricane Precautions

Shear Walls

I bought hurricane shutters for the windows I would need a ladder to install without breaking my neck, and made a huge bulky set from plywood Glued and nailed to frames with Dade County approved hurricane anchors that I unfortuneately need to put them up I'd need a hand.

Also under the main floor is the crawlspace, home of The Top Secret Bunker!

LOL You would not believe the hits I've gotten in the past from .Govs all over the planet, and honestly I even tried to get a permit to build the thing!!!!!!, but anyways I'm getting closer to being able to finish that project up in case a bus hits me cause my wife would never find anyone to finish it, except perhaps to pump a few trucks worth of concrete into the thing.

As soon as I get it "Done" meaning all the walls shored up properly for the long run, I'm going to work on getting the office finished into an emergency move the wife to location, especially since being underground on three sides it stays nice and cool but very dry which helps her breath and I won't need to worry about not being able to keep her warm or cool no matter the season!

I'm gonna edit this when I have more time and add a list of things I have in storage like Blue Tarps, enough to cover my entire roof plus nails wood strips and a hammer, the water I mentioned....


Emergency Drinking Water
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I built a huge pantry and keep enough canned food to last a month at anytime which saves money in the long run once you get over the initial expense of stocking it since it lets you buy items you prefer in bulk when on sale.....

Some Shelves

This is getting to be a Diatrabe LOL.

I've got a left sided closed head injury that makes it hard to stay on track so I think I'll break this up into smaller posts in the near future on tips and such for getting through the aftermath of a bad storm.

I've been neglecting this for too long now LOL, and got all kinds of projects done over the summer so I will make the most Valiant attmpt to do more Update hahhahahah!

How ya been RT?
About this Entry
Date:August 10th, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
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I have been good, sorry it took so long to respond to your post. Work has been driving me like a machine lately. I have to say this might be one of my favorite posts of yours yet. I know you built your house but did you design it also? It was really interesting to see the outline of your house.

I have to apologize, disaster prep is sort of my forte. I keep 1 month of semi-to-non-perishable foods that get cycled through and 2 months worth of non-perishable high calorie foods. I dont live in a hurricane or tornado prone area but I had to re-roof my house last summer so I really like the tarps and boards for the roof. You may have mentioned it but I cant remember if you talked about sealing the concrete for the excavation to prevent flooding.

Good Luck to you this year Hurricane-wise.

Date:August 24th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Hope everything goes ok with Mr. Issac.
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Date:August 24th, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
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It's headed right for me according to the latest map...

Finally getting around to finishing those Hurricane shutters I made last winter hahahah!

I'll post a pic but I'm wupped right now.
Date:August 27th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Man I can not imagine what type of Hurricane Force Winds it would take to tear your home down, especially with your using plywood inside and creating a beam of sorts. If the wind ever gets bad enough to do it than none of us are probably here anymore. Now this is how a Real Prepper builds a home.
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Date:August 27th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
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I was sleeping the day away after getting everything done and my wife's caregiver said the south End of the County is under mandatory evac...

I won't be goin anywhere except maybe down stairs.