Saturday, August 20, 2011


Home in Port Charlotte; flying to DC tomorrow for the week
High of 89, rec'd 1.58 inches of rain

Since moving to SWFL in late 2007 we have enjoyed the peace of not having legitimate hurricane threats.  The last one to hit this area was Charley, a category 4, on Friday the 13th of August, 2004.  Before that Port Charlotte had been calm since the 60's.  The only thing close to a serious storm was TS Faye in 2008 but she ended up being a rain event and never directly impacted us.  That peace may be in jeopardy.

Tropical Storm Irene has formed in the Atlantic Ocean.  Early computer models seem to agree it could be headed toward Florida; perhaps Southwest Florida.  Puerto Rico is under tropical storm warning tonight.  There's no need for panic or really even concern at this early stage.  But we're not taking chances on being unprepared. 

We have thought about the need for a home generator since we moved here.  Today we pulled the trigger.  I had researched models last year and knew which one I wanted.  If I wait until the watches or warnings came out for Florida, gen-sets would likely sell out quickly.  Since I'm flying to DC for work tomorrow, the time to act was now.  We bought a 7000 watt Honda generator at Sam's Club.  With it, we'll be able to power our whole house, except the air conditioner.  Our 2 refridgerator/freezers were the biggest concern.  My neighbor, an electrician, showed me how I can hook this unit up to the dryer outlet and then backfeed our breaker box.  This will enable us to run ceiling fans, wall outlets, microwave, TV, etc.  We can use the breaker box to control our usage, rather than having extension cords running all over the house.

Kathy will be implementing our preparation plan by purchasing extra cases of drinking water.  We will use that no matter what.  We already have enough food on hand to get us through 10 days without services.  With the generator, we won't have to be restricted to dry foods.  We have lots of frozen meats and fish.  Saving that was worth the cost of the generator.  The last thing we would need if we went under hurricane warning would be to fill the vehicles up with gas, have 40 gallons of generator fuel on hand and, if a major hurricane is coming I would pull the boat from the lift and strap it down on the trailer next to the house.

Again, if this all sounds like craziness...there's no cause to be alarmed but there is time to be prepared.  And we are making preparations instead of taking chances.  Below are some storm photos, as of Saturday night, August 20.  Click on any photo for full screen, then page back.
The computer models predict the storm track

Current action in the tropics

Current rain activity throughout the tropics

With this we can run the whole house, except A/C

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