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Preparing for a hurricane - home and office - Round 2

By Darryl~ Moderator ·
08/26/2009 - NOAA just upgraded the latest depression in the Atlantic to Tropical Storm Danny. This storm looks like it will bother a few more people as it is forecast to brush the coasts of NC, CT, RI, MA, NH & ME this weekend before making landfall in the Canadian Mairtimes.

So Nova Scotia gets to have a replay of "last" Sunday, "this" Sunday, except instead of brushing the coast, it's forecast to come in the Bay of Fundy which puts Truro on the "windy" side.


08/24/2009 - We just received a lot of wind and rain but not much damage in our area.

****something we failed to check before the storm****

We didn't check the UPS's - 3 failed to function proper.
One took out the phone system & it had to be reprogrammed before we had phones this morning. The other 2 were non-critical systems which just prevented backups to the GIS & AutoCAD servers.

Still lots of waves at Peggy's Cove :)

08/23/2009 - Noon Sunday....

It's here....vertical rain and all.
Looks like it will touch Halifax this afternoon (60 miles from Truro)

For those interested in seeing some wave action, below is a link to Peggy's Cove Lighthouse just outside Halifax. Set the refresh rate for 2s. The sites been coming and going, they've been getting some lightening strikes so they may have power issues.


08/21/2009 - The US & Canadian Hurricane centers just put us under a Tropical Storm Warning & Hurricane Watch so I guess we're not going to avoid this one.

The plan is to leave the servers up while we still have power. The remote sites (water treatment plants, etc) are "on their own" unless major damage happens at one of them, they all have generators to keep the systems running but we'll lose data if we shut down our servers at the courthouse (the municipality's office).

Two of us are within walking distance to the office (actually, that's my "safe place" so I may be there anyway).

They are forecasting a storm surge at high tide. We're at the end of the Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world & the highest tides of the year occur tomorrow during the surge...about 3" of rain should be down by then with another 3" possible after (can you spell disaster?).Flooding "shouldn't" be an issue at the office but it is for me at home...I have a walking route that can keep me on "high ground" and the other person walks "from" high ground....just much further....we're it for the IT dept. as the Network Admin is too far out of town, she can connect remotely if we have power.

The UPS is good for about 4 hours but no A/C power backup....our current temperature is 91.3 and a "feel like" of 112.6....tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler.

Any suggestions from the people in the Southern US? (thanks Nick & jck, I read yours & it was you have anything to add?).

And yes Sonja, my camera batteries are charged...I'll get some before & afters....maybe even the TR flag flying "during".


08/20/2009 - Well the first "bad boy" of the season is planning to pay Nova Scotia a visit on Sunday, his name is Bill ( now they say the "best case" is winds of about 75 mph & 4 inches of rain....we won't talk about the "worst case" right now, but it's winds about 140 mph (I could race Scummy on his bike with a skateboard & a sail ) and a lot of damage.

So we do the normal things at home....have 3 20lb tanks of propane filled, lots of water, food, cash, etc.

At work, we make sure we get a full backup & put the tapes in the vault at the bank....we'll shut down "non-critical" systems Friday before leaving work....everyone will have a fully charged cell phone. We have a disaster recovery plan that is up-to-date & we follow it.

What does everyone else do to prepare when you "know" a disaster is most likely going to happen?

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It's hard to believe Hugo was 20 yrs ago...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to Before Hugo (20 years ago ...

It sure doesn't seem like it....that one totally missed us, it was too far inland by the time it was up of the few to reach Ontario.

Hugo was a cat 4 or 5 when it made landfall in SC...I don't think Nova Scotia's infrastructure would survive that....when Juan hit us in 2003 as a borderline cat 1-2 we were without power for a week (some places 3 weeks)& the roads weren't totally cleared for a couple weeks. We're just not prepared for bad storms here....we're too used to them being downgraded to a tropical storm or depression by the time they're up here, thus the reason nobody up here really does anything until after the fact....sure, around home I'll put the lawn chairs away & tuck anything loose that may blow around under the deck or something...maybe pick some of the tomatoes so the plants aren't too heavy & snap off, but at work we probably won't do much at all. What you did during Hugo was the proper thing to do in my opinion but you guys have experience with large storms....I think people up here would just stand there with a dumb look on their face not knowing what to do with a cat 5 sitting on their doorstep. I think the same could be said for most of the Northeastern states also.

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Since I'm "only" a contractor,

by NickNielsen In reply to Yeah, but you get them fa ...

disaster prep at my stores is not really my responsibility. I do make sure that my van is fully stocked and try to get some excess in case it's needed.

Last year, when Hanna went through Myrtle Beach, I called my stores a couple of days before to make sure they were prepared. All were, they are very experienced at this and had done what they could. Their corporate made the decision to shut down the registers and kill power to the checkstands, but to leave the the servers and controllers up. Using the risk of flooding from storm surge, I convinced my supervisor and manager to stage 10 registers complete with peripherals (enough for a store!) in Atlanta.

Then, of course, Hanna weakened to strong tropical storm; none of my stores sustained any damage. Now I'm going to have a helluva time convincing my boss that we need to do this the next time too.

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And that is the problem...crying wolf too often

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to Since I'm "only" a contra ...

leads people to not pay attention...and I think that is the biggest problem here in Nova Scotia.

Every year we get the "tail end" of hurricanes and they're really nothing more than a rain storm with a little wind (30-40 mph) when people here have a warning of a hurricane, it's like it registers as a heavy rainfall warning. I was guilty of this up until a few years ago when I rode out a hurricane, as light as it was being a cat 2....well, I now get it....I pay attention now....but the people here that didn't experience it still don't seem to get it.

Then, getting warning after warning and having the storms constantly change course causes people to become complacent....they just stop listening. In your situation, if you didn't suggest having enough registers to bring 1 store back up & something happened....well, then it would be your a$$ least by suggesting it you're CYA but it doesn't change the fact that YOU will be responsible to get the store back up though....sometimes you just can't win. :)

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What I do

by jck In reply to Preparing for a hurricane ...

Run like ****!!! :^0

I live about 1.5 miles line of sight from the Gulf of Mexico. So if a hurricane is within 24-36 hours of landfall of me, I am out of the state.

Board up windows, fill the Kia with stuff I can't replace, cover bookshelves and electronics with water-proof coverings (in case the roof leaks), etc.

Then, I head to GA or farther north out of danger.

No use staying in the line of winds that can pick you up and slam you into things...or worse...slam things into cars.

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"Run like hell!!!"...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to What I do

That's my wife's thoughts also...But I don't think we'll get it very's very rare for us to have over 100 mph wind, by the time hurricanes get this far north, they're moving along pretty fast...they only last a couple hours.

Truro's not on the coast so we get a little break from storms as long as they don't come up the Bay of Fundy, then it's like putting us at the end of a funnel with a big bullseye on the town....when we get a storm surge up the bay a good portion of Truro gets flooded....flooding is something we do know how to handle happens 2 or 3 times a year...usually in the spring.

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storm stuff

by jck In reply to "Run like hell!!!"...

Well, I live on the highest point within half a mile, so if the Cat 5 pushes a surge high enough, I'm the island in my neighborhood. lol

I remember when Charlie hit south Florida. It was a cat 2 trucking along. All the sudden, it slows down and starts creeping north-northwest at 4, and blows up almost to a cat 5. It was predicted to be headed right for my house.

Then all the sudden, it hung a right and went straight into Port Charlotte. It blew a canal right through Captiva Island. Insane.

Hopefully it stays away from everyone. I know someone from Bermuda, and I hope her family is safe.

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The latest track puts it between Bermuda & NC

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to storm stuff

and staying out to sea until late Sunday when it will brush the tip of NS as a cat 1, if that holds true, then it'll be just dealing with all the rain and local flooding with a few branches down. They were moving it away from us Wed & Thur but seem to be moving it back west today....that could be bad as it'd probably still be a cat 3 when it's at the other end of the province...if it goes too far west, it'll end up in the Bay of Fundy....that'd make me a little cranky as I'd have to do like you & pack up & get outta here ASAP.

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Hope it doesn't

by jck In reply to The latest track puts it ...

come up at ya.

Of course, one thing I'd point out being in FL and having learned a lot about tropical systems since living here.

The ocean temps are the highest in the 130 years or so of recording ocean temp history.

Tropical systems feed on the heat and water vapor from warm oceans.

I wouldn't necessarily count on Bill going down to a cat 1 by the time it gets up there. With the rise in overall sea temps, I think the degradation line for cyclones is going to move more toward the appropriate pole for the hemisphere.

But, I hope for everyone's sake it just sails right up into the North Atlantic and breaks up.

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We're also at what they call a "spring tide"....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to Hope it doesn't

It has nothing to do with's when you get the highest tides of the year, so the whole Eastern Seaboard well feel the effect of the storm surge, there'll be a lot of coastal flooding....we're getting a lot of warnings about staying away from the coast already....good for the surfers though :)

As for the water temperatures, yes, I saw that they've been running high this year....that's another problem if it gets into the Bay of Fundy...very warm waters in there.

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you're right "buddy"

by PurpleSkys In reply to "Run like hell!!!"...

I'm outta here...think I've said that before though...maybe a couple times...besides, when I start seeing that front window bow in, I'm at the other end of the trailer in a hurry...I'm just gonna camp out in YOUR office with my cooler, air mattress, sleeping bags, a couple of Missy's important things (and our little miss with teddy of course) and be done with...I'll assess the damage when it's all said and done...provided I can get over the river bridge and under the train bridge...

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