Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes

I see that the east coast had an earthquake today. I bet that came as a surprise. No major damage, but who'd a thunk it?

Now, Irene is headed in and it's going to be a nice storm. Cat 2 today, who knows what it'll be when it hits the Carolinas? It's fairly difficult to predict storm intensity and track, especially four to five days out. As Brendan Loy reminds us:
Track forecasting is a much more exact science than intensity forecasting, but even there, errors can be large, as the National Hurricane Center’s advisories consistently note. Every recent discussion on Irene ends with the same admonition: “IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMIND USERS NOT TO FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK…ESPECIALLY AT DAYS 4 AND 5…SINCE THE MOST RECENT 5-YEAR AVERAGE ERRORS AT THOSE FORECAST TIMES ARE 200 AND 250 MILES…RESPECTIVELY.” In other words, folks in Morehead City shouldn’t panic just because the forecast track is targeting them right now for a Saturday landfall, and folks in Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach shouldn’t breathe easy just because it isn’t. The precise track can, and will, change.
And even a near miss can become a catastrophe, because a big hurricane might be 200 miles across.

A word to the wise to my East Coast readers, from a Louisiana native who's lived through these things. Go out out now and get three days supplies of food, water, propane, batteries and flashlights. Fill your vehicle with fuel and fill every gasoline container you own. If you have a generator, make sure that it will start. Make preparations to batten down the hatches at the 24 hour mark, when the storm track will be more precise. I don't need to tell you to make sure you've got ammunition.

You'll all be just fine.


Jester said...


Once again that is sage advice, but everyone should have everything like that anyway, no matter where they live. The earthquake today is a great example of it. Going out with the rush of everyone in the days/hours before a storm can leave you frazzled and returning empty handed. Gasoline I can understand to some extents, but the other day to day extras should be stored in everyone's home. While sitting here in Wisconsin, earthquakes and hurricanes are not seen we do have those days long events called blizzards. Its sound planning to have enough batteries, food, fresh clean water and other assorted supplies to get you a week's worth of normal supply interruption.

Old NFO said...

Done all that, and I'm leaving town :-)

Bob@thenest said...

Not happy here. This will be the THIRD fuel filter/shutoff valve I've changed in my 2004 generator because it leaks (ready for this?) onto the top of the engine. Coleman PowerMate with a B&S engine. But we're staying ready despite closest approach has changed gradually from 66 miles to 210 miles.

My next generator will NOT have a top-mounted fuel tank.