Plan as if this hurricane (Y2K) is going to hit you : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

"Plan as if this hurricane is going to hit you," National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Max Mayfield told Floridians. "The penalty for not preparing is too great."

WHY won't someone come out and say the same thing about Y2K? Of course it won't affect everyone the same. Neither will Floyd, but some people are going to be hurt VERY badly. (Saying prayers for all the Floridians.)

-- Gayla (, September 14, 1999


Here's hoping that Floyd follows in the footsteps of Dennis, paralleling the coast until it dies out.

But if the worse happens and it churns over Miami then maybe the coverage of the aftermath will motivate a few more to prepare for Y2k. Not the preferred method.


-- Mikey2k (, September 14, 1999.

Huge Floyd puts Florida counties on watch

[ Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only ]

Published Monday, September 13, 1999, in the Miami Herald

Huge Floyd puts Florida counties on watch


Civil defense authorities announced sweeping evacuations today and forecasters posted hurricane watches for the entire Florida coast from Dade County to Jacksonville today as Hurricane Floyd developed greater catastrophic power than Hurricane Andrew.

And it grew much larger. And it prowled ever closer to the state. The unprecedented sweep of the warnings meant that hurricane conditions could be expected at any -- or all -- points along Florida's East Coast by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Gov. Jeb Bush declared a statewide state of emergency. Tolls are lifted on state roads to speed any exodus from the coast, the National Guard on alert for the aftermath.

"It's scary, it's very scary,'' Bush said during a visit to the state's bunker-like, satellite-linked command center in Tallahassee.

Miami-Dade County announced the mandatory evacuation of 272,000 people from Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and other coastal areas at 6 p.m. today, unless the storm begins veering away by 5 p.m. Nine will open at 6 p.m. and 12 others will open later, Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas said. Broward County announced a similar evacuation beginning at 8 p.m.

Schools will be closed in both counties Tuesday.

In Miami-Dade, courts and libraries will be closed beginning this evening, and solid waste services will be suspended at 10 p.m. Authorities urged people not to put out trash today. Bridges could be locked down at 1 a.m. Tuesday.

``This is a very serious storm,'' Penelas said. ``We must take action. We must prepare for the worst, and pray for the best.''

Though the storm's dangerous central core still was expected to remain just offshore, authorities in both counties declared states of emergency, triggering emergency response plans.

Similar actions were considered all the way to the Georgia border.

Meanwhile, Floyd expanded to monstrous proportions -- a borderline, top-of-the-scale Category 5 storm with winds of 155 mph.

Jerry Jarrell, director of the National Hurricane Center in west Miami-Dade, advised residents to put up their hurricane shutters and take other precautions today.

``This is a really intense beast,'' he said this morning. ``This is enough to really scare us out of our wits. You have an absolute catastrophe out there heading in this direction. If it doesn't turn, we could all get hammered.

``If you are not prepared, it could cost you your life.''

The hurricane watch on the Florida coast means that hurricane conditions could arrive by Tuesday evening. Tropical storm conditions -- winds of at least 39 mph and heavy rain -- could arrive Tuesday afternoon in South Florida and elsewhere along the Florida coast.

Forecasters also imposed a hurricane warning on the central and northwest Bahamas, including Nassau and Freeport. That means hurricane conditions will arrive late Monday or early Tuesday.

As Floyd ground steadily but uncertainly toward Florida's Atlantic Coast, Broward County officials initiated their emergency response plan, with representatives gathering at the county's Emergency Operations Center from all 29 cities, emergency services, the Red Cross, public works, hospitals, schools, county commissioners, shelters.

County rescue officials encouraged residents to begin preparing for a possible hurricane strike. ``It's time to stop procrastinating,'' said Todd LeDuc, spokesman for Broward County Fire-Rescue, which began positioning units in key locations throughout the county so they could respond quicker to residents who might find themselves in distress.

``It's time to take defensive measures,'' he said.

One computer model early today showed the destructive central vortex making a direct strike on Palm Beach. Another pointed to Jacksonville. Others suggested landfall in South Carolina.

The official forecast track brought Floyd's eye very close to Central and North Florida on Wednesday, but kept it just barely offshore.

Forecaster John Guiney called Floyd ``an extremely dangerous, classic hurricane.''

He and other forecasters became increasingly hopeful that Floyd's core would bypass Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but weather conditions could begin deteriorating this afternoon anyway, with gusty winds and high seas.

With a hurricane of such lethal potential on the horizon, nervous residents in South Florida and all along the state's 400-mile Atlantic coast began taking protective action, and civil defense authorities confronted a nerve-racking dilemma:

Do they order widespread evacuations -- dislocating millions of people from vast stretches of Florida -- for a storm that could strike anywhere between South Florida and Jacksonville or even veer away at the final moment?

``This is the nightmare storm of the hurricane specialist,'' said forecaster Lixion Avila. ``The projected path of this storm is running right along the coast.''

If Floyd follows the path drawn for it by forecasters, its core will curve north and miss South Florida.

But that depends on atmospheric conditions that could remain uncertain until Tuesday morning -- when Floyd is perilously close to South Florida and already washing the area with its leading edge of rain and wind.

By then, its inner core may be only 160 miles from Fort Lauderdale.

``The most likely scenario is it will come precariously close to the Florida coast,'' said Max Mayfield, the hurricane center's deputy director.

Turn isn't certain

And if it deviates from the projected path, not making that turn northward, it will strike South Florida with its full fury.

Jerry Jarrell, the hurricane center's director, plans to fasten storm shutters to his home in Perrine today if Floyd maintains its westward track. Mayfield, his deputy, has enlisted his 17-year-old son to do the same.

``It's coming right at us,'' Jarrell said. ``We think it will turn, but it might turn too late for us to avoid putting up our shutters -- and it might turn too late to miss us.

``If you live on the coast, you really have to prepare. It is capable of major damage. This is one that we really have to take seriously, and there's nothing to keep it from growing stronger.''

So, even if Floyd remains on the projected path, authorities around the state will have to make some decisions today concerning school closings, shelter openings, evacuation orders and related matters.

Difficult decisions

``It does appear that we will have to make difficult decisions sometime between noon and 3 p.m.,'' Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas said. ``There's no need to panic, but we do need to tell people that it's time to prepare.

``This is a very large storm. Even if it veers north, as projected in the next 48 hours, it appears that South Florida will feel an impact.''

One very important message from local authorities:

South Floridians should not plan to flee to Central Florida or points north. If they do, they could be driving directly into the worst of Floyd, assuming that it makes that final-hour shift north.

``We sure don't want people here being caught on the road,'' said Chuck Lanza, director of Miami-Dade's Office of Emergency Management. ``The only thing worse than being on the coast is being caught on the road.''

The intensity already developed by Floyd renders it more powerful than Hurricane Andrew, which bulldozed South Dade in 1992, inflicted more than $20 billion in damage and killed 15 people.

Planning begins

In response to the mushrooming threat, emergency management officials began taking action Sunday. The state's emergency operations center in Tallahassee went on alert with experts on duty around the clock, and the National Guard began mustering for action.

``People up and down the East Coast should be prepared to evacuate quickly if it becomes necessary,'' said Joe Myers, state emergency management director.

In Miami-Dade, hospitals along the beach were asked to release patients who can go home, cancel all elective surgeries and otherwise reduce the number of people who might have to be evacuated.

An evacuation of all 880,000 people living in areas jeopardized by a Category 4 or 5 storm would require 30 hours in Miami-Dade. Authorities said all residents should be prepared for quick action in case Floyd does not follow the prescribed path.

In Broward County, 497,800 people would have to be evacuated for a Category 4 hurricane. Emergency management workers there set up time lines and conducted conference calls Sunday. ``Tomorrow's really the big day,'' division director Tony Carper said Sunday evening.

Information lines

Broward will open its Hurricane Hot line at noon today (954-831-4000).

Miami-Dade opened its Rumor Control hot line Sunday night (305-598-7550).

One factor to remember: A storm as large and potent as Floyd tends to be tragically generous with its wind and rain. An area 400 miles wide -- the state's entire Atlantic coast -- could be swept by tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or greater if Floyd hits Central Florida.

Already, South Florida forecasters warned of 25 mph winds and rough surf this afternoon off the coast of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Operators of small craft were advised to exercise caution.

Beach erosion, rip currents and high surf at ocean inlets will become evident tonight, forecasters said. James Lushine, the National Weather Service's warnings coordinator for South Florida, said rip currents often claim more lives than hurricanes.

``This is a very big storm and nearly everyone in Florida could feel it,'' Lushine said. ``People up the coast will really be under the gun.''

Emergency response authorities throughout the state already felt that way.

When a storm as menacing as Floyd approaches, all response efforts must be accelerated -- even if the ultimate destination is uncertain -- because response times are abbreviated.

``This storm is going to be so large, that there could be a very, very big evacuation,'' said Myers, state emergency management director.

The worst-case scenario, he said, is that the storm hits South Florida's coast, moves slightly inland and then turns north, rolling through the state.

Authorities said the timing of any orders would depend on Floyd's course this morning and the hurricane center's projections. But zero hour for such action was approaching.

In addition to the 880,000 people in Miami-Dade and 497,800 in Broward potentially subject to evacuations orders, a Category 4 or 5 storm could dislocate 302,000 people in Palm Beach County, 211,300 in Brevard County, 280,200 in the Jacksonville area and thousands elsewhere.

Inland shelters and hotels would be hard-pressed to handle those crowds. Authorities urged residents to contact friends or relatives in the center part of the state and make plans well in advance.

In other action around the state:

* The Department of Transportation began clearing lanes of evacuation-route highways that had been closed for construction. The objective is to make certain that all evacuation routes have least two lanes open.

* In Tallahassee, an executive order was drafted so Gov. Jeb Bush could sign it at a moment's notice. If that happens, county school districts would decide whether to cancel school, and local emergency management offices could begin evacuations.

* All along the East Coast of Florida, county agencies prepared evacuation shelters.

* At the Kennedy Space Center, no shuttles sat on launch pads, but the hurricane could interrupt preparations for the next launch, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 28.

``We've got the sandbags out,'' said George Diller, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ``We're going to board up the windows and tie things down.''

Good advice for millions of people in Florida -- now threatened by an immense, destructive force of nature.

Herald staff writers Lisa Arthur, Jennifer Babson, Phil Long, Shari Rudavsky and Jack Wheat contributed to this report.


Very good point, Gayla. Best of safety to all in the path of lashing winds and rain.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 14, 1999.

" Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth." (Job 12:15)

George looks to be larger than the Gulf of Mexico.

Folks on the Outer Banks, already visited by Dennis, may not be too enthusiastic about more of the same from George.

-- Tom Carey (, September 14, 1999.

I walked by the TV before where Mrs. Michaels was watching and heard "prepare for the worst and hope for the best" so I stopped and turned thinking Y2K and there was Floyd. Lines of people outside ATM's, shelves bare of water, lots of people stocking up at the very last minute.

Its always this way. People don't prepare until the very last minute. Anytime there is even a forecast for a bad snowstorm here in the Northeast the same thing happens. Within 24 hours you can't get water, bread, milk, batteries, flashlights, etc., When will people learn? Not until its too late. Experience is a very expensive teacher.

By using the 'prepare for a storm' analogy, people will prepare no differently than they are as we are watching now.

BTW, Gert has been upgraded to a hurricane now also, with sustained winds of 80 mph.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 14, 1999.

Mother in law plans on bailing out to the shelter with the requisite lawn chair/recliners and pillows at 0600. She'll decide where to go as they pull out of the driveway, though.

One of my clients is flying into Hotlanta (departs Cleveburgh at about 0430) so he can get home to Savanah to do the boarding up ahead of the MANDATORY evacs scheduled at 1600.

Y'all on the SE Coast PLEASE do the right thing, whether it is GIT T' HELL OUT OF DODGE!!! NOW!!! or board up and hunker down inside CONCRETE!! PLEASE!!

We'uns'll send our prayers to you.


who has an inordinate respect for a 250 mile wide F-2 tornado

-- Chuck, a night driver (, September 14, 1999.

"By using the 'prepare for a storm' analogy, people will prepare no differently than they are as we are watching now."

Sadly, Rob, you are right. I can see a LOT of parallels to Y2K, except can you imagine a GLOBAL hurricane?

-- Gayla (, September 14, 1999.

stockin up

-- @ (@@@.@), September 14, 1999.

Gayla: I didn't answer your question about "WHY won't someone come out and say the same thing about Y2K" because I'm sure you asked it rhetorically. But for those who don't know, the answer revolves around avoiding a panic - at all costs seemingly. Remember that the government feels its the correct approach and strategy, ecanpsalated in the following Koskinen quote: "Perception management is Job #1".

There isn't a nice easy way for them to get people concerned enough to prepare without panicking them in doing so. I have argued for over a year that they could have done so if they did it early enough - that people would panic but then settle down since there would be a year to go (its hard to imagine folks panicking continually for 10, or 11, or 12 months.) Now, sadly, its too late to do it.

-- Rob Michaels (, September 14, 1999.

Alot of resources will be redirected toward Florida during the period of reconstruction. MRE's, generators, lumber, etc. causing slight shortages and/or price increases elsewhere in the country in the next few months. IMHO.

-- Sandwich (, September 14, 1999.

We have the technology to see the disaster that is going to hit. We know it's going to hit because the "experts," tell us it will. They can even calculate what kind of structural damage it will do and even estimate in dollars what the effect on the economy will bring. With Y2K, none of the "experts," or those in charge are willing to stick their necks out and warn people of the calamity that's about to happen. If only people could see on TV in terms of fact from fiction, only then will people take it to heart and prepare--maybe. Rob Michaels is right on on how people are, they are hopelessly procrastinators. I would much rather see a panic and someone cry wolf, than to not warn people and I have to act like a wolf. Bardou

-- bardou (, September 14, 1999.

In watching the newz last night, they were showing pics of people genuininly surprised that the batteries and candles were gone.

What may a Y2K storm do to their "surprise" level?

What a mess.

Do NOT have a good feeling about this one.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 14, 1999.

People "panicked" in Florida. They cleaned out the shelves, left gas stations without gas, emptied ATM's, etc. BUT, have you heard any reports of anyone being hurt or killed because of preparing? I haven't. It didn't cause any businesses to go bankrupt or close.

I guess I'm just a little angry. Like Rob says, if only people had been told to prepare earlier. It may have been a mess, but we would have recovered from it. Now what will happen? How quickly will we recover in January as opposed to now when things are not messed up? Why do our leaders let pride (of perhaps looking foolish?) keep them from making a statement like Max Mayfield did? The risks are too great NOT to be prepared. Will all of those Florida residents need what they just bought? NO! But they will eat the food and use the batteries eventually. No harm done. Sorry to rant! It's just SO frustrating!

-- Gayla (, September 14, 1999.

June through November is hurricane season. Visit the FEMA site for Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watch Information trop.htm

FEMA... the intersect between 3-day "storms" and Y2K.


See also...

TBY2K Forum Check-in thread...


Prep Forum Check-in thread...


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 14, 1999.

Hurricane Floyd has been on the news for over two weeks now, and there's another hurricane right behind it. They've been warning people that these hurricanes are deadly. I have to almost laugh out loud at people who go to the store and act shocked that the shelves are stripped. I said in one of my threads that people are hoplessly procrastinators. I would like to change that to say "hopelessly stupid." Do they deserve not to have flashlights, water and canned goods? You snooze you lose.

-- bardou (, September 14, 1999.

Here I am preparing for y2k in W.Va. and had to rush home to prepare for Floyd. We live on the S. coast of N.J. Wife concerned about some old trees. We'll see. uummmm don't see anyone else preparing for Floyd. They always have tomorrow...and isn't that the way it is.

Lord, watch over the people in Carolina.

-- BB (, September 15, 1999.

AMEN! :-)

-- Gayla (, September 15, 1999.

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