HunkerDown.Guide Podcast for 09-13-2019

Welcome to the HunkerDown.Guide Podcast where we cover everything about common sense hurricane survival. I’m your host, Jamie Robe.  This is episode #1. And now for today’s show.


Hi, I’d like to welcome you to podcast number one.  Today’s date is September 13th, 2019 and we are going to follow a format on most of these podcasts where we’re going to do a quick overview of the tropics. Again, this is not a forecast in any way, shape, or form. What we’re going to do is just review some of the Hurricane Center maps and just take a look just like we’re sitting around a coffee table.

I myself am not a meteorologist, but I’m very interested in what’s going on in the tropics. Then we’re going to share a preparation tip or question. In the case today, it will be a tip. Hopefully this gives you some useful information in a quick podcast format. 

Show transcript

So what I’m going to do now is go over and start looking at the weather. I’m going, of course, go to the National Hurricane Center maps. I like to start on the five-day graphical tropical weather outlook because it kind of gives you an overview of what’s going on and what is expected to happen.

NOTE – I have a Tropical Weather Briefing page on the website with automatically updated maps and advisories from the National Hurricane Center, as well as links to the weather site I use the most

 You can see down in the Atlantic area that we’re looking at first, we’ve got this disturbance area. They call number 9 and they’re expecting it to turn into a tropical storm, possibly over the next few days and then there’s some other areas further out and the way that you really look at these is you can hover over and it’ll tell you what kind of overview of what’s going on. So in this case, you can see it’s a pretty high chance, with the Hurricane Center saying an 80% chance in two days that will develop, over 90 percent over five days.

But you can see right now, it has sustained winds of 30 mph. So it’s not a really big deal right this second. But if we want to see further out in detail, we can click on that X and then springs up the forecasting maps and advisories and things. Probably the most useful thing to look at here is their forecast cone. 

So just like last week, where we had the terrible hurricane Dorian,this is in the similar area. And right now the Hurricane Center showing this only to be a depression, but it’s going to dump some rain and it be a potentially tropical storm right over the area where Dorian and sat for two days.

So keep those people in our prayers, down in the Bahamas . This one it looks like you know, it’s going to actually curve out to sea but there are showing some potential impacts along the Southeast coast of the US on the Atlantic side so you can scroll down and they have more information on this page.

But basically that’s these are the key things to look at. You can also look at the public advisories. This is the kind of the written description about what they’re saying. So you can see there’s a tropical storm warning already in effect for the Bahamas and also for even Flagler-Volusia County in Florida.

So that is the overview of the  Atlantic Basin and but you have to remember some of our listeners, viewers, and readers, they are in other parts of the United States. So you can look down on the Eastern Northern Pacific and there’s always lots of activity out here. Luckily, most of this stuff moves out over the ocean and sometimes it’ll impact on this Coast here but almost always look down here, even when there isn’t anything of the Atlantic often their storms in this part of the Pacific.

And another place to check, of course, is the Central Pacific, and this is the Hawaiian island area. So they’ve got a couple of areas that each have 20% chances of developing. So again, these are things that you know, it’s good to take a look at on a regular basis. I definitely check it every day. Other people may check it only when they see there’s an alert or something on television news.  But this is important to be able to know where to find these things. Again, always check the National Hurricane Center and the official weather forecast for making any sort of decisions about what you’re doing in case of a storm.  

And now I’m going to go over to our next item, which is a tip.

So I’m going to flip up our HunkerDown.Guide website, so if you haven’t already gone here, it’s www.HunkerDown.Guide. And it’s a website I’ve created that’s dedicated to Hurricane preparation and survival. And our first tip on this podcast is going to be pretty obvious to many people. But some people may not think about this.

It’s important to know if your home or apartment or condo, whatever you live in, is it located in an evacuation Zone on the official hurricane zone map. To help people find that information quickly, you can look under the “Storm threatening” button on the www.HunkerDown.Guide website and you’ll see there’s a table of contents on the left. You can click on the topic “Evacuate or not”. I’ve got some kind of rules of thumb to follow and some questions to ask yourself about your situation and your needs and about if you should evacuate or not. Here’s one of the main one, the question that we’re really looking at today is: Do you live in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone? That’s an area likely to have a mandatory evacuation at some point in the future. So the the you can read through this whole thing, but basically on here is a list that I’ve compiled starting at the beginning of the hurricane season. It’s pretty up to date and in it are links to the state and local hurricane evacuation maps.

All right. This one has it listed state-by-state. So I’m going to go down to just use an example, Florida (where I happen to live). So here’s a link to the Now every state and every locality seems to have a slightly different take on how to present this material.

Florida is probably a really good example of what works well.  So you come down here to know your Zone and if you look at Florida, the disaster zone maps and everything are located by the county. So some states are at a Statewide level some have very extensive information and some don’t have very good information.

But we’re going to click on Hillsborough County, which is the Tampa area, and they have a very nice setup here. And one of options is “find your evacuation zone”. So I’m going to click on this and this is going to load an interactive map. Now some some localities have a PDF file or some other type of mapping system.

But in this case, on this map you can see, if you know this area at all, this is Tampa Bay. Now notice over in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg0, that’s not on this map because these are at the county level. So this map actually shows you where the shelters are in Tampa that would open up in case there’s a storm threat. In this case, all the shelters are closed. They even designated shelters that are pet friendly.

How do you find out you’re an evacuation zone? In this case, they’ve shaded the different levels of evacuation requirements (Zones A – E) starting in this kind of pink color and working on their way through yellow and into green. And so those red pink areas are Zone A. What happens, in the case when a storm really threatens an area, is that the officials decide if they’re going to call for a mandatory evacuation.

In theory, everyone that lives in this pink area is going to have to evacuate, or should evacuate, if they say a Zone A or Level A evacuation. That mainly has to do with the storm surge threats. So as you can see,  if they did it all the way to the Zone E, which is actually this lighter Blue Area, it’s like a huge area of this particular city.

So they can call different levels of evacuations. Now in these zones in Tampa are literally hundreds of thousands of people’s homes, apartments, and businesses. You can find a map like this and locate your address. This map happens to have an interactive address search function. Some don’t and you just have to kind of find yourself on the map.

This map is also nice because it has routes to the different shelters. That would be for when they will activate public transportation that would zoom through these areas and pick people up on buses. So this is a well-thought-out mapping system in this particular County and in Florida, so that’s basically what you have to find. It’s important for you to know, so please look through these map resources. We could get any County in Florida that has evacuation maps and the other states are similar, but it’s very important that you take a look at those and find out way in advance if you are in an evacuation zone or not.  And so that’s really what I have to talk about today.

Our site is HunkerDown.Guide and we have information on “Preparing before“,”When a storm is threatening“, and then “Recovering after storm“.  so and you also find more of these podcasts on the site. So with that I’d like to wish you all a great Friday the 13th and keep watching and preparing. Thank you.

Tropical Scan

Check the NHC forecasts for the latest tropical information. Stay prepared and safe.

For more weather details, visit our Tropical Weather Briefing for NHC forecasts, weather maps, and links.