By the author of The Faithful Prepper and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.
I’m by no means somebody who lives under a rock when it comes to current events, but I was spending a bit of time listening in on the local ham radio repeaters, where I was met by the usual suspects: a bunch of old men talking about the weather. But they actually had some actionable intelligence this time: there’s a massive hurricane (Hurricane Ian) headed towards Florida, and I had had no idea.
Ian passed Cuba the other day and is already placed as a Category 3, meaning that winds of 111-129mph are possible and devastating damage is going to take place.
From what I understand (thanks to the old dudes on the radio), there is already quite a bit of traffic from Tampa headed north, and some of the guys I was listening to were trying to get their friends to head towards the Atlantic coast if they couldn’t make it out north.
Key West has already seen 70mph winds, and the storm isn’t even there yet. There’s a storm surge warning along the entire western coast of Florida, and the threat of tornadoes there is very real there right now as well.
If you’re in the way of the storm, we recommend The Prepper’s Hurricane Survival Guide for information about what to do before, during, and after the hurricane.
Weather can be a serious threat.
As we’ve covered here before at The Organic Prepper, you have to take weather threats seriously. We tend to get caught up in just thinking about war, civil strife, tyranny, and the like as preppers – and all of those are valid threats – but we can’t forget that weather can be a serious threat.
Like most coastal dwellers, and I do understand this mindset to an extent, Floridians largely treat hurricanes with a bit of contempt. The idea that “this happens every year” is common amongst pretty much everybody in the Gulf, in my experience. I don’t mean this to bash anybody near the Gulf. It’s just an observation that I think many of you down there will agree with me on.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t make the weather any better, and there are a few things that I think are worth rehearsing here.
There is value in listening in on the radio traffic in your area.
I try to do this every day, and I’m glad that I did here. I’ve loved ones in Florida. Hurricane Ian concerns me. Had I not developed this daily habit of listening in on my local radio traffic, I likely wouldn’t have heard about all of this until it was already here.
Keep your radios close.
If you’re in Florida, I highly encourage you to keep your radios close, keep them charged, and keep the means to charge them off-grid close at hand as well. NOAA broadcasts are your friend, and you are going to need to use the radio to get a lot of your communications out after Ian is over.
Cell towers are going to experience very high levels of traffic, power may be out in some areas, and there may be internet issues in some regions as well. Keep your radios close because they will enable you to still communicate with those around you once Ian burns out.
(What do you eat when the power goes out? Read our free QUICKSTART Guide for more information.)
Craft an ad hoc comms plan, if you can.
If it was me, I couldn’t evacuate, and I was going to wait out the hurricane, I would use part of my time right now to tell my friends in the area what frequency I would be on after the storm.
Ideally, your friends will already have radios. If my friends didn’t, I would then use the ARRL website to search for the ham radio call signs that are in their region. Give them the addresses of hams near their house. If they have no other means of communicating with others, then they may be able to get to one of those addresses to ask for help from that ham radio operator.
If you live within driving distance of Florida, consider gearing up some charity packages.
I know that the mainstream media and your college professor would have you believe that America is the vilest nation on the planet (patently false – read Tocqueville’s Democracy in America to learn more about our heritage. Read just about any history book to discover why America is better. Do Americans leave their country? Or do other people leave their countries to come here?)
One of the great things about Americans is that we are the most charitable people on the planet. And I mean this in regard to true charity, not forced altruism (e.g., theft).
Floridians are going to need bottled water. They’re going to have increased exposure to mosquitoes. They’re going to need food, shelter, chainsaws, plywood, medical gear, and the knowledge that their loved ones are safe.
You can live the kind of life and be the kind of person who says, “Well, they should have PREPARED. Let them reap the consequences,” but I will not. I won’t be able to do much, but I will see if I can’t contribute in some way. May I suggest that you do the same.
We already have organized forces doing what they can to actively separate Americans from one another. Let’s spit in their face by doing the opposite.
(Want uninterrupted access to The Organic Prepper? Check out our paid-subscription newsletter.)
If you are in Florida right now and evacuation away from Hurricane Ian is not possible, I sincerely wish you the best. We here at The OP are pulling for you.
Do you have thoughts on the subject of Hurricane Ian? If you’re in Florida, what are you experiencing? Tell us below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We are experiencing Ian right now here on the east coast of Central Florida near the Space Center. We’re currently under a tropical storm warning, tornado watch, and flood watch with much more rain and wind expected. Despite all the bravado you may see in interviews with folks on TV, people do take these storms seriously. We’ve all spent the last several days preparing our homes and businesses, as well as friends’, family, and neighbors’. We are truly grateful for the electrical linemen, tree service pros, and everyone else who are already standing by to render aid to us as needed as soon as the storm passes. One thing to remember is that with the recent influx of so many new people to Florida, many are experiencing their first hurricane. Please keep all of us, and especially them, in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you for all that you do to help us prepare.
Used to live in Florida. Been through a few. Stay safe.
I’m here in Jacksonville near the airport. Just experiencing some high winds so far @1016
First of all, I’m a bit surprised that this hurricane caught you by surprise. There has been plenty of internet chatter about it, at least you should have caught some of that if you don’t pay attention to the MSM. Situational awareness.
Second, I have several relatives in Florida, a couple of whom are in the path of the hurricane. I have a brother in the Naples area, and he was totally unprepared as of a couple of days ago when my mother called him. Of course, he’s used to it, and a couple of years ago evacuated from another hurricane. I think he’ll likely be OK, but we’ll see. He’s a ham as well (Extra license), but doesn’t like to talk on the air, he uses Morse code (I’m a General licensee, and don’t use Morse – perhaps I should). I have a cousin with a newborn in the Tampa area, and I imagine she’s evacuating. My youngest daughter lives in Orlando, so for her, it should just be a bad thunderstorm. And my oldest daughter lives on the Atlantic coast, so it won’t be quite so bad for her.
Interesting, I live in Kentucky, and we expect some leftover rain and wind this weekend from the storm, but I’m better prepared for a hurricane than probably anyone I know in Florida. I keep my gas tank over half full all the time and have two gas cans I could fill, I have bottled water, extra food, and alternate cooking (camp stoves – gas and wood) so I could handle it after a big one like that. Now if I could just teach preparedness to my relatives in Florida…
I’m here in NE Florida just north of Jacksonville. I went through Andrew while working for SFWMD (State water management)
That made me a prepper and I have maintained a complete hurricane survival kit since then and now, let’s just say that I am much better prepared than ever before. My run to the grocery store took about ten minutes and mostly to stock up on candy. The benefits of being prepared.
We may get hammered. I try to prepare for the worst and hope for the best best. Right now it’s just gusty winds but predicted to have gust over 60mph around eleven on Thursday night.
Our youngest son is resident physician at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. He is part of their emergency response team in the cardiac unit and is on 24 hours a day at the hospital until the clinic decides they can go home.
Hope everyone gets through this without incident.
Praying for you all.
By plain dumb luck, my parents flew in yesterday from Florida. This trip was planned months ago.
They live on the East coast, but Ian current tracking has the eye passing to the south of where they live. Est. 5-10 inches of rain. That means flooding for that area.
I too have live in hurricane prone areas. Always had a supply of bottled water on hand. Extra batteries for the flash lights, head lamps. If it looks to be a major storm, and in the direct line of path of the storm, bug out early, and have an extra gas can in the back. Have a friend who bugged out from Southern FL, was not till he got to the FL/GA line that he finally found a gas station that had gas. The gas needle on his truck was getting close to E.
To those whom are in the path of the storm, if you can evacuate, please do. If you cannot, do everything you can to stay safe.
No matter where you live in the US (or globally for that matter), one should be ready for any likely weather events. Tornadoes and ice/blizzard are my keep apprised of events. But I’d rather prep for those than water and/or fire.
I do find it quite humorous that a state whose government rails against government overreach/being told what to do has no problem issuing a mandatory evacuation order. You ride out the storm by choice or no way to evacuate, that is fine. But if you do, I do agree that first responders aren’t going to be out once the weather gets really bad. However, an emergency health issue may be what gets you.
There is a significant difference between a Cat 4 hurricane, up to 12ft storm surge, flash flooding, max sustained winds up to 155mph and a virus that has a 99.9% survival rate, studies show the masks were pointless, and the CDC has done a 180 on nearly all their guidelines.
Floridians have the right to hunker down rather than evacuate and many do. Our state government, with the most freedom-minded governor in the US, respects its citizens and their decisions. Those “mandatory” evacuations are simply to let people know that those areas or types of homes are more at risk than others.
It’s sick to find the situation in Florida quite humorous. Everything is political to leftists and nothing makes them happier than real danger to their political enemies. Shame on you.
I’m in Clearwater/Tampa Bay. It was going to come straight on us but thank goodness for the dry air coming in and pushing it down a bit but the south of us, I hope they’re ready. It’s close to noon right now and the rain is getting heavier and the wind gusts a bit more often and harder. We get ready as much as we can but there’s never guarantees w this kind of thing. You do all you can and then wait. I’m in a no evac zone and my house is built on piers and was built in ‘46. Got a new roof a couple of years ago. I feel pretty good. Irma was rough and I learned a lot. I’m so grateful and amazed the workers, electric, emergency, everybody on standby to help us when this is over! After Irma they were wonderful and this time they will again. I was w/o electric for a week and it was so miserable. No breeze and the heat was crazy. We learn and fix what we find out. There are many new ppl in our community and they’re asking questions on the Nextdoor app and everyone is giving good advice of how to handle and what to get etc. I’ve prepped for years so that parts ready. I just ordered the funny Ham book on Amazon so I can finally get my license and then find a group to learn more. Always so many things to do and learn! I’m ready as I’ll ever be. Thank you guys for keeping us in your thoughts and well wishes 💝
I would say the mindset you speak of is the norm and maybe a bit misunderstood. Those of us who have experienced hurricanes every year for our entire lives expect this and go through the motions just like any other recurring season of life. I try to stress to others that lack of panic does not equal complacency. Lord knows there are enough people down here that have never experienced one of these storms and tend to fear the unknown on a much grander scale then us seasoned folks. And that’s alright, we all had our first storm.
This time around my family is situated in the North Central area and the RV resort has done a great job of preparing. Since Ian has turned we are in a much better place to ride it out, however, I estimate a good half of the resort evacuated. Rain started falling first thing this am and recently (almost noon) we began to get small gusts of wind. So far so good. We are all set, I’m just getting ready to cook some things ahead of tomorrow while the husband is out helping others with final preps.
Experience and knowledge of past storms in the area has led us to expect and prep for specific results. We know some rocky hours are ahead due winds and no wind shield where we are parked but the bright side of that is no tree damage to worry about and if it gets too bad we can always head to the resort community center to ride the winds out. Tornados, again, we have the community center and lots of prayer. Power outage is a given, it happens often here during the rainy season, so nothing new. We have all our bases covered to last us about two weeks without shore power, longer if we don’t use the A/C. We have solar, extra propane and gas and our dual fuel generator. Flooding is not a concern, as the resort has pumped out the retention ponds and the lakes in the area are already well below normal. Plus contrary to what the national news shows, must of us Floridians are not driving, kayaking or surfing during the storm! Most have already taken down and folded our flags for safe keeping as well. Alas, Florida Man will always make the news some way, some how. Sense of humor and wonder is always welcome here. Stay safe my fellow hurricane riders! Everyone else please pray for safety the first responders and critical players that have to stick around for the thick of it. Plus all the crews that come in afterwards to recover and restore. God bless you and us!
Well put, thank you. Its a matter of when, not if. I am set also, just taking it easy, reserving my strength cause I may need it.
I have a friend in Ft Meyers with 3 young children and they are hunkered down. Praying for safety.
We are riding the storm out in Lakeland fl. Been getting some pretty good wind gusts, the worst will be tonight. We have prepared for the last 3 days or so and we will be alright. Keep checking on your neighbors and friends. Sure am glad we don’t live on the coast.
As to tracking hurricanes, follow the NOAA site. I check it every few days during the season. More often if they are nearby, obviously.
I have family in FL as well. Prayers for all of you!!!