There were two things Wendy and I were concerned about when we moved to Naples, Florida. First, could we stand the heat and humidity in the summer? Well, we discovered that we absolutely love the summers here.

Second, what to do about hurricanes? Well, we’ve learned a lot in this first year (And we have much yet to learn.). In addition to installing hurricane windows, we created a written plan for this year. Perhaps the most important part of this plan is the Go, No-Go Decision. So without further ado, here is the Smith Hurricane Plan 2021.

Smith Hurricane Plan 2021

Go, No-Go Decision

  • We make reservations (somewhere) if there is a forecast for a:
    • Cat 3 hurricane within 4 days
    • Cat 4 hurricane within 5 days
    • Cat 5 hurricane within 6 days
  • Make reservations immediately — for departure at least 3 days before the hurricane.
  • Note: hurricanes can be huge. Monster winds can be very far away from the eye. So error on the side of caution. If it’s in your general direction and it’s forecast as a level 3 or higher, exit stage right!

Stay at Home Plan (for Cat. 1 or 2)

  • Shop for last minute items T-4 days
  • Notify family and ministers T-3 days
  • Fill ice blocks and put in freezer T-3 days
  • Fill water barrier in lanai on T-1 day
  • Fill bathtub T-1 day
  • Close hurricane shutters and lock hurricane windows T-6 hours

Escape Plan – By Car (Cat. 3, 4 or 5)

  • Destination: Appalachian mountains (N. GA, NC, TN) – VRBO $1100/week. Leave 4 days before.
    • Close hurricane shutters & lock windows
    • Notify family & ministers T-3 days
    • Things to Bring:
      • Bug-out Bag (red & white in kitchen bottom shelf)
      • Prescriptions
      • Ditty Bag (master closet shelf)
      • Doc In A Box
      • 5-Gallon Gas Cans

Escape Plan – By Air

  • Close hurricane shutters & lock hurricane windows
  • Notify family & ministers T-3 days
  • Leave car in garage, use shuttle or UBER to airport
  • Bring Prescriptions
  • Bring Ditty Bags (master closet shelf)
  • Exit Airports
    • RSW (Ft. Myers) is preferred.
  • FLL (Ft. Lauderdale)
  • MIA (Miami)
  • TPA (Tampa)

Air Destinations (vacation spots):

  • Detroit (DTW) $150 Round trip. Overnight @ Jeff & Kerry’s, then drive to Mackinac City ($154/night plus rental car). 4 hour drive.
  • Atlanta (ATL), then drive to VRBO in Appalachians.
  • Boston (), then drive to Camden, ME
  • Seattle $550. VRBO on Olympic Peninsula (Sequim)$200/night plus car rental
  • Denver $500. VRBO in Black Hawk ($1500/week) plus car rental

Tools & Equipment

  • MyRadar App
  • Storm Radar App
  • WINK FM & Weatherband Radio
  • Collier County / Naples Weather Alert System
  • Bug Out Bag
  • Katadyne Gravity Water Filter
  • Portable Solar Cell Phone Charger

Hurricane Season Checklist (Activate each May)

  • Fill 5-Gallon gas cans and add stabilizer
  • Bug-out bag checked and ready (72-hour kit +)
  • Stay at home supplies checked
    • Propane canisters
    • Propane stove
    • Lighter
    • Katadyne gravity water filter
    • Emergency supplies
    • Food storage

Things to Do or Purchase

  • Research shuttle services to various airports. How likely can they be relied upon at T-3 days until the hurricane?
  • Money ($20 bills)
  • Bug Out Checklist (clothes, etc.)
  • Remote thermometer for fridge and freezer
  • Gas in 5-Gallon cans with stabil
  • Solar Powered Emergency Lights

Designed for:

  • Retired couple
  • 6th floor condo with hurricane-rated windows and shutters. Located 3/4 miles from Gulf of Mexico
  • Prepared with freeze-dried food storage, portable propane stove, Katadyne water filter, etc.

Well, that’s the plan so far. Please leave your questions, comments and suggestions.

Stay safe out there! ~ Clay