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Hurricane IAN Impact


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I hope all our friends in Florida are ok. We live next to Orlando and did not suffer a scratch. Just blocks away neighbors' homes were flooded. It is amazing how just a couple of feet in elevation can provide some protection.

We could have evacuated but chose to stay for many reasons. Had it been predicted to be a cat 2 or more we would have left of course. With plenty of water and generators, we slept through most of it. Not well of course but was surprised at how few limbs were down in our plot. Our RV was tucked next to the house with the slides in and the jacks down.

Plastic bins were laid beneath the roof edge to catch hundreds of gallons of water. 

The most difficult part was losing cell service which I anticipated as a Telecommunications Engineer but losing the internet feed to the home surprised me a bit. 

Some very slow text messages got out but it was virtually non-existent for 36 hours. The downtime gave me the motivation to dress up our electronics cabinet in the sticks and bricks. Things get a bit jumbled after a few years of modifications so it was a good time to make it pretty again.

After two hours of dressing up the wiring and moving things around for better access, I reached for the extension cord that would provide the generator power to the system.

At that very moment, I heard a toilet filling which meant the well was running. Sheesh, the power came alive and and the wi-fi boxes lit up happily. At the same time, the cellular data came alive as well. 

Time to give a hand to the neighbors now. Stay safe friends. I know there are a few of you that live nearby. Let me know if you need a hand.

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It is people like you that makes me blessed to be a part of the Monacoers family.  

At 81 years of age I look back in my life to reflect the various disasters I went through.  Everything from a sleet break to a couple of tornados.  During that time I lived in Memphis, Tn.  Back then I had to help my elderly parents who lived in Water Valley, Ms.  Once I secured my home in Memphis, I traveled 90 miles to water Valley to deliver a generator to my parents so they could live out the sleet break.

Thank you for sharing on the group.    Chuck B

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I just had a thought to share. If someone had a Starlink mounted/portable in a vehicle could they set up a wi-fi hot spot and have people make calls to friends and family? One could drive through a neighborhood with a sign and go door to door offering the service. Free of course. Not a business. 

In the worst case, could a cell phone activate its hot spot while using Starlink as its wi-fi???

 

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Myron - glad you are okay and impact was minimal.  Being without power is no fun, and lack of internet can make one feel cut off from the world.  I hope things are back to normal soon.  Not much will be normal to your south and west for a very long time.   My grandparents were young newlyweds during the depression in Orlando.  Water and food were always top of mind.  I learned hurricane prep from an early age when Donna hit Orlando.  In Georgia's winter ice storms, that has come in handy multiple times.  Good bless you both and give you peace! 

All the best - Steve

Myron - what you describe is totally and easily doable, after you stop, wifi calling should work fine.  The user's phone would have to have wifi calling in the menu and just enable it.   - Steve

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Last summer while remote camping in a park with no cell service we used our Starlink to set up cell phone service for us and our nearby camping family and friends. Daughter told us she was able to use her cell phone a couple of hundred feet away in her camp site.  

 Best wishes to all fellow Monacoers affected  by the recent weather .

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Late Breaking.  According to Twitter and Fox News, Governor DeSantis and Leon Musk have been doing exactly as Myron suggested.  The techs at SrarLink are repositioning a “cluster” of satellites over Lee county and other hard hit areas.  There was a large shipment of dishes received.

You can Google this or SpaceX or Fox News for the details.  That is about the extent of the news with no published reports on availability or implementation.   Here is the text from the Fox News article.  Wanted to make sure it was APolitical in keeping with our posting rules.  
 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a Saturday press conference that the state was working with SpaceX to position Starlink internet satellites for counties impacted by Hurricane Ian.

"We're working with Elon Musk, and Starlink satellite," he explained. "So, they're positioning the Starlink satellites to provide good coverage in southwest Florida and other affected areas."

He then gestured to boxes of the satellites sitting to his left.

"Here are the Starlinks that we're going to provide for Lee County," DeSantis said.

"So, they have satellites that beam down, but you can't just get it on your device without having things like that beaming it o the public or beaming it to whatever. So, those are going to be really for their use at the places that are offering the emergency response, so that they can be fully hooked up and can get online if they need to go," he told reporters.

The governor said the state is expecting 120 additional large Starlink units to deploy to the region.

"And so, they've donated the costs associated with all the coverage. So, we want to thank SpaceX and thank Elon Musk for that," he noted.

"A large device: you can put it in different areas in the community that are having problems and they can get a 13-mile radius and they can support over 1,000 users at a given time. So, you're talking about over a hundred of these," DeSantis continued.

The governor said some had already been distributed to Charlotte and that some would be given to Lee and surrounding counties.

"Not all will go to Lee, but many will go to Lee, Charlotte...If there's places in Collier, some of our rural counties like DeSoto and Hardee. You know, they're offline, too, to be able to do that," he added. "So, that will help bridge some of the connectivity issues and we think that that's something that's very, very smart."

Remember….MYRON gets credit for this.

Sounds like some really common sense disaster relief work…. 

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to Hurricane IAN Impact

We are in Titusville Fl No damage to our motorhome or house just a pond in the front and back yards. Lots of clean up though branches palm fronds etc.

Cliff

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Well Tom, that answers my questions. Had I not retired ten years ago I can assure you I would have had one set up already. I worked with EMS nearly forty years providing communications and something like this is a game changer for sure. Sat phones are fine but being able to provide an access point for many people and even someone wanting to notify the family that they  made it would be a real life saver for sure. 

 

Hurray for Star Link. I cannot imagine how many folks were not able to make a 911 call. Working in the telecommunications industry we knew how critical backups are and even old fashioned land lands were helpful at times but most often those failed first. 

We had one of the first telephone systems over radio in Northern Calif. It was really amazing and very handy prior to cell phones, There were "mobile phones" of course but the range and the limited supply did not help in a disaster as we encountered in Calif. Fires and floods and earth quakes. At least we can see a hurrican coming and make some decisions on evacuating. It seems those darn storms just follow me anyway. 

This will improve the ability of the recovery teams to get resources where needed. 

Multi agencies have different radio systems and getting them to be interoperable is very complex and takes some dedication to implement. 

 

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We have a Verizon 4G "Network Extender" because we can't get reliable cell service from any provider at the house.  The extender connects to Wi-Fi and becomes a mini cell tower with a very short range.  With a Starlink system this could be an emergency phone source for neighbors (they'd have to stand in your yard). 

Network Extenders are rare.  Most modern phones have Wi-Fi calling capability *IF* it's turned on. 

- bob

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