I lost track of this thread for a whole week. Well, I've been busy.
AAR from Sarasota, FL:
1) We got damned lucky here. Instead of a Cat 4 coming at us from the Gulf, we got a Cat 2 after it beat up on Miami/the Keys and Naples/Marco Island.
2) If you're going to have equipment, be familiar with it. I spent an hour running around in the rain like a moron because I couldn't find the open breaker on my backup power system. The genset ran well enough, I just wasn't getting juice. When I checked that breaker the third time, I noticed it was open. Dummy.
3) Hurricane shutters and block construction are wonderful things. I certainly would have had more ancillary damage from a Cat 4, but I am confident the house would have made it intact. That is huge.
4) Location, location, location. This being our third house, there were things we were looking for when shopping last year. Not just schools and shopping and interstate access, but also things in event of likely emergencies. Yeah, it takes us 25 minutes to get to the beach, but we are also miles inland and ~30' elevation. Also not near any rivers. Makes a big difference when storm surge and rain is in the forecast.
5) When you have been following ZS for years and taking in all of the sage advice shared here, you are pretty much stocked and ready when Hurricane season begins and you can sit back and watch as everybody else loses their minds over the worsening forecasts. I highly recommend this strategy.
NB: It hasn't gotten as much attention on the news, but some of the Carribean islands got wrecked. My wife's cousin lives in the USVI with her two young sons. Their house survived, albeit with water on the first floor, but the island is destroyed. No green vegetation left, most structures compromised. They evac'd to San Juan and then CONUS. It will be months if not years before they can go home.
Appreciate what you have, and how quickly you can lose it. Two weeks ago they lived in a tropical paradise, now they are refugees. Thank God it was only material possessions, and they are still alive.