Hurricane Florence Landfall Projection
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Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly, having been downgraded to a category two storm last night. However, it’s still very large and is projected to be extremely destructive with a significant coastal storm surge and rain amounts measured in feet when it makes landfall tomorrow in the Carolinas.

“There will be extensive damage inflicted by Hurricane Florence as it drifts slowly toward the coast late this week before making landfall near the North Carolina and South Carolina border later Friday into Saturday. Winds on the east side of the storm are going to be most effective in driving storm surge flooding as the wind and waves pound the coast. That is one of many factors in why AccuWeather is estimating $50 to 60 billion in economic impact and damage from Florence,” AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said.

If you live in the southeast, you likely already have a disaster preparedness plan for just these kinds of situations. Let’s hope so. But here are three tips for gun owners to ensure your safety and the security of your firearms.

1) The first and foremost consideration is your personal safety and that of your family. You may be planning to ride out the storm in place, in which case you’ll want to have at least one firearm handy, preferably carried on your person. Open carry in your own home and on your property is legal virtually everywhere, but be sure to know your local laws.

Depending on the intensity of the storm, however, your situation could change. You could be ordered to evacuate by local authorities. If you’re forced to leave your home, be prepared to take your firearms and a supply of ammunition with you. In addition to the gun(s) you may be carrying, that means including holsters and slings with ammo cans, cases and other gear to carry everything securely in your vehicle.

2) Know the laws in surrounding states. If you’re forced to travel over state lines in order to get away from the effects of the storm, be aware that the laws concerning your firearms and how they can be legally carried can vary extensively.

Storm evacuation is stressful enough without encountering legal problems due to the firearms and magazines you may be transporting or how you’re carrying them. Be familiar with the concealed carry reciprocity laws in any states you’re likely to be traveling to and staying in until you can return home.

Hurricane Florence Landfall Damage Estimates

3) It may not be possible to take all of your firearms with you should you be forced to leave your home. People, pets and clothing and emergency gear will take precedence in your vehicle. If you’re forced to leave firearms behind, do what you can to ensure they’re protected from water damage and potential looters.

Move firearms you can’t take with you to an upper floor to guard against flooding. Store them in a safe or lockable cabinet to keep them as secure as you can while you’re out of your home.

You’ll also want to protect them from water damage as much as possible. If your guns are stored in a safe, you can improve its water resistance by using foam gap filler around the door edges that’s available at any hardware store. If not in a safe, keep your firearms in the most secure containers you have at the highest level possible in your home, covered by a tarp or plastic sheeting that’s secured with duct tape.

Here’s hoping you and your family stay safe no matter what your plans are for dealing with the storm and its aftermath this weekend.


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  1. Advice from someone who’s waded around in mixed water for days during hurricanes,

    Lube the shit out of the gun you carry on you now. Lube the HOLY SHIT out of the guns you leave behind. Put some ammo in a magazine or speed loader in a plastic bag on you.

    Carry Benadryl.

    • jwtaylor,

      Put some ammo in a magazine or speed loader in a plastic bag on you.

      If it were me, I would actually double-bag (and possibly even triple-bag) my magazines or speed loaders.

      This also reminds us that it is a good idea to carry ammunition which is nominally “waterproof” — which I interpret to mean should still function properly if briefly dunked in a couple feet of water. As far as I know (and I am by no means an expert), waterproof ammunition has sealant around the primer and bullet. Mine looks like watered-down red nail polish.

      • I had about 10 inches of water in my basement on LI a few years ago. All of my reloads and .22 ammo was on the bottom shelf, submerged. I spread it all out in the driveway on the next sunny day and let it dry. I’ve since shot it all up without a single misfire.

    • Some notes from the last round of Hurricane fun:

      Also, placing items in plastic tubs in your house is useless if those tubs aren’t weighed down enough to keep from floating away. They’ll just start to float, tip toward the side with denser weight distribution, then tip completely over or fill with water as the water level climbs. Weigh the bottom of them down with heavier items.

      If you don’t have an upstairs, place all items of value in these places in this order of priority: highest cabinets, countertops, tables/other furniture, then on top of mattresses. Mattresses/bedding WILL soak up water, drawing it up far higher than the actual water level; lay down plastic sheeting or a tarp as a water barrier before placing valuables on top of beds.

      Then get out, early! Better to spend a couple days farther inland and return to find your home untouched, thinking you could have stayed put all along, than to stay and endure the insanity.

  2. I remember with the Florida hurricanes the last few years the ATF nfa branch issued guidelines for evacuating with SBRs, AOWs, silencers, machine guns, grenade launchers, etc and getting 5320.20 forms approved for interstate travel, including providing a email submission method for those leaving and needing those approvals before evacuation.

    Any word on that with Florence? It definitely can complicate evacuating. Ideally you already have approved forms for possible states you might go to, but ideal and reality are frequently not in sync.

  3. I would also add, be aware that firearms are not permitted in government run shelters. If you must seel shelter in such a facility keep your firearms secured in your vehicle and don’t telegraph that you have them.

  4. If this storm dumps the 24 to 48 inches of rain that several meteorologists are predicting, this will cause widespread devastation which could easily cause electricity outages for 14+ days in some locations.

    That means no refrigeration of food, no pumping water from wells, and no ability to light up your property at night. Those are prime conditions for looters and desperate people to try and take important supplies from you. Be prepared to defend yourself and your homestead for a VERY long time.

    • desperate people

      Poor choice of words to describe slimeball opportunists out to pillage the property of others.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Invest in Pelican cases.

    If you must leave them behind in an attic or something they can be locked to a properly secured eye bolt by use of a Krytonite cable or similar. Not an ideal solution but better than nothing and the cases are fully waterproof and nearly indestructible.

    • Those are excellent suggestions strych9.

      Storing your firearms in your attic for a short time is probably more secure than storing them in a safe. Thieves who break-in can quickly see a safe and set about breaking it open in short order. What thieves will not generally do is try to climb into a home’s attic on the off chance that the homeowner stored firearms up there.

      • This is true.

        You can also add an extra layer of security by putting the cases I mentioned behind “junk”, covering them with a tarp to block visual identification of your lock-down cables and then sprinkling some sawdust or similar over the tarps. That way it looks like regular old attic crap behind a bunch of boxes and, if you’ve done it right, like it hasn’t been touched in a long while.

        Hiding in plain sight as it were.

        • If you have central heat-A/C, in a Pelican and stashed in the space behind the ‘door’ where the air filter is another handy spot.

          As for looters, put jewelry, etc., in a dirty sock in the bottom of the laundry hamper…

  6. Living near the ocean in SE FL, I am an expert with getting ready for a hurricane. I happen to own a safe/vault company. I’ve had many customers who went back home to a flat slab and the only thing left standing was the bolted down safe I sold them. Last year during IRMA in Naples, FL I had 3 customers in that situation. So, put your jewelry, guns, ammo and all of your valuables in a 1/4″ thick American made steel safe minimal. You can’t bring a weapon to a shelter. GO TO A SHELTER. Trying to drive may get you killed on the highway. If you ride out the storm, use a sharpie and put your social security number on your arm for ID when you get killed. These storms are massive tornadoes. Most modern high schools are good shelters, you may have to go to the 2nd floor. Listen to your local officials. Good homeowners is a must if you live near the ocean. I have an emergency trunk bag that has all the first aid for my family. The shelter will have the food, etc. Just bring an air mattress and go. Do not try to stay in a flood zone, and do not go in your attic, you will die. The death tolls in FL from hurricanes are reported at 90% lower then the truth, for tourism.

  7. Here close to Houston flooding is prevalent, I’ve had to pack up and leave once. It’s a real wake up call. I know where all the important documents and luggage are. Getting those together and clothes is easily done. What I found time consuming was loading up all my firearms and ammo. I recommend a practice run for anyone in a potential disaster area before you need to get up and leave. It will help you save time when the time comes to bug out…

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