MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Harvey, Jose, Irma, Maria. These are just some of the Hurricane names we will not soon forget this season. CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer predicted an active hurricane season and so far, it has been just that!
There’s a lot that goes into tracking, explaining and relaying storm information so everyone can stay safe.
That’s why Craig Setzer took time Friday to hop on Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) to answer questions about this season’s hurricanes so far.
The first person to jump on the AMA asked Craig “When did you realize that Irma was going to be a serious situation in Florida? How long ahead of landfall?”
Craig answered honestly, “I started growing very concerned on the Friday a week before. We were going into the Labor Day weekend and I said on TV, ‘Let’s deal with this next week but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure you have supplies and are ready if we are dealing with it next week.’ I put my shutters up, all but the front windows, that weekend, a week before the storm. Front shutters on my house scares the neighbors (and I’ve never put them up before now on the front).
Those who took part in Friday’s AMA were very thankful and had thoughtful questions for him to answer.
“Hi, Craig! Thanks so much for doing this. 🙂 Asking on behalf of a small group at my office, do you have any advice on how to make homes stronger to withstand a major hurricane (beyond getting impact windows), particularly a Cat 4? I have a pre-1970 cement block home, my co-workers have homes constructed post-Andrew code, none are in an evac zone, all are in Broward and have impact windows, but we’re starting to feel uneasy about our existing structures holding up against anything higher than a Cat 3 — should we consider getting stronger roofs?”
Craig replied, “Well, the main thing is to make sure your roof is attached to the rest of the home with straps. Everything should be tied together. Older homes may have roof damage but keeping the roof on is most important. http://my-coverage-pro.com/blog/wind-mitigation-discounts/index.html And remember, once we get into cat 3 or greater, we will start seeing building damage to most homes, and as the category increases, so will the damage extent and severity.”
“Oh man, what a stressful job. Good luck!” wrote one reddit user. Then asked, “What’s the craziest, least predictable thing you’ve ever seen? I mean like in terms of storms, but if you have any other wacky anecdotes, that would also work. Thanks!”
Craig agreed, “It IS a stressful job when there is a storm coming because the viewers/public hang on your every word and you have to be very careful what you say. Saying too much or too little and people either tune out or get scared. Scaring people doesn’t help anyone. I am very careful talking about hurricanes so few things surprise me, but I’ve blown the forecast a time or two on a weekend when I say it will be beautiful and it rains all day. But that’s just a weekend washout, no one loses a home in that.”
What about hurricane evacuations?
One user asked, “What’s your opinion of people, such as those in Monroe County, who ignore mandatory evacuation orders despite your best efforts to warn them of the risks?”
Craig again answered honestly and from the heart.
“Well, no one wants to evacuate and sometimes some people simply cannot evacuate. But what bugs me is when people who can evacuate and don’t put up signs saying “please send help”. I think the first responders should help those who really need it, not those who just wanted to ride the storm out. Taking a chance with a hurricane is a bad idea for everyone if you are told to evacuate.”
So does anything surprise Craig anymore?
One user asked, “What surprised you or stood out to you the most while covering Irma locally in Miami, and what surprised you the most in your coverage of Harvey, Maria, Jose, etc.?”
The answer is Yes; Craig does still get surprised.
“I think I was a little surprised by how freaked out people were by Sunday afternoon when the wind was howling. I think I take for granted that I see forecasts for wind speeds of 80 to 100 mph all the time and in my head I know exactly what kind of damage is associated with that type of wind. Most people don’t. So I was confident when I went on the air Sunday at 1:15PM and said ‘Please everyone calm down. No one is going to lose a roof’. I got lots and lots of emails telling me that’s what people needed to hear and that they felt relief once I said it.”
We hope you were able to join us for our Reddit AMA.