So, I live here on the island of Kauai and the entire island chain of Hawaii may be seriously hit by a category 4 or 5 hurricane. (Luckily my island is the furthest one away from the hurricane.) However, I wanted to get some suggestions on how people think I might best package up my Glowforge in case the worst does happen. How should I protect this guy? My entire business is centered around this machine and it makes me kind of nervous to think that it could be completely destroyed by water, wind, and or rain, not to mention, maybe a collapsed roof or a flying piece of debris through a window. Thoughts?
I mean first step would be to get it disconnected from whatever vent you have.
This might sound strange, but returned to its packaging and placed in a car trunk or a panel van in a parking garage would probably be a pretty safe storage option, but tbh I can’t think of any parking garages on Kauai that I remember. Maybe Lihue or Poipu (under a larger hotel)?
My thinking is that cars are pretty waterproof and that most parking garages are seriously beefy concrete.
That being said, homeowners/renters insurance ought to have your back, take pictures of your stuff while it’s all good now, it’ll help with the insurance process if the worst happens. Good luck, Kauai’s had a rough year for weather…
Do you still have the packing materials it came with? If so, you could put it back in there. UPS is a little like a hurricane. If it survived them, it should survive the hurricane.
Perhaps put some plywood on top, sides of the box?
wrap in plastic, several times, place in original shipping box, wrap that in plastic…
Just like you would with anything else you’d want to protect: protect it to the best of your ability. Assess your primary threats.
If you feel your house is going to go underwater (hopefully not, but it happens), box it up and take it with you wherever you go.
Going to lose a roof?
In danger of being submerged? Or rained on? Or…?
Oh, and… business insurance.
I do, but I am afraid that the cardboard would be susceptible to water.
I guess the question is, what are you expecting. I’ve never gone through a hurricane, since I live fairly far inland. Are you expecting heavy rain, or flooding?
If it’s just heavy rain, you could wrap the whole box in saran wrap, or put it somewhere safe, like in a car.
But if you are expecting flooding, then that’s a whole other story.
Flooding is a major concern here on Kauai, as are roofs collapsing and then water getting into your home. It actually holds the record as the wettest place on Earth and gets more annual rainfall than anywhere else on the planet. So, when it rains here, it pours!
What does @dan and his team suggest? I’m not just concerned about immediate damage from the hurricane, but also conditions post hurricane. Should I keep my machine off the grid until the power infrastructure is stabilized? (or will a surge protector be enough?) With that much water sitting after the hurricane, do I need to worry about humidity conditions? I was considering putting it in a large rubbermaid bin with heavy pillows and blankets and securing the laser arm with the bolts from the original shipping material. Likewise, I figured it might not be a bad idea to separate the laser head completely and pack that in a smaller bin with bubblewrap. My concern with wrapping stretch wrap around the unit is that any humidity or moisture inside will stay inside. I’ve seen empty jars condensate on the inside because there was so much humidity in the air at the time when the jar was closed. I wouldn’t want that inside my machine. I should probably also remove the tray and store that separately. (It’s less of a concern if it gets wet) Does the GF warranty cover Acts of God? (jk…but seriously though)I just recently ordered a second machine for my business. Hopefully, it hasn’t shipped yet! I’d hate to get it the day before the hurricane then have to figure out where to put that one. (It is also totally possible that the hurricane mostly bypasses us and we just get really bad wind and rain) Only 4 hurricanes have actually made landfall here in Hawaii since 1959.
I don’t know the answer, but I’m hoping for the best for all of you in harm’s path!
Business insurance is really your best bet. Other than that, you probably know better than most of us what to do. Box it up to protect it from debris and maybe throw a tarp over it to protect it from moisture from above. If the waters are rising, you’ll have to take a guess whether your threat is more from water or wind. But there are no guarantees and your life is more important.
Did you keep those moisture absorbing bag things that shipped inside your glowforge/can you get more? The one that came with mine is Uline brand, which isn’t super helpful as you’d probably have to order a crate of them. But maybe amazon has something comparable you could get fairly quickly? I’d throw a handful of them in and seal the whole thing up.
If you can’t find those, specifically, maybe there is a comparable product that could serve the same purpose?
That seems like shockingly few. It’s kind of funny to think that I’ve lived through more hurricanes in less time, never having lived in a place associated with hurricanes.
Amazon takes a minimum of 7 days to get anything to the Islands. Prime 2 Day Shipping doesn’t exist here. But I can probably check Home Depot for some similar moisture control products. Thanks!
Used to dehumidify entire closets. This would easily keep your GF dry in a plastic bag.
I got this bag:
Easily fits a GF box. Walmart has some too, you just need to go over to Lihue.
EDIT: Home Depot has equivalents too.
Or if you have a Michaels or Hobby Lobby, look for silica gel for flower drying. Something similar to this:
Then you could package it up however you like. You could even get muslin bags at Michaels.
No. Unplug the glowforge from power until the storm passes. If you really get hit by Lane power won’t be back on for a while anyway. Also, don’t plug it back in first thing. After a storm power likes to go on and off. Give the power company time to stabilize everything.
My suggestion is to ignore potential wind-driven-object-damage unless you laser under a palm tree. If after the storm you find a palm frond driven through your forge it was meant to be and you probably have bigger issues. Instead concentrate on water damage. Wrap it in plastic. The idea to place it back in the box is a good one - not to protect it from Lane, but to protect it from that “oops” human-driven accident. If the cardboard is water damaged, claim it on your insurance it is something like $200 to replace and you have to have one to ship it back to glowforge. The claims adjuster may balk at first, but it would be a legitimate claim.
Here is the deal on water and electronics: the water only hurts when the device is on. Water doesn’t wreck electronics like it wrecks a book, it creates a short and the short circuit is what wrecks the electronics. There are some electronic parts that can’t be washed, but in almost all cases the “don’t wash” means don’t wash under pressure. A short bath in unpressurized water will probably be okay (if the glowforge even has one of those parts.) So if your glowforge gets wet, even from condensation, just make sure it is completely dried out on the inside before powering it up again. One other note about water - the source matters. If your glowforge is unlucky enough to be caught in a flood, like a surge of water flowing down the side of a mountain, when the water dries a lot of short-circuiting dirt will be left behind. Not as much if it is because a hole in the roof soaked it. If it is well wrapped in plastic though, the water and more importantly the dirt in the water stays outside.
Best of luck to you and yours.
Sitting here in Tampa and in a double wide trailer I have had similar concerns.
We were lucky here last year as a very frightening Irma left remarkably little damage here but very much worse nearby. One cannot get owners or renters insurance for trailers, but will have to look into business insurance.
We are 20 feet above the river and a salt intrusion dam keeps it from being dry so I think it would be very extreme for the flooding to get here and no big trees endanger us.
I think i will be tying a big tarp over the top as it is already in about the most protected location in the house. Before when I was in Orlando it had been 45 years since the previous hurricane and then there were three in as many weeks.,
Those moisture absorbent bags can be reused. Put them in an oven with the door cracked, set the temperature at 220 degrees F (105 C) and leave them overnight - eight hours, whatever. That will drive the absorbed moisture out, and they will be ready to absorb a new load.
In the days before today’s more litigious climate, we used to put a bit of cobalt chloride in some of the material. It changed from blue (dry) to pink (wet). However, eight hours or so in a warm oven will drive the majority of the moisture, whether you have an indicator or not.
This isn’t just a Glowforge hint. It works for just about any application using desiccant paks.
Good Night, went through Maria in St. Croix. I didn’t have the at the time, but my roof lifted 18".
Lots of water… What I used to protect the e-items was contractor bags and duct tape. Along with stand-offs to get them above the surface. All items survived. Unplug everything. encapsulate in the bags. Pray, Pray, Pray the roof stays. Mine did but my liver hates me…
Good Luck, already touched base with @raymondking32 who is on Oahu, Praying for you all. Good Luck.
Glad to see the storm downgraded but it’s still a bad storm. Take care of yourself, stuff can be replaced. These days a new GF is only an Amazon Prime delivery away if you want instant gratification.
Katrina taught me stuff is only stuff.