With Irma threatening, we are republishing our advice for hurricane prep.
When a hurricane is looming one should run all the orchids as dry as possible to reduce the threat of fungus and bacteria. But contra-intuitively, just before the storm strikes one should saturate the orchids to the max. Now is the time to do that [Note: this piece was originally published the day before Matthew hit, so, water heavily the day before the hurricane makes landfall]. First, because we want the plants to be as heavy as possible to help prevent them being blown away or about. Second, because if one's water source is a well, electricity for the pump may be off for days or even weeks. Thoroughly watered plants will be much happier should this occur. Even if you are able to bring all your collection inside, water them thoroughly with two to three applications spaced a few minutes apart. They will be perfectly happy for a day or two without water and we will all have enough mess to deal with without watering orchids in the house.
Remember, wind velocity increases exponentially as height increases. Get your plants as close to the ground as possible but off the ground as flooding may saturate them with fungus and bacteria. Usually it is not wise to attempt to cover them with a tarp or shade cloth as the whipping of the cloth by the wind likely will cause more harm than the wind itself.
If you are growing under shade cloth, the cloth should be furled tightly to protect it. Bright burning sun is typical in the wake of a hurricane and shade will be invaluable If you are growing under trees be prepared for the possibility that the protective canopy will be destroyed. Have a plan to protect your plants from sun burn.
Good luck and please feel free to share this information with whomever may benefit from it.