post hurricane self report - how did your readiness fare?
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  1. #1
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    Default post hurricane self report - how did your readiness fare?

    here are my notes for next hurricane.

    phone "calling tree" per our employer fell apart and did not work. need one person with a WORKING phone to call all the people in our department.

    i chose not to do my weekly shopping because i thought i would be out of power, and would end up with a fridge full of rotten food. Now i have an empty fridge with a bottle of ketchup to eat. (Now i do have a room of food and supplies a la LDS church...)
    grocery issues: i badly need kitty litter (pew!), bunny supplies, a block of cheese, paper plates and disposable flatware. without cheese most of my planned meals didn't work. there is nothing on the store shelves.

    i ran out of caffeine!

    i need to buy an axe, hatchet, a taller ladder, and circular saw for debris removal

    i did not have enough contractor trash bags.

    make more ice and FILL the chest freezer with ice.

    i need to buy and learn how to use a weapon.

    lemon juice and lime juice make nice cold drinks. i made cherry limeade.

    what worked well for you? what did you forget? what did not work for you?
    Last edited by ladykemma2; 09-15-2008 at 01:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Texasgirl's Avatar
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    I had milk jugs in the freezer frozen with water to help keep the stuff in the freezer frozen.
    We where only without power for 11 hours.

    What would I do different.

    I am going to make sure we have at least one whole shelf in the freezer with water filled milk jugs frozen.
    Make sure the bread on the counter is good and that we have more then one loaf in the freezer.

    The main thing that dh and I talked about.
    We will be buying a generator in the months to come. Next time we might not be so lucky as to have the power back on so fast.
    I will also be buying some more rechargeable batteries and making sure they are charged up.

    If you can find one get a radio that either takes batteries or is hand cranked we have one that is both we did not put batteries in it we just cranked it up so we could listen to what was going on while the power was out.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I would not recommend the axe... those things are incredibly heavy and will wear you out very fast. I'd recommend a gas powered chainsaw... and a decent stockpile of gas (diesel if you can find such a chainsaw). That will allow you to clean up anything dire... the rest can wait until the power is restored. A hatchet would be a good idea for getting into rooms whose doors are blocked or houses that no longer have doors. Not sure what help a circular saw would be... but, so far as I know... there are no gas powered circular saws.
    Buy a 5 gallon gas can. Use it when you need gas in your car. Then, when you fill up your car, fill it back up. That way, you will always have fresh gas.

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    I stay stocked up on water, non perishable foods, and batteries and I restock constantly throughout the year. That's just a given.

    We keep all vehicles at no less than a half a tank of gas during hurrican season, we also keep 2 five gallon cans full as well and refill as it's used.

    I keep bagged ice in the bottom of my deep freezer. Always.

    We always bring in the ax, hatchet and chain saw during times of "hunkering down for a storm" since we have trees nearby all around the house, this is a pretty smart thing to do.

    I have a regular "plug in" type of phone. For if the cell towers are down and electricity is out, if the phone lines are still working this type of phone will work.

    We have no boards for our windows, we have thick metal sheeting, cut to fit. They can be reused year after year, hold up better than plywood and you don't have to run to a store at the last minute trying to find plywood like everyone else.

    I firmly believe anyone, ANYONE, living in a hurricane area that has the capabilities of storing one should not even think twice about owning a generator. This is not an afterthought, it's a given. It took us a year to save up enough to buy one have been very grateful since. Do all you can to get one. Even a small one to just run your refrigerator and a light will make a world of difference to you.

    We have rechargable lanterns, that I make sure are fully charged when needed. They are absolutely invaluable and are far safer than candles during those times.

    I don't rely on the radio. During hurricane Claudette here the NOAA weather service even went out.

    Above all we keep our heads on straight. We don't panic, we don't play into the panic that sometimes other people or especially the media throws at you.

    Learn to use your instincts. If you know when you need to leave, then do so when it's time. Otherwise be prepared to ride it out and live for the next week or so as if you won't have power or services.

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    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    Thpugh we aren't one of the areas that was near the coast Ike managed to give our area the largest power outage it has ever had.

    What has worked well for us:
    ~ Being already stocked here at the house with things like batteries, pwdered milk, flashlights, and such meant we weren't dependent on a last minute run to the grocery.

    ~ Having sterno racks and sternos on hand as well as a backup tank for the grill. I cooked Sunday when the power went out and the wind was whipping on the sterno racks since I ad eveything prepped for the oven when we lost power.

    ~ Filling up the cars when Ike hit Texas istead of waiting for when it hit hear.

    ~ Having a car charger for the phone.

    ~ Getting dry ice IMMEDIATELY when we knew that the power might go. We were able to save everything in our fridge and freezer and mom's chest freezer.

    What did you forget:
    ~ We really haven't noticed anything we've forgotten. Although haveing been on Long Island when Gloria hit in 1985 if we would have been near the coast we would have had more than 1 back up tank of propane. Filled more jugs with water as well as our tubs and filled up several additional gas cans.

    What did not work for you?
    ~ Work yesterday. Talk about unprepared and no sense of a calling tree or what this could bring.

    ~ The cell phones being overloaded. It took awhile to figure out that all the calls you thought were going through really weren't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    This could be an issue. Cell Phone towers are just like anything else... they can be destroyed too.

    Short of a very expensive satellite phone... I'm not too sure this will work. A better option would be to get a few certified as HAMs (ie., amature radio), and have them spread out enough to the others to fill the 'calling tree'.

    will address at work

    Fun. If you don't already have one... get a Deep Freezer... if you do already have one... get a second one ;-) . Definitely stock 'non-perishable' foods. Also... get a gas counter top stove (think campers stove).

    as a memebr of the SCA and LDS church we are expert campers and preparedness folks. i had food, just the "i forgots" were kitty litter, bunny stuff, paper plates, forks, contractor trash bags, and cheese. cheese keeps unrefrigerated.
    Heh... you ran out of the one essential! Tsk tsk .



    I would not recommend the axe... those things are incredibly heavy and will wear you out very fast. I'd recommend a gas powered chainsaw... and a decent stockpile of gas (diesel if you can find such a chainsaw). That will allow you to clean up anything dire... the rest can wait until the power is restored. A hatchet would be a good idea for getting into rooms whose doors are blocked or houses that no longer have doors. Not sure what help a circular saw would be... but, so far as I know... there are no gas powered circular saws.

    duly noted, thanks i will heed this advice. i lost all the tools in the divorce

    Good idea... difficult to realize. Unless you have a dedicated freezer for ice... the day or two you have to prepare... would not give you enough ice.

    what i plan to do is keep my galon milk jugs, when a strom is impending fill them all and put them in the deep freeze. i have an ice maker as well, so make ice like a mother...

    Good idea. I'd suggest a stun gun... or mace. Then you don't have to worry much about the moral quandary that is deadly force (not to mention the legal quandary). Another idea would be to get yourself enrolled in a martial arts class.

    my neighbor has an AK 47.

    I'm not in tornado alley or a place that'll get hit by a hurricane... but it sounds like you have the right idea to me.

    Jason Herbert
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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    Ie., he protects you and yours... you provide him food/water... or some such.



    things are starting to get ugly and people are getting tense in the affected areas. will look into this weapon thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    That's a mighty big *IF*... the majority of this countries phone lines (ie., landlines) are *ABOVE* ground... ie., on the same poles your electric runs on (why do you think they're called 'telephone poles'? ).

    Most of the time... if the electricity is out... landlines will be out too (well... in the case of broken poles/broken wires).

    Jason Herbert

    I beg to differ Jason.

    And I also know that in a lot of areas the telephone lines are above ground and that they run on the same poles as your electric lines. I also know why they were called telephone poles, however in my area they are generally referred to as electrical poles. I'm not 5, but thank you for giving me such detail about them, ie. what they are, where they are located, and why they are called a certain name. I'm sure you were only trying to be helpful and mistook me for someone without common sense or knowledge.

    I was speaking of my personal experience, what I have and what I do/have done for storm preparedness, that was the OP's question. I have no idea what will work in tornado alley or any other coastal location, I only know what works in my location and those areas around me.

    The majority of our phone lines and those around my area are in the process of being put underground for the reason of the electrical poles coming down during a storm. This has been ongoing for the past 5 years but my immediate area still has not been done. During hurricane Claudette (a low cat2)there were power poles down all around me and the cell towers were down. Having a non cordless phone was the only way we could communicate with the outside world until power came back on or the poles were replaced. My sisters home was without power for almost 2 weeks due to the poles being laid over all around her home and in her neighborhood. Her non cordless phone still worked just fine.

    So Jason, even if poles are down and the lines are not underground doesn't mean you will be without a phone line as well. That's not always the case, sometimes it is and they won't work. But I think for my family having a $6 inexpensive corded phone is just something that we have packed in our "storm survival kit", it's just a given. It may work sometimes, sometimes it may not. But my common sense tells me it's better to have it just in case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    All it takes is one pole, TexasPeanut.

    One pole, depending on location... can knock out an entire grid. Not to mention the possibility of the local telco/branch office being knocked offline.

    Whoops... there goes a suburb.

    Or better yet... if the main branch for an area is hit...
    Whoops... there goes a city (or, in some cases, a State).

    Telco's are not as prepared for storms as we would like to think.

    So, yes... technically you are correct...
    Provided the telco itself still stands... and it's grid is (mostly) unaffected.

    *BIG* ifs to be coming from an area staring down a hurricane.

    Moving phone lines underground is only half the battle.

    My only point... is that a HAM radio operator would be better able to communicate than *anyone* else. If you use the right band... radio operators can talk to each other from opposite ends of the Earth.

    How you receive the info is up to you... I can only transmit the facts.

    Jason Herbert
    Jason, We are just going to have to disagree on this. Your area is completely different than mine and probably ran completely differently. Our telcompany is out of Houston. We don't even have a local branch anymore, only a small service crew to provide simple repairs/hookups to us and the surrounding area.

    My FIL is a HAM radio operator and he lost his antenna during Claudette and couldn't receive or transmit. I'm just saying....there is no perfect answer or one better than another.

    Again we are just going to have to disagree and that's ok. My point was simply a cheap non-cordless phone is handy to have incase of power outages. Whether it works or not if poles are down everywhere is a chance to take. I had 5 electrical poles down on my street alone and several more nearer to the main hookup, and my phone line remained intact. It may not work the next time and I don't argue that the phone lines may be out everywhere as long as the electrical poles are down. My statement was that just because the poles are down doesn't always mean you lose your phone line, I speak of my own experience on that and only of my own experience.

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