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Old 05-29-2006, 11:32 AM   #1
Kitsune
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Hurricane Prep

The official start of the "six months o' fun" is this coming Thursday and, in previous years, hurricane prep meant finding a six day cooler, propane stove and fuel, etc. This year, the tactic is as simple as "never let the gas guage on the car fall below 1/2". The "scram kit" consists of important documents and other irreplaceables in sealed containers that can be quickly thrown into the car so that a rapid departure can be made. A quick final spin with the digital camera around the apartment to document items for insurance and then it's time to sit in traffic on I-75. All perfectly reasonable and, in 2004, tested. Not bad.

...until someone points out to my manager that a disaster recovery plan is needed that will ensure applications remain live despite a storm. (Because, you know, business must continue despite catastrophes.) Suggestions are carefully weighed and the annouced decision is not unexpected: simply fly someone out of town beforehand with data to the backup site in the event of a threatening hurricane. Of course, guess which single guy with no house to care for is at the top of the list? Suck. No one has yet to realize that flying out of town prior to landfall is practically impossible (Hello? The entire airport is an in evacuation zone because it is on the water.) and few seem to take into account that there is a bit of a "human panic factor" that causes work concerns to be pushed to the back burner when you're staring down the cone of probability of a major hurricane creeping across the gulf that has the potential to throw your roof, possessions, and self into the next county.

So, for anyone that weathered 2004/2005 seasons, any tips on dealing with the consequences of having to stick out minor storms? We only faced minor wind damage and several days without power during the last two seasons, so I fear I have a lot of lessons to learn, especially when I look to the dusty bins marked "Hurricane Kit" that haven't seen much use. Sharing checklists might reveal deficits.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
richlevy
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You know, years ago I was actually considering relocating to Tampa-St. Pete. I don't think my family could have stood a decade of hurricane/flood preparations.

Pennsylvania is usually a very boring state in terms of natural disasters. A very few tornados. The last servere flood was I believe Johnstown in 1889 and 1936, which most Pennsylvanians know because we are still paying a liquor tax to help in the reconstruction.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:42 PM   #3
Undertoad
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They have this new Internet thingie where you can actually send the data without an accompanying human.

Let me know if your management needs a consultant to create a Wilmington, DE data warehouse where your data can be safely housed in case of southern US emergency.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:43 PM   #4
Kitsune
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy
You know, years ago I was actually considering relocating to Tampa-St. Pete. I don't think my family could have stood a decade of hurricane/flood preparations.
Hey, life here is great. In fact, it has been great despite a few power outages. I'm certain, however, that it won't always be this nice and the key is to know that there might be times where you're on your own for 72 hours. No police, no medical assistance, no government aid. Water supply contaminated? Break your arm? Bands of armed looters breaking into homes? You may have to wait three days for someone to find that you're in need of assistance, even longer if you actually want to use a landline or cellphone to call for help.

Hey, wait, that's a bit scary.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:54 PM   #5
Katkeeper
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There was a major flood here in central PA on the Susquehanna River and its tributaries in 1972. Leftover rains from a hurricane caused it. UT was there...
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:09 PM   #6
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
So, for anyone that weathered 2004/2005 seasons, any tips on dealing with the consequences of having to stick out minor storms? We only faced minor wind damage and several days without power during the last two seasons, so I fear I have a lot of lessons to learn, especially when I look to the dusty bins marked "Hurricane Kit" that haven't seen much use. Sharing checklists might reveal deficits.
Like Jacksonville a couple days ago. Scattered showers.
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Last edited by xoxoxoBruce; 04-07-2007 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:50 PM   #7
richlevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Hey, life here is great. In fact, it has been great despite a few power outages. I'm certain, however, that it won't always be this nice and the key is to know that there might be times where you're on your own for 72 hours. No police, no medical assistance, no government aid. Water supply contaminated? Break your arm? Bands of armed looters breaking into homes? You may have to wait three days for someone to find that you're in need of assistance, even longer if you actually want to use a landline or cellphone to call for help.

Hey, wait, that's a bit scary.
It sounds like a Libertarian wonderland, especially with the expanded 'castle doctrine' in effect.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:30 AM   #8
NoBoxes
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The front end analysis of your situation should start with a threat analysis. A useful guide for both determining the threat and assessing your needs is the Rule of Threes (3s):

You can survive for 3 seconds without ammunition, 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and three weeks without food.

These are, of course, generalities; but, they do help establish priorities for survival planning. In a first world country, it's best to apply the Rule of 3s to each of 3 different scenarios: at home, evacuations by vehicle and by foot. Make your survival plan modular.

3 seconds without ammo addresses human confrontation:

If looting is a factor, a firearm may be appropriate. It's easy to store at home and to transport by vehicle; but, would it make the weight cut if you had to carry it for any significant distance by foot? Would your budget allow for multiple firearms, one for each scenario (e.g. shotgun at home, rifle in the vehicle, and handgun in the backpack)? Are you knowledgeable enough about the use and transportation of firearms so that possessing one doesn't work against you with relief agencies (incl. law enforcement when it becomes available)?

3 minutes without air has multiple contexts:

In a WMD environment, it means having a gas mask. Where there is a high risk for conventional injury, it means knowing CPR and having an Ambu bag handy. In a waterborne environment, it means having life vests. While people can survive for more than 3 minutes without oxygen, most people have only up to 3 minutes of useful consciousness without breathable air.

3 days without water pertains to static survival:

There are ways to safely store large quantities of potable water at home and 5 gallon water containers are easily transported by vehicle [that's what many militaries use]. Carrying water by foot; however, is another story. Water is heavy and bulky. This is where backpackable water purification devices come in. Whether it's by filtration, chemistry; or, a combination of the two, the ability to purify available water is essential when moving by foot. Backpackable water purifiers have their limitations. They remove harmful biologicals; but, not harmful chemicals and they do not desalinate seawater.

3 weeks without food; also, pertains to static survival.

Stocking up at home is easy and mostly a matter of rotating supplies for economy. Avoid storing food in vehicles in temperate or warmer zones; rather, have bundles at home ready to go. Choose ready to eat foods for most circumstances including backpacking. Carry dehydrated foods only if potable water is assured.

THE AFOREMENTIONED constitutes a gross overview on establishing priorities for a survival situation. All of the rules may not be applicable to all situations: it's the thought process that counts. Applying the Rule of 3s is always a work in progress. The threat may change, there may be new solutions; or, new products for better implementing old solutions. An adjunct to the Rule of 3s is shelter. The requirement for shelter is highly variable. Beyond the Rule of 3s, there are other specialized (e.g. medical, electrical, communications) items that can enhance the chances of survival and the quality of life in a survival situation. They're not much good if you're dead (or going to die anyway); because, you didn't first take care of the basics.

The US government has sent me through several survival courses (e.g. temperate zone, desert, NBC). If I actually gave you a list of my personal survival gear, it might scare you off the subject (it could cost several months pay and it might not be right for your situation anyway). I will, however, answer specific questions to the best of my ability. To paraphrase an old saying: 'Give a man a checklist and you prepare him for a day, teach a man to make a checklist and you prepare him for a lifetime.

Last edited by NoBoxes; 05-30-2006 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:46 AM   #9
Griff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katkeeper
There was a major flood here in central PA on the Susquehanna River and its tributaries in 1972. Leftover rains from a hurricane caused it. UT was there...
Hurricane Agnes, It was really wet hereabouts, but more serious further South.
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:56 AM   #10
Stormieweather
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I'm a commercial property management accountant. At my last job, I was responsible for protecting our IS equipment/data in the event a hurricane threatened to hit Tampa Bay.

I would go to the location of the servers, prepare a fresh backup, power the servers down, unplug everything, elevate it or move it if possible to an inner room, wrap in plastic protective wrap (in case windows broke and rain blew in). I also covered the workstations and secured the office itself.

I then took the backups along with a a copy of the original software to a bank deposit box. As we made backups every day, I took the prior set of backups and another copy of the software with me in the event I evacuated (and the bank was inaccessable). I kept these in a small, waterproof, lockable case along with my other important documents.

Now, we obviously didn't need to have the software running 24/7 through a hurricane so our issue was not quite the same as yours, Kitsune. We had other emergency plans in place to protect the properties themselves such as hurricane shutters and a crew of workmen to scoot by each site and secure the outside moveable objects (ashcans, benches, signs, etc. ). We did need to be able to access the properties money in order to pay for repairs, etc. so being able to get at it fast was important (write checks, etc.).

Personally, I stock up on drinking water with the water cooler sized bottles, and if in extreme danger of being hit, fill the tubs with water for washing and flushing. I buy a weeks worth of canned goods, and multiple bags of ice which I store in a cooler. I fill up the cars with gas and check fluids and tires. I make sure i have several hundred dollars cash on me. I have photo's of all my rooms and valuables. All receipts and important documents are in a portable, waterproof safe. I buy tons of C batteries for the radio and flashlights. I have several decorative oil lamps which I often use in power outages, so I just make sure I have a bottle of oil to refill them. I buy extra dry cat food and fill the cats water bottle (it's one of those with a 2 liter bottle to keep the bowl full). The last thing I do is bring in everything from the patio. Then I have a party .

Stormie
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:35 PM   #11
Kitsune
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It's just like Christmas.

As the festive season heats up, shoppers will flood the stores in a mad dash to clear the shelves, children will gets days off from school, and travelers will clog the roads in a rush to visit distant family. Those that stay home may be awestruck at the peace that envelopes the world outside as businesses close and roads become devoid of traffic. After trimming the trees, fathers will busy themselves hanging wooden decorations that adorn every window of every home in town and entire families will break from their routines to spend time gathered ’round the television to watch an episode they swear they saw the year before. In excitement, wide-eyed children shall wait, wondering if the night will bring the sound of a visitor to the roof. Phone lines may jam with calls to loved ones, but in those moments as the excitement builds, all will take a moment to pause, to drop to their knees, to pray.

Good luck, gulf coasters.
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:51 PM   #12
xoxoxoBruce
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That's the spirit, Kit. When the world give you hurricanes....fly kites.
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Old 06-03-2006, 05:34 PM   #13
kaylar
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3rd world



I live in Jamaica, that's an island, and we have no where to go that doesn't
demanda VISA so whether it's Cat 1 or Cat 5 here we be.

Since Gilbert in 1989 we very rarely lose lives in a hurricane. Most people
kind of know what to do.

One of the things that happens, is that electricity goes or is taken away.
If we are going to be hit, they shut off power. This is to prevent being
electrocuted.

You turn the fridge to the highest setting, take out whatever you plan to eat in the next day, and don't open the fridge again. Stuff will stay good for two days without power. If power doesn't come back, cook everything on a wood fire.

With water, what we do is store it in 1/2 gal plastic containers. When we get water we put like two/three drops of bleach into it and let it sit for thirty minutes.

We put important documents in the fridge. Fridges work good like that.

We pray a lot.

One of the things you have to know is that if pressure builds up in a house, something will blow off, maybe the roof, or the windows. So if you feel the pressure, open something on the other side...could be a window, could be a door, just for a second or so...if you have little lourve windows, you leave them open a little bit on the side opposite the storm.

Of course, during the eye, you have to run close that side, open the other.

Sometimes your windows and doors aren't made properly...I spent IVAN at a millionaire's house, and wasn't one door or window that wasn't leaking like a faucet, and we had to stuff them with rags, paper and stuff.

To prevent flooding you might have to chip a hole in your outside wall. I
had to do this once, wearing my might banana uniform, (yellow plastic pants and jacket slicker).

You have to try not to panic.

My dogs run free, and are pretty clever on survival. If you have animals don't lock them into anything, let them run around outside. They find safety.

Store up a lot of tinned junk you can eat...crackers are good. Save perked coffee in a plastic container. It'll be cold, but it's coffee.

You never have enough water. Don't waste it flushing a toilet. If you have to flush use rain water or whatever, not good water. Clean the toilet next month.

I usually put my laptop in a plastic bag and into the case, and keep it as safe as I can.







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Old 06-03-2006, 06:00 PM   #14
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
To prevent flooding you might have to chip a hole in your outside wall. I had to do this once, wearing my might banana uniform, (yellow plastic pants and jacket slicker).
Could you explain that one?
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