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Lesson Learned from Hurricane survival

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 11:50 PM
So, hurricane Ike just tore through... most of the middle of the country. I live in Houston and I think we need to have a lessons learned about survival in today's society.

1. fuel is at least as valuable a water
2. eating those peanut butter cracker sandwich things for three days is enough to make you want to die
3. ice is at least as valuable as batteries
4. the news is too broadly focused to give you any help for your specific location....
...okay let me explain. I live on the west side of Houston and I found that just moving around my area gave me a better idea about when power was coming back on, flooding, tree/wind damage, and the rest. The news was talking about regional and major locations... ie. sports stadiums, hospitals.
5. Don't drive around without having a destination... refer to lesson 1
6. chain saws should be used only on limbs too big to cut with a good bow saw... refer to rule 1
7. people get crazy during an emergency... they forget how to drive, lose all perception of time (thinking things take too long), and become easily agitated to irate.
8. the government will not give you enough help in the time you want. We got NOTHING from the government and were happy and comfortable, people who relied on the government seem to be unhappy and complain... a lot.
9. think about using the crank or shaking type flash lights and radios. I have a shake type LED flash light, it is not as bright as a mag light but the light is strong enough to see 25' and doesn't use batteries.
10. remember your pets need water and food.
11. I cannot stress this enough... anything that uses fuel ie. generator or grill, will have exhaust and if used inside can and will kill you and your family!!! there was a 4 year old boy that died from carbon monoxide poisoning from his parents generator that was running in the house.
12. get entertainment
13. dont drink alchohol during the day, it can lead to dehydration
14. have a gun
15. share with your neighbor.

If you can think of anything else please post

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:35 AM
I learned my lesson from Hurricane Ike and I will begin a disaster fund on my next pay day.

Ike was 1mph away from going cat 3. Had it hit as the cat 4 it was expected to become, the damage in Houston would be far worse.

The very next time a cat 3 or greater rolls into Houston, I don't want to be anywhere around.

The whole waiting in line for fuel is insane. Do you let your car idol for an hour or do you turn it on and off over and over every time you can move a car length?

Seems to me the only way to win is to turn your car off and PUSH it through the line. For that, you need help. Good luck finding help waiting in line for an hour.

I have a storage center and I am not supposed to store food in there but oh well. I will get one of those tupperware tubs and start storing food and water.

I already have a map to get me north without using any interstates. I am going to make another going west.

I want to get a mountain bike, update my camping equipment. I want to buy a gun, learn to use it, and a concealed handgun permit.

I don't just want to learn how to put bullets in a gun and pull the trigger. I want to learn to clean it, unjam it, take it apart, and put it back together.

America rocks in technology but turn the lights off and even the prehistoric caveman has us beat.

In Houston, the big complaint right now is why FEMA wasn't here in an instant. These are obviously people with zero military experience.

Let's say FEMA was here before the hurricane hit. They got set up with all the supplies. Then the hurricane comes and wipes out the building. So much for THAT distribution center. People need to think.

We don't have a huge house. We sacrificed size for quality. It paid off. We paid alittle for a sturdy roof and that REALLY paid off! We went with an 8 foot hurricane fence over the 6 foot fence and didn't lose a single picket.

Our lights were back on within 12 hours after they went off.

Still, for the next big hurricane, I am bugging out. Short of building a house made of concrete or iron, a cat 4 storm will blow it all down.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:16 PM
I learned my lsseon when we had that big seaon around 04' I think.

Now, I keep a rod and a reel and a small assortment of canned meat in watertight boxes in multiple locations. Yes even underground.

With that I could feed the entire neighborhood.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:03 PM
Every time we go through a disaster, our preps get tweaked a little, and I applaud you doing this thread, OP, as you're striving to learn from Ike, share that knowledge and apply it to similar future scenarios.

I think one of the best things we've done (m'Bride and me) in regard to this is create a written plan for hurricane response. It has two parts -- the first being a checklist of supplies, and the second being a list of things to do prior to being influenced by a tropical cyclone. It took us just one storm to figure out that while the storm may well be 300 miles away, depending upon the size of it, the weather conditions might degrade very quickly. I've heard people say things like: "It's still 500 miles away, and at it's current forward motion of 5 miles per hour, it won't be here for almost two days. Plenty of time." Yes, BUT..... forward speed can change, and that's the CENTER of circulation.... the effects -- the wind and rainbands and surge can be and are often well ahead of that. Even at a Cat 2, Ike was nearly a 1000 mile wide storm. If you have a plan, you'll probably deviate from it, but it keeps you from forgetting the details, gives you an order of operations and that's a time when organization will benefit you and yours.

We keep 30 gallons of fuel stored in a metal fuel tank, which is stored in an underground concrete vault I made. We were without power for two days from Gustav, but didn't use the gasoline to run our generator. We used about two gallons to run our chainsaw. Had the power been off for longer, we might've fired up the generator. Stored fuels must be stabilized with a microbe inhibitor, and gasoline in particular is very dangerous to store.

Prior to Gustav, I froze six 1-gallon jugs of water, leaving a little airspace in each jug, as water expands when it freezes. When our power went out, I transferred two of those jugs to the refrigerator section, left four in the freezer. In addition to that, we had a 30-gallon cooler full of ice. Ice matters, and in a good insulated cooler, it will last for days. Ours lasted 5 days.

If you are closed up in your house, a few simple battery-powered fans can make all the difference in your comfort. Coleman makes one with soft fan blades for about $15.00 USD. It ran 10 hours on 4 rechargeable D batteries. We have an array of flashlights and headlamps, and all of them are L.E.D. L.E.D. is more efficient with battery usage, and the lamps last much longer. We have a solar charger for batterys that cost about $20.00 that we got from Wiseman Trading Co. A decent inverter -- hooked up to your car or other battery system is as cheap as $75.00 -- more for more wattage. It can run your power tools as well other AC appliances.

A good radio, preferrably with NOAA alert system is vital. There are even solar power and hand-crank radios. We have a BayGen hand-crank.

It's helpful to keep your supplies in some sort of box. I favor the plastic, locking diving boxes. They are pretty cheap, but strong, and allows you to keep your supplies neat and out of the way until you need them.

Hygiene: If you loose power and in flooded areas, it's possible your toilets won't flush. Take a 5-gallon lidded bucket -- I like drywall buckets -- and cut a six-inch hole in the lid. Screw a toilet seat to the lid, and have extra lids and buckets. In this way, you have a portable toilet. It gets full, you snap a lid on and put it away from you.

Water: I think water storage, treatment, purification matters a whole lot more than most people realize. I've heard people say "I have plenty of water, we have two cases." Swell. Better than nothing, but two cases of water (approx. 12 gallons) is enough for two people for about a week, if you're ONLY drinking it and cooking with it, and not doing much manual labor. Surviving is sometimes labor-intensive, and the aftermath of a hurricane is definiately labor-intensive. There are collapsible water containers that are easy to store away. There is a product called Polar Pure that is a small glass bottle of iodine crystals that has the ability to steralize about 500 gallons of water. There are a myriad of water filters.

After each storm, we've tweaked our preps, and have written down our impressions, and each one makes us better at dealing with them, and thus we are more adept each time at helping others. You all got a Cat 2, but most likely more like Cat 4 storm surge. Remember the old adage: Hide from the wind, run from the sea. I think most of us on the outside still don't know just how bad Ike was.... I know that friends of mine in your area are still not certain of all the ramifications and loss of life. Most of them left the area, and are only now being allowed back in. Those that stayed, I am still not in contact with. There are two S&R teams there that have people on the team I know, and one relief effort coming from NOLA that I am aware of with buddies that are only now coming your way. We can debate/discuss who's responsibility within the government it is to provide relief and rescue later, but -- as you said -- I think we all need to assume a YOYO* situation, and take responsibility for ourselves and our families. Glad you made it and appreciate your thread.

Thanks for the space, and your indulgence, OP.


* YOYO - You're On Your Own

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by n0b0DY

Good to have a cache
It gives a person choices. I'd bury ours as well, except we're pretty much rock, and it took me several days to jackhammer out enough to just make our fuel storage underground

Always enjoy your posts Nobody..... your AV never fails to crack me up as well

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:16 PM
Too hot in arizona to bury in the ground. The heat will cook it. I do keep a lot of non perishables, like beans, rice, split peas out in the garage though. I have a cabinet I use for the canned stuff,... corn beef hash, canned milk, beans for protein, lots of peanut butter, tuna fish. Tomato sauce is a good one that is cheap as contains vitamin c. I have potassium pills as well. Oh, and lots of those cheap coolaid mixes. If I ever get stuck drinking well water, I want to flavor it.


posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:46 PM
This is the best Ike thread yet, thankyou everyone who has taken time to reply.

It is the simple things that become apparent in an emergency situation, like how much tp do we have? We went through the bad ice storm in mo. 2 years ago and were literally frozen in for 10 days.

I lived by my hand crank radio. National Guard did visit the neighborhoods that lost power for 45 minutes, but never bothered to come down the roads out in the country.

One of you said care for your neighbors and that is right on, it is the neighbors that take care of each other in these situations and its not all the negative energy people say or fear it will be in sit x.

I think people should know by now that you must be self reliant and it is probably best if you do not count on help from outside sources. If I lost my home, I would apply for a FEMA grant, but those are going to go into lock down very soon I think, as we are in for the ride of the century soon.

Sorry to take up so much space as I really have enjoyed listening to my friends here that survived Ike, you are an inspiration to me for sure.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:47 PM
This is one of the most useful survival posts lately. rReal life perspective. Thanks and I look forward to reading more as people get their power back and post.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:25 PM
Most of us on the Texas gulf coast area have always been told the 72 hour rule. Be prepared for at least 72 hours with water and supplies (non-perishable food and batteries).

Seeing the number of people who constantly rely on others (FEMA,etc) is shocking. It's one thing to lose a house, it another to expect water and a meal in 12 to 24 hours when the main problem is no power or water.

No offense meant but there must be a whole lot a newbies not educating themselves in preparedness in SE Texas nowadays.

Hats off to those, old and new, who have kept their sanity, health and have become even better prepared.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:41 PM
We were here for Hurricane Rita, which was a big deal because it happened right after Katrina. Highways out of town were congested because officials said "any one who can leave...leave".

That was my first hurricane and I started my hurricane kit. It was built on one principle.

I am a non-affluent husband. But, that was 3 years ago NOW I go on this principle

I am a non-affluent husband and father of twin 16 month girls with two dogs (one 45 lbs and the other 95 lbs: this is needed for food and water planning)

which gives me my hurricane survival plan.

Option A. Take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of your family.
Reasonable for Ike meant not staying in my house that has massive (8-10") Oak tree limbs grown over the entire roof. I was not concerned with flooding, our flood planes are thoroughly researched and defined and I do not live near any. So, we left our house and stayed with a family member further west that lives in a new development which meant that all of the trees in the area could not be used as a hockey stick...if you know what I mean.

So, as my wife and family (extended) saw the storm coming we all agreed that we would ride out the storm and if it were apparent that power would not come back for more than 3 days we would then leave for a friends house in San Antonio. I had no desire to keep babies in Texas without air conditioning or refrigeration.

So, that leads us to option B.

Option B. Stock up on at least 3 days worth of food and 5 days worth of water. You may ask why 5 days worth of water; well rationing food is more efficient that rationing water, water can be traded (see lesson 1), and finally because I have no faith in the discipline of the people I was staying with I almost expected a lot of wasted water.

So, if we look at stocking up base on my principle of "I am a non-affluent father of twin baby girls," we see that buying a generator is out of the question.

So, here is a lesson on stocking up on a budget.

1. Only buy food that if it is not needed for the emergency will get eaten in the normal course of your days and weeks. I saw lots of people buy food that you could tell they didn't like (such as potted meat, certain types of canned soup, and so on), if you cannot take it back it will most likely sit on the shelf and go bad (yes, there is canned goods that expire or the container deteriorates and make it unsafe to eat such as dented or rusted cans. See canned food safety I believe that reason is that the inside of the can is sprayed with a wax(?) that keeps the food from interacting with the metal of the can. In the end you should ask your self is it worth the risk?)

2. Instead of buying bottled water buy empty water jugs. They are cheaper and can be filled from the tap or one of those free standing machines before the storm. and if you don't normally drink bottled water you can save a lot of money not worrying about keeping all of that bottled water for the next emergency. see water shelf life guide

3. save the receipts. We took back over $100 in un-eaten snack crackers (thank God), batteries, and other "necessities." And we will be taking un-used ply wood back ($120) shortly.

4. If you plan on weathering the storm with the potential of leaving later get enough gas containers (5-gal should be the biggest size of an individual container, larger containers may require special equipment and get really heavy) to fill the tank of your primary evacuation. you should only keep gas in the cans if you think you are going to use it within a month (1 month is a good rule of thumb, when I searched the web I found postings that said gas goes bad after one month out to a year)

5. Fill the ALL of the gas tanks you own before the storm (preferably before the gas lines form). You can always siphon the gas out of one car into another or into a can.

6. Pre-Pack a bag with about 4 days worth of clothes for everyone. with four days of clothes a family of four will have about a load of laundry every three days.

7. GET CASH... ATM's credit cards, debit cards, and now checks all require power and a phone line to operate. Also, if you need to buy something from an individual cash is the only currency.

8. if you are going to weather the storm, fill bath tubs with water, it will be good enough to use for bathing and washing dishes also, it is good enough for dogs and cats. Now, when I say bathing I mean with a wash cloth and soap, actually in the tub. This happened when one of the people I was staying with decided he needed a bath and in 20 min wasted about 40 gallons of water... IMHO selfish.

9.You don't need a generator or chain saw. The operative word here is NEED. if you live in the suburbs like me some one will have a chain saw, and they will probably get bored. If you have gas (which you should have enough to spare enough to fill the tank on a chain saw; about 1/4-1/2 gal) to give them they will probably help you clear any branches.

10. a grill is great, a propane grill is AWESOME. As the freezer thaws BBQ it up. And propane grills can be used to boil water or cook canned foods.

11. make sure you have a mostly full tank of propane. lets be hones here (even if I have trouble admitting it as well) you really do not need two propane tanks. A 20 pound cylinder (normal grill size) is enough to last for days even with heavy cooking. I would wager that most people who have two cylinders have one that is empty and the other half full.

12. Watch/listen to the news to get important updates, do not continually listen to the news unless you know to expect coverage reminiscent of the weeks following 9/11, or depressing, which is not good when you have no power, stupid peanut butter cracker sandwiches, hot crying babies, a house full of people, and no where to go.

11. if you are going to buy goods like flash lights and radios I recommend investing in the types that have cranks or you shake or even solar powered (please no jokes about the Solar Powered Flash Lights These ones are actually pretty good.) You will save money on batteries and a few months or years from now when you open the cabinet to use the flashlight you wont be frustrated by the whole dead battery routine.
Okay out of correctors for now, When I think of more I

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:20 AM
There are many people who overlook the fact that the hot water heater in the house is full of water, in the range of 30 to 50 gallons.

Actually saw a man on the coast when asked by a reporter about his situation and water state, 'water, I have the water in the hot water heater'. I think many overlook that large source of water.

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 07:37 PM
the only issue I would have with using the water in the water heater is this.

If there is a boil notice in effect for your area (meaning that the water system has pressure, so when you use the faucet water comes out is just is not suitable for drinking.) the water in the water heater will continually be replaced with un-drinkable (non-potable) water.
So, If you plan on using this source for water you should have a cut off valve installed so that you can isolate the clean water from the dirty.

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