Hurricane and post hurricane lessons and observations

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tempstar, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    For the lucky who have not been through one, some notes I made. I now work for a television station as an Engineer so I was able to get out among the mess more so than others. We even had FEMA issued "Do not interfere" papers, a first. Anyway here is some of what I thought would be worth passing along.
    People are the worst thing to have in a disaster. They are as unpredictable as a rabid raccoon. I saw small sedans driving headlong into floodwaters 4' deep like they thought they were in a semi. I saw folks wading through chest deep water to get to the beer store. I heard first hand from cops about the thefts of water logged items from peoples homes that evacuated. I was threatened because I would not give a guy a ride through the flood waters. People are the worst.
    Food- If you don't have it ahead of time, you probably are not going to get it. 3 days ahead of the storm the shelves were empty of bread, milk, beer, lunch meat and cereal. The day the storm was to arrive my local Food Lion was open but had almost nothing to sell.
    Cooking- If you're urban or suburban you probably have a gas grill. Don't count on the microwave. Or the stove unless it's gas. One of the things I noticed curbside was massive quantities of frozen food boxes and meat wrappers, the food being thrown out after thawing and the local animals ripping apart the bags to get it. Also be prepared to feed hungry neighbors because the smell travels for miles. There isn't the local restaurant smells, car exhaust, or other masking odors that are normally around. Here you could smell the muddy floodwater and steak, I kid you not, for several days after the waters rose.
    Floodwater- Don't go in it. One of our reporters was taking a shortcut to the truck through knee deep water and fell in a hole up to her neck. She got out quickly and when she got over to the truck she had poo on her jacket, little stinking flecks of it all over. One of the camera guys was washed off his feet and trashed a $22,000 JVC camera when he let it go into the foot deep water. I saw footage of dead animals and raw sewage bubbling up from other reporters. I also saw areas that I may have been tempted to cross in the water that had no road after the water went down. If I can't see the yellow and white lines on the road, I don't go through it, and even that isn't smart as the roadway could be washed away under the asphalt.
    Fuel- Because I was to be mobile as much as possible to serve the field reporters, fuel was a big concern. One of the Mom-n-Pop stores closed but left the pumps on. I went back and thanked them after and now buy a lot of fuel from them. Almost everything else was closed and powered off. Regular and mid-grade was out before the storm in most places because a lot of people left like they were asked to. Many stations had the pumps set to $10.00 (4 gallons).
    Then came the generator crisis at the transmitter site, 65 miles away. I borrowed tanks and managed to get 200 gallons of diesel up to the site for the genny that burns 13 gallons per hour. The trip took 6 hours. Twice. Finally was able to get the fuel delivery two days later and the power was restored the day after that.
    Mosquitos and animals- The floodwaters brought forth a bumper crop of mosquitos as expected. The county finally paid for aerial spraying which helped 90%. As the waters rose the habitat shrank and there were raccoons and possums and deer, oh my! everywhere. Sadly there were also many dogs and cats left behind and starving. I put out 300# of dog food I was able to get at various places I would see these poor fellas. If you own a pet, you have assumed responsibility for that life and should not take it lightly. I wanted to strangle those "owners".
    Cops- We had LEO's from all over the state and every one of them I met was very nice. Most folks don't realize that they come to a disaster to man roadblocks so the local police can do enforcement, and they too are away from their families and friends and beds. Don't give them crap when they tell you that you can't go somewhere: They ain't just doing it for a power thrill. Also, I have never seen the aggression that I saw during this storm to prevent looting. If you were caught, you had a bad day.
    Aftermath- We are not fully back to normal and won't be for a few years. Homes must be torn down, bridges and roadways repaired, possessions replaced, and the tax dollar coffers refilled. I was very fortunate that I only lost a few shingles and the water stopped 60' from my home.My neighbor 1/4 mile away had 2' of water in his home. I lost power for 2 days but the rest of the neighborhood was out for 4 days. Heavily flood damaged homes still don't have power until they can prove it is safe with an electrical inspection. Hard to run a clean up operation with no power.
    I just have to throw this in: The local Lowes got in 210 generators.......the week after the storm.
    Hopefully some nuggets in here that some may not have thought about.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    :5s: Thank you for sharing.
    They knew it was coming. They had time to prepare. May have been though hurricanes before but still it seems that people were one of the biggest threats.

    You have given me much to think about
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    And that's going to be a Sunday school picnic compared to real teotwawki.
  4. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Good , and very true advice . My grandparents , and many many others , lost everything, and I mean absolutely everything in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in '99 . When those floodwaters rise , it is really some very nasty water , and you've got to remember , that contaminated water is going to get into your well water .
    I also did some Insurance Adjusting work in the Lumberton and Fayetteville NC area after Hurricane Matthew a few years ago . And at least twice , I was able to go into a fast food place that had just reopened that day , and bought a couple burgers to feed a couple of dogs that were displaced and starving.
    So thank you Tempstar for your assessments, and to OP4 ,,, you are dead right , these were just short term disasters , unless you lost it all . My prayers go out to all those affected .
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    100% True, people get stupid crazy and mean when they have to go with out and that's only the nice ones .
    The criminal crowd are always pretty much stupid,crazy and mean.

    Watch your back and supply's even closer,There's always the unprepared wanted the goods for little to nothing.
    Motomom34, oldawg, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    It always amazes me the amount of stupid to be found after such an event! Peoples is so stupid! These events really bring out the worst in People!
    Motomom34, Gator 45/70, Dont and 3 others like this.
  7. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    And sometimes these events brings out the best as well.. Just need to figure out who is who..
    Ura-Ki, Motomom34, SB21 and 1 other person like this.
  8. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    One thing I forgot to include was the good I saw: Outfits I have never heard of coming in and feeding people, rescuing animals, and helping with cleanup. I understand a lot get reimbursed by FEMA but they are appreciated just the same. We had one guy I spoke with who ran a food truck in Atlanta that bought $10000 worth of goods and he and his wife set up here and fed folks until the food ran out. There has been a lot of good but the bad always sticks out.
    Ura-Ki, Motomom34, Dont and 2 others like this.
  9. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Well, We have the Cajun navy's I think there may be as many as 4 groups out there, Gumbo patrol and Cajun Air lift.
    Lots of good people out there.
    Ura-Ki, Motomom34, Dont and 1 other person like this.
  10. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    For sure! I was able to see and even work with some pretty amazing people after Katrina. There were medical folks from all over the world who came to help in any way they could, there was food and water in semi trucks literally blocking the roads trying to get through! And the Cajun Navy were simply amazing, I bet they did more then 50% of all rescues, and some folks would say that number is closer to 75+% simply because folks didn't make a big deal of being rescued and report it!
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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