Hurricane Florence observations and lessons learned

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by hot diggity, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Post Hurricane Florence observations from the North Carolina Coast.

    This is the running list that I compiled during and after the storm. Most of it was stuff that I had been prepared for, but there were things that I'd missed that surprised me. Food for thought.

    Cars to high ground where impact of debris and trees is minimized and they will be able to reach roads after storm.
    Cash - Enough to cover expenses for an extended time. Electronic bills paid in advance is nice.
    Headband light (around neck, at all times.)
    motion detector battery lights and touch lights. (no more fumbling in the dark without power)
    sieve for straining rain water for flushing (refill toilet tank when convenient, before it's necessary)
    Buckets, lots of buckets.
    Tea kettle on Coleman stove to boil water.
    I've never been a fan of Coleman propane stoves, but the instant/odorless on/off with them made me reconsider that.
    Pour boiled water through electric coffee maker to make coffee you're used to.
    Reheat one cup of coffee at a time in a sauce pan over the Coleman stove. (quick, little heat increase in the house)
    Powdered non dairy creamer in moisture resistant container. It's better than nothing, although not by much.
    Lots of car chargers and AC inverter (30-60 minute un-switched car charging without starting issues.)
    Extra keys on body always (alone, locked out of car or home in the storm, not a good time.)
    Gutters - the worst blockage was from pine bark. Ladders were ready to access the gutters as soon as it was safe.
    Gas (always buy before you need it and avoid being at the end of the gas line.)
    EAR PLUGS (sleep through the night without waking at every change in the pitch of the wind.)
    PMR30 mag release caution - I switched from strong side hip, to a butt forward cross-draw, and finally to a chest rig as unintended mag release and garment issues were sorted out.
    Rain gear (GI Gortex is amazingly comfortable in 80 degree wet weather)
    Thermometer for freezers (okay at a glance.)
    Bushmills Irish Whiskey ;-)
    Power indicators (exterior lights/radio) Old men were sitting around in the heat with their mains OFF after the power was back on because somebody told them that was the thing to do, and they never knew when power was restored.
    Strange pale fat kid at Redbox in nylon shorts and flip-flop with hat and headphones right after the storm. :-/
    Staying dry is a priority during the storm since nothing will dry until the sun comes out.
    Clothes lines - On the same trees I used 30 years ago.
    maintaining freezers as ice boxes. This worked very well while we had one house with power and could freeze cases of water to transport to others who still had no power.
    Brooms and dust pans (no power = no vacuum)
    Ants! They want to be dry too, and will climb your legs to stay dry... Then they'll try to eat you.
    Fleas too! Bug spray keeps them off of you and good housekeeping, even with a broom will keep them under control.
    Hot water heater cautions. (Turn breaker off if water is off)
    Neighbors, screen doors, sound carries with windows open and no background hum. This was a wonderful week for socializing.
    Coat hooks, hall tree, outside shoes/inside shoes. Everything was wet and needed a place to be hung where it could drip.
    Cheap clear shower curtains, nails/tacks, magnets, string, kiddie pool. (Like pitching a tent, but indoors under a leaking roof.)
    Pedialyte, Cranberry juice, AZO meds, water, water, water. Stay hydrated to avoid bladder problems.
    No communication family plan. Time schedule.
    Pills in moisture resistant packaging with desiccant.
    Battery powered fans, hand fans, folding fans.
    Movement - teens struggling through flood waters at night + questioning by neighbors = likely looters of Dollar General?
    Rotting smells? Walmart/cats/hogs/chickens/towels/neighbors?
    Whole cases of frozen water in freezer with essential items -makes a decent cooler and doesn't get all wet when thawed.
    Cordless phone indicates "no line" and cell phone shows red x. (Airplane mode with scheduled check-in saved lots of charging)
    Post storm - Coleman lanterns provided outdoor reading light, and mood enhancement, but were too hot for inside use in summer even with all the windows open and no power.

    We have power and water again, most of the roads are being repaired and everybody is dragging their wet furniture and carpet out to the roadside along with the fallen trees. It'll be a mess for a while, but we are most certainly still here, and helping our neighbors who are in worse shape.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  2. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Yup all as normal for a post report.
    techsar and Gator 45/70 like this.
  3. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    It was interesting that so much of this stuff reminded me of how we used to do things when I was a kid. Like getting a block of ice from the ice house for the Coleman cooler. I remembered during the storm that the older ones had a drain so your stuff didn't get soaked as the ice melted. That one and the pan for reheating just one cup of coffee really brought back memories.

    I hope it isn't normal to lock yourself out of the house at night while the storm is still churning! :) That was a little tense, especially since I'd emptied all my pockets and was in sandals and shorts because I was working to clear the gutters and stop the waterfall coming off the roof. I was totally soaked, and actually pretty pleased with myself, sneaking back to the front door under the eves, staying mostly out of the rain and wind... until I realized the door was locked. I found a discarded food container lid and tore it to make something I could card the latch with. I was in within a minute or two, but it's a lesson that will stick with me.

    Post storm the dumbest thing I've done was wearing sandals too close to a burning pile of sticks and catching an ember on my toe. After the fire ant bites, it wasn't so bad.
  4. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Normal for concerns and planning mistakes.
    As to sandals! I never wear them at home and I go outside the house in only Boots.
    Locked out? All my doors have dead bolts and no spring locks.
    Never happened yet, there is always a first time.
  5. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey+++

    Glad you came through pretty much safe and sound.
  6. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Ditto PMR 30 but a S&W J .38 with snake shot on strong side...

    Issue if you are walking your dog on your strong side and see a copper head (Upland Moccasin for the Yankees) it's hard to keep him away from the snake, do a weak side draw of a strong side firearm, and shoot accurately while controlling your puppy... To hell with it let the damn snake go and concentrate on the dog...

    When the storm blows down all f your pecans it increases the possibility of am inversion sprain on your foot... (Neighbor)

    Need a way for monkey's to keep in contact on a ham channel or some other way to see if thy need any assistance...
  7. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Oh Yeah, Always keep the old drip coffee pot at hand, Dawn will kill ants by the millions.
  8. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    This I have to try. I have been bitten again today, and I'm in the mood to wipe out some ants.:mad:
    sec_monkey, techsar and Gator 45/70 like this.
  9. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Mix 1 oz per gallon of water and hit em', Will also bring down wasp's or yellow jackets, If the wings are stuck to their body they can't fly or breath.
  10. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Since we still have one townhouse that's being rebuilt after Hurricane Florence, and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to push it along, I decided to "write" a song. ;)

    It's dedicated to all the folks who are still dislocated through Christmas and start 2019 living in hotels in neighboring cities. You'll recognize the tune, and know the words, so I won't repeat them on subsequent verses.

    Happy New Year!

    On the first day of Christmas my hotel gave to me
    an empty roll of T.P.

    On the second day of Christmas my hotel gave to me
    two slamming doors

    On the third day of Christmas my hotel gave to me
    three fresh towels

    four bags of trash
    five sleepless nights
    six carts a-creaking
    seven maids a-cleaning
    eight dogs a-barking
    nine cups of coffee
    ten kids a-running
    eleven TV's blaring
    twelve babies crying
    Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  11. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    It might be advisable to change the way gutters work on the house so that they cannot become a problem.
    I think they create more problems than they solve .
    They should be shallower so that being over whelmed they wash themselves out.
  12. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I'm looking into the addition of two additional downspouts in the existing gutters. I can drop one on either side of the front and rear decks and they'd be behind columns. This would break up the 65 feet of continuous gutter with only a downspout on each end. This should allow the water to drain, even if it's filtered through leaves and pine needles.
  13. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    We've still got a long way to go before the recovery is complete here. This entire hotel is trashed, and is being stripped to the bare stud walls after the roof leaked, and leaked, and leaked. Effective tarps and quick repairs are.essential.

    Shingles, tar paper and nails store well enough, and are not likely to be available when you really need them. KIMG3277.
    Gator 45/70 and Motomom34 like this.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I don't understand why building code allows buildings to keep being built when we know they are going to be easily damaged by cyclones.
    How the hell is is cheaper to rebuild 2 or 3 times?

    And example of not all gdp is good.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Because sheeple are basically STUPID, and just never consider the possibilities that a tornado will hit their house and turn it into matchsticks... or any other possible calamities... Why do municipalities allow folks to build in a 50 year FloodPlain... For the Tax revenue, of course... Every 50 years the FloodPlain gets wiped clean, and they jump the Property Taxes for the New Homes built...
    This is a case of “You pays your money, and you takes your chances”
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    My sister's prior property was in a development in a so-called "500 year flood plain". She got flooded five times in ten years! A look at a topographic map clearly shows her property was smack in the center of the drainage for two large lakes! Basically they put that development in a dry river. In times of several days of heavy rain, the largest lake opens it's dam gates and dumps the excess water into...... her neighborhood! "DOH!"
    The county finally bought out all the affected properties for full value, and removed all traces of human building - buildings, foundations, wells, etc. The land went back to wild. By law, no development was allowed.
    A few years ago, they allowed a new development in the same place, including an electrical substation!
    They never learn.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    That's the only hotel in town that doesn't have a flat roof. Vast expanse of shingles four stories up got it into undisturbed wind gusts. It was a nice place.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    We make that into crawfish ponds.
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