Island Living.... Or Lessons learned from Hurricane Florence...

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Witch Doctor 01, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    This is the Witch Doctor here... And I'm grateful to be back in the tree...
    Florence made land fall 65 miles from us as the crow flies... dropping unprecedented rain on our county... By my rain gage we exceeded 26 inches of rain through the storm... not Counting water pouring in to the swamp and creeks around me.

    Day 1. Winds reached a peak of 74 mph with gusts to 90 mph... at 4 pm we lost power and cranked our 150kv diesel generator that we refer to as the beast and hunkered down to see what the storm will bring... Checked in with @hot diggity and family members and friends.

    Day 2 Morning brought overcast and rainy skied... a quick walk through the winds showed approximately 4 feet of shingles off the southern facing part of the roof, two doors on farm buildings blown off and a new skylight in the shop where the tin was blown off. This seems to be occurring where repairs from Hurricane Matthew.

    Lesson #1 when repairing buildings in areas the seem to be continually damaged due to storms, consider over building I might have saved some effort and $$ by doing it differently the last time.

    We have 7 access points to our community. two roads were washed out three were flooded and trees blocked the remaining two... Water continued to fall from the skies and rise in the creeks and swamps. Got a Call from a neighboring family member whose generator would not start... He needed a place to store his Insulin and apparently we had power could we help him out?

    Lesson #2 & 3
    He should have been exercising his generator The beast cranks 2 times every Saturday on an automatic timer for thirty minutes ... It may use 4 gallons or so a week and have cost a little extra when it was installed but worth every penny.

    If you have medicine that require special environmental requirements make sure you have a plan in place and then another backup in case the first plan fails. Keep in mind that most medicines require you to keep them under 80 degrees... With out air-conditioning and your windows/doors closed your house may exceed these temperatures either resulting in shortened life span or effectiveness.

    We have two spare refrigerators and 24 ft chest freezers in the shop. Fortunately we had both chest freezers and one refrigerator empty.

    Lesson 4 if you buy new kitchen equipment and have room for the working older versions save them... (even if the wife isn't too happy about it...

    these became filled as various family members in the local area needed space to save the food in their now powerless homes.

    Lesson 5 When prepping for a hurricane select foods that won't require refrigeration... cooking ahead of time only works if you can keep the food edible...

    Lesson 6 OpSec goes to hell when you have an 84 year old MIL who tells her cousins that there is plenty of room for their food in the shop... and why yes we have power...

    Long story short, by the end of the day we were charging cell phones and had two full chest freezers and one refrigerator...

    That afternoon I cranked up the grill under the car port and grilled chicken... Proving to and unbelieving MIL that yes you can light a Weber grill in winds gusting to 60 mph...

    Pictures will follow... For @Hanzo

    Day 3.. We are an Island no roads in or out even when the trees are cut the swamps are 1 foot over 4 roads and one fatality occurred when some one tried to enter the area and was drowned...remaining road was inaccessible due to river flooding. We now have insulin for two families in the refrigerator and during the night water lines broke no municipal power or water service. We have a well as do many of our neighbors . But our well is special... it is the only one currently above the flood. As a result of the MIL Gossip line we are now providing potable water for the community.

    Lesson 7 Back up wells even with manual backups are worthless if they can be easily contaminated/ flooded,. (we are an agricultural area with poultry, beef and hog farms...) Back up water purification becomes important make sure you haven't skimped believing your well preps will fix this and you can wait until later to fill this hole...

    I have installed a phone charging station for neighbors needing charged phones, and charged a bunch of old cell phones for use calling 911 while their current phone is charging. The charging station is a 6 outlet ground fault power cord in a steralight (sp) container weighted with a cinder block inside.

    Lesson 8 Keep empty water jugs for transporting water... we went through a dozen delivering water to folks.
    Lesson 9 if you give potable water to folks to drink/cook with there are still some ID10ts who will use it to flush their toilets and want more... Lord bless little old ladies...

    Neighbor who moved in down the road from Delaware stopped by when I was helping another neighbor (wife's 77 year old cousin) round up two bulls who escaped when a tree smashed the '
    "corral" they were moved to make sure they didn't get out ( I held the Gate)... his chain saw would not work and did either of us know how to fix it?

    Lesson 10 If you are securing livestock in preparation for a storm, look around to make sure your secure place really is safe and not just a place you have always move your live stock to during a storm. especially if the land is soaked and there is a tree that is leaning over the Corral to help shade the livestock.
    Lesson 11 Some Yankees don't realize that chain saws require a specific gas oil mix to function... 30 weight oil is not recommended.

    Fixed dinner for our family and some of the little old ladies in the hood... crock pot turkey, fresh butter beans with ham hocks creamed fresh potatoes and hand squished biscuits... Started looking at the diesel level in the tank 280 gallon tank is down by 40%

    Lesson 12 being nice to folks has benefits If we can't get and diesel delivered the 77 year old cousin says well I have 2 500 gallon diesel tanks for the farm equipment I reckon we can fill it up and you can just replace what you use...

    Pictures will be coming for @Gator 45/70

    Day 4
    Realized that if the water didn't go down we may need a place outside the house for folks to take a shower.... Realized that if need be in shower in the pool house (10x12) shed has a shower an water heater that could be turned on and hooked up to the pump...

    Lesson 12 you may have something in place and just don't realize it... don't over think things and listen to your wife... there had to be some reason you married her...;)

    Pretty much helped some folks and kicked back with the puppy... I think he was still a little upset for having his walks curtailed...

    Based on info from friends some additional lessons:

    You can burn up a John Deer tractor engine using the PTO to turn a generator There is a reason for limiting the idle and not trying to run a generator with a small tractor....

    If you ever go out in a flooded area using a boat or truck, drive slowly... you can flood un flooded homes with your wake.. this is especially important if you are out trying to race to a spot for a news story...

    Department of Homeland security has a Sh!t pot load of vehicles in the area... personally saw 6 and was told where several others were staging...

    If you see traffic cones there is probably something wrong up a head...

    If there is a boil water advisory when you don't have running water Unless it's rescinded there is a better than good probability that when you get water restored the advisor is still in effect...

    The press seems to spend a larger amount of time talking about flooded hog lagoons and never mentioning that several major cities like Wilmington and Fayetteville, and medium size towns like Jacksonville and New Bern water treatment plants and sewage lines are under water and dumping more untreated waste than the 4 lagoon spills....

    Day 5

    We are no longer an Island... still no power and limited water in the area... turns out two water mains were broken... total of three deaths in our county two in our township and adjacent area.

    Power returned still using the pump and have 20% of the diesel in the tank with out opening any more preps...

    Steak grilled asparagus, baked potatoes, and Naan...
  2. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    What on earth are you powering, a hotel? :D
    Sounds like the MIL needs some duct tape over her mouth.

    Glad you are okay there, WD.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    Zimmy, Gator 45/70, Alf60 and 4 others like this.
  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    House, workshop, storage, and at one time chicken houses holding 60k chickens... During the storm I compute that the high use was 32Kv nowhere near capacity...
  4. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [applaud] [applaud] @Witch Doctor 01

    gr8 post WD, thank ya fer sharing (y) (y)

    real glad yall made it relatively unscathed :) :)
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Now if all these black helicopters will just stop flying over....[tf]
  6. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    :) :)
    Dunerunner and Hanzo like this.
  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Glad you are ok, @Witch Doctor 01. My lessons learned from your post...

    Witch Doctor is a good man
    Go to his place to eat
    Get rid of MIL (don't tell wifee)
  8. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Thank you for sharing. Lessons I learned from your post. OPSEC problem of family members and "friends" who view the world thru normality based glasses. Their concept of the emergency is that in a few days everything will be back to normal and thus it is perfectly correct to feed them and all the other grasshoppers now and thus your years supplies will be gone in 5 days and you and the government will be the bastards for not having properly prepared for them. Need backups for your backups, well for secondary water supply is useless if under water, pump house burned down by wildfire, herd of "neighbors" around pump wanting "their" water and what do you mean we have to bring our own jugs. The sheep expect to be taken care of, your power and preps become theirs when their insulin needs cooling, their O2 machine needs power, their freezer is out and you have a working freezer, your well works and town water is out, you have heat and their kids are cold, etc, and the sheep in your "family", MIL, children, etc, will tell them that you have things that they need and of course it is the "Christian" thing to share, and will demand, as will the person needing their insulin, or O2, or food for kids, etc, that you share and at least sulk and make you the bad guy if you don't, and probably take it with force if you will not share. Bad juju to shoot 70 year old MIL and may cause family relationship problems as well as legal problems with sheep. Length of time in crisis mode, fuel for genset for 24 hours, 24 days, etc, or solar panels for 10 years, or wood stove, hand water pump, hand wood cutting tools, garden, etc for 24 years. Danger of others who buy into "prepping" and have supplies that either do not work, genset for small tractor that is needed for days, but tractor has a life span of around 2,000 hours with "proper" care, or about 80 days if they have the fuel, filters, know how to take care of it, do not need it for transportation, plowing garden, hauling wood, or other non generator uses. Chainsaw without proper fuel/oil mix, chains, files, bar oil, knowing how to safely use, is worthless, but the individual who is "sharing" his resources will expect you to have all of the things needed to run it and for you to magically supply him with wood until he can cut his own wood and "replace" the wood he borrowed.
    Sounds like you did well, the family and neighbors mostly did well, your preps made life easier for you and others, it all rained out and blew over and you can get ready for the next time. Not a Jerry Young story, but a lot of valuable lessons in your short post and a lot to think about the next night I can't get to sleep. It is really nice to hear "the rest of the story" that the media never reports.
  9. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    That's why I decided not to try and help anyone.
    I expected most of my help to go towards the equivalent of "flushing toilets with potable water" when there is little to no potable warer available.
  10. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Yep, the most well meaning people, typically are the ones who will blow OPSEC. :rolleyes::(

    Glad you made it through, relatively unscathed, Witch Doctor!
    Dunerunner, Motomom34, Alf60 and 2 others like this.
  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Good read and Good deal helping the terminally unprepared WD01
    As far a MIL goes, Bless her heart !
    Next time something like this happens inform MIL and anyone else to bring clear fresh fuel or 100.00 each to cover expenses.
    It's always been my experience that these storms cost me more than the ones I have been volunteered to help by wifie, Bless her heart too..
    Wait'n on dem Picts!
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have a high suspicion that he had never ran a chainsaw before and it is a good thing it wouldn't start.

    :5s: post @Witch Doctor 01 glad they got your power back on. Now comes the clean-up.
  13. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Lesson 13 Don't believe everything Duke power tells you... shortly after I posted this thread we lost power ... until yesterday after 6 pm... The Neuse river is cresting so going north we are once again an Island however it is a larger island.... Had a VA appointment in Durham... added 45 miles to the trip back to get over the Neuse...
    Motomom34, Gator 45/70 and sec_monkey like this.
  14. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    The grill....

    The Chicken... @Hanzo

    Crock pot Turkey... for @Gator 45/70

    Steak and fixens...

  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    And a little Photo for @Hanzo 's puppy from my puppy...

  16. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  17. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    he keeps me calm and active... Pattersdale Cross with Corgi
    sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  18. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Lesson 14... Very important!!!

    Stock up in insect killer for your house... ants will move to high ground to escape the water... This includes your house we have fire ants moving in through electrical fixtures (light switch covers and outlets ...
    This is important especially if you have a bad reaction like me... I have some poison but it is for outside use do to the toxic reaction with our pets...

    Lesson 15 They may say that neither rain nor hail nor dark of night will stop the US post office... but apparently much like our county water system.. they don't work following a hurricane...
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Shotguns are good on floating red ant piles, Just stay outside the splatter pattern!
    sec_monkey and Witch Doctor 01 like this.
  20. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If the water wasn't 3 feet deep I might have tried that... I thought about a john boat, a shop vac and a good bug killer
    Gator 45/70 and sec_monkey like this.
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