Hurricane prep questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by vtfarma, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I am from Vermont and have had a brain cramp every time we see that everyone is out prepping for the next hurricane... you know, buying more plywood, getting water and canned foods. My question is is why don't people still have this stuff from the last hurricane warning. We have blizzards and ice storms and idiots who hit power poles all the time. We have water stored in jugs, canned foods, candles, batteries, animal food in reserve etc.

    We are figuring that it is the media just getting everyone worked up or maybe new homes. I would think people would have their plywood cut to size and marked for all their windows.

    No insult intended to anyone, we are just wondering.

    Laurie
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Most people just don't 'get it'. They think 'it won't hit here, the last x number of caines missed us, why spend the money, waste the energy, bother to store stuff?' Better things to do. So they wait till the last minute and panic. Or toss the preps from the last 'miss' cause they are in the way.

    BTW, I've lived where the water lines froze periodically and I was the only one around with jugs of water tucked away. Where ice storms hit and nobody else had lamps/batteries/stores of food. Same mentality everywhere you look, I guess. I've even had neighbors who never had more than a couple days worth of food (if that) on hand and we all lived on a road that was well nigh impassible for months out of the year. They would fight and struggle to get out on the bad road, tearing up their vehicles because 'we need a gallon of milk'. I lived in a camp trailer and had groceries for 4 months at all times.
     

  3. Kimon

    Kimon Not a Cannibal

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    Not sure about others but I am in Lower Alabama. I have a disaster kit ready to go into the car for evacuation. I have panels precut for our windows and the hangers are still in place from Katrina, Have gas stored to get us through a few days and keep the vehicles full all the time. By next season we will have hinged shutters installed to replace the decorative ones that where put on the house when it was built, I also plan to have my 12k gen installed to provide an instant switchover to gen power when needed.

    As far as the need for supplies just prior to a storm - each warning effects different areas so it may have been a while since the last storm actually effected the area stampeded for supplies.

    I will not allow my family to be in an unpreparred state for any storm or even a possible disruption of power, fuel, etc. Part of the responsibility of living in a rural area is to maintain a store of supplies just in case.
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    OK..understand that you need to board up windows and glass..but why don't homes have the "old fashion" ouside shutters and just close them and reenforce them somehow instead of always boarding up with plywood..do I just make life a little too simple ??
     
  5. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Modern, typical buildings are generally not designed with "bad" situations in mind. Think about how difficult it'd be to live in some places more than a few hours without electricity due to poor designing...same thing I think, and the cost: people would rather have a more expensive kitchen or bathroom than a well prepared house.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    The other problem is the media....someone's home with shutters that close and have the house prepped in ten minutes doesn't make good video.

    We went down to Texas and got 5 houses ready in 24 hours. It can be done if you have things ready, as you mentioned, with boards cut and the right equipment.

    We also made the evacuation trip to central Texas in three hours instead of the 15 to 24 that everyone else seemed to experience. Being able to read a map is a useful skill that most of the adult population seems to have not learned. We went on two lane country roads and had a smooth and safe trip, with very little traffic.

    We don't keep bottled water on hand in great quantity. That is purchased as needed when storms threaten, but mostly we fill pots and pans and the bathtub.
     
  7. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    I only keep a little bottled water on hand, but we are on a well and before very much longer we will have a pump which can be operated manually in case we lose power, so water storage at home will not be a huge issue for us.

    Just before Hurricane Charlie last year I filled a few cases of quart jars with water from my well. I used plastic lids, so the water cost me nothing. We also filled the tubs and washing machine tub with water. Here's a tip- if you're going to be in a hurricane make sure the plug on your bathtubs seals properly- ours didn't, as we discovered after losing power. Fortunately it was a very slow leak.
     
  8. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    I know when my family first moved to tx. we were in the bottom part that was only about 40 miles from south padre island so knowing hurricanes would hit every once in a while my dad had some shutter that looked like little garage doors installed above each of the windows. He had to have them special made because no one seemed to have them but a couple years later when the first one hit everybody else was running around trying to buy wood. We went out unlocked the window doors pulled them down locked them in place and went on with the rest of our preps that were needed. Funny part was people complained they didn't like the look of them but afterwards everybody was asking where we got 'em. :D
     
  9. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

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    Rose got it really well, the scenes of people flooding the Home Depot makes good TV. But also...

    While is seems like Florida is always getting hit, it is not really as it seems. Hurricanes have been bad recently but it is not like each hurricane hits the whole state.. just certain areas.. and while we are seeing right now a repeat hit in a place hit last year, it is really uncommon. So these preparations at from places all around the state, even thought it seems like it is the same places over and over.

    Plus.. Florida is a very transient state. A thousand people a day, literally, move to Florida every single day, and because we are "God's Waiting Room", we have a lot of seniors that come and go. Most retirees and newcomers don't have these supplies. Even the old timers outside of the keys, which are more commonly hit, do not keep the plywood covers around because it is usually years and years and years between direct hits. I was hit twice last year where I am but it was the first time my area was hit in forty years. I believe I read recently that Tampa Bay, which has been hit with threat after threat of storms for years has NEVER had a direct hit. (at least not in recent record).

    And consider too, very few of the people come to florida as homesteaders, they come to play golf, shuffleboard, go fishing, enjoy themselves in retirement. Many don't live here full time, this is only a winter vacation home. Why spend money on something they may never need when it can go to something else? I have been here more than twenty years, only in direct hit hurricanes twice, both last year, both within weeks of each other. No damage to my place, even without plywood on the windows.

    BTW, there are companies in florida that make 'hurricane shutters' that are permanently installed, usually made of steel. Very ugly, very expensive, not very popular.

    JMHO
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    A thin plastic dropcloth is less than a dollar and can be used to line a bathtub prior to filling with water to prevent losing the stored water down a leaky drain plug. Also keeps the water cleaner.
     
  11. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I priced those pull down hurricane shutters. They would cost me way too much for my house, as I have 21 windows. Would have been THOUSANDS of dollars. The plywood system works for us. :clap: Not that I wouldn't like 'em. Maybe if I win the Lottery?

    After Rita, there was an ad in our local paper offering $5 a sheet for used plywood. Somebody was going to store it and make a killing the next time a storm threatened, I bet.
     
  12. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    We kept saying that the shutters on homes should be useful instead of decorative and secure maybe with metal bars. The other part that blows my mind is if you cut the plywood to size for your windows and you sell, then let that go as a bonus with the house so the next people are ready too. Otherwise, I want some of that plywood. We get hit with phenomenal prices after hurricanes due to demand etc (price gouging because they can). I can't imagine how people can just get rid of the stuff. I know as a homesteader I use and reuse everything. We store scrap pieces of plywood for years and always find something to use it on. So many people today are so wasteful it just drives me crazy. I unserstand that it is in the way, my house would probably be a lot cleaner without all the things around but then again we are the house people go to when the power is out for days on end!

    Be safe to all in the path of Wilma and please know this was not a criticism of you or your lifestyles. It is just one of those things that is a point of contention everytime a new hurricane comes through. I mean we used scrap wood on a shelf for our service van that we had had here for 5 years. If I knew I might need it, I would certainly store it. Although I probably have more room than they do to.
     
  13. drakkensdottir

    drakkensdottir Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to add a lighter note about hurricane prep that I'd found right before Katrina hit our area. Even now it's funny.

    Enjoy.

    Drak

    HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

    We're entering hurricane season. You may soon be turning on the TV and seeing a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:
    (1) There is no need to panic.
    (2) We could all be killed.
    Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Louisiana. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one.'' Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:
    STEP 1. Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.
    STEP 2. Put these supplies into your car.
    STEP 3. Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.
    Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Louisiana.
    We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:
    Homeowner‘s Insurance: If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:
    (1) It is reasonably well-built,
    and
    (2) It is located in Nebraska.
    Unfortunately, if your home is located in South Louisiana, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss.
    Since Hurricane George, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.
    Shutters: Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors, and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:
    Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.
    Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.
    Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.
    "Hurricane-proof'' windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so.
    He lives in Nebraska.
    Hurricane Proofing Your Property: As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc... You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.
    Evacuation Route: If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver's license; if it says "Louisiana," you live in a low-lying area.) The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.
    Hurricane Supplies: If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies.
    Do not buy them now! Louisiana tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who get the last can of SPAM. In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:
    * 23 flashlights
    * At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
    * Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)
    * A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
    * A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who went through Camille: after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)
    * $35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.
    Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean.
    Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise!
     
  14. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Drak is exactly right. 100%.

    :bow:

    ROFL
     
  15. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Drak for the lighter side of hurricane prep. That could be blizzard prep or ice storm prep up here in Vermont too.
     
  16. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tampa Bay was hit by the 1926 hurricane. My mother was born in the middle of it...at Mound Hospital (now Bayfront) Sept 13 1926- the basement was flooded by the storm surge so (yes, I know Floridians don't have basements but it was built on an elevated old Indian mound, so they had one) the basement was where maternity was, so Nana was delivered on an upper floor by an intern - luckily, as the obstetrician had planned a csection as Mother was breech- and she was a footling delivery and all went well...