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Old 11-05-2012, 11:46 AM   #21
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Good points here. Preparedness is only half the problem, after a disaster one also needs a clear sense of priorities or all the effort may not pay off. After hurricane Wilma South Florida had no electricity and little gasoline for 2 weeks. Many people were unable to work even when they were expected to, because they didn't conserve their fuel. There was plenty of water but it was not potable. After a week people were throwing out spoiled food and had no canned food left. A serious problem was people with radios did not know where to tune in for critical information, such as delivery points and times for ice and water or estimates for gasoline availability.

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Old 11-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Mine are.
That settle's it. In case of emergency, let's all head to Dawg's house

I purr therefore I am.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Purron View Post
That settle's it. In case of emergency, let's all head to Dawg's house
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:17 PM   #24
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That's all good advice. A couple of things I'd add from personal experience from when we have evacuated during many days of power loss.

Ahead of time take everything out of your freezer, double-bag it and put it back. (when stuff melts it is not running everywhere)

If you have a garage with an electric powered up and over door then either be sure you know how to open it without power, or leave a car outside before the storm arrives.

After Gustav knocked out the power for over a week I discovered that I did not have a car adapter to charge the cell phone. As it happens the air waves were so overloaded that you were lucky to be able to do texting. I do have a car adapter now.

After 3 days without power I realized that the site I was working at was not going to be open for a long time so we were able to drive to Houston and stay with our son.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:37 PM   #25
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We have talked a lot about generators, but there is one thing that would be very useful to people in cold climate, where most hazards exist.

For heat, many full-time RV'ers use a catalytic heater that burns propane. Because this type uses a catalytic converter, it produces no carbon monoxide and can be used indoors, particularly in a small enclosed space like an RV. An oxygen-depletion sensor is incorporated in case there is inadequate ventilation. This heater is a radiant design, and is popular among RV'ers because it does not use a fan that can drain their batteries. Search the Web for the term, and you will find many different sizes available.

A catalytic heater, along with a camping stove and a couple of propane tanks will take care of the cooking and the heat in case of emergencies.

PS. I have to include the following caveat. Regulations prohibit bringing any propane tank larger than a 1-lb container inside a residence for safety reasons. So, I guess one is supposed to use a long hose to connect an inside heater or stove to an external tank, such as the common 5-gal tank used for BBQ.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:13 AM   #26
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One thing I'd like to add....stay up-to-date on your medications. DH and I have set up automated refills thru our pharmacy and I do not wait til the last minute to pick them up. Over time we seem to have built up a reserve of at least 10 days of meds. (mostly because we forgot to take meds for a day here and there over the last few yrs)
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
During last year's "Halloween snow storm", we were without electric for 3.5 days.

Last week, we were without electric for just under 11 hours, over two outages; yes, we were lucky .

Last year I purchased a portable gas generator (5500 kva/8500 kva startup). I did not use it this time, since it could not be used in the rain, and I would not use it in the garage (four deaths so far in our area for folks using a generator in an attached garage - even with the doors open, over the last two weeks).

If would have stopped raining and we had yet to have electric, I certainly would have used it (I had the extra gas and electric cords to do so).

However, I've given up. I made a call to a local whole house generator contractor (just a few blocks away) to give me a quote, after his "emergency calls" quiet down.

I've made the commitment to go with a whole house backup, but I'm not willing to pay a premium for the current conditions. I'm sure he will be looking for installations in the future (within the next six months) when things are more quiet.

I've spec'ed it out on my own (the contractor to confirm), but the unit - along with the LP tank (since I don't have LNG access) should run $7-8K.

As I see it, the U.S. electric infrastructure will get worse as we go on. We're working on power/distribution systems that average more than a half-century old, and it looks like very little will be done in the immediate future to correct the overall generation and delivery of electricity.

Yes, it's costing me much more to go this route, but I rather go this direction than count on others to ensure I/DW have electric in the future, in our all electric retirement home.

Just our situation, as to the OP’s inquiry.
I am in CT and am going this route as well. Too many times we have lost power, and I fear the time it happens when it is freezing outside. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice...don't get fooled again!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #28
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also, learn to text if you have not already. after katrina, my NOLA number could make calls, but no one could call me (despite sitting in Texas where everything was fine and dandy). Texts received/sent no problem.

Best is to evac if there is ample warning. IMO, it's not worth it living through that kind of mess if it can be avoided.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:48 PM   #29
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Back in my working days, I did this for mega-corp. Like the NYSE, no chance in h3ll that they would spend the $ required to meet their percieved needs. Then again, their percieved needs were not their real needs.

As an individual or family, your needs are to stay alive and to limit (not prevent) property damage. Start there and plan accordingly.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #30
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Living in earthquake country, you don't 'get' prepared; you are either prepared already or you aren't. Do it now.

Have your 5 gal jugs of water already. Change them out every year or so and put a little chlorine bleach in each to prevent algae.

First aid kit and know how to use it.

Always a full tank of gas. Get out early if you can or stay put. All exits will be jammed.

If you have natural gas, get a wrench that fits the emergency shut-off valve and tape it to the pipe.

Arrange an emergency contact outside of your area. Tell the whole family to call or text Aunt Sally first. Local lines will be jammed. Texting will get through when phone calls can't (much lower bandwidth).

Make sure the whole family knows the plan. Review it once a year.

The whole US is a dangerous place with respect to natural disasters. You are either in an earthquake zone or a tornado zone. Then there are tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, forest fires and volcanoes. And snowstorms.

Camping is good practice, too.

Live on high ground with no trees near the house. Don't live east of the Rockies. Move to Ireland.

Seriously, consider where you will live. We knew which areas flooded when we moved to Baton Rouge and Houston. Don't live there.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #31
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My first thought was GTHOD...get the hell outta dodge. But I know it isn't so simple...I lived thru the Japan quake last year. Really, you need to be prepared at all times to shelter in place, or GTHOD. Within an hour or so of the quake, the local supermarkets were barren...nothing at all. I was first in line the next morning at the gas station and they still had gas because they had shut down immediately after the quake for safety's sake. An hour later the line to get gas was about a quarter mile long. The banks' systems were screwed up, so you could not get cash at the ATM. As those of you who have lived thru disasters know, literally everything shuts down. The first time we saw much of anything in the stores was about 3-4 days later. We did not lose electricity but we did lose phone service. Cellular service was also lost, but 3G data worked sporadically so I could email my wife but could not text or call. So, in a nutshell

-keep non-perishable food and water on hand...don't wait for the warning
-keep a few hundred in cash on hand, small bills only...don't expect change from gougers
-keep some means of keeping warm on hand, kerosene stoves come to mind, but you have to be careful with them. They are relatively safe, and are what we used in Japan for a long time
-have a solar/crank charger for your cell phone if you don't have a genny
-if you have a fireplace or woodstove, make sure you have wood too.
-be prepared all the time, not just when there is a warning
-have a 72 hour kit packed and ready to go anytime (food, water, clothes, copies of your most important docs, such as passport, other ID, flashlight, water treatment pills, cash)
-when the call goes out to GTHOD, pick up your 72 hour kit on the way out the door, and leave everything else (many of the people lost in the tsunami had actually gone back for one or another "important" items, and lost their lives in the process).

hope this is useful

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:41 AM   #32
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Saw this on another forum for water storage:

WaterBOB®: emergency drinking water storage

Person said you could get it cheaper at Amazon.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #33
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We have a Berkley water purification filter. Drinkable water is something that is needed right away.
Big Berkey Water Filters & Purifiers - Free Shipping + 50% Off Discounts !
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:10 PM   #34
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Thank you Rambler...and everyone else for the great tips.

I've been putting off making a checklist and following thru with preparations for a disaster. I am taking notes and will get my act together. I'm not a big-time prepper, but it would be nice to have everything I would need to last a few days.
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #35
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Besides filling jars and bottles with water, there is a liquid source of nutrition, medical sanitization and pain relief that many of us may overlook....
wine and spirits.

Wine is a nutritious low proof beverage if fresh water runs out. Hard liquor can serve as a pain reliever and sanitizer for cleaning wounds sustained. And to calm nerves, I would try a shot or two of a lower proof spirit like blackberry brandy...but only in small quantities. Alcohol can dehydrate if too much is consumed.
I have several boxes of wine in my garage. Every time I finish one, I replace it. I also have a few cases of beer and Mike's Hard Lemonade on hand. I buy these items tax free when I go to NH with Mr B.
I keep at least 2 gallon size ziplocs of ice cubes and those handy little cooler packs in my full size freezer, all year long. A small piece of ice can have many uses...for burns, to cleanse a wound, a quick mouth refresher, to chill a beverage, etc.
All of my important papers and cash (mostly 20s) are in a small sized fire proof safe with a handle. It is designed to pick up and go. So is my wine box.

PS I was stuck at Long Lake NY in the Adirondacks Mts for 3 days after a microburst did a massive blowdown of trees from Canada to PA. We had an open lean-to, small tents and 1 big cooler. We survived on canned beans and tinned meat, and beer and wine once our 5 gallon jug of water and ice ran out.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #36
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Probably reasons not to do this, but we keep a small fireproof safe with copies all of our most important documents.... wills, titles, money documents insurance policies etc., and full inventory of belongings. It goes with us traveling back and forth, and is "ready to go" in case of whatever might happen.
edit .. oops beaten to the draw by freebird 5825.

also: contact point for family.

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