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Hurricane Survival Thread

Discussion in 'Weather' started by The Mom, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. The Mom

    The Mom Moderator Premium Member

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    There have been so many of us who have weathered hurricanes lately, I thought I would start a thread where we could share tips on making life more bearable without power, 7 days in my case. This might be of interest to those of you in Ivan's path, and give anyone who might face outages a few ideas they hadn't thought about. THIS IS NOT REALLY ABOUT ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT ANY PREPAREDNESS MANUAL LISTS!!!

    These are insider secrets, so to speak, based on actual experience. :animwink:

    1. Bug Spray of all types! I picked this up from a forum member who survived Charley! (I can't remember who it was right now, but bless you. :kiss: ) I had ants everywhere! The tree that fell was full of Carpenter Ants and earwigs, and they were climbing in on my extension cords. I used repellent to keep bugs off us, the indoor sprays to kill all of the ants and other critters that came in out of the storm, and the yard guard to spray around the steps and garbage cans.

    2.Ever wonder about all that bleach you're old to have on hand? The "plain" stuff can be used to purify water enough for personal hygiene (but I wouldn't trust it for drinking) The "scented" stuff is for pouring down drains to keep the smell down.

    3. Smell!!! After a few days without power, your house will start to stink! I went through tons of scented candles and room spray!

    4. Damp Rid Theyre's a hanging closet type and also the standard type. Better to have several small containers rather than one big one.

    5.Small sterno camp stove and extra fuel This, along with a camp coffee pot and small, heavy clad sauce pan and frying pan, was invaluable!!! It rained for days, so an outside grill was impossible, and running back and forth to my neighbor's was pretty tiring. I was able to make coffee (make sure you have lots of ground on hand) heat soup, etc., and boil water to wash dishes.

    6. Coffee mate liquid in individual servings, and sugar PACKETS I hate the powdered stuff. It was damp and sticky...not great for sugar, unless you have an airtight container!

    7. Personal mister fans like the ones you see at WDW. What might be a pain in a park is heaven at home. I only had one; I wish I had a dozen! The one I have was great for sitting in front of and reading.

    8. A Chillow It helped at night.

    9.Battery operated high intensity lanterns We had one large Coleman; again, I wish I had at least two more. The one I have has high, low, and night light features. I used them all; it's really dark!!! I found some mini ones at Target (only one light level, however). I labelled them with each family member's name (except my Hello Kitty one) so we could keep track of them.

    10. ALL types of flashlights!!! Large ones for checking "noises" outside. Tiny ones that you can clip on your waistband to keep it close. The flashlight/lantern combos are useful. Also, a couple of headlight types were useful for when you needed your hands free (refueling the generator, for instance :lol: ) Also, individual reading lights are good...I have one that I can hang around my neck.

    11. Lots and lots of assorted batteries See #10 I gave my son a supply daily. If he used them up playing Game Boy, watching the battery powered TV, listening to the radio, or just forgetting to turn his lantern off, he had to go to bed early because he didn't have any light. Power is PRECIOUS, and not to be wasted. He was very conservative by the end of the week.

    12. I had 2 small Battery powered TVs I wish my husband had purchased the somewhat larger color one he had seen the weekend before the storm!!! It was hard to track thunderstorms and tornados in blak and white. :rolleyes:

    13. Hurricane Lamps You know, the glass ones with the chimney and wick that you fill with oil. Make sure you have extra oil; it's hard to find. However, it saves on batteries, and is cheaper to use. I only have one; I'm getting more when they become available.

    14. Freeze pint sized water bottles As the storm nears, start feezing as much water as you can fit in your freezer. Not only did I freeze small bottles, but I ran the ice maker constantly and filled gallon zip lock freezer bags with cubes. I also froze water filled storage containers. Not only would these work as ice packs for your cooler, but then you had drinking water after they melted. We never lost water, but it was good to know we had plenty.

    15. Not all of your 3 gallons/person water is for drinking! I filled any container I could find; save and rinse out empty milk containers, fill the tub and washing machine, collect rainwater in buckets for washing and flushing. I also have two of the collapsible 5 gallon containers. I prefer the smaller bottles for drinking, and the larger ones for cooking, etc. When it comes to food, small is better; you can't store leftovers.

    16. Sun Shower I had a neighbor with gas hot water, so I could take a hot shower...by candlelight. However, I have one that I'm prepared to use to wash with. (wearing a bathing suit, of course; my yard is pretty private, but still...)

    17. Canned flavored water We like the LaCroix brand. It comes in cases, so is easy to stack. This is true of ALL drinking water; if you can find it in cases, it's much easier to store.

    18. GENERATOR Even if you can't store it yourself, you could possibly go in with a nearby neighbor, as we did. However, he's buying a bigger one ASAP, and we're getting the smaller one, with his larger reservoir modification. Otherwise, you have to refuel every 2-3 hours!!! We also purchased more gasoline cans (plastic, really) so we didn't have to run to the gas staion as often. All of the cars, including my daughter's, were filled and could be used as fuel. Fortunately, we didn't need it.

    19. DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN "NORMALLY" WHENEVER YOU CAN For instance, I had access to hot water, so we used "real" dishes instead of paper and plastic. Just a small thing, I know, but it made things feel better. I also ran my car's DVD player for the neighborhood kids one night. We sat with the A/C on, munching on snacks, with the rain on the roof. Again, just a small thing, but the sort of thing they'll remember. We also celebrated both my husband's and neighbor's birthday this past week. I had an ice cream cake stored in my neighbor's freezer (generator) but we all had to finish it in one sitting. The sacrifices we made! :lol:

    WOW! I can't believe how much I wrote! :eek:
     
    tcool123, cba, pinkrose and 1 other person like this.
  2. Atta83

    Atta83 Well-Known Member

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    I think you covered it all. I could not think of anything else to write down.. But heres one if you have to evacuate. Instead of packing suitcases , cause they could take forever use garbage sacks to put clothing in. I still remember when Gilert was coming through man my mom had the van packed high and throwing clothing into the sacks. We were packed and ready to go. We didnt get hit on but we did get some storms.
     
  3. The Mom

    The Mom Original Poster Moderator Premium Member

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    Thanks, Atta!
    Clothing! If you possibly can afford it, get extra cheap clothing, even used from a thrift store. You get hot, sweaty, and dirty. Even if you hand wash things, they take forever to dry. Fortunately, there were end of season sales everywhere, so I was able to get stuff at 75% off in places.

    Then when the local laundromat got power, I needed tons of quarters, and laundry baskets. I teamed up with neighbors, so we could take turns using the super big commercial washers and dryers.
     
  4. kal1484

    kal1484 Well-Known Member

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    .

    For me, a coloring book is a must. It is something that keeps me occupied.
     
  5. Debbie

    Debbie Well-Known Member

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    Mom, that list is so good. The only thing I can add now to it, especially with us on the west margin of error with Ivan; is
    1) Check your bathtub plug and make sure it will hold water. Don didn't have water for days after one hurricane and the tub water was for flushing toilets.
    2) Throw away the junk that accummulates in the garage etc. Today, I spent the day cleaning out the garage, the porch and the side yards of flower pots that I never used, extra buckets, etc. This way, it will be gone by Tuesday. We may not have garbage pickup on the following scheduled day. And with all my hanging ferns, and tropicals, I need all the area I can get in the garage.
     
  6. Tramp

    Tramp New Member

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    CASH....make sure you have plenty of cash in the event you need to hire a contractor to do emergency work around the house. Access to ATMs could be limited without power and banks could be closed.

    Marcia...why don't you write a book. :wave:

    Here ya go, I already have a title for you... :lol:
     

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  7. tiggerlover1971

    tiggerlover1971 New Member

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    great tips Marsha I really needed the extra battery powered tv ( My aunt Mrs.potato head ) hogged the small black and white one we had :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  8. pinkrose

    pinkrose Well-Known Member

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    Great tips. Thanks!!! :wave:

    I've never heard about canned water. Where would I find that? Does Walmart or Target carry it? I think that's a great idea. Bottled water gets a funny taste after being stored for a bit.

    I have one more tip to add.... Hand sanitizer. Gotta kill those germs on your hands (for just incase you lose water).
     
  9. The Mom

    The Mom Original Poster Moderator Premium Member

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    I buy mine at Publix. It comes in 12 pak cartons, and is sold in the water section. It's "sparkling...ie carbonated" and comes in plain, lime, and raspberry flavored. It IS NOT SWEET, but is very refreshing. It looks like soda.

    I prefer the Purell wipes. Baby wipes also work.

    BTW, the ants are still here. Last night, my son started screaming!!! They were on the top bunk, crawling on his pillow!!! I've sprayed his room twice (last night and this morning) stripped the beds, and will spray again tomorrow.

    I've heard that people were still trying to get rid of them 2 years after Andrew...ugh!
     
  10. pinkrose

    pinkrose Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'll have to pick ksome of that up!

    I go between the hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.

    Bless your heart on the ants. :( Ants are a pain in the ____ .
     
  11. KevinPage

    KevinPage New Member

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    Mom,

    Do you hook the generator up to your refrigerator or have it run yor whole house?

    I know most people will need an electrician to create a special outlet to plug the generator into the main electrial box, otherwise you are stuck plugging appliances directly into the generator? (and not being able to use A/C)

    Living in Orlando I hoped I never really would have to worry about this, but go figure. :D
     
  12. tigsmom

    tigsmom Well-Known Member

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    Great tips, Marcia. They come in handy here in the Northeast as we get hit with ice storms & lose power for days.

    I collect Hurricane lamps so I have quite a few. My dad always had Coleman Lanterns and we used them often in the winter & hot summers during blackouts. We made sure we had one (two would be nice), if you have the fuel type make sure you have extra fuel & mantles...those little glass bags break very easily. The camp stove comes in very handy, too. Make sure you have wooden, waterproof matches (or a lighter).

    My friend was always proud of her self for having canned foods on hand, however she never bought a hand held opener...electric ones don't work without electricity. :hammer:

    Hand sanitizer & baby wipes are a must.

    Hopefully these storms will be over soon. Stay safe. :wave:
     
  13. The Mom

    The Mom Original Poster Moderator Premium Member

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    Kevin, It's strictly a "power strip" type box, with heavy duty extension cords. My neighbor only ran the small window unit A/C at night, and shut down one of the refrigerators, etc. while running it. During the day, we refroze water containers to keep things cold at night.

    We are trying to get another generator, so we don't have to share. We have a window A/C unit which I purchased for the guest apartment, and plugged into my other neighbors power once it returned.

    It is possible to have a whole house generator, but we so seldom lose power that it isn't worth the cost and inconvenience. I live in the "city" on a small lot, so would have to give up quite a bit of space (relative to the size of my yard) for it.

    I would NEVER try to hook a portable generator into the electrical box!!!! :eek: Too many people have died due to it, both from electrocution or electrical fires.
     
  14. The Mom

    The Mom Original Poster Moderator Premium Member

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    I have oil lamps, but getting OIL for them is difficult down here. I had an extra bottle, but it's almost gone, and I haven't been able to replenish it. I'm hoping I'll be able to when the season is over.

    I have the battery powered Coleman's. And you're right; I forget to mention the wooden, waterproof matches. Thank God I had them; after a few days of no A/C and on and off rain, regular matches were useless.

    BTW, our Orbit gum started to melt! Who knew? :lol:
     
  15. pinkrose

    pinkrose Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to also prepare for your pets (if you have them). Often times, people are so stressed about getting what they'll need, they forget.
     
  16. cru5h

    cru5h New Member

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    I so appreciate electricity now. We went without power for 7 days too with Frances. Most depressing days of my life (so far). My tips are the same as yours, though we never did get a generator, couldn't get our hands on one to save our lives. We twice drove to Ft. Lauderdale (45-1hr. drive south of us) and Miami (1 hr. & up drive south) for ice, hot meals that didn't come from cans, batteries and fuel since there was none of these things where I live and my car is very economic.

    My only other suggestions:
    1. Gameboys, LeapPads, electronic games for the 4 kids saved us a lot of fights during the "bored to freaking tears" days.
    2. Camping fans - I know misting fans were mentioned but these don't have to be held, run on batteries and last all night long.
    3. I never knew so many people needed kidney dialysis and nebulizers until there was no power and very few resources to keep these people alive. If you have special health needs make sure to find portable ways to care for yourself, be sure to get a generator or find out what facilities have backup generators or where they will be located to assist you after the storm.
    4. Make friends with your neighbors!! I heard 2 close-by neighbors' generators all night while I sweat myself silly. All I needed was one teensy weensy extension cord.
    5. Cellphone car charger - no power = no cellphone battery charging

    K that's all :wave:
     
  17. tigsmom

    tigsmom Well-Known Member

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    We run into this alot here in the winter. Anytime there is a cut in electricity service for an extended length of time the fire dept. gets calls for its generators. This ties up a truck and a few men...less resources to do what needs to be done. The electric company will supply one, but its not high on their priority list.
     
  18. pinkrose

    pinkrose Well-Known Member

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    On the news the day before Ivan arrived, they had a mom pleaing for a donation or the loan of a genarator for her son. He has some medical problems and would not be able to be without power. I'm not sure if someone donated one or loaned one, but on the 10:00 news they said he was taken care of.
     
  19. tigsmom

    tigsmom Well-Known Member

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    Thats good to hear...We have been hit with the remnants of the storm here. Most of my neighborhood has been without power since noon yesterday...not good since it was about 40 degrees last night...no heat. Brrrr
     
  20. cru5h

    cru5h New Member

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    We were the exact opposite. It was so insanely hot and humid, not a breath of wind either - bleh!

    Re: the dialysis/nebulizers and generators - There was one radio station that continuously talked and talked and connected people with each other. When someone called begging for a generator for a health reason, someone locally responded. It was awesome.
     

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