Autumn

Autumn

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For lotta joy

My new friend lotta joy left a comment with questions and concerns about our current experience with this tropical storm, and yes, we still have rains and wind today. The storm has made a very slow turn to the north, which gives us the bands of rain. So far we've had six plus inches.

lotta joy and her husband are new to the state of Florida. She and her husband are old hands when it comes to snow and ice, but hurricanes and tropical storms are a different breed of beast and require different preparations.

Let's make this simple - read this book.


Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A. Spigarelli, and try and find the updated second edition. Amazon has ample stocks. The book is concise and simple to read and will prepare you for any emergency, either natural or man-made.

I do not believe in prepping for only one kind of emergency. It's a waste of time and energy. Prep for all that this old world will throw your way; if you need examples just ask the survivors of the Warsaw ghetto and victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Everyone wants a list. Fine, here are but a few items I have and keep in stock at my home. This list isn't from a book. I was born and raised in the state of Florida and have dealt with many hurricanes and storms. This list is from experience and I strongly urge you to pay heed.


You need:

Books - of course. An education is priceless, and hey, when you're bored you'll have reading material.

Radios - the power will leave you in the dark. Notice I didn't write, might. The power will say bye-bye. Get a couple or three. I believe and preach a 'back-up to a back-up to a back-up.' We refer to this as the rule of three. I have shortwave and crack (dynamo) radios. I own several of each.

Raingear - duh. You will make trips outside into the rain. Find good quality raingear. I purchased mine at Lowe's. I'm sure Home Depot has good raingear in stock.

Hurricane lamps (kerosene) - again, back to power outages. You'll want several of different sizes. Remember, the lamps burn fuel. I keep five gallons, in a blue container, stored in my garage.

Matches - or lighters. I prefer the 'strike anywhere' matches and have at least two cases stored. Again, this is one of those, duh items. It's hard to light a lamp wick or stove without fire.

Flashlights and fresh batteries - Again, several. Fresh batteries work better than dead batteries. I also have a nice supply of rechargeable with a charging station. A good headlight is worth its weight in gold when you're out in the dark rain with a tarp or chainsaw in hand.

Tarps - You will need a large tarp and a few small ones. Buy a tarp big enough to cover any hole in the roof of your home. Think, huge. Then, purchase some rope and cut six foot sections and attach these sections to the grommets on the tarps with knots tied in the loose end of the rope. This will help you either attach sash weighs or other heavy objects to the tarp. If you have a nearby handy tree, like the one that just made the hole in your roof, tie off to its limbs. Rain in your living room isn't good for libraries.

Generator - if you have the funds I highly recommend you have the generator hard wired to your house. Our generator has saved our bacon more times than I can count. It will give you (depending on its wattage) power to at least seven circuits. You will have power to keep your refrigerator and/or freezer cold, lights, ceiling and portable fans and a small window air conditioner. We've used ours for periods of two weeks or more....life will still be a challenge but at least, if you have satellite service for your television, you'll be able to catch the news reports and stayed informed as to the movement of the hurricane and its offspring, tornadoes.

Food - another duh. Keep a years supply of stored food. If I need to explain this...never mind.

Stored Water - not those silly little bottles, which are nice, but many gallons. Treat the water with bleach. The aforementioned book has this information. I have three blue barrels (blue is food grade) filled and treated. You will need a pump for the barrels. This gives me one hundred and sixty-five gallons of fresh water if needed. Remember, city and town water pumps need power. When the power fails gravity takes over so you should have water for a couple of days unless the water supply becomes contaminated. Store water, period.

Portable stoves - see Food above. I have a gas range so I just strike a match when the power goes, poof. If you have a gas grill try and keep at least two extra propane tanks. A good old fashioned Coleman stove will serve in a pinch. Hit Ebay and try and find a good quality alcohol stove too. Military grade if possible. Rule of three, remember. 


Firearms - Critters, moon fleas, democritters, and other scum of the earth always take advantage of the weak during power outages. I've had neighbors leave their generators, powered and attached to their panels, out and unprotected during the night. Guess what happened to those generators and other equipment in their garages. Home invasions take place on a nightly basis. Just a word to the wise.

Chainsaw - or two if possible. Think high wind. When winds reach hurricane levels (seventy-four) trees not only bend, they fall. Been there, done that. Take my word, a working chainsaw will save your bacon. Mine, at present is broken. It will be repaired or I will replace it.

Enough, I've covered the basics. Please, read the book. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck.

Stephen
 

15 comments:

  1. Stephen, the difference in people in Florida from the Hoosiers has truly been a shock. Everyone here seems to have a pecking order as if they're still in high school. So wouldn't you know it, the ONE GOOD FRIEND I've found is way on the other coastline!! But you're worth gold, dear friend.

    I was wondering about the water and KNEW those plastic bottles weren't there for the long haul.

    The book will be MINE in about two weeks!!! The radios will be ours TODAY! (We'd never even thought of them)

    My husband was a firefighter back home and the department always checked on our well being even after he retired. Here? We ARE on our own!

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  2. Sweet Lady, don't worry as you'll make friends soon. We Southerns are a quiet lot, and reserved. We appreciate good manners. Just smile, give the proper salutations and before you know it you'll be invited over for coffee and cake. Otherwise your neighbors are probably transplants too. Sweet tea is the table wine of South, so have a gallon chilled and standing by for the odd visit. Always offer those true Southern folk a bite to eat or ask them to dinner. They will probably gently refuse, but back to those proper manners. I'm proud and honored to be your friend. Never hesitate to yell if you need help. God bless.

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    1. As you said, everyone here seems to be transplants and I know of no true Floridian. It seems everyone is from Massachusetts and has ATTITUDE. I'm just pure country and maybe it shows.

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  3. When I moved to Naples, I was, for the longest time, being asked where I was from. My southern accent seemed to confound and cause them (the transplants) an endless amount of amusement. It seemed to me that most of those asking were from the northeast part of the country. Mass, New York, New Jersey etc. Although condescending in nature, I thought it was in part amusing, because I always had the last laugh.

    I would answer, with some additional emphasis on the accent (think Georgia Royal Southern), that "I'm from the south which was north of here." I'd stand there just for a second, just long enough to see that look of confusion on their faces, then I'd turn my back and simply walk off.

    It was always my impression that it was the northerners that had the pecking order affliction.

    Stephen's right (as usual). Proper manners and salutations are the ticket.

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    1. Shucks. Thanks, Matt, but really, I'm not always right. Nice of you to say.

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    2. Thank you Matt. My 'southern' accent is thick as syrup but is actually 'hillbilly'. Which makes me lose about 10 IQ points when I open my mouth to a northerner and mention my love for 'dawgs'.

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    3. Lotta joy: mine is actually "hillbilly" as well and I had to alter it alot to get that Georgia sound.

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  4. Glad you are ok Stephen please send the rain to southern Illinois. Not saying its dry but when i step on grass it breaks

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    1. Thank you, Corey. We are fine. I'll send the rain (me, all focused and twitching)your way. As in your area we've been under a drought for the last six or so years. We understand the need of rain and broken grass. Thanks, my friend.

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  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)May 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Don't forget the baby wipes ... When you are trying to conserve water, they come in mighty handy for washing dirty hands and faces! I also have a supply of those little doggie poo-poo plastic bags to scrape in any left over food from dishes. Keeps the garbage from smelling. Also solar powered patio lights make fantastic flashlights and night lights in a pinch.

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  6. Good list. I would add at least ten gallons of gas treated with Sta-Bil for vehicles, in addition to the genny's fuel supply. Phyllis is spot on with the baby wipes and garbage tips. Glad y'all weathered the storm okay!

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    1. Craig, actually I keep fifty-five gallons, treated, in a barrel behind my home - don't tell anyone, for my generator. Good point, I should have remembered to mention it. But then again I said such many times on this blog over the last few months. Thanks, I'm glad we weathered it too. Take care, my friend.

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  7. Some gas stoves cannot be lit if there is no power, even with matches. The gas is shut down by a safety interlock. Stupid feature and I would not have purchased my current stove if I had know about it.

    AJ

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    1. That's too bad, AJ. Mine works perfectly well without power. It's nice to have the instant spark but a good old wooden match still lights it. Thanks, and don't be a stranger...

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