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Hurricane Irma - Post Event/Lessons Learned
#1
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Suggested by Bob, now that Irma (for the most part) is over:
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?
  • What would you change?
  • Did your list of priorities change?
  • What do you feel you need to add?
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#2
I stayed here at the house and did nothing different than I normally do but did watch all the craziness going on all around me
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#3
I wasn't there but was helping my wife try to decide what to do in regards to bugging out with her parents. Here are some insights to what she saw.....

I will add stuff as I talk to her more and when she gets home.

Gas....

When she got to the Villages, gas stations in the area still had gas so while southern Florida was running a shortage, central Florida was okay. Her dad's car was full but she took one extra 5 gallon can with them. One thing she noticed is that all the people from southern Florida started stopping for gas in northern Florida and southern Georgia and there were gas stations along I75 that were out of gas. If you filled up in central Florida you could get through most of Georgia without stopping. While they never had a problem getting gas they talked to many people at rest areas etc who did. At one point they stopped at an exit for food and there was a family with young kids who was stranded because they were out of gas and didn't have enough gas to make to the next open gas station. They had plenty of money and were offering to pay people to transport the dad to the gas station (about 5 miles off the freeway) to get a can of gas. My father in law simply gave them the gas in the extra can and refused payment. Because of where they filled up and their mileage they didn't have trouble finding gas. They did say that there were lines at every station they saw.

Food...
They had packed up several bags of food for the trip in case they couldn't find restaurants along the way. They did find that some fast food places were only serving limited menus (only hamburgers, no chicken sandwiches, fries, salads etc) because they had run out and deliveries were slow. She said there were long lines at all the restaurants along the freeway.

With her mom and dad being 89 and 90 she had to stop often at rest stops. She said there were people at a lot of the rest areas in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky who were giving out bags of food and water to people with Florida license plates. A bag would often consist of a 6 pack of water or Gatorade, snack/granola bars, fruit/apples/bananas, sometime chips, peanuts, cheese/peanut butter crackers etc. She turned them down as they had stocked up before they left but she said she was somewhat overwhelmed by their generosity and concern.

Security...
Her dad owns one gun, an old six shot H&R 22 revolver. I suggested to her that she take it with her since both she and my daughter know how to shoot. She looked it over and since she was not familiar with it (old and junky) she decided not to take it. Her dad has severe hand tremors due to Parkinson disease so he can't use it. I kept my Keltec P11 at her parent's house for the last five years so it would be there when I visited. That way I could fly down, carry it when I was there and fly home without having to pack a gun on the plane. I took it home when we drove our RV down last winter. I intended to swap it out with something else eventually. Fortunately they didn't have problem on the road.

Lodging....
She said she couldn't find a hotel vacancy until she got north of Chattanooga and she got the last two rooms. Partly because of all the people heading north and partly because of all the utility crews heading south. She said every hotel was crowded with electric company trucks. She said she also never saw so many ambulances (hundreds) in her life. They only spent one night on the road so didn't have problem.

All in all they did okay but it gives you something to think about if you ever have to bug out.

Edited to Add...
She said that traffic was heavy but moved along pretty well most of the time. Of course Atlanta traffic is always bad. Rest areas were pretty crowded. People were lined up on the shoulder of the freeway waiting to get into them. She also said she saw a lot of RVs camping in the rest areas. Obviously using them until the weather cleared.
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#4
(09-11-2017, 06:03 PM)David Wrote: Suggested by Bob, now that Irma (for the most part) is over:
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?
  • What would you change?
  • Did your list of priorities change?
  • What do you feel you need to add?

I was hoping for a day or two to "reflect" Dave....LOL
  • What are your thoughts?
The overall event was a non-issue.  That said, I have power, cable, cell service, etc...I realize it was / is not so for everyone.  I feel it was a great event top drive the sort of thinking that only comes with the reality of a situation.  Theoretical prepping is good, but nothing beats the real deal.

  • What lessons did you learn?
The gurus of prediction know nothing.  I pointed out the nature of the cone of probability, but at the end of the day, what happened was as likely as any other path.  

If evacuating - a 72 hour heads up is not enough.  500 miles is not enough.  You really need about 5 days lead and enough gas to get about 1000 miles.  That's brutal.

I was really uncomfortable with:  My skylights, lack of plywood for front window, and rear sliding glass doors, even though under a lanai.

I have grown slightly slack on my "stored" preps.  Had a couple of bad lanterns, some corroded batteries.

I am SUPER glad I bought a gas chainsaw.  REALLY REALLY glad I had an oak tree removed.

The yard waste garbage can w/ 32 extra gallons of water was a real comfort bonus!  People buy gas cans ,and bottled water but not garbage bins.  FYI - garbage bin holds a lot of water!!!!


  • If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?
I was more than thoroughly prepped for post event.  I felt totally comfortable with Water, food, meds, tools, etc...
  • What would you change?
I need more rope.  All out...I will add two more gas cans for a total of 30 gallons.  I think I want a small trailer for the car.  If I were to go, I'd have waited the gas outside.
  • Did your list of priorities change?
I was pretty ok there

  • What do you feel you need to add?
Two more gas cans
Rope
Boards for some windows, or maybe canvas covers
More garbage cans!!!!
Replace a few lanterns
Better diligence on battery rotation

I am GOING to build a battery bank. While I was totally comfortable with my 800watt inverter for the car, A batter bank would have been awesome. I'll make a post on this as soon as I get started. I could have easily kept the fridge going for weeks on 2 hrs or so a day, and had fans and phones charged - a battery bank would have been awesome.

(notice ammo & guns did NOT make that list?!?!?!?!?)
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#5
Normal prepping goes a long way. If you're decently prepped, you're ahead of the masses. Even without my "upgrades" I was still doing better than most people I came across.

I still need to go more rechargeable. Preferably more solar.
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#6
(09-11-2017, 08:21 PM)Bob Wrote:
(09-11-2017, 06:03 PM)David Wrote: Suggested by Bob, now that Irma (for the most part) is over:
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?
  • What would you change?
  • Did your list of priorities change?
  • What do you feel you need to add?

I was hoping for a day or two to "reflect" Dave....LOL
  • What are your thoughts?
The overall event was a non-issue.  That said, I have power, cable, cell service, etc...I realize it was / is not so for everyone.  I feel it was a great event top drive the sort of thinking that only comes with the reality of a situation.  Theoretical prepping is good, but nothing beats the real deal.

  • What lessons did you learn?
The gurus of prediction know nothing.  I pointed out the nature of the cone of probability, but at the end of the day, what happened was as likely as any other path.  

If evacuating - a 72 hour heads up is not enough.  500 miles is not enough.  You really need about 5 days lead and enough gas to get about 1000 miles.  That's brutal.

I was really uncomfortable with:  My skylights, lack of plywood for front window, and rear sliding glass doors, even though under a lanai.

I have grown slightly slack on my "stored" preps.  Had a couple of bad lanterns, some corroded batteries.

I am SUPER glad I bought a gas chainsaw.  REALLY REALLY glad I had an oak tree removed.

The yard waste garbage can w/ 32 extra gallons of water was a real comfort bonus!  People buy gas cans ,and bottled water but not garbage bins.  FYI - garbage bin holds a lot of water!!!!


  • If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?
I was more than thoroughly prepped for post event.  I felt totally comfortable with Water, food, meds, tools, etc...
  • What would you change?
I need more rope.  All out...I will add two more gas cans for a total of 30 gallons.  I think I want a small trailer for the car.  If I were to go, I'd have waited the gas outside.
  • Did your list of priorities change?
I was pretty ok there

  • What do you feel you need to add?
Two more gas cans
Rope
Boards for some windows, or maybe canvas covers
More garbage cans!!!!
Replace a few lanterns
Better diligence on battery rotation

I am GOING to build a battery bank.  While I was totally comfortable with my 800watt inverter for the car, A batter bank would have been awesome.  I'll make a post on this as soon as I get started.  I could have easily kept the fridge going for weeks on 2 hrs or so a day, and had fans and phones charged - a battery bank would have been awesome.

(notice ammo & guns did NOT make that list?!?!?!?!?)









power cart thread:


http://sepboard.us/showthread.php?tid=911

golf cart batteries on a garden cart with an inverter and perhaps a solar panel. good to go.. Just dont forget the misc cables, fuses,  USB adapters, etc..
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#7
Solar can really start simple... I have now 2 car batteries ( about 150ahr total ) on a small solar system in the shed...a couple of 100 panels keep them up fine..in all about a total of $400 +/- with the biggest being the batteries cost. ( ebay did me well )
Nice thing is I use them now for 12v lighting in the rear yard and in the shed, but easily use for other 12v items ( charging, inverter , etc ) AND it's really not rocket science.

I don't really use them other than for lighting, but you never know
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#8
Still, just having a few panels for lights and phones etc....makes a big difference top not have to worry. Of course, doesn't work when it's raining!
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#9
Trader Joe's bread molded after two days. It is a good thing that I know how to make my own bread...
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#10
What are your thoughts?

Hurricane tracking is not an exact science by any stretch.  They did a fair job at best on this one.  I realize, and understand that the sheer size of this one create all sorts of problems in their tracking models.  However, the last couple of days had it tracked all over the map from off the east coast of Florida to brushing St. Pete on the west coast to finally tracking east of Tampa.  That's a couple of hundred miles difference give-or-take.  The 'cone of uncertainty' was certainly uncertain this time out.  

The media likes to play up the disaster part of the storm.  Although coverage was great, they harped a little too much on every negative aspect they could possibly put on the air.  

.Gov did, and is doing a great job on this one.  As Mac and others have said, electric, fuel and aid trucks were staged and ready to roll.  The military had amphibious vehicles and other large vehicles staged throughout the state ready to roll.  Right here in Tampa at the Buc's stadium it was wall to wall military vehicles staged and ready.  The state and local government did a good job of expressing the danger of the storm and the resources that were available.  

No large operation is going to go completely without a hitch, but right now I have to give a thumbs up.



What lessons did you learn?

Check my Duracell battery pack more often for a charge.  I allowed it to run too low and now the battery won't charge.  I'll have to take it apart and see if I can simply swap out the battery with a new one.  I should be charging it every 3 months.  Didn't need it, but would be nice to have if it were needed.

Clean and streamline the backyard, lanai and garage.  Time to get rid of some stuff.

First time I used the garage door braces since I installed them.  Easy to put on and take off and glad I have them.

Label the wood panels for easier installation next time.  



If you were affected, how did your level of preps carry you through?

Really not affected by the storm.  I haven't done a thorough inventory around the house yet as I've basically worked 12+ hour shifts every day since Saturday.  But we never lost power at home.  We would have been fine had we lost power though from a prepared standpoint.  


What would you change?

The above mentioned power pack, keeping it charged so it doesn't drop too low to charge.  And again, getting rid of stuff that just isn't needed in the backyard, lanai and garage for a easier/quicker process to batten down the hatches.





Did your list of priorities change?

Not really.  I think we had all the boxes checked off pretty well.  




What do you feel you need to add?

Obviously more guns and ammo  Big Grin
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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