A Couple Hurricane Lessons Learned.


September 19, 2004, 01:52 AM
Fellow Shooters,

I got lucky this time and didn't get it so bad here in Panama City. I can't say that for my neighbors to the west such as Pensacola and Mobile. Still, it had me thinking about what a direct hit would have done and what I needed to do.

This hurricane caught me ill prepared since I just got back from a range session a couple of days prior and still had much of my ammo and magazines scattered. Going back to the house for anything was out of the question as they put our entire county on a curfew from 7 Pm to 1Am the next day. Talk about a strange feeling to have a involuntary curfew imposed upon you!

So..here is my list of things to do prior to the next emergency.

1. I purchased a tactical vest. I have room in the vest for 3 M16 magazines and 3 handgun magazines as well as misc pockets for other equipment such as knives and flashlights. Will I ever wear the vest? Probably not, but it does make a convenient carry all for basic weapons gear.

2. Purchase more magazines. I used all of my magazines for the last range session and didn't have time to reload them, with the exception of my carry gun. I need to keep some loaded at all times and stored in my tac vest.

3. Update my serial number list. This is for insurance purposes in case of damage or theft.

4. Purchase some waterproof weapons bags for storage. I left the house during the hurricane in order to be closer to family. All I took was one of my ARs and a handgun. The handgun I kept on my person and the AR in the truck. The rest of my rifles were left in the safe. I would have been screwed if my house would have flooded.

I was ok for food and clothing as well as other survival items since I keep most of that stuff in a duffle bag stored away for emergencies.

Any other suggestions related to weapons? Any other folks from Florida here..and if so, what did you do?

Good Shooting

If you enjoyed reading about "A Couple Hurricane Lessons Learned." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Blue Line
September 19, 2004, 07:58 AM
One thing we did was video the entire house w/shutters up to show that we had them in place. This tape also documented the inside and all of our contents. I took extra time on certain articles that were expensive or of sentimental value. I also had the guns laid out and videoed them and also as they were inside the safe. Since couldn't pack everything when we thought we did pack the tape for insurance purposes.

September 19, 2004, 08:17 AM
Get a generator...think about being without electricity for a day or two. You'd probably get by but it sucks. Now think about being without electricity for over two weeks. There are still people from Charley without power. That was over six weeks ago. A genset is a small investment IMO to be able to sustain yourself in a reasonably comfortable manner. I can do without AC during the day but at night, in FL, with this humidity, I have to have at least a fan and even that doesn't really cut it. A small window unit in a bedroom makes for a good night's rest.

As for guns and ammo, I don't know that you would need too much in the days right after the storm. You won't need that until the 'welfare' folks start running out of supplies and money and they get desparate.

Two different friends that live in Palm Beach county said they started seeing the miscreants from across the tracks cruising the streets at night listening for generators and looking for anything else they can get their hands on. At that point a mag or two is all your gonna ever need. It would take a complete breakdown of society before you'd ever fire a shot IMO. That would take months in those conditions.


September 19, 2004, 08:39 AM
More AR15 mags is not the right answer for hurricane preparedness. But, if it makes you happy, more power to ya.

I think shooting looters is usually considered murder.

September 19, 2004, 09:10 AM
I'll second the generator idea. Have a diesel unit hardwired into your house wiring so you can run a room or two when the rest of the world is blacked.

Also be sure to secure your generator in a hardened position so it can't be stolen.

After that, I would look into solar cells for the roof to provide hot water and/or electricity. They might be damaged in the storm, but they might not, and will help make life more comfortable.

Then comes food. Buying bottled water right before the storm is good, but not great b/c everyone else is doing likewise. Keep a stockpile of food and water in your house all of the time and rotate through it so that it's always fresh. Canned goods are a blessing!

Also, I agree with having loaded mags ready to go. I like to keep three mags loaded for my pistol/carbine and just leave them sit there. If I need them, I don't have to hunt through my shooting gear for bullets to load, or the like.

And, more importantly, don't think about bugging-out. Your house is a fortress, literally, and you know the terrain better than anyone. If you have to retrieve a family-member, so be it, but stay home if you can.

And don't forget about cement-block walls around your property. They go a long way to deflecting wind and debris.

September 19, 2004, 09:43 AM
I think the water proof bags are a good idea, based on my recent thread heh.

Video for insurance purposes is a good idea too, my parents run an insurance business and they always recommend that. I know the NRA offers some firearms insurance coverage too, since regular insurance companies sometimes want a list of serial numbers that bothers some people, or in some cases only covers up to 2000 dollars of firearms.

September 19, 2004, 10:35 AM
I think shooting looters is usually considered murder.

If they are trying to loot your residence while you are inside of it, you definitely can defend yourself and property. Florida happens to be one of those states where you do not have to retreat from your residence. So yes..more AR mags do make sense to me. Even though we had a curfew imposed upon us, we don't live very far from from some drug dealers/users. You can bet those idiots would loot if they had the chance.

As for food stuffs, water and clothing we were well prepared. No problems there unless things went long term. Luckily we didn't lose power, but I know of other folks who did. Initial estimates were 3 weeks for restoration of power, however I know of several freinds who have had theirs back within a few days.

Right now they have the National Guard at the fairgrounds giving out ice, water and MREs.

Good Shooting

Billy Sparks
September 19, 2004, 10:54 AM
The last two hurricanes taught a lot of people things. One of the biggest was you don't have to live near the ocean to be affected by a hurricane. Ivan killed several people in the NC mountains.

Lone_Gunman, if people are targeting houses with running generators they are not simply looters they are more than likely up to more neferacis things. Now I am not suggesting shooting looters but in the event of a natural disaster law enforcement will be delayed by hours so you might need AR mags.

September 19, 2004, 11:06 AM
How easy is it to chain a generator to a solid object?


September 19, 2004, 11:53 AM
I have one of those tac vest . It has 4 ammo pouches across the front and two grenade(?) pouches.
I use mine for kiing and camping. The grenade pouches work well as compass and small first aid kit pockets. And the ammo pouches hold power bars or other trail snacks.
I bought mine used for about $20 and was forced to go camo a new black one was around $60 and this was an experiment so cheaper was better. I would have preferred black because in this case it would have looked less tactical and drawn less attention.

For your purposes 1 or 2 of the 2mag pouches could be used for ammo and the grenade pouch could, with some minor modification be used to hold shotgun shells. The rest of the pouches could be used to hold more likely to be needed supplies.And maybe a day's worth of rations

You will have to buy the pistol belt seperately for about $10 add another $10 or so a piece for canteens and covers I think the cups are about $5 purity tabs another $1 or so. (or you could purchase a filtering device for much more)
A used butt pack cost $2 and the hammock in it was $30., Way too expensive but way cool and appropriat for Fla.
I already had my poncho left over from the army and a few pairs of camy pants which are also used for supply transport this would give the basics for up to 3 days

I bought a small alice pack type back pack with removable straps that I attached to the vest with small keychain type carbiners(sp) the straps can also be left on and tied out of the way I think I paid $15 or $20 new for it at the surplus store I also bought a canteen to hang off of it. this pack could add another 3 to 5 days to the pack depending on what I took with me

I attached a $20 machete to the pack that I can draw with my right hand by reaching back . the sheath I think was $10 probably wouldn't be necessary as a hurricane evac pack but it is an impressive littl machette

A .45 double mag GI issue pouch was $2

I spent about $100 over time actually close to a year and built a comfortable Fla 3 season moduler pack system.

When the canes came last month it's the one I pack in the event of a forced evac

The only weaponry I felt that I would need and would be practical was a .45 and a shot gun. But Pensecola is closer to more rural type area than I am and being too visably armed would be a hinderence to my free movement here.

At home is a whole nother story

September 19, 2004, 12:34 PM
One thing to be aware of Guys when you are hooking up a generator is to be SURE to disconnect your main breakers. If not you will send 110 or 220 up to your transformer and it will work in reverse and send 12,500 or 14,400 or even 34,500 volts (depending where you live) out the top and down the line. If the crews are working on it, or if this line is down in your neighbors yard, or in the street a mile away and someone needs to move it ... you get the picture.
If a line is down around your place and someone plugs in a generator a couple blocks away and you happen to be moving it, you will be the casulity.

A friend I went to school with was rebuilding lines in Montana after a blizzard had taken them down when someone plugged in a generator. Sent 12,500 volts back to him. He survived, but lost his arm.


Jim March
September 19, 2004, 12:35 PM
Say you have a safe that isn't rated waterproof, and you know the water is coming in 24 hours. Why not close it up and run a big bead of silicon sealer all around the edge, smearing it in there with your finger?

Wouldn't be too annoying to remove later...

4v50 Gary
September 19, 2004, 01:05 PM
When you videotape, pan very slowly and pause often for still shots. Narrate what you're filming and describe in detail the items. Make a copy of the tape and send it out of state with a relative or friend. Do the same with all important documents.

September 19, 2004, 03:17 PM
Why not close it up and run a big bead of silicon sealer all around the edge, smearing it in there with your finger?

Sounds like a good idea. You would just have to make sure that you plugged any holes in the safe that you have bolts running through that secure it to the wall or floor. Depending on how big your safe is, you might find it moved a bit due to the added bouyancy. :D

Good Shooting

September 19, 2004, 03:56 PM
And two more words: Dial-up Modem.

The only thing I lost through both Charlie and Frances was cable. That means no weather information (or any other info) from television or the internet. It is all well and good to listen to the radio, but nothing beats actually seeing what is going on.

September 19, 2004, 09:16 PM
Forget arming yourself for armageddon.
Natural disasters are not that wide spread where society as a whole is going to collapse.

Looters don't go where people are. If your evacuated there ain't nothing you can do.

During Francis, Gator guns in WPB got hit during the storm for 65 guns.
Land lord wouldn't let JB put someone inside due to liability. They pried open the back door. Alarm company notified the police but they were only going out in emergencies.

The basics;
Food, water, backup power, fuel, radio or tv, tarps, rope and trash bags to put stuff that can't get wet.

Dodge city it ain't.

September 19, 2004, 09:48 PM
a generator is a big help. had one after andrew and have one now. we just got our power back tonight but having a gennie made the last 3 days more bearable. nice to have a cool room and something cold to drink after something like this. plus if you have security lights and they're still standing it helps you see what's going on.

September 19, 2004, 10:51 PM
redlg155- you are wasting your money. I survived Charley last month. i toted my sar-2 with me for 2 solid days. more mags and ammo is going to do you no good. here is a list of stuff you will need:

Generator- lots of people had them but many had a fundamental problem which was :

Gas- you need 5-6 gallons of gas for every 10 hours of operation. you'll need gas for 5-10 days or more. forget siphoning from your car. there is an anti siphon baffle. get atleast 50 gallons of gas in cans stored.

food prep. the generator won't run your stove- have a coleman dual fuel camp stove w/ a propane genertaor from centurl tool and camping. your gas grill sucks for boiling water.

spare propane tanks and a coleman distibution tree is handy as is a hose to run to your stove.

turkey fryer kit. the 30 quart pot and the high out put burner ROCK for bulk water heating, which you will need to wash the dishes.

lanterns- coleman dual fuel and or a propane one.

batteries baterries batteries for your flash lights. get led flash lights they have a 10th the power consumption.

wind up radio and or battery powered tv.

a zippo

gerber multitool

can opener

clothes and medication and pet food.

have a chainsaw even if you don't need it your neighbors will and you can rent it out.

you might want to checkout www.frugalsquirrels.com

Looters are more interested in looting stores and businesses although they may come knocking. then you can bust out the ar-15

September 20, 2004, 04:01 PM
We had the eye of Ivan come over our house. We were ready for it, but I do wish I had purchased a good chain saw earlier. You just wouldn't believe the devastation here. Once I get back on my feet I may post some before and after photos. I also have some good pre-storm prep photos of my home defense preparations.

September 20, 2004, 04:03 PM
My wife's Dad and his wife live in Pensacola, and they couldn't wait to show us their house in October. Well a tornado from Ivan tore the roof off and it's now uninhabitable. They are over 80 years old, still in shock and really don't know what they need. Generators are scarce even here in Vegas as most have already been sent to Florida, but I bought one and am waiting for the word from them to deliver it. I'll try and bring about 30 gals of gas with it, but so far we can't get a good list from them as to what they need or I'd bring it.

Kharn, it's hard to secure a generator in a place where someone will have time to work on it. At work I've had them chained up and they just cut the frame around the engine to get it.

Jay Kominek
September 20, 2004, 04:30 PM
If a line is down around your place and someone plugs in a generator a couple blocks away and you happen to be moving it, you will be the casulity.
Unless you know what you're doing, you shouldn't be moving downed lines in the first place. And part of knowing what you're doing is to assume that they're all live (or could live at any time).

You also probably shouldn't go around plugging generators into your house's wiring willy nilly. If you want to power your whole house off a generator, get it installed properly. Then you'll have all sorts of fun features for syncing your power up with the power company's generators, etc. And your generator will be safe if any other generators in your (electrical) island come on.

September 20, 2004, 04:32 PM
My M-i-L had to evacuate Vero Beach. She headed for the hills up north with 3 of her girlfriends. Four great grandmothers in their 80's. They made out just fine.

Aside from a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a bottle of water, and a loaded S&W Model 10, she had a roll of cash. Seems some places couldn't process credit cards after the storm whipped thru.

September 20, 2004, 04:54 PM
I am reminded of what one of the supposed Alarmist from the Y2K situation did.

This fella told everyone of simple things that could be done to enhance your chances of coming through any possible problems with the least amount of damage to person and lifestyle. Most of his ideas and suggestions were not that expensive.

After Y2K proved to not be the problem that lots of people thought he was asked about what to do with the stuff that people had acquired. His answer, since he resides in FL, was to just wait for the next hurricane, or major icestorm, or any of the many ways that Mother Nature has to smack us around.

Yes, if you take a direct hit from a tornado or similiar activity there is a good chance that your preparations might go for nought. But we normally play for the idea that the direct hit is few and far between, it is the close ones that cause all the problems.

Remember, Being a Survivalist does not only mean running around in camo underwear but rather means the attitude and forethought that you bring to your everyday life which enhances your chances of being the one who says "Damn, that looks bad" as opposed to "Oh, S**t".

September 20, 2004, 04:57 PM
remember to get some "stable" w/ your gas... it CAN go bad if stored "too long"


September 20, 2004, 05:06 PM
remember to get some "stable" w/ your gas... it CAN go bad if stored "too long"

Good point. Unfortunately in South FL I'm not convinced it does much good, as the gasoline will deteriorate due to the humidity. Of course, it couldn't hurt.

Gas- you need 5-6 gallons of gas for every 10 hours of operation. you'll need gas for 5-10 days or more. forget siphoning from your car. there is an anti siphon baffle. get atleast 50 gallons of gas in cans stored.

A couple of questions along this line. How do you store 50 gallons of gas in a way that's accessible & safe? I've got 6 5-gal cans that stink up the garage (and the house), so I would definitely have trouble storing another 20 gals.

Also, I'm thinking about installing an adapter on my generator that will allow it to run on propane. The one I'm looking at is from US Carburetion (http://www.propane-generators.com/) - anyone done this and does it work?

Black Snowman
September 20, 2004, 05:22 PM
Natural gas generators that work off the gas lines to your home are available as well as propane. These are generally larger and more expensive models though.

September 20, 2004, 05:52 PM
Natural gas generators that work off the gas lines to your home are available as well as propane. These are generally larger and more expensive models though.

True, but I don't have access to NG in my area. I'm stuck with 20# cylinders that I can get for my grill.

September 20, 2004, 06:09 PM
One other lesson that I did learn was to make sure you have some money set aside for emergencies.

A week at a hotel sure beats toughing it out at home with no power.

Good Shooting

September 20, 2004, 07:50 PM
The eye of Francis came over our house. We lost power on Friday and did not come back on for another 10 days.

Luckily we have a 30 foot travel trailer which has a fridge, hot water heater, stove, oven and such, everything needed to live comfortably and a 5500 watt generator (locked to tree), which was able to power all of the trailer (including the A/C) :D and I also had it wired to the house so lights and stuff could be used.

Generator burned 7 gal for every 13 hrs of use. I have one 28 gal gas tank which has wheels and a nozzle and 4, 5 gal gas cans, also have 60 gal tank in my boat, although it only had ~ 50 gal in it. I did not need it, the ~ 50 gal of gas lasted over the time I needed before I could drive and get gas.

A couple of nights early in the am (2-3 am) I was awoken by my dog (Good Girl :D ) and saw cars cruising very slowly through the neighborhood. Defiantly looking for an opportunity, I do not know why, but they decided not to stop at my house.

We are on City water while not drinkable because of a drop in pressure, but is Great for showers, we also had enough drinking water stocked up so that was not a problem.

Never thought about not having enough fire power or ammo though. :evil:

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.. that is the answer.:D

My wife why never really giving me crap about the things I do planing and such, actually apologized to me for the little sarcastic things she has said in the past about planning and being prepared. :D

September 20, 2004, 08:39 PM
My planning was not good enough. Fortunately I faired well this time. Compared to many around me. Only need a chainsaw (if they get them back in stock) to take down a very large tree branch laying over my fence. I have learned that I am not properly prepared and am doing the research now to find out the best things to put in place for the next time.

September 20, 2004, 09:30 PM
I have a 50 gal tank usable for 42 gal loads of fuel when prices dip. Usualy around Wed. I would never get this fully installed in another truck as it is installed as a second tank on this one. Could help save a bundle if I had work between the West coast and the Rockies. Not legal in Kali with gasoline.
Instead I would wire the pump with a hose to transfer to other vehicles or power eq. This truck does not slip easy on Thursdays when prices here hit the roof.
1,300 mile range rocks.

September 20, 2004, 10:10 PM
i repair small engines for a living and fuel stabilizer does work for a limited time. if you get some 55 gal. drums, add stabilzer, fill them, and keep them sealed, and away from the sun and big temp changes the gas will stay good for up to a year. in a small generator fuel tank it won't keep as long because the tank is vented. the best thing to do is start them once a month for about 5 min. and change the fuel every 3 months. you can use the fuel in your car or boat. another thing you can do is buy a carb kit or carburetor and keep it for a spare. an extra oil alert is handy too (if equipped) because when they go out it kills the ignition.

If you enjoyed reading about "A Couple Hurricane Lessons Learned." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!