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Need to be sure my disaster preparations are up to date.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by chaim, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. chaim

    chaim Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Hurricane Isabel, currently a Catagory 5 hurricane (the worst, only three have ever hit the US), is on track to hit my area. They expect it to come onshore somewhere between NC and NJ (I'm right in the middle) and one report has it hitting NC, following the coast to the Cheasapeake Bay and then leaving the coast and tracking up the bay:what: .

    I am about 2 hours from the beach so if it hits or tracks up the coast it is bad enough we will see potentially damaging winds but it probably won't be too bad. If it tracks up the bay it can be bad (I am only about 10-15miles from the bay the way the crow flies).

    So I need to check my emergency preparations just in case:
    -I have about 3 gallons of fresh water. I'll be buying more because if the water supply becomes contaminated it could well take a week before it is drinkable again.
    -A fair amount of canned food, but I'll be buying more.
    -A camp stove and gas (to be used outdoors only)
    -3 good flashlights and one extra set of batteries for each
    -A battery powered radio with one extra set of batteries
    -Most of my guns are at home and not in my storage unit- being a concrete and cinder block building with few windows I'll probably take all but one or two to the storage unit since it is less likely to be damaged than my house (though I don't know the quality of their roof, but even so I'm not on the top floor).
    -I'll keep one or two handguns and my SKS at home with plenty of ammo. I live about a mile from a fair amount of section 8 housing so this is a must if there may be a chance of more than a few hours without power- those who thought it a good idea to tear down the projects and move the residents to the burbs (including some fairly affluent areas) should be forced to live in the neighborhoods they ruined:fire: .
    -A tent ready in case the house becomes too damaged to stay in it
    -A couple days clothing and a sheet in a waterproof bag in case of damage to the house

    So am I overlooking anything or am I ok?

    Good luck to all of us who may be in the path of this storm.
  2. DorGunR

    DorGunR Active Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    chaim....I believe you have just about everything covered except a night time light source such as candles, coleman lantern, kerosene lamp, etc.
    I'm just about 20 minutes from you in Severn, MD and I'm doing exactly as you.
    I once lived on the Texas Gulf coast and I've been thru a hurricane before and I don't look forward to another one.:(
  3. MagKnightX

    MagKnightX Active Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    I live right next to DC, so yeah, I'm a leetle concerned. Don't live near Section 8, and in a very low-crime area, so we haven't been stockpiling ammo. Making a run to Costco today. Maybe I'll get to miss school:p.

    BTW, Isabel has weakened and slowed a little. THIS is the projected path as of 11am today.

    Better hunker down, East-coasters.
  4. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

    Feb 20, 2003
    Dry food items that are well sealed, like granola or cookie bars in foil/mylar packaging to break the monotony if you have to live off the canned food.

    A camping stove (propane, not whitegas) is as "safe" indoors as a regular gas stove. Although ventilation is never a bad idea.

    First aid kit?

    Plywood and double headed "puller" temporary type nails for boarding broken windows.


    Cell phone, extra battery if you can't charge it.

    Any extra perscription meds. or diabetic supplies, extra asthma inhaler?

    1-2 gallons of Chlorox or generic bleach (unscented) to treat water in case of extended emergency, or to supply unprepared neighbors with potable water.

    A safe and waterproof packet of important documents like your insurance policy, marriage and birth certificates.

    Water should be a minimum of one gallon per person per day, drinking and cooking alone, in a moderate to no exertion environment with shade. Double it for hot weather or exertion (like clearing debris, trees etc.) Perhaps you'd want to fill a bathtub for flushing water assuming the sewers aren't backed up.

    Two liter soda bottles rinsed with a drop of bleach works well for water storage, do not use gallon milk or store water bottles, they are for short term use only.

    Chainsaw, saw, axe, prybar, and rope, for clearing downed trees, helping neighbors out of collapsed houses.

    Pet food? Kennel carrier to restrain, or "rescue" a frightened pet?

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head.
  5. fish2xs

    fish2xs Member

    Feb 27, 2003
    Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
    more water

    get more water. general rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day. do your math appropriately. stock up on non-drinking water for flushing toilets, bathing, etc too. get as much of that as you can store in garbage cans, etc. you can always dump it... more ammo probably wouldn't hurt either :) will you evac?

    good luck!
  6. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Dec 20, 2002
    Somewhere in the woods of Northern VA
    I'm as worried as the rest of you "neighbors". I've already got a stash of emergency supplies and equipment. Time will tell if it's the right stuff.

    That's a well thought out list Andrew of 'other' things to think about. I would add to the list some large tarps in case a tree or two takes a liking to your roof. You won't keep all the rain out, but it couldn't hurt. But, everyone needs to be careful if you do have to go up on the roof. Getting everything rain soaked is a much better alternative than losing your life.

    My water situation is pretty good since we have well water and a generator. Deep well water shouldn't become contaminated by any surface problems. I had to test the generator/pump system during the past winter when the electricity was off for about 36 hours. Everything worked as planned. I have lots of gasoline in safe storage on a just-in-case basis.

    I don't know what it is about those firey female Latin named hurricanes. The last one that hit here was Camille in '69. After it was all over, a beautiful cabin we had on a calm little creek in Rockbridge County was found about 200 yards down the 'river'.
  7. Ukraine Train

    Ukraine Train Participating Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    This bites, I'm going to NYC this weekend to go sight seeing and see some friends from home. I'm staying at my friend's house on Long Island right by the coast. :cuss:
  8. DAT

    DAT New Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    copy of insurance policy with contact information
    list of valuables for insurance claims
    recent bank and credit card statements listing account numbers
    full tank of gas in car/truck
    get lots and lots of water
    coffee, tobacco, smokes - after a disaster is a bad time to quit cold turkey

    good luck
  9. ARGarrison

    ARGarrison Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Indiana, USA
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Put your stuff in the storage shed and get out of Dodge. The best place to be when a hurricane hits is anywhere else.

    If you can't for some reason (can't imagine what that might be) try the following -

    Scrub your tub and bleach it then fill it with water and add 1 tbs household bleach per gallon. If the house is inhabitable, but you end up with contaminated water then you drink the tub water until it's back on. If you're not comfortable doing that then go to the hardware/housewares store and buy seveal cheap garbage cans. If plastic, wash them out, bleach and fill with tap water treated as above. If metal then use plastic liners and fill and treat. 1 gal per person is minimum.

    You may want to protect the windows now by boarding or duct taping as a minimum. Use a double X pattern and border for taping.

    Add more batteries. You'll be shocked how fast they get eaten up when that's the light you're depending on.

    Get a lantern. A good 20 lb propane bottle with propane lantern combo is a great comfort.

    Good luck.
  11. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    One other thing to think about: Bring in anything you have outside. Any deck chairs, planters, grills, etc... so they don't become projectiles in the wind.
    Emergency numbers are nice to have around for contacts in case you are incapacitated and they need to get in touch with your family.

    Storm's eye is forecast to pass a few miles west of my place. The wife and I are already discussing heading down to Atlanta. My wife and daughter are definitely going. I am undecided about going myself, yet. Some of that will depend on work.
    Good luck, everybody. Keep your powder (and everything else) dry.
  12. Hutch

    Hutch Participating Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Opelika, AL
    I think you're a little short on the batteries. In continuous operation, std incandescent bulbs, as opposed to LED's, chew thru batteries very quickly.

    For the short-term, the chlorine bleach tip is a good idea. If you'd like to make a preparation that'll last decades if need be, the dry-granulated pool chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) has a limitless shelf/potency life, unlike plastic bottles of bleach. If you can still find a water filter to remove the chlorine prior to drinking, that's a great idea as well. A tip from my y2k hysteria days... See if you can find a soft-drink bottling plant in the area. They are not uncommon, and will prob'ly have a listing in the Yeller Pages. They receive soft-drink syrup in 55gal food-grade plastic containers. They are usually available free or at low cost, like 5 bux. After they've been washed out w/ soap and water, they can be filled w/ potable water with a shot of the chlorine bleach, and provide good cheap storage.

    Well, you did ask....
  13. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    centre of the PA
  14. Ed N.

    Ed N. Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Haines City, Florida
    Scanner radio (make sure it has trunk tracking if your local PD/FD is on a trunked system); most have NOAA weather built in

    CB and/or an FRS/GMRS radio might be handy


    Heavyduty trash bags (handy for all sorts of things - clean-up, leak repair,
    carrying water, taking a poop in if the toilets are unusable, etc.)

    Disposable camera (photos for insurance claims)


    Cuddly member of opposite sex
  15. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    I think that if you store water in dubious non food grade containers (and treat it) that it should still be boiled before drinking. A gallon a day per person...including pets.
  16. chaim

    chaim Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    That is what the flashlights are for (some are more appropriately called battery powered lanterns). I'm not really comfortable with the idea of using a fuel burning lantern indoors (fire and carbon monoxide hazard) and candles can be a fire hazard as well.

    Have a couple actually.

    Good idea, I hadn't thought about that. If the power is out the local stop and rob or supermarkets may open before the power comes back on in which case cards would be useless.

    Another good idea. We have plenty of cat food, but the cat is as nevous and neurotic as you'll find- we should have the carrier ready for her.

    Personally, no. I don't live near the beach, nor am I too close to a river or other major body of water so I'm not too worried about flooding (and the elevation on which the house sits is just high enough that flash flooding and basement flooding usually isn't too big a problem).

    I don't drink coffee except on rare occasions, beer might not be a bad idea though. I have plenty of pipe tobacco, maybe I'll pick up a cigar or two as well.

    I don't know, I'm inland enough that it will be somewhat weakened before it gets here and flooding isn't too major an issue. The biggest worries are a tree through the roof or a major power outage. In both cases, especially with what moved near my neighborhood in the past few years (section 8) I don't want to leave anything unattended.

    Yup, forgot to mention that but this is certainly part of the plan. Though I was originally thinking of using masking tape (so as not to have to go to the hardware store) but that probably isn't strong enough.

    More batteries might not hurt. If things go on for longer than expected I do have some camping lanterns that I could use (outdoors). I also neglected to mention: waterproof matches, one of those magneseum firestarters, "firestarters" kindling that work wet, tons of pressurized campstove/lantern gas and tons of books (I'll put some into waterproof storage just in case).
  17. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Mine Are! In Case Of A National Diaster-

    Step #1- Proceed to the safest room of the house or building.

    Step #2- Drop pant's, and stick head between leg's.

    Step #3- Thrust head upward and KISS rear end good-bye!

    Step #4- If the threat ceases to exist; remove head* and
    contiune on your way.

    *If head is stuck, call 1-800 BIG DOG to remove it! (LOL)


    I could not resist once I saw the thread topic; but on a more
    serious note, everbody needs a top notch diaster plan. In
    case of fire, tornados, hurricanes, straight line winds, or
    other diasters people might only have seconds to evacuate?
    Time might be of the essence; and the life you save, might
    be YOUR"S.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  18. Quantrill

    Quantrill Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Flagstaff, Az., USA
    I was thinking of flying the plane west to WV such as the AF does rather than let it get stuck on the ground.
  19. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    on the farm

    Hi - I'm just down the road from you, 20 minutes SW of Raleigh, NC. I'm well inland, too, but Fran in 1995 and Floyd in 199-what-9? gave us some practice around here. I'm not telling anyone the ONLY way to do things, or even claiming that these are the RIGHT ways. They seem to have increased my comfort in previous storms.

    {Edited to add: and I'm sorry for any redundancies. I started typing when there were three posts up. Sorry Andrew & following; I didn't see yours}

    More batteries and more water are the first things that come to mind. Lots of spare batteries for all of your flashlights and other gear. If you have a portable TV - they devour batteries. Get a cheap five-pack of plastic lighters that you will ~ never ~ use to light any flammable liquids or gases. Light a stick, light a piece of rolled-up paper; you're shooters: you know how to handle fire.

    For water, big plastic storage bins are nice. I use the covered ones the size of laundry baskets, but w/o holes, of course. They cost a few bucks (as in three, maybe four). You want good, clean drinking water AND you'll want more saved water than you expect to need for washing. Keep drinking water separate from washing water. I don't remember how long my (city) water was off after Fran. It might have been four days at my house. The power was out for five days. I showered and made Coffee, Real, Blessed Coffee, at the lab where I worked. Power was back up after 18 hours there. Thermoses are wonderful. Instant coffee for home if you or your neighbors drink it. Coffee's a great thing to be able to offer people. You could even trade it for help with stuff.

    I'd get (I already have) a couple of jugs of bleach. I'm not afraid to tell people what they already know (I'm a safety weenie), so please don't be insulted when I point out that you want the Regular flavor bleach, not the Mountain Fresh, or Lemon Yippee, or SpringTimeFloral, or whatever other scented bleach they have. I fill the tubs with water, add a bit of bleach to stabilize it. DO NOT NOT NOT use it in sanitizing strength; use Boy Scout proportions - I don't have it in front of me but it MIGHT - and please look it up - be 1 or 2 drops per gallon. {edited to remove stupid comment here} In eastern North Carolina, though, water supply was a problem for quite a while after Floyd. Have a supply of straight bleach available for after the storm: it's handy (edit: after dilution) for cleaning and sanitizing things. If you get hit by the brunt of the storm, you will get dirty over the following few days. You will feel dirty. Your kids will be dirty. It'll make those first showers when everything comes back on Very nice.

    EXTRA can openers. At least one, or even lots of spare 99 cent can openers, in different places, so there's always one around.

    NOW, before the storm, is the time to eat the food in your fridge that it would be a shame to lose if the power were out for, say, five days (my house, then in Durham, Fran). Venison, that salmon filet, the truffles. Don't plan to have ready access to ice or dry ice; companies and donors ship a lot of it into the area, but there are a lot of people without working refrigerators, all at the same time. It is morally wrong to let things like ice cream melt and be ruined, so dish up!

    A full freezer (deep freeze) will stay cold w/o power for longer than a partly-full one, so that's one Wild-Engineer's Guess that you'll want to make when the time comes: how long do I expect to be w/o power? Look at the storm track, duration of past power outages from ice storms, phase of the moon, tea leaves. Flip a coin. If you lose power, leave the freezer closed as long as you can. Have a supply of whatever you'd enjoy eating if you were going camping for several days w/o refrigeration.

    Lots of wind, even if it's not horrendous all by itself, topples trees because the forces they're exposed to exceed the normal stresses that they've grown with. Storms "prune" a lot of dead branches every year. The differences we saw around here were due to a lot of bigger branches, and entire trees, having grown large while being sturdy enough to survive our normal regimen of storms, but not being strong enough to handle slightly stronger winds. The problem is that these things are all falling at once. On power lines. On roads. On houses.

    Floyd just sat on top of us for a long time; the big problem for us was all of the rain. Worse, it had been preceded by Dennis, which hung out on the coast for a couple of days, with rain stretching well inland. The ground was saturated before Floyd got here, so more big trees toppled over.

    Then tree-clearing crews have to clear the roads, mile after mile, so that the power crews can begin to restore power. Do not try to learn to use a chainsaw now. Any injury (and there were lots from chainsaws in homeowners' hands here after those storms) is much more serious if the phones are out and the paramedics can't get to you anyway because the roads are impassable. Relax, play games with the kids, check on LittleOldLadies, yak with the neighbors.

    My severely limited, narrow, NONprofessional, amateur, bug's-eye view of the Tactical situation through only my own two eyes as I saw my little corner of it was this:

    Fran: Durham turned into a quiet, friendly little place with everyone getting along. The night of the storm, I worked with a senior technical guy in the company - we did emergency shutdowns on a lot of expensive equipment and covered it all with tarps. Oh yeah - get TARPS to cover your computer and similar stuff. Back to the topic: it's nice to work with other shooters. They have compatible views on the wisdom of being able to stay safe from harm when things are unpredictable. Nobody tried to break into the lab - they were too busy cleaning out all of the jewelry stores at the mall, and our building was pretty nondescript. The city was quiet, in general. YMMV!

    No problems with Floyd: I'm surrounded by rednecks now, and they're all armed and friendly. Everybody knows everybody else. Black, white - nobody cares. It's a small town. Lost power here for a couple of days; didn't lose county water.

    Great lands, this is long! Sorry to those who aren't interested. To sum up, you could add some more of these:
    Water. Batteries. Garbage bags, and Tarps if you want. Can Openers and Coffee. Various containers. First Aid Kits. And I can't evaluate anybody else's self-defense choices; I don't have the experience or skill for that.

    Downed Power Lines - there's NO safe way to handle them. Downed telephone lines can have downed power lines lying across them, just out of sight in the trees. All you can do is to stay away.

    And never drive through water flowing across the roadway.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2003
  20. CMcDermott

    CMcDermott Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    Broomfield CO, USA
    It hasn't been mentioned yet, so I will - your Hot Water heater is a good source of drinking water, better than a bathtub full of water. Just turn off the inlet valve (and outlet valve if you have one) as the storm hits to keep it from getting containimated. There is typically a hose tap at the bottom of the tank, and 30-50 gallons of clean fresh water inside.

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