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Essential Hurricane Readiness Supplies?

 
HipCrip
(@HipCrip)
Trusted Member

Good evening, everyone...

As a near tropical weather virgin (TS Jeanne of 2004 was my first experience with a real tropical storm), I'd like to ask all of the hurricane veterans what item (or items) you have in your readiness kit that newbies like me might not think to keep on hand.

Flashlights, batteries, water, ready-to-eat foods and such are all pretty obvious, but is there anything that's not so obvious which experience taught that you shouldn't be without?

Thanks in advance for sharing your hard-earned insights!

--HC

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Topic starter Posted : March 5, 2006 5:02 am
beaches
 beaches
(@beaches)
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tetanus shot. They are available at the immunization clinic for cheap, call first. Good for up to 10 years. I got my last one the day before H. Lenny, just in case.

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Posted : March 5, 2006 1:45 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Hi HC.

Tarps. It's easier for me to remember the personal stuff, like keeping medicine, cash and id papers in ziplock bags, but I have on ocasion wished I'd had more tarps to keep things dry until I could make house repairs.

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Posted : March 5, 2006 4:34 pm
HipCrip
(@HipCrip)
Trusted Member

beaches..

Good answer! I'm obsessive about keeping a good first aid kit on hand, but didn't really think about immunizations and vaccinations that should be kept up to date. Thanks for poppin in with the excellent suggestion.

dntw8up...

Another good answer, and one that tips me toward settling a debate that we've had about plastic sheeting (the blue kind they're using on roofs in the post-Katrina zones) vs. a good old canvas tarp.

Tarps made me think of tent, which brought me back to a recurring theme in my post-storm thoughts: protection from insects. I've always considered the mosquito netting doodads you can buy for $20-$30 purely an ornamental item rather than functional, but it seems it might be a welcome sight when your screens, windows and/or pieces of your roof are damaged. Has anyone wished they'd had some mosquito netting on hand?

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Topic starter Posted : March 5, 2006 7:39 pm
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

HC -

I'm surprised that this post didn't make more of a splash - I was hoping not to have to reveal my total ignorance of the subject matter! I went through Camille at age 12, but of course I don't remember much.

C'mon, islanders....you who have gone before us can make it a wee bit easier! It won't be but a blink before hurricane season is on us again.

HC, one thing I read that someone used that really makes total sense is gobs of disposable diapers - they hold many times their weight in water and can be wrung out for a little while and re-used. Wish I knew where I heard that from - but when water is coming in the windows and under the doors, whoever told me said that was their lifesaver.

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Posted : March 7, 2006 8:50 am
STT Resident
(@STT_Resident)
Trusted Member

Battery-operated radio, plenty of battery backups for flashlights, etc. Candles, hurricane lamps, matches, ziplock bags in all different sizes, large sturdy trash bags, back-up pet food, kitty litter, etc. Concentrated Malathion and large sprayer (spraying around the perimeter of a damaged house can reduce mosquito infestation.) Bucket and rope to haul water out of your cistern for flushing toilets, etc. With a garden hose and sprayer attachment, and provided your cistern overflow is high enough off the ground, you can take a gravity-fed cold shower outside.

The diapers (the bigger the better) are a must. Large bottle of Cruzan rum and/or Valium.

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Posted : March 7, 2006 10:05 am
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

There's the info I was looking for! Hopefully my box and my list will be totally useless for a LONG time to come. Funny thing - when we were stateside, I MADE my husband buy a generator after a couple of days without power due to an ice storm. Never used it. Not once. Brought it with us, though...and we got here, WAPA was doing the "now you see us, now you don't" dance, and we broke that thing out a dozen times last summer and fall.

Another thing I thought of is those freezer packs that will stay cold for a very long time - at least if there is only a brief outage from a relatively minor storm you won't lose everything quite as quickly. Obviously, in a major storm you just tie a knot and hang on - but those saved our freezer contents more than once during a short outage.

Knock wood on WAPA - we haven't had an outage in a very long while on STX. I hope I haven't broken the veil of secrecy and put the hoodoo on us all.....be merciful, oh gods of light....

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Posted : March 7, 2006 10:25 am
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

Consider purchasing an inverter. An inverter allows you to run 120V lights and appliances using a 12V battery.

You have several options. First you can connect the inverter to a running automobile and get any where from 750W - 4000W of power depending on what size inverter you have. This is enough power to run most home's lights and a few 120V appliances. The advantage is you don't have a seprate stand by generator to maintain.

Or you can connect the inverter to a marine battery and run a feew lights and your fans at night so you can shut down your generator. You can power your refrigerator using 12V batteries, but it will take more than one battery connected in parallel.

Inverters can be purchased from $200 - $500 depending on size and features. They are small enough that they can be mailed to the USVI if you can't find what you want locally. The 1,800W unit I have weighs 7.25 lbs and is about the size of a shoe box.

Jim

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Posted : March 7, 2006 2:24 pm
jane
 jane
(@jane)
Trusted Member

One tip that I think is good is to store all your hurricane and post-hurricane supplies in one 'protected' area. A great waterproof storage idea for all the smaller stuff - radio etc are big black trash bins with lids.
I have used these and they are excellent. The other tip is to keep your pet food absolutely dry or the dreaded mold can spoil an entire bag. We use marine 'bail-out' buckets - the type with a screw on lid and rubber seal. Thinking outside the box, marine stuff is designed to keep water out...so have a look thru a Western Marine catalog or go down to St Croix Marine.
Soggy supplies are of no use to anyone.
On the mosquito netting - great idea. Go to the fabric shop on Company Street if you want yardage. I bought a full square canopy set for our king size bed from a firm in Florida if you want s'thing more than just the circular ones.
Perhaps the most important hurricane supply is at least one laugh a day.

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Posted : March 8, 2006 7:13 am
lip
 lip
(@lip)
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Having rode out Hugo in "89" i can tell you the best thing to have would be an airline ticket and use it!

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Posted : March 8, 2006 2:01 pm
HipCrip
(@HipCrip)
Trusted Member

Wow, thanks, Becky R, for the help in soliciting this great advice. You rock, girlfriend!

You know, now that the discussion of diapers has come up, I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere a long time ago. It makes perfect sense. Island folk certainly are in the running for an award for the best repurposing of everyday items.

Jim Dandy, I had neverheaqrd ofan inverter before, but it sounds like the necessity I was looking for. In a book by a Hugo survivor, it said something to the effect of being able to connect your 120 appliances to the 12 volt power lines at a point before they go through your home converters, and also suggested buying the little reading lamps that use 12 volt bulbs because they could be rigged to work, too. However, knowing almost zero about electricity I had no idea of how to make this happen (please forgive me if the words I used to describe this whole 12v to 120 v process are totally incorrect).

Jane, using marine/boating storage containers is a wonderful idea for keeping things from molding. We've been keeping our kitty kibble in a similar container after learning how little time it takes the food to spoil. And I'm glad to know that you think mosquito netting would be a plus, too, and that there are better options than the decorative round Pier 1 kind of nets.

lip, you've nailed the number one item on my list. The debate on whether to stay or go should (heaven please forbid) a major storm endanger the USVI has been a hard one for me. Having been a rustic camper for most of my adult life, I was experienced with roughing it -- before I found my backside sitting in a wheelchair. Now, the sad fact of the matter is that I would be nothing but a liability (a huge one at that) in a post-Hugo world, and I feel it's almost my obligation to leave beforehand if I couldn't contribute to (or may even detract from) post-'cane recovery. That's been a really tough thing for me to come to grips with, as my entire life has been dedicated building communities and helping those in need.

Thank you all for a very enlightening and thought-provoking discussion.

--HC

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Topic starter Posted : March 8, 2006 3:57 pm
PJ
 PJ
(@PJ)
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My sincere thanks to everyone for all contributions!
I am another newby preparing for the big move. Anyone read Charlie Wing's book "Live Aboard Report"? Although a bit dated, I am finding it VERY interesting.

Comments?

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Posted : March 8, 2006 6:00 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

One of several inverter manufacturers is Tripp Lite. Being from Chicago I am familiar with them because TrippLites world headquarters is there.

Their web site www.tripplite.com.

Talk to the people you know that are into boating. Using inverters on boats is very common to power electrical appliances.

Jim

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Posted : March 8, 2006 7:02 pm
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