Tryin to reason wit...
 
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Tryin to reason with hurricane season  

 

jostvandog
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April 15, 2012 10:34 am  

OK I know its early but todays wind got me thinking. As a newbe to the island what do I need to prepare for this? The obvious like stock up on water,rum, cannded goods, batteries. How early should these be bought just to have on hand? anything else?
Next what to do in the days before on is on its way. I basically have an outdoor living room. Dont have to worry about storm surge I'm far enough away from the ocean. Now for a crazy question but it's on my mind. If I have no power for days what about toilet usage? Crazy quesiton????? Advise from the experts needed.


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divinggirl
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April 15, 2012 12:41 pm  

A bucket & rope to pull water from the cistern to use for flushing. FEMA has, in the past, handed out a Family Disaster Resource Manual that is full of great information and some lists of items to keep on hand.
One thing people forget that's important is to have plenty of bug spray. Also, do a search on this forum as a year or two ago there were some great lists put out.


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maryb
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April 15, 2012 1:08 pm  

The main thing I learned last season (and it was a mild season!) is to keep the pantry well stocked and the fridge/freezer to a minimum. We had done some major grocery shopping a few days before Irene hit and lost $$$$ worth of food.

At the time I was living on mahogany rd. and the power was out for several days. I also learned the joys of showering in the rain. 😉


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billd
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April 15, 2012 1:55 pm  

The first tring you need to know is that NOWHERE is safe. The storms do not hit the coast but go all over.

The idea is to stock up on stuff that can be heated bu a gas stove. Put several cases of water.

Get a kit together. The daily news will run the things you need to have. batteries, lights, bug spray etc.

If a storm get closem park your car somewhere were trees will not fal on it.

Put everything away. This that blow are the major damage causers. Ifyou have a pool put your chairs in the pool.

Watch the reports. Better safe then caughr off guard.

Rain is a big thing even in tropical storms. Watch the rain levels.

Anf hope that we do not get a big one!

hope this helps

billd


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pamela
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April 15, 2012 1:55 pm  

Divinggirl is correct - if you do a search on the board you will find many of us "old timers" made some great lists last year or the year before. Do what you can now and keep adding to the staples. Then relax. You can't stop a hurricane from coming but you can be prepared.


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cheryl96s
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April 15, 2012 2:12 pm  

For the toilet, you learn to flush when needed. Get rope and a large Home Depot bucket so you can lower into cistern and haul up water to put into toilet tanks. We bought, and have used multiple times, Sun Showers. Kind of like a Mylar "bladder" bag, fill it with water and put out in the sun to heat. We hang ours from a nail in the shower so we can have a warm shower, which feels sooo good after so many days with out water and electric. You can get them at Bass Pro or other such camping stores. Great investment! We actually got a couple more so we can do dishes. Camping lanterns are a must, battery operated fans, games, books, gas grill with extra tank filled and ready to go. Day or so before the storm comes pull in, or secure down, all outside furniture, flowers...virtually anything that can move will move. You don't want a potted plant coming thru your window. Save up some large ziploc storage bags ( the really large ones) for your papers, money, special pictures, medicines, passports...anything that you need and can grab quickly if you need to go quick. Fill up your car with gas, get an extra one or two gas cans and have those available in case gas is unavailable for a while. Don't leave those outside in the driveway, they will be projectiles. Emergency candles, they burn slow and long. Think we found a box last year at Cost U Less and have used them many times when WAPA goes out for whatever the reason of the day is :X A cooler filled with ice is a good idea, you don't want to be opening your refrigerator too often or it wont stay cool as long as it should. Don't stock up too much beginning now or in the next coming months on frozen things. A freezer that it is not opened when power is out will definitely hold the food frozen for several days, if not more.
One thing that has helped us a lot is to get your house clean, laundry all done, everything just clean. Reason being, your house is going to be chaos right before the storm, during and after with all of your balcony stuff in there. It just helps with your sanity if your house is clean and organized.
Bleach is good to have on hand so you can chlorinate the cistern. There is going to be a shit ton of rain coming down. Oh, and a small first aid kit with band aids, ointments and stuff. Car chargers for phones and stuff. It helps too if you take photos of everything in your house, hopefully you have insurance, whether it is homeowners or renters insurance. Photo your furniture, valuables, basically everything.
You need to have a sense of humor, good friends, know your neighbors. Drink your rum AFTER the storm has passed, not before, and certainly not during. You need to keep your head in the game in case a window blows out, or a tree comes down on your roof. Oh, a machete is absolutely a great idea. Chain saw is better, but a machete is good for clearing vines and small limbs.
Don't forget about your pets! stock up on their food too. NEVER put a pet in a carrier or crate and lock it thinking you are keeping them safe in the house. What if something happens to you and you can't get to them, or the house floods. They are best kept with you in whatever room you are in. Never put them out in the storm. If you have an outside cat, bring them in and keep them in the day or 2 before the storm comes. Stock up on litter too(tu)
Geez, now I have to get up in the attic and check my hurricane box! Hope this helps!!


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jostvandog
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April 15, 2012 3:10 pm  

Cheryl Thanks (everyone else too)

Sounds like the earthquake kits I used to put together in California. Didn't even thingk aobut car and gas. Bad thing is I dont have a cistern just a well. I guess gallon jugs will be the way to go. I've lived on raviloi and spagetti-os after earthequakes. Things blow, things shake, thats nature. I have a good bunker in my bedroom. Hopefully my pool wont overflow. If it does my living room and kitscen is going to be a bit wet.


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Exit Zero
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April 15, 2012 3:28 pm  

Since you have a pool you won't have to worry about the toilet - just pour the bucket of water right in the toilet bowl and it will flush down.


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STXBob
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April 15, 2012 3:49 pm  

Here are some links for Hurricane Preparedness:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

I suggest being prepared for no WAPA, no supermarkets, no gas stations, etc. for at least 1 week. In a really bad storm, that's about how long it will take for relief to arrive from off-island, or for you to leave island if you decide that camping is not for you. WAPA can be out for weeks or months after a bad storm.

Disasters don't always come in the form of hurricanes, so you might want to plan to be self-sufficient for at least 1 week at any time of year.


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STXBob
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April 15, 2012 4:03 pm  

If you have a pool put your chairs in the pool.

I wouldn't put furniture in the pool. It can be bad for the furniture, bad for the pool, and it can be hard to get the furniture out of the pool. Put the furniture indoors.


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Exit Zero
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April 15, 2012 5:39 pm  

A small generator 2-5 KW can run the basics a few hours a day and make months of no WAPA much more bearable - look for one before a storm - they will be in very short supply afterwards.


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blu4u
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April 15, 2012 10:10 pm  

In your safe room...

go bag: passport, change of clothing, flashlight, $500 in small bills, cell phone and car charger, emergency phone numbers, meds, noterized letter for kids to travel without you, sun screen, bug spray. Just in case things get really bad and you/your kids need to leave the island or find an emergency housing

tool bag: charged saws-all. hammer, gloves, clippers, zip ties, duct tape, hefty bags.


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Exit Zero
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April 16, 2012 6:00 am  

if you have a well I would suggest you order a tradional hand pump online and have a plumber install it at the appropiate point and just hand pump the water when Wapa fails you - a huge bonus really.


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Matt T
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April 16, 2012 10:45 am  

My mom taught me this one:

When it seems that a storm is immenint, get a turkey, throw it in the freezer. When the current mash up, throw da turkey in de cooler. Now you have a big block of frozen meat to keep everything else cold. When it's thawed after a few days, throw de ting in your gas powered oven or smoker.

Alternatively or additionlly you can freeze gallons of water, transfer to cooler and when the thaw you have cool water to drink.


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Alana33
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April 16, 2012 2:29 pm  

I start prepping for Hurricane Season in May. Generator gets serviced to make sure all is in working order in the event of a long haul w/o electricity which we all know is all too common even with a small storm (or even lately with WAPA's numerous outages in STT). I start stocking up on canned foods, rice, pasta, etc. that shall not require refrigeration, batteries for lamps, flashlights and portable radio, matches, candles, keep gas for vehicle topped off and have a couple extra containers of fuel on hand. Cash is good to have on hand as well as after Marilyn there were no functioning ATMs (no power) and banks would not cash any checks in excess of $250 when they did get up and running. Sorry, no power, no credit card use!

Try to reduce the amount of frozen and perishable food you normally keep in your freezer. Good to have ice/ice chest and I also freeze water in gallon sized zip locks for use to keep foods chilled in freezer and use for drinking water when melted. Lay flat in freezer on top on one another - don't overfill. Cleaning supplies, a good bucket with rope to get cistern water, Clorox and lots of bug spray are a must.
Take pics of home prior to storm and boarded up for insurance purposes, put a grab bag together with your meds, cell phone, camera, a couple of changes of clothing, insurance and other important papers, just in case. First aid kit, pet meds, extra dog food in water tight containers come in handy. Try to park your car where a tree won't fall on it! Don't leave your pets chained up or outdoors to fend for themselves. Make sure you have enough medications for your elderly family members or yourself to see you through.

If you have allot of stuff that you have been meaning to get rid of that is laying around house, yard and decks, now is the time. Waiting until the last minute to do all this, is way too stressful as is waiting in long lines to buy gas, groceries and go to bank, just prior to a Storm.
Fill water containers for use in drinking, for cooking and flushing prior to a storm if you have no access to cistern. More is better. I collect gallon containers for emergency water storage and keep a couple 5 gallon containers at the ready. At the cost of diesel these days, one cannot afford to run a generator for more than is necessary. Stock up on reading material.

Incoming storms create so much anxiety and hard work even if you are well prepared. All one can really do is Prepare for the worst and Pray like the dickens for the best. May we all fare well during this stressful time.


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stxem
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April 16, 2012 2:39 pm  

I have a cistern and decided to try to open the cover yesterday. However, it won't budge. There is some sort of circular "plug" in the middle of the cover and I can unscrew that, but I can't actually take the entire cover off (about a 18"x18" size). It seems to be firmly attached to the edges of the opening (perhaps even cemented in place). Does anyone else have this kind of an issue? The house was built in 2008 but do people normally cement the cistern hole covers in place?


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Alana33
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April 16, 2012 3:05 pm  

Can you lift one end up and out to get other end out without dropping the entire cover in cistern? May require 2 persons?
May need to ask owner or builder what's up with that. Any contractor friends may be able to help but sure is nice to be able to access a cistern when power goes out for days or weeks. Good Luck.


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Alana33
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April 16, 2012 3:13 pm  

Yes, having a clean house before the storm and all the tools/chainsaw/machette,etc. to cut up fallen trees blocking your road is essential to sanity! Charge up what needs charging prior to electricity going off.


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OldTart
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April 16, 2012 3:26 pm  

Can you lift one end up and out to get other end out without dropping the entire cover in cistern? May require 2 persons?
May need to ask owner or builder what's up with that. Any contractor friends may be able to help but sure is nice to be able to access a cistern when power goes out for days or weeks. Good Luck.

The cover shouldn't fall into the cistern once you can get it moving as it sits on a lip to prevent that happening. The "plug" should pop up but not become detached and you use this to yank upwards to move the cistern cover. No way should the cover be cemented in but it may have some grime which has settled in there from disuse (guess nobody's treated the cistern water with a monthly cup of bleach!). Try inserting a heavy chisel under one side of the lid and pry it up.


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STXBob
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April 16, 2012 5:05 pm  

There is some sort of circular "plug" in the middle of the cover and I can unscrew that, but I can't actually take the entire cover off (about a 18"x18" size)

It sounds like you need to find the tool for lifting the hatch. The tool screws into the threads where the plug was. Watch your back! Those hatches can be very heavy. Use two people if you can.


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stxem
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April 16, 2012 5:41 pm  

Ahhh...that makes sense. I'll get one of those tools. As for the bleach, there is a pretty impressive filtering system so I'm not that worried. I haven't had any problems so far!


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Stxer1
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April 16, 2012 8:55 pm  

In fact, during one recent hurricane I put the pool furniture in the pool. The next day I discovered that the wind was so strong that it blew all the furniture out of the pool into the next lot! Not a good idea.


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East End Doug
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April 16, 2012 11:30 pm  

Do not drink booze at some sort of hurricane party.If it gets bad you need to be able to function. You may be nervous, but don't fall victim to the false bravado rum can cause.Stay indoors even a small piece of metal roofing can cut deep in modest winds. More damage is done by storm related surge than wind damage stay away from the ocean. Plug the roof gutter inlets to your cistern. This will help keep debris and airborne salt out of your drinking water.


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Iris Tramm
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April 17, 2012 11:30 am  

For the minimalist:

1. Case of rum.
2. Case of water.
3. Case of tuna.
4. Case of ammo.


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jostvandog
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April 17, 2012 1:22 pm  

Wow thanks all. More info than I thought of.


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