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Thread: Preparing for Disasters; How To

  1. #16
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Medical stuff is important.

    Ski's pill bag, glucose meter,a thermometer, and blood pressure cuff are part of our next to the door Scram Kit (it includes Advils & pain pills & Cipro, as well as his scrips). I keep a little box with Neosporin & bandaids in it in my purse, hooked to the key chain. If I were going to add anything to our array of med stuff, I would add an ace bandage, scissors, & hydrogen peroxide. In a pinch, you can cut up clean tee shirts for big bandages. There's only so much stuff you can carry.

  2. #17
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Medical stuff is important.

    Ski's pill bag, glucose meter,a thermometer, and blood pressure cuff are part of our next to the door Scram Kit (it includes Advils & pain pills & Cipro, as well as his scrips). I keep a little box with Neosporin & bandaids in it in my purse, hooked to the key chain. If I were going to add anything to our array of med stuff, I would add an ace bandage, scissors, & hydrogen peroxide. In a pinch, you can cut up clean tee shirts for big bandages. There's only so much stuff you can carry.
    In my case evacuation would only happen after a disaster occurred... Tsunamis *could* happen where we are, but if that's the case we wouldn't be able to take anything with us as the only way to evacuate would be a flight into the Interior (it'd have to be huge and swallow all of South Central AK to really affect Kenai... or so they tell me). Our kits are more for those "stay put" moments... if an Earthquake starts you stay inside until the shaking stops - or if it's no longer safe to be in the house due to fire... you don't go outside while it's shaking.

  3. #18
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Yes, it's an important point that some disasters make you stay inside, and others make you have to flee. In the house, I have an assorted of bandages of different sorts, in addition to the Scram Kit.

  4. #19
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    When Mom was alive, as she was last year during Hurricane Irene, I was much more distressed about the possibility of evacuating, because I knew it would be all but impossible to get her out. So all my danger plans involved staying in my apt., which is solidly built and pretty fire-resistant. (Push almost came to shove one time a few years ago when the smell of smoke filled the building. It turned out to be a problem quite a few floors down, but before I knew that I had a few tense moments.) That's why I was especially careful about stockpiling water, flashlights, and necessities. Now I have to rethink and have stuff ready to go. The first-aid kit is a great idea, and the T-shirt bandage method is ingenious.

  5. #20
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Staying has been difficult & lethal in the NY area. There was an article in our paper about teams that are trying to find elderly & disabled people who stayed in place on upper floors and now are cold, starving, and running out of their scripts. The article highlighted a woman who was taking care of her 90 year old husband who was in a bad way. The teams were a God send to her.

  6. #21
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    Yes, I was the phone pal for two weeks of the son of a 94-year-old neighbor. She was on a high floor, and the second day we went around to see who needed what. (The first team in our building was an ad-hoc group of kids plus me.) She was on the phone with her son when we got there, and she put me on the phone with her son. At that point it was mild still, so the only real problem was the darkness and lack of elevators. He was far enough away that I didn't think it was safe for him to try to get here, and she was safe and not isolated. As the weather deteriorated and the roads opened, he came in and got her down the stairs somehow and took her home. From then on, he's called me every few days to see if it was safe for her to return, because she was by then climbing the walls and wanted to sleep in her own little bed. Meanwhile, I was on another "escort team" getting an even older woman (98) down from a lower floor (fortunately). The team consisted of niece holding onto the woman, nephew backing down the stairs in front of her to steady her, and me standing at the foot of the stairs shining the extra flashlight to give the woman more illumination and letting the nephew see his own feet. Thank goodness these ladies were mobile. EMT people had to get another woman down the stairs in a chair.

    The biggest problems aren't in regular high-rises but in some public housing complexes, where the dangers are greater and the attention paid to tenants is less. I haven't heard of any casualties, but I haven't had access to as complete coverage as I normally do.

  7. #22
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Funny how one doesnt think (before this storm, anyway,) about long term disasters and how they effect folks who live in tall buildings.....I too saw a blurb on the news about
    how a bunch of seniors were "discovered" in a tall building days after the storm. Not being there, all one hears is whats on the news but it seems like Fema, the mayors and the governors need
    to re-write the book on how to handle disasters of this type.... I hope PBS NOVA does a special on this storm cause from the viewpoint of an observer from afar, watching only TV, and not there,
    it looks like many balls were dropped.

  8. #23
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Part of the issue with Sandy is that many people dismissed the idea that the storm would do this much damage. In my entire lifetime, I've lived in the NY/NJ area and only recall 3 hurricanes - Floyld, Irene and Sandy. Floyld was more about flooding. Plenty of nor-easters and blizzards, but they never caused as much destruction as the hurricanes IMHO. Since Irene and FLoyld didn't have as big an impact, a lot of people said TPTB are crying wolf again and didn't take steps to prepare. Utility companies were prepped for another Irene, but Sandy was worse. So, it's partly a large matter of now saying 'yes, it can happen here.....' Sandy was only cat 1 - if a stronger storm every hits, the barrier islands would likely be gone; yet, I'm sure people will rebuild in the devastated areas.

  9. #24
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    In Sandy, it wasn't the wind, it was the flooding--and the flooding was determined by the size of the storm, and the fact that even before it hit, we were having typical full moon autumn tides. The tide was high even before the storm hit, and it just stayed there and got higher. And the bigger the storm, the stronger the waves. Misquamicut over in Rhode Island (eastward of me ) was taken apart by those waves. The wind was basically not unusual for a fall storm there.

    Whole houses are just missing; others are nearly buried in sand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92dmc...eature=related

    More on removing 6 feet deep of sand in the public street
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BugHV...eature=related
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 11-11-2012 at 10:04 PM.

  10. #25
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Of course, the hardest hit areas were the shorelines, but a lot of people in NJ were without power because of the winds that took down a lot of trees and utility poles, in addition to the flooded substations. Most people I knew were more concerned about flooding since Irene caused a lot of homes to get water in their basements and having the power go out = no sump pump unless you have battery backup or a siphon backup system (only works if you have a municipal power supply.)

  11. #26
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    We use a small generator to run the sump pump.

  12. #27
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    Chris, I don't think people dropped the ball. No one could have prepared sufficiently for a storm of this magnitude. It hit Maryland and Massachusetts at just about the same time. Even with a crystal ball, the communities would not have had enough resources, either human or in terms of revenue, to lessen the damage from such a storm. What could they have done: moved the New York subways? What they did successfully move was a whole bunch of people. So although the storm washed away some homes and damaged many more, comparatively few people were injured or killed. A hundred people died, more or less: that's awful, but it's surprisingly few people considering that about 50 million people were in the path of this storm.

    As for the aftermath, I haven't had enough detailed information to know whether the electric companies have dropped the ball. It's possible that the logistics of making repairs across such a wide area are just too daunting. I read that LIPA, the electric company on Long Island, has about ten times the usual number of power workers, many from other parts of the country. They're not sitting around eating donuts, I'm sure. In areas outside the centers of the cities, power lines are above ground, and fixing a central power station isn't much use. Each downed line has to be found and repaired. And then the second storm took down a lot of the lines for a second time. In New York City, the electric company had to concentrate on restoring power to the area with the densest population and the largest number of businesses, lower Manhattan. This meant that people living elsewhere were shortchanged at first.

    Two other huge disadvantages to this storm were a function of the time of year. The temperature dropped, and Daylight Savings time ended. Nights are long, and I can tell you from direct recent experience that it's a lot harder to stay sane and be self-sufficient when the dark lasts for extra hours each day. And the cold was overwhelming--below freezing for several nights.

    I know they say that climate change will make for more frequent storms, but I can't believe that one like this will occur again soon. (Heaven forbid!) Its size and slowness, coupled with the unusually high tide, made it tremendously dangerous and destructive.

  13. #28
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There was one drop of a ball.

    Apparently power substations were built in low lying areas . When they flooded, even areas whose power lines stayed up who were fed by those substations couldn't have power restored without first fixing the substations.

    Thought needs to be given to having all major power company infrastructure well above high tide lines.

    And municipalities should add to their zoning code that all gas stations must have generators; maybe all gas stations with more than 2 pumps, but something so we never get the major gas hunting problems that were caused by gas stations having plenty of gas, but no way to pump it into cars or accept money for it.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/11...t-after-sandy/

    As of 5 hours ago, over 120,000 homes were still without power, mostly in Long Island.

    And a reminder that storing gasoline & using generators is not without risk, both due to carbon monoxide and fire.

    But he said workers are repairing unprecedented storm damage as fast as they can. About 6,400 linemen and 3,700 tree trimmers are at work, compared with 200 linemen on a normal day.

    The power outages have also kept emergency crews have their hands full responding to fires started by generators and stockpiled gasoline.

    A home in Hempstead was destroyed early Saturday in a blaze that fire officials suspected was related to a generator that had been placed against the building's rear wall.


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/11...#ixzz2C0TcHrJR
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 11-12-2012 at 06:27 AM.

  14. #29
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    Yes, those are major problems. I've heard at least one report of a death by carbon monoxide poisoning when a generator was kept in a garage.

  15. #30
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    We've been discussing generators at work and with family members. My brother doesn't feel it's necessary for them - they are not on a well and they have a gas stove. He says that if power were out for an extended period of time, you'd have to worry about filling up the generator and/or people stealing them. They can also be damaged in the storm. He'd rather just deal without power - the only real concern for him is heat if it were winter time.

    I tend to agree with him on this topic. Unless I have a generator hardwired, I'd be concerned about hooking it up. Considering the expense vs the # of outages, it's not really cost effective enough for me. I can make some small changes - i.e. install a gas stove (it's time - we have an electric stove and 1 burner doesn't work. We already have gas heat and gas water heater - so, it's just a matter of getting the line installed wtihin the house.) , perhaps converting the fireplace to gas.

    If those factors are taken care of, we're just missing lights and food storage.

    The gas lines in NJ were particularly crazy because so many people were looking for gas for their generators and/or had nightmare commutes because of all the closed roads. I also suspect that some people did not fill up their gas tanks before. I had both cars filled up - just because it was time. During the 2 weeks since Sandy, I only used 3/4 of a tank of gas of a Honda Civic - that was for 2 round trips between my home and my brother's, an 1hr each way drive for my friend's baby shower and a couple of local drives for food. I was 'fortunate' that I didn't have to travel for work - otherwise I would've probably used up both tanks in 2 weeks.

    BTW, the situation in NJ is essentially gone. I bought gas last SUnday without waiting and the rationing is ending tomorrow AM at 6.

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