I don't often do this, but if I can save someone from grief I will. My house suffered no damage, but I learned a lot from those who did suffer damage.
Here is my list of lessons learned and things that helped out during Charley and Frances:
(In no particular order)
1. Get some LED flashlighs. My surefire is great, but heats up in a hurry and puts out too much light when trying to get ready for work in the dark with guests sleeping in the living room.
2. Having 2 sets of toiletries is a good idea. One for the road and one for home.
3. Vitamins, sudafed, and ibuprofen are lifesavers, keep 'em handy.
4. Warn guests about the sharpness of my knives and keep the first aid kit handy. Oh, one more thing: no cutting with said knives in poor lighting. (Got that Mom?)
5. A battery alarm clock is handy.
6. Get another FRS radio. We didn't use ours, but I discovered that one of the pair had a battery latch that would not close.
7. Keep the air rifle and pellets handy for dispatching injured wildlife.
8. Get some wooden strips to nail plastic down to the roof if shingles are lost.
9. Buy more heavy plastic for other people if they need it.
10. Stock up on staples and finishing nails to nail down plastic and keeper strips.
11. Get an extra hammer since people tend to work in pairs. Don't slip onto the plastic when working on a roof. You will slide right off like a slip and slide ankle fracturing goober. I didn't do this, but nearly did.
12. Get some low heat flourescent battery operated lanterns. Candles and lamps put off some heat that was definitely not welcome in an already hot and muggy house.
13. Get plenty of D batteries well before the storm. Those things flat disappeared!
14. Get some foam spray to patch small holes if needed.
15. Get plenty of cash. When the power is out, any excuse (eating out, shopping, etc) to stay in the AC is welcome. Aside true story: When my wife went to the laundrymat to do some laundry, she spoke to the owner. He stated that they were having to kick people out where were just loitering for the AC. When they approached one man who had been there for 4 hours, he calmly took off a shoe, took off his one sock and placed it in a $4.00 washer! He turned to the owner and said, "I can't leave, I'm doing my laundry."
16. A generator is a worthwhile investment, not so much to save food, but keep the fans and lights running. Fans can turn a house that is an intolerable sauna into a livable dwelling again.
17. Get plenty of sturdy chain and a good lock for your gen. Our area lost 15 to thieves in one day.
18. About 40% shingle loss with some tarpaper loss will result in the total loss of a dwelling. You don't even need to loose plywood on your roof. Water will get into everything.
The water at a coworkers home caused ceilings to collapse and when he came home, there was 3" of standing water in every room. Electronics (TV, surround sound, computer) that are near the floor will be lost. He saw a blister on the paint of a door frame. When he pressed it, it burst with water. The wood had soaked up the water like a sponge.
That's all for now. Feel free to add comments.
Ya know, I thought I posted something just like this, but when I do a search I can't find it. Dunno why. Here's what I can remember of it. A slight difference between mine & Whitehorse's is that mine are lessons learned from evacuating, while his appears to be lessons learned staying put.
1) Have doubles of everything you'd need to take with you, specifically the toiletries like whitehorse said. Essentially I'd have a toiletry kit with toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, and spare contacts/solution/case/glasses. Also any medications. Keep this kit separate. That way you just have to grab it and go.
2) If you have a pet your'e taking with you, have several days worth of food set aside and ready to take. I put one serving of food into a ziplock, and repeat to have enough food for one week.
3) Keep a siphon or a length of tube along with a gas can in your vehicle. I'll leave it up to you to decide what you might do with it.
4) Have something to do to occupy your time. I had two books, but could have used more. They don't require batteries and they are QUIET entertainment that doesn't annoy the shit out of everyone else around you.
5) Know what you would take in the way of firearms. I personally think that a midsize handgun carried CCW and a rifle with a few spare mags for each is plenty in this situation.
6) If you're going somewhere that might still be hit, just not as hard, taking extra water and food that you might have with you makes you a welcome asset to your hosts, not a burden. You'll also be amazed at how welcome you are when you show up with guns even to the house of someone that's anti.
I know there was more, I'll have to post them as I think of them.
Some good ideas here, thanks.
You are most welcome.
I'm going to put together a hurricane kit for next year. You gave me some idea that I didn't think about, like the chain and lock for the generator.
If you can think of anything else please post it.
Pepto Bismal tablets are great. LIke you said, I keep 'em in the house and the truck.
Agreed. I didn't mention the 3 years worth (about 4 large plastic tubs) of stuff that I have collected in preparation already. First aid kits, tools, camping and hunting equipment, food supplies, etc are considered standard stuff. The list is really just a "lessons learned" kinda thing.
If anyone is interested, I can highly recommend joining up with a C.E.R.T. class in your county. You will learn a lot about disaster recovery and you will become an honorary first responder. This means you can work elbow to elbow with Fire/Rescue and LE if needed...just another way for a safety nerd to geek out.
having a " go" bag ready is nice. That way you're not trying to throw us stuff together at the last minute. During the past two "himmacanes" ( they're not hers b/c of their names ) I kept my bag in my curiser . It had everything i needed to survive for 3-4 days if needed. I could list everything i have in there but i doubt anyone cares that much.
wutcha got in there? I got one i'm in the process of putting together because I don't want to pack everythime we have a close call in S.Fla, I have some ammo,magazines,clothes,
DEET spray, rope, extensive first-aid kit, decent blade, a little sewing kit for meding anything(clothes stiches if nescessary). When I get them some MRE's to toss in and protien bars
ok lemme start pouch by pouch.
4 loaded mags
1 pair of leather work gloves
4 pair of latex medical gloves
2 garbage bags
bottle of asprin
4 protein bars
waterproof bandage tape
10 gauze pads
4 boxes of water proof matches
2 pairs of socks
emergency foil blanket
4 glow sticks
first aid kit
4 small candles
corded phone ( no power no cordless phones or ability to charge cell phones )
nylon twine ( 230 ft)
nylon rope ( 50 ft )
Mag Light ( 2 D cell )
Large zip ties ( they make great spare cuffs )
military style trench shovel ( they work as a great toilet )
2 bottles of water
All of that fits in a military pack. Isn't heavy at all either. Keeps me mobile and ready.
We bugged-in and noticed that returning folks may have thought everything was already back to normal. Thankfully we had plenty for the neighbors too but if you bug-out, come back home with as much gas, ice, and food as you can carry.
On our way back to Fl we called several people to find out what they needed, and then stopped at Home Depot in Georgia and loaded up.
It’s a good thing we did - we just got our power and cable back this morning - 9 days without!
Also, if I had not called ahead I would not have known that I needed a chain saw - we had four good size pine tress down on our property.
120 hours on the genset last week.