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Posted: 4/28/2011 5:05:26 PM EDT
I don't post in SF much, but since we just had a SHTF event to my immediate south I thought I would share my observations.

I live in Southern TN, not far from the AL state line.  Madison County AL, which contains the City of Huntsville, was torn up in several populated places wreaking havoc on the electrical system.  300,000 people without power come morning, and it could be as much as 5 days before the power is back on.  Here in Lincoln County TN Population 50,000, we had only light damage, and no real loss of electrical power.  TVA cut power to Madison County AL last night due to all the electrical system damage, and as of this post AFAIK, none of it has been restored.  I work in Huntsville and was notified early this morning not to come to work and they will let me know when to show up.  So needless to say they have a real SHTF situation going on there right now.

My wife wanted to drive to Fayetteville, TN, the only really large town in Lincoln county, to pick up a few groceries for the weekend in case some of the Huntsville folks I've invited to come stay do show up.  I thought it was a bad idea, and that we should go to another town farther away from Huntsville and the 300,000 folks who are in get what they can mode.  We decided to go to Fayetteville first and then go to Tullahoma if we needed to, turned out that we didn't.  So my observations follow.

Gas - lines at every station in town, long lines, because there is no fuel available in Madison County.

Wal-mart was pretty well stocked, items cleared from the shelves were potato Chips, Cereal, canned meats (Spam/potted meat/vienna sausage), bread, flashlights and batteries, lanterns, camp stoves, bottled water, water containers, coolers, and propane bottles.

Pretty much everything else was well stocked or being stocked.  There's a Wal-Mart distribution center only about 30 miles away so I'm sure that helped, but I was pretty surprised that the store wasn't void of anything to eat.  Obviously not all 300,000 came to Fayetteville, but I'd be willing to bet the population of Lincoln County has tripled.  

For localized SHTF, your stores should definitely include fuel, if I had to get some today it wouldn't be a sure thing and I have heard they were limiting how much one vehicle could buy but I haven't confirmed it.

Hope this helps.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:36:17 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing, keep us updated.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:53:05 PM EDT
I've noticed both Home Depot/Loew's type stores, and grocery stores, are very quick to adjust stock to needed areas within 1-2 days these days.

Last year Boston MA had a huge watermain break, and I noticed stores in southern NH had almost all the stock of bottled water jugs taken and reshipped to stores in the affected areas the next day.

Two years ago after a major ice storm in southern NH, the  Home Depots in southern NH had generators stacked to the ceiling once the trucks from other areas started rolling in.

We can critisize the general population for not being prepared, but major retailers seem to be very good at flooding affected areas with needed goods within a day or two nowadays.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:55:00 PM EDT
Thanks for the report.  My wife has family living in Huntsville.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:06:06 PM EDT
Living in the land of WM I can say that they have I whole unit dedicated to the response of disasters. They have a couple of semi trailers that can house logistics that they show off at the local preparedness fairs.  They also have a dedicated weather staff that monitors the weather.  I have heard that they take a section of their DC's to stock supplies that they see go durning an event. Generators, propane, flashlights, etc.

I also believe they played a huge role if finally getting supplies to LA.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 9:07:19 PM EDT
My sister lives south of Huntsville in Morgan Co. No power, fuel, long lines at grocery store.  Luckily she is not hurt and her house is gtg.  Her gen won't start.  I'm considering taking a gen down there Saturday with some food & other supplies she may need (water, gas, cereal, powdered milk, etc... ).  They are not preppers by any stretch and I'm wondering how much food they have...  She didn't come out and tell me; perhaps for pride... but I'm trying to work through that with my other sister to cut through the pride crap.

If I go, I'm traveling from W. TN with 2 friends riding shotgun (or should I say ar15 ) Heck, we may take a shotgun or two.

I checked AL DOT for road closures to her house.  There are none to her nearest road.

If she absolutely says she doesn't need it, then I'll stand by.  If not, we're on a mission to get her a generator.  Her husband is a hippy bum.  She is a nurse at a dialysis clinic in Huntsville (without power).

My pastor mentioned to me that in MS, the Guard is blocking all access to where some of his family lives.  I'm wondering if they'll be doing the same in Morgan County.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 10:37:50 PM EDT
GSP if you need help let me know.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 2:51:37 AM EDT
I got through by cell to a friend in Hunstville yesterday afternoon. They are Ok, but his back hurts from climbing in and out of their crawlspace all day on Wednesday.

No power, and he thought water would fail soon. He was stocking up on water. They have enough food to get them through.

He has a BOL about an hour away, but no water there, although he has generating capabilities. Sounds like he needs to fill some holes in his plan.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 4:02:10 AM EDT
My friend is there near Arab, AL. Talked to him a bit yesterday. Entire house is a lost, but still has some salvageables like kids clothes, and whatnot. I was going to head that way for the weekend to help cleanup, but work says we are starting on 13 days on 1 off starting Monday and I have to work Sat&Sun.. I am sending a couple of generators with other friends who are heading that way along with some diapers for his youngest and a toy or two for the oldest (for morale) WIll get there when I can to help out. Maybe will see some of you guys in the area.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 3:36:59 PM EDT
My big sis called today and said things are looking up. They got their generator running and some areas east of Laceys Spring has power.  She expects power soon.  No trip neccessary yet.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 3:44:25 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing keep us updated.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 4:31:47 PM EDT
My wife and I live north of HSV (Harvest area). I"m currently deployed but she says shes ok. We're just south of Anderson Hills so thank God for that.

We keep a pretty good stock of food/water in the house. Shes limiting travel to only whats necessary. She has to go to the Knoxville area soon so shes going to stock up while shes there.

Don't have a genset yet. I'll probably buy one when I get back, but to be honest, not having power doesn't really bother us (Both of us are from humble, rural areas in Iowa/SD, so going a few days without power means we get to read more books and see more stars at night, and take a cold shower or two . Not OMG MY PLAYSTATION DOESN'T WORK PANIC PANIC PANIC).
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 4:56:55 PM EDT
One person from my church was affected by the storms, our Pastor.  He lost a pole barn, a shed, half the roof of his big barn, and a bit of damage to the house.  About 30 men from the church showed up today to clean up the mess.  We had everything except the roof on the big barn fixed by 2 PM. We made 4 very large burn piles of trees, limbs, and  pole barn/shed lumber.  His power was still out, but we got a generator hooked up reconnected his propane tank and boarded up the windows that were busted.   Linemen were repairing the power lines on his road all day long, in the
time it took us to clean up, they had set 8-10 poles and were reeling
the wires on, they will probably have power tonight or tomorrow morning.

I have not been to Huntsville yet but our church's Southern Baptist Relief coordinator said they already had as many volunteers as they could manage for their group. I hope to get an update from him tonight to see if there are slots for tomorrow available.  He said they're taking workers on buses for logistical purposes.  As expected in regions with non-dependent populations everyone pitches in and gets the job done quickly.  
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 4:38:17 PM EDT
OP, my girlfriend's parents live in Fayetteville, on the south side of town, off of 231.  Luckily, they weren't affected too harshly by the storm.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 7:47:38 PM EDT
I just got back from Cullman.  What a mess.  Luckily, the people I helped and their neighbors were all sufficiently prepared that they only lost stuff.  They all had basements or storm-pits.  

We heard some disturbing, but not surprising stuff from north and south of Cullman.  A State Farm agent/family member relayed that in Huntsville, they are having a HUGE problem with roving gangs doing home invasions because, "they know the people can't call 911 for help."  It's to the point that HPD had a LT or a CPT on the radio stations telling people that if they enter your house, to shoot them.  He said it three times to emphasize his point, they are to be shot.

To the south, in various remote areas, they are having a problem with looters just walking onto a property, while the people are there to clean and salvage, and start taking stuff.  This is to the point that the State Farm agent observed a cop talking to a man with an AR on his back while his son, a teenager, had a pistol on his hip.

We were good for security and most things where I was in Cullman.  I had at least one pistol on me at all times with an AR not far away, while the son-in-law and his son of the people who lost their home also had something.  We had people bringing us water, food, and help to the point we were having to send people away with their goods to others.  Neighbors were sharing gennies and helping to syphone gas out of cars or destroyed tractors, etc.  They had running water, and if you had the power, satellite/cable, but with Brown's Ferry being out for a while, they're having to ration fuel.  Fuel is available to the north and south, and people are making runs.  It's just time consuming and the few places that have it have long lines and testy patrons.  Security was always a problem when we were there and my 'spidey-sense' was always pinging on someone's face or mannerism.  I was happy to have a good crew with level heads.

Anyways, I'm going to go get a shower now that my wife is done with it.  I'll get these pictures explained later.

Link Posted: 4/30/2011 11:06:44 PM EDT


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