Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Blueskies123
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:18 pm
Location: South Florida

Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Blueskies123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am

Lessons from living thru multiple disastrous hurricanes (I have posted this elsewhere too):
1) Two days out everything will be sold out. You should stock up and prepare 4-5 days before.
2) No electricity=no gasoline. My generator drinkes 5 gallons in about 7 hours. If you do not have electricity for a week you need 7, 5-gallon jugs.
3) No electricity=stores cannot run credit cards so it is only cash. You need extra cash.
4) Sleeping is not easy
5) Your job will expect you to go to work as soon as possible, like the next day.
6) The thought of cat 4 or 5 hitting close to home will make you sick and nauseous.
7) No building codes require roofs to stand up to a strong cat 4 or 5.
8) A young couple I know panicked a day before the storm was to hit and bolted only to find the roads James and impassable. They drove back and got home a few hours before the storm hit. They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator. Make sure you know what you are doing. Ask for help if you need it. Also, carbon monoxide can kill you. Know what you are doing. I say this again - Know what you are doing with generators.
9) Water - if you are in ground zero you will not have water for weeks. You can fill your bathtub but mine had a slow leak and the next day it was empty. Your hot water heater has at least 40 gallons of clean water but if you have water pressure and the water company cannot chlorinate the water it might fill with contaminated water so drain it off into containers. If you have unscented chlorine in the washroom you can add 7-8 drops per gallon.
__________________
Last edited by Blueskies123 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:15 am

For anything over a weak Cat 1, don't forget to secure your yard. Move everything in your yard that could become a projectile indoors. That means all outside chairs,tables, umbrellas, yard ornaments, bird feeders, hose reels, and the BBQ grill. It is a big PITA but an 80-100+ mph wind can turn a table or a BBQ grill into a lethal projectile. Tie backyard fence gates closed.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

sjt
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 3:03 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by sjt » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:16 am

Thanks for posting. We're further inland (Raleigh) but many models are showing us in the path. Hopefully the storm weakens by the time it arrives here, But I still need to do our grocery shopping for the week. Hopefully the stores aren't too bad tonight :shock:
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale

jebmke
Posts: 8427
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by jebmke » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:18 am

In my area we normally get major rain events and some high wind with a hurricane. Even with Isabel the water did not come up to the house. One thing we do is pump our pool down as low as practical so the incoming rain doesn't swamp the system. If the pool overflows some of the overflow will run back toward our house. If we get a major storm, we might lose power for a while so pumping the excess water may be a problem if I just wait to do it later. I leave the submersible pump in place all set up so I can run it intermittently without leaving the house (switched outside outlet) if it is really a major rain.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Rupert
Posts: 3740
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Rupert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:23 am

If you put duct tape over the drains in your bathtubs before you fill them, the water won't slowly leak out. And perhaps it goes without saying, but you never know: Use the bathtub water only for flushing toilets and bathing. Either buy drinking water or fill clean containers with drinking water from your taps before the power goes out. (Note, I've never actually lost water during a hurricane. It's unlikely to happen unless you are on a private pump or are truly at ground zero and the water pumping/treatment facility is damaged. YMMV.) Good luck to you all.

Luke Duke
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:44 am
Location: Texas

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:27 am

You need a generator that isn't so thirsty. I would add a quiet Honda or Yamaha to the mix, so you only have to start the hog to run the big stuff. My 2.4kW Yamaha can run two refrigerators, a chest freezer, my TV, computer and some lights.

User avatar
Blueskies123
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:18 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Blueskies123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:49 am

Luke Duke wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:27 am
You need a generator that isn't so thirsty. I would add a quiet Honda or Yamaha to the mix, so you only have to start the hog to run the big stuff. My 2.4kW Yamaha can run two refrigerators, a chest freezer, my TV, computer and some lights.
Agreed, when I bought it 10 years ago I should have studied my options better. My 5500-watt generator is way overkill and used too much gasoline. I have had the inverter generator in my plan for a while but have delayed since I will then have two generators, seems silly to have two until of course, the big one visits.
Last edited by Blueskies123 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
flossy21
Posts: 434
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by flossy21 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:41 am

Also - refill your propane tanks. I say tanks because you should have a backup.

Even if you lose power you can always grill and eat all the freezer stuff that is now going to spoil in your freezer.

Plus if you have a side burner on your grill you can boil water.

Dottie57
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:47 am

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
Lessons from living thru multiple disastrous hurricanes (I have posted this elsewhere too):
1) Two days out everything will be sold out. You should stock up and prepare 4-5 days before.
2) No electricity=no gasoline. My generator drinkes 5 gallons in about 7 hours. If you do not have electricity for a week you need 7, 5-gallon jugs.
3) No electricity=stores cannot run credit cards so it is only cash. You need extra cash.
4) Sleeping is not easy
5) Your job will expect you to go to work as soon as possible, like the next day.
6) The thought of cat 4 or 5 hitting close to home will make you sick and nauseous.
7) No building codes require roofs to stand up to a strong cat 4 or 5.
8) A young couple I know panicked a day before the storm was to hit and bolted only to find the roads impassable. They drove back and got home a few hours before the storm hit. They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator. Make sure you know what you are doing. Ask for help if you need it. Also, carbon monoxide can kill you. Know what you are doing. I say this again - Know what you are doing with generators.
9) Water - if you are in ground zero you will not have water for weeks. You can fill your bathtub but mine had a slow leak and the next day it was empty. Your hot water heater has at least 40 gallons of clean water but if you have water pressure and the water company cannot chlorinate the water it might fill with contaminated water so drain it off into containers. If you have unscented chlorine in the washroom you can add 7-8 drops per gallon.
__________________
Where do you safely store the gasoline and propane ? And how do you hook an appliance like a refrigerator to the generator.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14397
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Watty » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:54 am

I am not in a hurricane area but I would add checking your prescriptions to make sure you have enough medicine.

Also have the right cable for your cell phone so that you can charge that in your car. The cell phone service may be out for a while though.

Isabelle77
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:58 am

My parents live on an island off Charleston. They're in their 70s and leaving town tomorrow morning, got gas and water for the drive yesterday.

I'll add a few things I wouldn't have thought of to your list for people who choose to evacuate since this is the third time in three years they've done this.

1. Bring your important papers and medicines. Maybe you have everything accessible online, my parents have a lockbox of important files.
2. Bring your jewelry or other easily transferable valuables. My parents actually put theirs in a safety deposit box. Looting happens, especially out in the more isolated areas.
3. Know that if you're under mandatory evacuation and choose to stay that the cavalry isn't coming. If you have a heart attack or fall down the stairs, tough luck. We have a friend who was badly burned trying to light candles during a hurricane and had to wait days for medical attention.

I think this may be the final straw for my parents. Their home is stunning and we all love to go there and stay at the beach, but three times in three years is getting ridiculous and difficult at their age.

User avatar
Blueskies123
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:18 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Blueskies123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:02 pm

I have a very large garage with plenty of ventilation and no pilot lights so I feel OK about saving the jugs in the garage for a few days. Right after the storm, I put them outside until I use them in the generator or my car.
My generator came with a very good multioutlet extension cord. I crack open a window and run the cord through the opening. I take towels and seal up the cracked open window.
Be very careful of wind direction and be 100% certain no carbon dioxide can get in the window. You can die if you do not do this right.
If you do not have a garage or it is very small with pilot lights I do not know what to tell you.

User avatar
Conch55
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Conch55 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:04 pm

Where do you safely store the gasoline and propane ? And how do you hook an appliance like a refrigerator to the generator.
As far as gasoline is concerned, stock up before the storm and add stabilizer to your gas. Safe propane storage is pretty much the same challenge a grill owner faces daily. Use a properly rated extension cord. I use 16/3 and 14/3 50' cords. Remember, the generator must be outside your house to avoid carbon monoxide problems.

Rupert
Posts: 3740
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Rupert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:09 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:47 am

Where do you safely store the gasoline and propane ? And how do you hook an appliance like a refrigerator to the generator.
Good questions. This article may help with the gas/propane issue: https://www.popularmechanics.com/scienc ... checklist/. Do not store propane in the house. It's volatile. Store it outside but secure it somehow.

As for the appliances, this article has good info: http://www.broward.org/Hurricane/AtoZ/P ... Event.aspx . Assuming you don't have a transfer switch, you plug appliances directly into the generator using extension cords. You have to be careful to get the correct type of cord, i.e., with the proper load, and don't plug in too many appliances at the same time. Refrigerators don't have to run all day to keep food cold enough.

And for god's sake don't put your generator inside your house or your garage or your basement. Otherwise smart people have actually died from doing that. It must be operated outside. (prior poster beat me to it)

alfaspider
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by alfaspider » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:19 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am

5) Your job will expect you to go to work as soon as possible, like the next day.
I would prepare for the opposite as well. I've lived through Hurricane Ike, Sandy, and Harvey. In all three cases the office was closed for at least a solid week. In the case of Sandy, the basement of the office flooded, which meant the entire building was shut down for 6 weeks and we had to rent temporary office space in the meantime.

This means if you have projects and deadlines that can't wait, make sure you prepare team members for the possibility of an interruption to normal workflow, especially if you are working with folks outside the disaster area. If you have an office job, bring your work computer home if possible with extra batteries.

Another tip: consider using Amazon Prime Now for last minute supplies. I was able to get delivery of baby supplies within hours two days before harvey when the stores had already been raided badly. You also get to shop from the comfort of your home and avoid the scrum.

User avatar
KSOC
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:53 pm
Location: Central Florida

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by KSOC » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:48 pm

My 5500 watt generator goes on the back screened porch (assuming it's still there.) We set it up the day after. It's placed close enough I can run the cable into the garage to the transfer switch. Put carbon monoxide detector inside but near the generator, and one near your bedrooms. I have a fan beside the generator pushing the exhaust away from the house. Pray the storm drifts out to sea or breaks up. Any homeowner in hurricane country should already have what they need other than gas & perishables.
Too soon old, too late smart.

smitcat
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by smitcat » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:53 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:09 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:47 am

Where do you safely store the gasoline and propane ? And how do you hook an appliance like a refrigerator to the generator.
Good questions. This article may help with the gas/propane issue: https://www.popularmechanics.com/scienc ... checklist/. Do not store propane in the house. It's volatile. Store it outside but secure it somehow.

As for the appliances, this article has good info: http://www.broward.org/Hurricane/AtoZ/P ... Event.aspx . Assuming you don't have a transfer switch, you plug appliances directly into the generator using extension cords. You have to be careful to get the correct type of cord, i.e., with the proper load, and don't plug in too many appliances at the same time. Refrigerators don't have to run all day to keep food cold enough.

And for god's sake don't put your generator inside your house or your garage or your basement. Otherwise smart people have actually died from doing that. It must be operated outside. (prior poster beat me to it)
We store our gas cans and propane tanks in a shed behind the house - we also can 'tap' the gas on the boat stored in the rear driveway.
We have 2 inverter gensets - the 2800 watt one can run for a day or so on 5 gallons of gas dependent upon load. Plenty of power for one reefer. a oil burner for heat and HW, a few lights, TV, and many things charging.
The genset is wired into the main panel with a cutout switch and we select which power to use accordingly.
The genset runs under cover outside the home chained and locked to a very heavy piped fence.
Everyone pleae be ready and please be safe

Rupert
Posts: 3740
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Rupert » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:57 pm

Just fyi for those who don't know about it: I think Dr. Jeff Masters' blog, Category 6 at Weather Underground (https://www.wunderground.com/cat6), is the best source of technical info on the storm. Read through the comments at the end, where both professional and amateur meteorologists talk to each other about the latest data. It's looking increasingly like Florence might be a Cat 5 at landfall. Please evacuate safely.

wilshuer
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by wilshuer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:25 pm

Maybe one thing to add for the generator comments - a chain and lock to keep it from walking off.

It tended to be a problem in our vicinity during Harvey and previously during Ike. People would go around at night looking for generators, it was pretty obvious who had them and who didn't merely due to the sound.

Granted someone can always cut the lock and/or chain, but makes it a little harder so they'll move onto the next one - they want a grab-and-go target.

H-Town
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by H-Town » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:37 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
2) No electricity=no gasoline. My generator drinkes 5 gallons in about 7 hours. If you do not have electricity for a week you need 7, 5-gallon jugs.
During Hurricane Ike (2009), I ran the generator on "as need" basis. The weather was cool in the hurricane aftermath so we didn't need A/C. Only thing hook up to the generator is the fridge.

User avatar
yukonjack
Posts: 573
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Rocky Mountain West

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by yukonjack » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:09 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
Lessons from living thru multiple disastrous hurricanes (I have posted this elsewhere too):
1) Two days out everything will be sold out. You should stock up and prepare 4-5 days before.
2) No electricity=no gasoline. My generator drinkes 5 gallons in about 7 hours. If you do not have electricity for a week you need 7, 5-gallon jugs.
3) No electricity=stores cannot run credit cards so it is only cash. You need extra cash.
4) Sleeping is not easy
5) Your job will expect you to go to work as soon as possible, like the next day.
6) The thought of cat 4 or 5 hitting close to home will make you sick and nauseous.
7) No building codes require roofs to stand up to a strong cat 4 or 5.
8) A young couple I know panicked a day before the storm was to hit and bolted only to find the roads James and impassable. They drove back and got home a few hours before the storm hit. They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator. Make sure you know what you are doing. Ask for help if you need it. Also, carbon monoxide can kill you. Know what you are doing. I say this again - Know what you are doing with generators.
9) Water - if you are in ground zero you will not have water for weeks. You can fill your bathtub but mine had a slow leak and the next day it was empty. Your hot water heater has at least 40 gallons of clean water but if you have water pressure and the water company cannot chlorinate the water it might fill with contaminated water so drain it off into containers. If you have unscented chlorine in the washroom you can add 7-8 drops per gallon.
__________________
If I didn’t know better I would say that this is a list of reasons to avoid living on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

alfaspider
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by alfaspider » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:26 pm

yukonjack wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:09 pm

If I didn’t know better I would say that this is a list of reasons to avoid living on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
West coast has earthquakes, center of the country has tornadoes. Not too many places completely safe from natural disasters. The good thing about hurricanes is that you get a few days to prepare. With an earthquakes, best you will get is a few minutes if the early warning system is up and running.

User avatar
jharkin
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by jharkin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:32 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
2) No electricity=no gasoline. My generator drinkes 5 gallons in about 7 hours. If you do not have electricity for a week you need 7, 5-gallon jugs.
And remember that you can mitigate that by only running the generator when you absolutely NEED to. Having lived through New England Ice storms we got by turning it one one hour in the morning, and then again one hour in the evening. Just enough to run the water heater for washing, cook, and chill down the refrigerator.

Your fridge will stay cold for hours or days without power if you keep the door cold, and the kids can occupy themselves with books and board games. Candles and rechargeable flashlights provide light.

Good luck down there folks.....

User avatar
jharkin
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by jharkin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:37 pm

Conch55 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:04 pm
Where do you safely store the gasoline and propane ? And how do you hook an appliance like a refrigerator to the generator.
As far as gasoline is concerned, stock up before the storm and add stabilizer to your gas. Safe propane storage is pretty much the same challenge a grill owner faces daily. Use a properly rated extension cord. I use 16/3 and 14/3 50' cords. Remember, the generator must be outside your house to avoid carbon monoxide problems.
Even better, have an interlock breaker or transfer switch installed on your main circuit breaker panel so you can tie the generator safely into the house wiring and then run anything so long as you observe the load limits. This is the only method that works if you want to be able to run 240v loads like a well pump.

You don't need an expensive automatic backup to do this, I have the setup with a little 3200 watt portable. Only cost $300 in parts (plus electrician fees).

dbapaddy
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:52 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by dbapaddy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:59 pm

Maybe too late for this hurricane, but I bought a dual fuel generator..runs off gas and propane. I can switch as needed and provides some backup if the gas or propane goes out.

I will run the freezer, fridge and room ac as needed from the generator.

Not sure why everyone buys bottled water....filling up some 5 gallon carboys saves me money and I'll use the water for something if it's leftover.

novicemoney
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:36 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by novicemoney » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:10 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:23 am
If you put duct tape over the drains in your bathtubs before you fill them, the water won't slowly leak out. And perhaps it goes without saying, but you never know: Use the bathtub water only for flushing toilets and bathing. Either buy drinking water or fill clean containers with drinking water from your taps before the power goes out. (Note, I've never actually lost water during a hurricane. It's unlikely to happen unless you are on a private pump or are truly at ground zero and the water pumping/treatment facility is damaged. YMMV.) Good luck to you all.
You can order a plastic bladder that fits in you bathtub:
https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergen ... f765d590e6

It can store up to 100 gallons of water and only costs $34.95 so you don't have to worry about leaky driain plugs. We have 2, one for each tub in case we need it. Haven't used it yet although were prepared to when Hurricane Lane came close to us 2 weeks ago.

jebmke
Posts: 8427
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by jebmke » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:13 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:58 am
My parents live on an island off Charleston. They're in their 70s and leaving town tomorrow morning, got gas and water for the drive yesterday.

I'll add a few things I wouldn't have thought of to your list for people who choose to evacuate since this is the third time in three years they've done this.

1. Bring your important papers and medicines. Maybe you have everything accessible online, my parents have a lockbox of important files.
2. Bring your jewelry or other easily transferable valuables. My parents actually put theirs in a safety deposit box. Looting happens, especially out in the more isolated areas.
3. Know that if you're under mandatory evacuation and choose to stay that the cavalry isn't coming. If you have a heart attack or fall down the stairs, tough luck. We have a friend who was badly burned trying to light candles during a hurricane and had to wait days for medical attention.

I think this may be the final straw for my parents. Their home is stunning and we all love to go there and stay at the beach, but three times in three years is getting ridiculous and difficult at their age.
We have a ditch list so we don't end up running around like crazies if we have to ditch.

I didn't read each post closely but I didn't see anyone mention filling up your car(s). If you have to ditch, you may not be able to find gas as easily.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Miriam2
Posts: 2329
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:51 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Miriam2 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:47 pm

novicemoney wrote:
Rupert wrote: If you put duct tape over the drains in your bathtubs before you fill them, the water won't slowly leak out. And perhaps it goes without saying, but you never know: Use the bathtub water only for flushing toilets and bathing. Either buy drinking water or fill clean containers with drinking water from your taps before the power goes out. (Note, I've never actually lost water during a hurricane. It's unlikely to happen unless you are on a private pump or are truly at ground zero and the water pumping/treatment facility is damaged. YMMV.) Good luck to you all.
You can order a plastic bladder that fits in you bathtub:
https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergen ... f765d590e6

It can store up to 100 gallons of water and only costs $34.95 so you don't have to worry about leaky driain plugs. We have 2, one for each tub in case we need it. Haven't used it yet although were prepared to when Hurricane Lane came close to us 2 weeks ago.
The problem with filling your bathtub with water is that you may need your bathtub during the hurricane as a safe place to sit with the kids with mattresses from your beds over you after your windows have broken and the winds and rain roll through your house.

During Hurricane Andrew that's what many used their bathtubs for. Others crowded into their closets, with a mattress covering them or barricading the door. Once a window breaks, the inside of your house and whoever is in it is not protected.

And don't position yourself near windows. After Hurricane Andrew, I had to vacuum my inside walls of my family room where the tiny shards of glass from broken windows had embedded in the plaster.

After Hurricane Andrew, Coca Cola sent large coke company tanker trucks filled with fresh water. They parked them in designated parking lots and anyone could bring containers for free fresh water.

radiowave
Posts: 1830
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by radiowave » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:25 pm

Agree with above, you don't have to keep your generator running, just enough to keep the refrigerator cold to avoid spoilage. Also, it hasn't been mentioned explicitly but be sure to withdraw as much cash from the ATM machine as you can before the electricity goes out.

I've had the eye of the following hurricanes come over my head: Alicia Houston 83, Hugo Charlotte 89, Fran Chapel Hill mid 90's and Charlie Charleston 04. All were the same in the aftermath, lots of trees down, widespread electricity and water outages, lack of gas available, hot and humid for days, low food avail, no cell service for a couple days. One intersting thing that happend during Hugo when I was working as a nurse in the ICU at a local hospital was patients being admitted with multiple bee stings having alergic reactions and respiratory complications. Be careful cutting trees and hauling debris in the days after. If you have/need an epi pen be sure it is available.

For those in the path of Florence, please be careful and I wish you all the best.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page

SoAnyway
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:49 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:35 pm

radiowave wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:25 pm
For those in the path of Florence, please be careful and I wish you all the best.
+1.
To OP and all others who've generously shared your valuable wisdom from your experiences, I hope all in Florence's path who are going through this for the first time take heed.
Stay safe, all!

RamblinDoc
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by RamblinDoc » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:59 pm

If you use your generator, remove the spark plug from your lawn mower.

Thieves stole my neighbor’s generator after a hurricane when I lived near the Gulf. They broke into his shed, moved the mower next to the generator and turned it on. Then they turned the generator off and stole it. The owners didn’t notice the noise change in their sleep - woke up with no power, a missing generator and their lawn mower in the yard.

That story stuck with me.

User avatar
4nursebee
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:56 am
Location: US

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by 4nursebee » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:27 am

If on septic, pre pump to empty...

I've heard a coastal hospital already evacuating.

The rumor mill churning strong already- "fifty inches of rain expected"

Stay off the roof, it is no time to fix the satellite or antenna and a bad time to clean the gutters.
4nursebee


User avatar
queso
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by queso » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:06 am

Aside from the usual supply of preps (I'm pretty far down the paranoid spectrum so won't list those here) a few other things I keep on hand that haven't been mentioned yet are:

- 100' x 20' 10 mil plastic sheeting (burly stuff...roll weighs 100 lbs. can be used to cover broken windows, holes in roof, etc.)
- plywood and random lumber (patching stuff and used with sheeting to waterproof broken windows)
- spare shingles and roofing cement/sealant (can easily patch a hole in the roof with this and a few nails)
- two electric water pumps with hoses (one that I need to man and another one that automatically pumps down to 1/8" and then shuts off)
- shop vac
- floor/carpet blower
- tarps
- rope and paracord
- quick dam sandless sandbags and flood barriers
- shutoff tools for natural gas and water service
- fire extinguishers
- first aid supplies and an AED
- axe (some people keep one in their attic as well for obvious reasons)

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Tamarind » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:24 am

Picked up an extra quart of stove fuel yesterday though I expect it'll stay sealed until a few camping trips from now. I always have a week of non perishable food on hand.

Unfortunately we got a lot of rain here last night and more showers expected next day or so, so the ground will be saturated even before we see a drop from Florence. Here near Chapel Hill and uphill from the floodplain my only real worry is getting a tree down on the house. Little I can do about that but wait.

I hope local employers are smart enough to close. During ice storms (our most frequent natural disaster) they often require people to justify an absence even when local government has issued stay-home warnings, enticing a bunch of folks out on to the road before conditions have really improved.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18604
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:23 am

Today is Microsoft's Patch Tuesday day. If you are using Microsoft, install the patch before the hurricane. After the hurricane you will have other priorities.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Dan999
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Dan999 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 am

Not sure if it was posted, but be sure to have your Rx filled if you are nearing the end of the bottle.
Have lots of batteries for light.
Have a good amount of cash for needed items.
A good amount of cash can be used to get the trees removed and or cut up. These guys like cash.
You might be ok in your house, but you might not be able to travel to pick up supplies because of trees and wires down.
Good luck everyone.

mouses
Posts: 3824
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by mouses » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:05 am

I have stuff stocked up all the time, including meds for me and my pet and food for him. Batteries, devices charged, candles, matches, lanterns, water, emergency radio.

I always have a list of things such as insurance policy numbers and phone numbers in my pocketbook.

I have a hurricane list of things to do if we are going to evacuate - what to take, tie down stuff in the yard, etc.

Thumb drives and paper copies of important documents are both at home and in a safe deposit box at an inland cu,

If a hurricane looks like it will actually hit, I go to a hotel inland that accepts pets. I make a reservation well in advance and eat the cost if I don't need it. I put pet supplies (litter etc.) in my car a few days in advance if it looks like we will need to do this.

No place is safe. Earthquakes, forest fires, drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, record breaking rainfall, rising sea level.

mouses
Posts: 3824
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by mouses » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:12 am

Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator.
What? How is this possible?

I am forking out for a Generac natural gas automatic generator scheduled to be installed in a couple of months, due to the queue. My understanding is if the demand is too high and the AC is on, it first cuts off the AC. If the AC is not on, the generator shuts off and has to be restarted by hand.

I am worried about it being stolen. I assume it is heavier than a portable generator. Has anyone secured theirs in some fashion other than the above mentioned locking it to a fence, which there is not one near where it will be.

User avatar
SquawkIdent
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:14 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by SquawkIdent » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:21 am

wilshuer wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:25 pm
Maybe one thing to add for the generator comments - a chain and lock to keep it from walking off.

It tended to be a problem in our vicinity during Harvey and previously during Ike. People would go around at night looking for generators, it was pretty obvious who had them and who didn't merely due to the sound.

Granted someone can always cut the lock and/or chain, but makes it a little harder so they'll move onto the next one - they want a grab-and-go target.
+1

Dan999
Posts: 335
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Dan999 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:25 am

I have a full sized Generac 17,500 kw and it runs most household necessities. I had a new high efficiency a/c heating system installed after I learned that the old one put too much strain on the generator. It ran ok but on start up, the generator really slowed down. It will not run and electric stove.
Also a full size installed Generac is pretty heavy, and not likely to be stolen. You would know immediately, since once they disconnected it everything would shut down.

smitcat
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by smitcat » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:54 pm

mouses wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:12 am
Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator.
What? How is this possible?

I am forking out for a Generac natural gas automatic generator scheduled to be installed in a couple of months, due to the queue. My understanding is if the demand is too high and the AC is on, it first cuts off the AC. If the AC is not on, the generator shuts off and has to be restarted by hand.

I am worried about it being stolen. I assume it is heavier than a portable generator. Has anyone secured theirs in some fashion other than the above mentioned locking it to a fence, which there is not one near where it will be.
They bolt them securely to the slab that they are installed on where we are - that way 4 guys cannot lift it and put it on a flatbed trailer in 2 minutes time.

radiowave
Posts: 1830
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by radiowave » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:55 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:24 am
Picked up an extra quart of stove fuel yesterday though I expect it'll stay sealed until a few camping trips from now. I always have a week of non perishable food on hand.

Unfortunately we got a lot of rain here last night and more showers expected next day or so, so the ground will be saturated even before we see a drop from Florence. Here near Chapel Hill and uphill from the floodplain my only real worry is getting a tree down on the house. Little I can do about that but wait.

I hope local employers are smart enough to close. During ice storms (our most frequent natural disaster) they often require people to justify an absence even when local government has issued stay-home warnings, enticing a bunch of folks out on to the road before conditions have really improved.
I was in Chapel Hill during Fran, a lot of trees down and flying debris. When I volunteered with Red Cross doing damage assessment, I was surprised at the spotty major damage, likely due to small tornados rather than straight line winds.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page

User avatar
dratkinson
Posts: 4364
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by dratkinson » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:21 pm

mouses wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:12 am
Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator.
What? How is this possible?

I am forking out for a Generac natural gas automatic generator scheduled to be installed in a couple of months, due to the queue. My understanding is if the demand is too high and the AC is on, it first cuts off the AC. If the AC is not on, the generator shuts off and has to be restarted by hand.

I am worried about it being stolen. I assume it is heavier than a portable generator. Has anyone secured theirs in some fashion other than the above mentioned locking it to a fence, which there is not one near where it will be.
Older, smaller (portable) generators were not smart and depended upon people to manage the electrical load*. If we don't, we can overload the generator and burn out its wiring. With such a generator, if it can only handle 5KW, and you turn on much more than that in electrical loads, you will cause a brown-out condition (low voltage, high current) that will burn out electrical wiring in your motors (refrigerator, furnace,...) and generator.

* I have two such. Both are over 30yrs old and neither has any smarts (circuit breakers, low oil shutoff, automatic voltage regulator,...). An Onan 6.5KW NH (think motor home generator---quiet), and a Pincor 5KW (think construction generator, B&S 11hp motor---loud). The downside is I must manage everything (electrical load, oil level,...). The upside is both are bullet-proof simple because they have no electronics to fail. Meaning they will continue to work through/after a HEMP event, if they had to.

But I"m seriously thinking about replacing both with a (portable) smart duel-fuel ~6KW inverter generator for the increased fuel efficiency and quiet, and so I can connect it to my home's NG supply. I could get rid of several 6gal cans, and only keep one 2gal can for my lawnmower and snowblower. Life would be much simpler if I no longer needed to schlep gasoline during a power outage.



Your Generac will be smart enough to take care of itself. Will be hard-connected to your home's NG and electrical systems. And will be heavy. Meaning, it will be hard to steal. So I wouldn't worry about it being stolen.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

HereToLearn
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by HereToLearn » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:46 pm

Did I miss in the above posts the importance of shutting off the power to the house before connecting the portable generator?

Am feeling very fortunate that I have not needed the generator since I had the sub-panel installed three years ago. Hoping my luck holds.

Best of luck to everyone in harm's way.

Iowa David
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:53 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Iowa David » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:52 pm

After reading the tips, it’s clear that many Bogleheads are as disciplined in their preparedness for natural disasters as they are retirement.
"Just a 1 percent difference in expenses makes an 18 percent difference in returns when compounded over 20 years." The Boglehead's Guide to Investing

drawpoker
Posts: 2055
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:33 pm
Location: Delmarva

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by drawpoker » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:40 am

And, our memories are just as disciplined here for total recall.

With Floyd (1999) it was the amount of water. Damn thing stalled right over us, not moving forward, and it was the 1st time I really worried the rainfall was so much it would get it under the patio door and flood my (one story) house.

With Isabel (2003) it was the wind. Horrible, worst of it coming in darkness. Work crew superintendent building the subdivision behind me failed to secure all of their materials, despite plenty of advance warning of hurricane. For hours I watched, heard, dangerous, heavy missiles from building construction material flying past my house, barely missing windows and roof.

Irene (2011) no big flooding threat, no bad wind. Musta been something, tho, cuz the power was out for like 15 hours.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14397
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by Watty » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:52 am

Something I saw mentioned on another board was that some of the areas that may flood have a lot of things like pig farms, feedlots, and sewage treatment plants that may be upstream that may flood and the flood water may be very contaminated. In addition to staying out of it having ways to try to sanitize your hands would be good to have. I have seen mixed reviews on how effective hand sanitizer but a weak solution of bleach water might work.

smitcat
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by smitcat » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:25 am

dratkinson wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:21 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:12 am
Blueskies123 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:09 am
They then proceeded to start their generator and attempted to turn on every appliance in the house destroying their generator.
What? How is this possible?

I am forking out for a Generac natural gas automatic generator scheduled to be installed in a couple of months, due to the queue. My understanding is if the demand is too high and the AC is on, it first cuts off the AC. If the AC is not on, the generator shuts off and has to be restarted by hand.

I am worried about it being stolen. I assume it is heavier than a portable generator. Has anyone secured theirs in some fashion other than the above mentioned locking it to a fence, which there is not one near where it will be.
Older, smaller (portable) generators were not smart and depended upon people to manage the electrical load*. If we don't, we can overload the generator and burn out its wiring. With such a generator, if it can only handle 5KW, and you turn on much more than that in electrical loads, you will cause a brown-out condition (low voltage, high current) that will burn out electrical wiring in your motors (refrigerator, furnace,...) and generator.

* I have two such. Both are over 30yrs old and neither has any smarts (circuit breakers, low oil shutoff, automatic voltage regulator,...). An Onan 6.5KW NH (think motor home generator---quiet), and a Pincor 5KW (think construction generator, B&S 11hp motor---loud). The downside is I must manage everything (electrical load, oil level,...). The upside is both are bullet-proof simple because they have no electronics to fail. Meaning they will continue to work through/after a HEMP event, if they had to.

But I"m seriously thinking about replacing both with a (portable) smart duel-fuel ~6KW inverter generator for the increased fuel efficiency and quiet, and so I can connect it to my home's NG supply. I could get rid of several 6gal cans, and only keep one 2gal can for my lawnmower and snowblower. Life would be much simpler if I no longer needed to schlep gasoline during a power outage.



Your Generac will be smart enough to take care of itself. Will be hard-connected to your home's NG and electrical systems. And will be heavy. Meaning, it will be hard to steal. So I wouldn't worry about it being stolen.
FWIW - after hurricane Sandy much of the natural gas lines were either down or tainted with water for a week or more. We can run dual fuel but typically stay with gasoline as it is within our control and easily planned.

User avatar
KSOC
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:53 pm
Location: Central Florida

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Post by KSOC » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:04 am

KSOC wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:48 pm
My 5500 watt generator goes on the back screened porch (assuming it's still there.) We set it up the day after. It's placed close enough I can run the cable into the garage to the transfer switch. Put carbon monoxide detector inside but near the generator, and one near your bedrooms. I have a fan beside the generator pushing the exhaust away from the house. Pray the storm drifts out to sea or breaks up. Any homeowner in hurricane country should already have what they need other than gas & perishables.
Some follow up after reading the posts.
Yes, disconnect electric company at the panel switch.
I turn of all the breakers, turn on the breaker for the generator.
I have documented what exactly each breaker controls, & printed it out. Hangs on wall by panel.
Also have a list of what each appliance draws starting & running.
We turn breakers on & off as we need. If I need hot water, we turn everything else off. Never use the stove but will use microwave after checking my load sheet.
Bought a portable A/C unit last year. We run at night to help sleep. In front room near our bedroom. 79° w/low humidity is miles better than 86° with all the lovely Florida September humidity.
Once we get the pool cleaned out (no cage) we'll run it a few hours a day to prevent algae.
Also, not sure how I feel about this, but I ponder turning off all outside lighting. In the past, my house has stuck out because my lights were on but no other house on the block had a generator. I think that has changed now but nothing screams "generator" to looters like a lit up house.
Too soon old, too late smart.

Post Reply