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Hurricane tips to share with others

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Hurricane tips to share with others

Old 09-11-2018, 11:14 AM
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Default Hurricane tips to share with others

Having gone thru Irma, I learned a few things along the way, bet there are many here that have. But I am sure there are many that have not been thru this.

If you are leaving your house, turn off the water main outside.

Turn off your main breakers if you can and put a big note in a place that, after storm rescuers can see that your water and electric is shut off. Also turn off your gas supply outside.

This next one is really a guessing game as you don't have a clue how high the water will come in. I really had wished I could have have raised up much of the furniture even if it would have meant installing hooks in the ceiling joist and roping as much as I could as high as I could. If you don't get the water its an easy fix to patch. Remember everything in the house will float including the appliances. Do not put valuables in the dishwasher, as mine was full of water even though it was latched.

Empty any food that will spoil in freezers and frig. Bring all your insurance contact info with you when you leave. If you can video each room slowly from every angle. It surprised me how many items were missing after the storm that we had on the video. In my case they were all outside items and not missing from looting.

For all the guys that have been thou this please add.
Old 09-11-2018, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Having gone thru Irma, I learned a few things along the way, bet there are many here that have. But I am sure there are many that have not been thru this.

If you are leaving your house, turn off the water main outside.

Turn off your main breakers if you can and put a big note in a place that, after storm rescuers can see that your water and electric is shut off. Also turn off your gas supply outside.

This next one is really a guessing game as you don't have a clue how high the water will come in. I really had wished I could have have raised up much of the furniture even if it would have meant installing hooks in the ceiling joist and roping as much as I could as high as I could. If you don't get the water its an easy fix to patch. Remember everything in the house will float including the appliances. Do not put valuables in the dishwasher, as mine was full of water even though it was latched.

Empty any food that will spoil in freezers and frig. Bring all your insurance contact info with you when you leave. If you can video each room slowly from every angle. It surprised me how many items were missing after the storm that we had on the video. In my case they were all outside items and not missing from looting.

For all the guys that have been thou this please add.
When you shut off power, empty your fridge/freezer, and leave them open. Dry out with a towel. Don't forget the ice maker.

In the garage/storage sheds, move everything as high as possible.

If at all possible, take multple gas cans with you when you leave, and have them full when you show back up. When heading back post storm, fill up your car/truck frequently on your return trip even if it isn't empty, as it may take a few days for the fuel supply there to return to normal. You want to have as full of a tank as possible plus spare gas when you arrive home.
Old 09-11-2018, 11:36 AM
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:44 AM
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Get chain saws and fuel. Still have time to cut down trees that will come down later this week. Better on the ground than on your house. Propane for grill. Fire up the generator to be sure it runs. All outdoor furniture secured. Take pics of everything.
Old 09-11-2018, 11:49 AM
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Check your spare tire on your vehicle (if it has one) and buy fix a flat/plug kit at your evacuation location. If you are in an area that is hard hit, flat tires will happen.
Old 09-11-2018, 11:56 AM
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Last year I loaded up on charcoal and smoked 3or 4 butts for friends and family,pulled three in tin foil pan then in the cooler. Everyone loves being able to go make a pull pork sandwich at any time. Oh and empty your fridge. I would much rather clean my now rather than a few days later when things are rotten.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:10 PM
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Fill a bathtub or a couple large Tupperware containers (like used for Christmas decorations) with water and a splash of bleach. You won't be drinking this, but it will be useful for flushing toilets. If you have a pool, no need as you can use that water.

Add extra liquid chlorine to your pool while the pump is still circulating, and have a few extra jugs for afterwards. Propane already mentioned.

I have a ton of outdoor furniture that I was able to lash to some stout palms as there was no room left in the garage.

If you have boat batteries, remove them and put them somewhere accessible. I was able to rig up an inverter to keep cable modem if needed, charge cell phones, and other low draw applications.

We rode a few hurricanes out (Jeanne, Frances, Wilma, Matthew, Irma) and dragged mattresses into our interior family room with well protected windows. Wife and two kids kept close and made it a slumber party.

Minimize water and sewer usage after the storm. If there are widespread power outages, the utility is probably struggling to keep up at the plant and at lift stations. Just because you're off work doesn't mean now is the time to do a ton of laundry.

You can't have enough extension cords if you are running a portable generator. Or bicycle pumps.

Last edited by louiefl; 09-12-2018 at 10:58 AM.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:21 PM
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after you have evacuated and have returned home; before you evacuate and if you leave items in the freezer; fill a glass with water, place it in the freezer, when frozen place a coin on top of the frozen water. IF the power goes out the water will defrost and the coin will sink- you will be able to tell if the power went out for a short time and the freezer items are safe or not. if the coin is at the bottom of the cup it is likely your items are ruined. of course the rotten meat smell will alert you if electricity has been out for an extended period of time.
electricians and power workers will hate me for this one - after Hurricane katrina passed and during the cleanup we ran a generator plugged into a circuit of the house - we had to have a male/male pigtail made to make this work. plugged one male end into the generator, plugged the other male end into the female end of the extension cord, plugged the male end of the extension cord into a circuit of the house (wall socket). that socket will be connected to other circuits and allowed us to have lamps and small electrical items running like fans to dry things out. we had to have to plug the cord into several wall outlets until we figured out which circuit operates which wall sockets and appliances ; we made sure to switch off the main circuit to the house so we did not backfeed and shock electrical workers when they come to our neighborhood. NEVER run a generator inside your house... you will die. we ran a small window A/C unit in one bedroom so we could cool off throughout the day and sleep relatively comfortably. once electricity was restored, we disconnected the generator and got back on community power. disclosure- I am not an electrician and expect to get flamed by those that are but I did all of the above and lived to pass on the info. nobody died, got shocked or was otherwise harmed. our water level never rose above the wall sockets so our wiring was ok to attempt the above. please consult someone more qualified than I if you have any questions or concerns.
hopefully electricity will be restored quickly and you will not need to resort to the desperate generator method above but we were desperate and it allowed us to survive in relative comfort, cook and sleep better at night.
water, gas and neighbors will become very important - get to know them and help where you can.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:22 PM
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It's already effed down east. There isn't any gas between Morehead/Beaufort all the way up to Kinston. Flood waters are going to make Isabel look like a pond. We may have a couple coming from Harkers to our pet friendly guest house, if they can find gas. I got plenty to get them home if they can get here.

Supplies:
Gas
Liquor
Weed
Propane tanks
Charcoal
Food
Generator

Plus we have a "bathtub bladder" we have never used. I'm inland but also went thru Hugo. If it hits where they are predicting I may just take the insurance money and sell the property a build a little cabin in the mountains and just rent when we go to the coast.

Amazon Amazon
Old 09-11-2018, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by HuntersDad View Post
after you have evacuated and have returned home; before you evacuate and if you leave items in the freezer; fill a glass with water, place it in the freezer, when frozen place a coin on top of the frozen water. IF the power goes out the water will defrost and the coin will sink- you will be able to tell if the power went out for a short time and the freezer items are safe or not. if the coin is at the bottom of the cup it is likely your items are ruined. of course the rotten meat smell will alert you if electricity has been out for an extended period of time..
I would choose a plastic cup, not glass. I'm sure that is what you meant but not everyone knows that many glass cups will fracture in the freezer when the ice forms and expands.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:37 PM
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Add this to your list - Be prepared for a fire. In all the concern for wind and water for Irma we never prepared for a fire. We had a close call when branches caught fire above our our roof.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:37 PM
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I have a septic tank and ejection system to the elevated drain field.
No power, no pump.

Find the clean-out that`s burried between the house and the septic tank.
Dig a "redneck septic tank" around the clean-out ( deep hole). and take the cap off of the clean out pipe.

I then cover the hole with a piece of ply wood.

You are now free to poo at will. Just make sure you have water to flush.
My hot tub provided that.
Old 09-11-2018, 12:51 PM
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A boat storage lesson... our weekend house near Marco received a direct Irma hit. With the storm coming I took my boat off the lift and wedged it on the trailer between a fence and a staircase - about 1 foot of space on each side. I secured the boat to the trailer, and the boat to the house and the fence, thinking it might float but wouldn't be able to go very far.

It ended up that it did float... and came to rest jammed under the stairs so much I had to disassemble them and get a forklift to lift the boat sideways enough to get it out of there.

In retrospect I should have left it in the front yard, a more open area, tethered bow and stern. It would have simply floated around and come to rest in a place I could easily get it out of.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:05 PM
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Cash in denominations of $5,$10,$20's, had a well healed attorney tell me he was good for cash but back two days later because his bank was shut down in N.O.
Pistol for the gas station to keep order.
Duct tape; freezers will keep items frozen for a week if you tape the gaskets. You can run them off a generator for 3 hours/day and maintain for a month.
Gallon zip locks, contractor garbage bags, new brooms.
Extra chain for each saw, maybe two.
Call insurance claim number as the eye is passing over.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:06 PM
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Pace yourselves. Don't work for 36 hours straight before the storm hits and then get shitfaced and pass out only to be woken by water dripping from the ceiling. Stumble outside "WTF my roof's gone."
Old 09-11-2018, 01:06 PM
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Don't wait until a hurricane warning goes out to call your insurance agent to review you policies. By then they are unable to make changes to your policy. I'm in the business and just today I've talked to three people who didn't want to review their policies on renewal but thought today was a good day for a review. Also flood policies have a 30 day grace period.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:11 PM
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Several bicycle pumps are absolutely invaluable. Check the ones that you have to make sure that they're in working condition.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:22 PM
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1) Check your sump pumps to make sure they're working even if you've NEVER flooded before. Ground water can be a problem.

2) If your boat is on a trailer in your yard it WILL FLOAT with the trailer. Ask me how I know. If you can, tie it to the trailer and then secure it to the trailer to ground with a longer leash. Just know that it CAN float into your home.

3) Things you think the water won't get to, will. Put them up higher than even you expect them to go.

4) Tie your docks to your bulkhead. Even the fixed docks. You don't want your property floating into your neighbors yard.

5) Fill up every vehicle you own.

6) Spare gas cans, fill them with gas.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
Don't wait until a hurricane warning goes out to call your insurance agent to review you policies. By then they are unable to make changes to your policy. I'm in the business and just today I've talked to three people who didn't want to review their policies on renewal but thought today was a good day for a review. Also flood policies have a 30 day grace period.
This^ except there used to be a no wait on a flood policy if needed to close on a loan. Go re-finance quickly.

And yep, we have already received our "no binding" notices from all our companies. Had to tell one company that we should be able to write GL and Work Comp and they finally agreed. Dumbass insurance companies. Even caught chit a few years ago when we tried to add a car to a PP auto policy. I finally convinced them that there was automatic coverage and that they couldn't use "underwriting" to change the contract.. Did I mention dumbass insurance companies.
Old 09-11-2018, 01:27 PM
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Please don't make up that male to male suicide cord for your generator. Get a real interlock device (that can be as simple as a metal deal that only allows the back feed breaker to turn on when the main is off) and use a dedicated back feed circuit with the male plug on it.
Generators kill as many people as the hurricane itself most of the time.

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