Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prepare: Traveler Hurricane Preparedness

This post will be dated soon, but the information will always be relevant.

Hurricane Earl is barreling down on the east coast of the United States. We might see landfall anywhere between the Carolinas to Maine.

This comes as we "celebrate" the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina - the big one which desimated the Gulf Coast and cost billions of dollars. Remember what happened then? Remember the stranded people, the floods, the looting, the deaths? Good, time to get ready for Earl and the next hurricane which will most certainly come afterwards.

I heard today that there were several late summer vacationers on the Carolina coasts. Many came from the MidWest. Not many hurricanes make it out there, so you folks had better get ready. There is also a number of business travelers up and down the coast as well.

While the weather outside may be nice now, it will change later this week. When the storm is approaching, the local .gov may call for voluntary evacuations. Residents in the area are already doing what they have known to do for years; they are stocking up at the local grocery stores and gas stations.

What should you - tourist, newcomer, or visitor - be doing now with a hurricane approaching?

Fuel - If you are driving, go fill the car up now. Don't let it fall below three quarters of a tank for the rest of the week. Not only will you have evacuation insurance, you will save money. The gas prices will be going up in the next 24-48 hours. At landfall, the gas stations will be closed.

Go buy at least one five gallon gas container at the hardware store now. I won't tell you to fill it up and stick it in the trunk (that's dangerous and dumb), but I will tell you to keep it handy when the evacuation does happen. Gulf coast residents were running on fumes in multi mile long evacuation routes and forced to pay $20 per gallon for gas. Get a backup!

Money - Hurricanes mean big winds/flooding/storms which equal power outages. Credit and ATM cards won't work. So go thee now to an ATM and get a couple of hundred bucks. Cash is accepted everywhere American Express and Visa are, so you have nothing to lose. Imagine having the ability to purchase bottled water and gas fifteen miles inland as you evacuate during the storm. Priceless.

Water - The last segment made me thirsty. Storms mean no running water. Go get at least one case (24 bottles) of water. If you have an ice chest, fill it with the post-hurricane coin of the realm, ice, and load it up with the case of bottled water. You are now ahead of the crisis curve.  Hotels and motels have ice machines available, by the way.

Food - Nobody wants to haul around a bunch of perishable groceries, but it cannot hurt to get 1-3 days worth of long lasting emergency snack foods. Suppose you get trapped at the hotel unable to evacuate? The cook is not going to show up and make you a club sandwich and the mini mart down the street will have the bars down and windows boarded over. What are you going to eat then?

Pick up the following victuals -

Nuts, crackers, canned tuna fish, jerky, hard candy, gum, protein bars, instant coffee or tea, peanut butter. Also grab a small bottle of bleach for water purification if available.

Lighting - If you have a flashlight in the car or perhaps a small one in your bag, get some extra batteries. If you don't have a flashlight, of course get one with batteries. It might be smart to pick up a candle or two from the hotel bar (along with matches), but only if you have a safe place to keep and use an open flame - somewhere with little chance of an open flame starting a fire, with no gas leaks and with fire fighting apparatus (extinguishers) nearby.

If you have to evacuate, get a local map and soft sided atlas. Multiple routes for escape are always good.

If you find yourself trapped, move to a secure shelter. The biggest threat is falling debris, unsafe shelters (like flimsy trailers or boats) and flooding. I read a great story once about a fellow who rode out Katrina in downtown New Orlenas by checking into the nicest hotel in town and getting an upstairs, center of the building, room.

High rise hotels are above flood waters and since they are hotels, they have stuff, like food and water. Yes, the power may go out, but at least the building should be reasonable secure.

Regarding the man in Katrina, he stayed at the nice hotel for another reason. The nicest hotel had the best paid staff who, incidentally, stayed at their post and looked after the welfare of their guests. The budget hotels abandoned ship and left their guests to the mercy of the city. 

Take important papers, such as drivers license, and make sure they are with you at all times and kept dry. It makes sense to get ahold of a large, resealable plastic bag and put one outfit, with shoes, in it. Dry clothes are a life saver.

If you flew and have no car, contact the airlines now about alternate arrangements to get home. Find out their schedule and what they will do in the event the airport is closed. That same fellow in New Orleans five years ago ended up getting a first class ticket on the first available flight out because he called ahead.

Speaking of contact, keep the cell phone charged. They have backup power chargers for most cell phones which run on common batteries. It makes sense to get one. Also, do you have a transistor radio?

If it were me, I would be leaving the east coast NOW and heading for home and calm skies. But if you have to stay, at least make some preparations now and avoid becoming a victim.


Frugal Life UK said...

What was stunning about katrina, was how long it took the rest of America to do anything; secondly how helpless people were and how little they did to band together and support each other.If that was the UK, there would have been hundreds of Jabbar Gibsons and mass civil disobedience, where people would have taken buses and had helped as many people as possible. I love your blog but I'm not sure if it's serious, tongue in cheek, paranoid and yet laced with some really good advice. I don't know anyone in the UK who is worried about the end of the world - is it an American concern? I don't think mainland Europeans are concerned either:?

JD said...

Frugal UK - Thanks for reading and taking the time to post a comment.

Regarding the time delay for aid to Katrina. In the US, we have a series of laws which dictate what the national government (if that is who you are implying) can and cannot do. For instance, the President cannot send federal troops to take over a relief operation such as what was needed post-Katrina without Congressional approval and without a request from the state government. The president offered aid to the state government before Katrina hit, but the Governor and Mayor of Lousiana did not request it. There are many opinions on what went wrong that week, but regardless, there are still laws on how the government can respond. Don't get me started on what normal citizens are allowed to do to help.

Post-Katrina, there was an outpouring of aid from the government, from all states and more importantly, from average citizens. My home state, Texas, took in over 300,000 residents of Lousiana and housed, fed and educated their children at our own expense (my children's school took in 47 children from NO for the remainder of the school year - overcrowding, but they were our neighbors). In all, government and individuals raised over $132 BILLION dollars in aid to those affected by Katrina. I don't know why civil disobediance is required, (please elaborate on what you mean please), when we got the job as quickly as possible. But as the rest of the world knows, nobody on earth has the means to provide immediate aid and comfort to millions of people overnight. The relief effort took days to coordinate and lessons were learned.

This blog? This blog is something fun that I write in my spare time. Do I take it serious? Well, KAtrina is a great example of how being prepared is neccessary. The world came to an end for millions on the Gulf Coast five years ago didn't it? It does not hurt to be prepared.

Whether or not this is an American thing, it is a cultural thing. Afterall, Hollywood pumps out lots of blockbuster flicks about the same subject (The Day After Tommorrow, Indepdence Day, 2012, etc) and manages to attract millions to the theatres who willingly drop their cash to view it.

Again, thanks for your comments, I love having your thoughts.

JD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Tag and Bookmark

Disclaimer - This blog from time to time reviews products on this blog. Some, but not all, of the products reviewed are affiliate market products and do provide compensation to the blog operator. This blog does receive revenue from advertising on this blog and from the sale of products highlighted on the outside columns and frame of this blog.
This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. For legal, medical, financial or any other professional advice, consult with a licensed professional.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Copyright - all content property of survivalism.blogspot.com 2005 -2011 all rights reserved. Content scrapers and copyright violators will be prosecuted.
storable food, dehydrated food, fod, dry food, food storage, food insurance, freeze dried food, survival food, food sale prices, food sale, bulk food, collapse food, food shortage, survival seeds, non hybrid, non-hybrid, emergency food, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated mixes, dried produce, spices, whole food, mountain house food, mountain house freeze dried food, alpine aire, alpine aire freeze dried food, alpine air, mountainhouse, richmoor, survival food storage, bird flu, emergency survival, emergency preparation, dehydrated storable food, emergency preparedness, long term food storage, long term water storage, long term storable food, camping food, emergency food storage, food reserves, long term food reserves, storage, long term, long-term, dehydrated, gourmet reserves, long shelf life, no cooking required, food storage systems, non perishable food, non-perishable, no cooking food, non cook food, non-cook food, no cook food, basic needs, basic food storage, dry, dry storable, storage, preparedness, personal preparedness, food supply, supplies, seeds, sprouts, food supplier, survival review, collapse food storage, world food shortage, american food shortage


Tripbase Travel Reviews