Monday, October 29, 2012

6 Quick Tips: Are you ready for Hurricane Sandy?


As Sandy gets closer, people rush to buy bottled water and batteries. Hopefully you’re not one of them but if you are, here’s the skinny on the situation.

     1)    Stay informed and evacuate if mandatory. No material possession is worth risking your life and the life of your loved ones.
Call your family NOW. Lines may go down for days, so let at least two family members know where you plan to be, if you’re staying or not. It may be several days until you communicate with them again.

     2)    If you are bugging in, put up your hurricane shutters. If you don’t have any then an “x” of good tape across the window glass will help stop it from shattering too bad if it gets broken during the storm. Only you know how good of a shelter your home is, the general advice is not to underestimate the situation.

     3)    Remove any objects from your yard that may fly off, maybe against your own windows or yourself! Lawn chairs, toys, anything that could be dangerous if thrown at someone at high speed must be secured indoors.

     4)    Hopefully you’re not just now running to the supermarket and you already have your supplies. Have at least a gallon of water per person per day, have enough for seven days (authorities recommend a 3 day minimum). Store food that doesn’t require refrigeration as the power is likely to go down. Choose food that requires no cooking for this same reason. 

     5)    Charge cell phones, laptops and rechargeable batteries now. Check your rechargeable batteries as some of them lose power on their own as time goes by. Get any dishes or laundry done now. Throw a few bottles in the freeze so as to keep the fridge food cold if the power goes down.

     6)    Have your basic supplies ready. Blankets, LED flashlights, batteries, disposable cardboard plates and cups to make dinner time easier. Given that you may not have water or electricity, this avoids the problem of washing the dishes.  Make sure you have a radio (and batteries) so as to stay informed. Books, cards, board games and toys keep kids entertained, no need to waste power on ipads or Tv sets.

Sandy will be hitting tonight, so good luck everyone!
Feel free to comment here on how things are going around your neck of the woods.



Steve said...

I am at the northern boundary of the storm, but I did go through a 5 day power outage from the October ice storm surprise. A gas barbecue used in a safe area (never indoors or a garage) is a must have. First all your frozen food is rotting, so you might as well chow down.

Don Williams said...

1) I live west of Philadelphia and it looks like Hurricane Sandy is going to run right over top of us.
We are about 60 miles inland from coast so winds are only projected to be 65 to 85 miles per hour, according to recent emergency message from our county emergency center. Sigh.



2) US government screwed the pooch yesterday -- didn't put out shutdown notice until late in the evening --which left people traveling yesterday for meetings today kinda out on a limb. A person I know drove 3.5 hours to DC yesterday --then had to turn around and dash back here (3.5 more hours driving) in the early morning hours to get back home before the winds picked up.

3) Winds this morning have been less than projected by the National Weather Service -- 20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH vice the 40 MPH/gusts to 60 MPH forecast. However, they are picking up in the afternoon.

4) Only thing that really concerns me is the Limerick nuclear power plant located about 20 miles to the northwest (i.e, Upwind.) Those things require continuous electric power to run the water pumps that keep the two nuclear reacters cooled down. They are plugged into two separate electrical grids (they can't feed the electricity they generate to themselves directly because of their enormous output). If the hurricane knocks power towers over, then you have station blackout. I.e, core melts down in a couple of hours unless they can crank up the emergency diesel generators to run the coolant pumps. People don't realize that it takes a day or two to cool the reactor down after control rods are inserted to shut down the nuclear fission --it is a huge, very hot mass.

Plus the Peach Bottom Nuclear plant is located about 40 miles west -- and is the same crappy General Electric 1960s design that went tits up over in Japan.

5) After the Japanese goat fuck a year or two ago, I noticed that (a) the population had to depend upon the government for news of radiation levels and (b) the government appeared to lie on several occasions.

6) So I purchased the Canberra AN/UDR 13 radiation monitor that is used by the US Army and Homeland Security. (It was developed here in Philly --what makes it special is that it is designed (and tested) to work in a nuclear war environment --including high radiation fields and a high attitude electromagnetic pulse.)


7) The Homeland Security/police version allows you to turn off the loud audio alarm and turn on a vibrator. So if you are walking around an urban downtown with it in your front pocket and feel a vibration against your gonads, then you know a radiation source is nearby.

DHS is strange.

KeithC said...

Steve, since you're running a gas grill anyway, get yourself a decent pressure canner (like a AA 921), can up the thawed-out meat and stick it on a shelf until the next storm. No rotting and no wasting all your food in one sitting either.

Don Williams said...

1) Sandy passed by -- maximum winds recorded at Philadelphia airport were only 39 mph, gusting to 49 mph--NOT the 71 mph gusts forecast. The US National Weather Service computer appears to greatly overstate expected wind speeds in its forecasts.

Steve said...

Thanks Keith & Don, thats good advice. I have added both your suggestions to my shopping list.


I think canning is going to make a comeback. Even a small garden produces more than you can eat before it spoils. And regardless of price, the quality of food is becomming more and more suspect. Also

Don Williams said...

1) Philadelphia appears okay but people in some parts of New York City are out of gas, running short on food and without electrical power. There are news reports of fights breaking out:



Don Williams said...

New York Times article on how New York City is highly vulnerable to flooding from rising sea levels due to global warming. Some experts have also predicted increased hurricanes in the future due to higher ocean temperatures from global warming.


Don Williams said...

Sorry --wrong link. Here is link to the NY Times article re the
need for sea walls:


Unknown said...

Steve, since you're running a gas grill anyway, get yourself a decent pressure canner (like a AA 921), can up the thawed-out meat and stick it on a shelf until the next storm. No rotting and no wasting all your food in one sitting either.
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