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Who here believes in keeping a fair amount of food and essentials on hand?  We're doing a super healthy dinner consisting of Waffle House inspired "All the Way" hash browns, waffles, omelets, and who knows what else tonight, and as I was digging through the pantry for the sausage gravy and chili (normally I make my own slow cooker chili, but tonight we're keeping it simple), I was satisfied seeing that my food stocks are slowly dwindling.  With a move coming in a few months it's time to eat what we can before we donate whatever's left.

 

The events of two years ago validated my belief of buying in bulk and keeping a decent supply of both food and essentials on-hand.  While people were hoarding toilet paper I already had a couple months' supply.  When the shelves started getting bare, I had enough canned goods, pasta, and other shelf-stable foods to avoid panicking as so many others were doing at the time.  At the start of the year we had a few days long power outage, with temperatures dropping below freezing.  Despite not being as prepared as I would have liked in this all electric house, I had firewood and enough charged power tool batteries to keep the cell phones charged (though service was non-existent) and run some lights.  I also rigged up a sterno stove and was able to use it and the propane grill to feed everyone.

 

In a few months I'm moving to the Gulf Coast and my plan is to be prepared each hurricane season.  Also, as evidenced by my trip down there last February, there is the occasional freak ice storm which Gulf Coast states are never prepared for.  Right now the plan is to keep 25-50 gallons of gas on hand, rotating out about 1/3 each month.  I have at least six propane tanks I plan to keep filled and plan to get a big chest freezer to keep about 100 pounds of ice in (for food and evaporative cooling with the Arctic Cove fan.  My house down there lacks a pantry, but I have plenty of shelving and will be keeping at least six months of canned food and staples on hand.  I also plan to find a good butcher and keep a few months' worth of frozen meat on hand.  Oh, and there's plans for a garden and the goats I tease my wife about getting (she tells me she's going to laugh when the goats eat the vegetables).  

 

Maybe I'm what some would call a "prepper", but I believe in avoiding the stress that many Americans face when they are out of their comfort zone.  If I can't get to the store, or if the power is out for a week or two, I want the family to be as comfortable and well-fed as possible.  It's bad enough when the internet goes out, with constant yells of "I'm borrrreeeeedddd". 🥺  So, what is your philosophy?  Do you just make the weekly trip to the grocery store and rely on Uber Eats if you can't get out, evacuate if severe weather is moving in, or make basic preparations to shelter in place for an indeterminate amount of time?

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Not mentioned but am sure there is a generator w/ sufficient fuel storage.

 

Note that the biggest issue to properly protect from is flooding.

 

Nice list...

 

When Irma trucked through several years ago I had to suffer through less than an hour of no TV / Internet and was searching for where to file my complaint on the outage, when it suddenly restored.

 

While I remained on my waterfront property for that storm, I moved my vehicles to an elevated garage, plus sent the wife and her parents inland, out of the storm path (at the decision time). The storm turned, passed over them, not me, leaving them in the dark and stranded w/ the roads closed for days.

 

Preparation w/ storm windows / doors and EVERYTHING possible stored inside. Hopefully negligent neighbor stuff doesn't projectile through your stuff.

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53 minutes ago, wingless said:

Not mentioned but am sure there is a generator w/ sufficient fuel storage.

 

Note that the biggest issue to properly protect from is flooding.

 

Nice list...

 

When Irma trucked through several years ago I had to suffer through less than an hour of no TV / Internet and was searching for where to file my complaint on the outage, when it suddenly restored.

 

While I remained on my waterfront property for that storm, I moved my vehicles to an elevated garage, plus sent the wife and her parents inland, out of the storm path (at the decision time). The storm turned, passed over them, not me, leaving them in the dark and stranded w/ the roads closed for days.

 

Preparation w/ storm windows / doors and EVERYTHING possible stored inside. Hopefully negligent neighbor stuff doesn't projectile through your stuff.

I

 

1 hour ago, fm2176 said:

Who here believes in keeping a fair amount of food and essentials on hand?  We're doing a super healthy dinner consisting of Waffle House inspired "All the Way" hash browns, waffles, omelets, and who knows what else tonight, and as I was digging through the pantry for the sausage gravy and chili (normally I make my own slow cooker chili, but tonight we're keeping it simple), I was satisfied seeing that my food stocks are slowly dwindling.  With a move coming in a few months it's time to eat what we can before we donate whatever's left.

 

The events of two years ago validated my belief of buying in bulk and keeping a decent supply of both food and essentials on-hand.  While people were hoarding toilet paper I already had a couple months' supply.  When the shelves started getting bare, I had enough canned goods, pasta, and other shelf-stable foods to avoid panicking as so many others were doing at the time.  At the start of the year we had a few days long power outage, with temperatures dropping below freezing.  Despite not being as prepared as I would have liked in this all electric house, I had firewood and enough charged power tool batteries to keep the cell phones charged (though service was non-existent) and run some lights.  I also rigged up a sterno stove and was able to use it and the propane grill to feed everyone.

 

In a few months I'm moving to the Gulf Coast and my plan is to be prepared each hurricane season.  Also, as evidenced by my trip down there last February, there is the occasional freak ice storm which Gulf Coast states are never prepared for.  Right now the plan is to keep 25-50 gallons of gas on hand, rotating out about 1/3 each month.  I have at least six propane tanks I plan to keep filled and plan to get a big chest freezer to keep about 100 pounds of ice in (for food and evaporative cooling with the Arctic Cove fan.  My house down there lacks a pantry, but I have plenty of shelving and will be keeping at least six months of canned food and staples on hand.  I also plan to find a good butcher and keep a few months' worth of frozen meat on hand.  Oh, and there's plans for a garden and the goats I tease my wife about getting (she tells me she's going to laugh when the goats eat the vegetables).  

 

Maybe I'm what some would call a "prepper", but I believe in avoiding the stress that many Americans face when they are out of their comfort zone.  If I can't get to the store, or if the power is out for a week or two, I want the family to be as comfortable and well-fed as possible.  It's bad enough when the internet goes out, with constant yells of "I'm borrrreeeeedddd". 🥺  So, what is your philosophy?  Do you just make the weekly trip to the grocery store and rely on Uber Eats if you can't get out, evacuate if severe weather is moving in, or make basic preparations to shelter in place for an indeterminate amount of time?

I think if you want to have peace of mind you should have a some solar cells, and a small wind turbine, here in London they do assemble small wind turbines next to the windows on the wall, quite small and easy to maintain. 

Also you should think of a fuel tank and a gas tank. I have seen some residential gas tanks that they have been assembled underground a few meters away from the house and they fill them up a few times a year. It depends on the space you have also, you might want to keep some wood also to burn in case if nothing else is available. I have no idea about the US but here in London people live in dense areas and they do not have enough garden to grow a few vegetables at least, from my point of view a little green house is an essential thing to have. This city life that we have created is not normal, we are too dependent on others! In pandemic time we could see how this dependency was/is fragile...

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1 hour ago, wingless said:

Not mentioned but am sure there is a generator w/ sufficient fuel storage.

 

Note that the biggest issue to properly protect from is flooding.

 

Nice list...

 

When Irma trucked through several years ago I had to suffer through less than an hour of no TV / Internet and was searching for where to file my complaint on the outage, when it suddenly restored.

 

While I remained on my waterfront property for that storm, I moved my vehicles to an elevated garage, plus sent the wife and her parents inland, out of the storm path (at the decision time). The storm turned, passed over them, not me, leaving them in the dark and stranded w/ the roads closed for days.

 

Preparation w/ storm windows / doors and EVERYTHING possible stored inside. Hopefully negligent neighbor stuff doesn't projectile through your stuff.

I think you should make fully reinforced concrete houses in stormy parts of the US. 

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1 hour ago, wingless said:

Not mentioned but am sure there is a generator w/ sufficient fuel storage.

 

Note that the biggest issue to properly protect from is flooding.

 

Nice list...

 

When Irma trucked through several years ago I had to suffer through less than an hour of no TV / Internet and was searching for where to file my complaint on the outage, when it suddenly restored.

 

While I remained on my waterfront property for that storm, I moved my vehicles to an elevated garage, plus sent the wife and her parents inland, out of the storm path (at the decision time). The storm turned, passed over them, not me, leaving them in the dark and stranded w/ the roads closed for days.

 

Preparation w/ storm windows / doors and EVERYTHING possible stored inside. Hopefully negligent neighbor stuff doesn't projectile through your stuff.

 

Yes, a generator is on the short list, and the reason for keeping so much gasoline.  Ideally we'll get a backup generator like a Generac, and if needed I'll get a NG or propane tank for it (haven't done a lot of research yet).  I did have a generator but someone decided they needed cocaine more than I needed it just before I went to the beautiful Land of the Afghans.

 

I found a bunch of moisture absorbing flood barriers on clearance in a Savannah, GA area Lowe's before I moved from the area in 2016, but passed as I figured they might not be useable by the time I retired.  Of course, after a career in the Army I have a small number of sandbags, but my portion of the street has never flooded, even when the 2016 floods claimed 80% of the Parish.

 

Finally, I have nice cypress shutters that match my house columns, but I'm thinking about making functional shutters to protect the interior against hurricane or tornado debris.  Heck, I'm even considering installing a tornado shelter inside the house...it's built on a concrete slab, so why not?

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On 4/1/2022 at 3:51 PM, Altan said:

I think you should make fully reinforced concrete houses in stormy parts of the US. 

 

That isn't a bad idea, but I think it would be cost prohibitive for a lot of us.  My house is built on a slab and has survived for over 40 years, so barring a tornado passing directly through it I don't think it's going anywhere.  I'll admit to lucking out when I bought it, as it is just high enough to avoid flooding.  During the 2016 Louisiana floods, an estimated 75% of homes in my parish were a total loss; I was a new Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia and could only watch the reports and hope for the best.  Looking at flood maps, my house and a few others on the street looked like they were islands.

 

Speaking of tornados, I have considered eventually getting a tornado shelter.  The one I linked to would be plenty of space for the family and dogs but smaller ones are often displayed in store in Georgia.  I can probably justify an $8k or so shelter, as it could double as a vault for my guns and other valuables.  I can only imagine sitting in a shelter surrounded by a hundred firearms and thousands of rounds of ammo while the house is torn apart around us.  

 

During the three years I lived down there so far the only major storm was Tropical Storm Lee.  Virginia had more hurricanes hit than my house did.  When I lived in Coastal Georgia we had a tornado come close, though.  I lived in a 100 or so year old shotgun shack with no safe area to shelter in, the power went out, and when I went outside the sky was a weird green color and just seemed odd.  A few minutes later the neighbor came over to check on us, telling us a tornado had passed by.  Those things are no joke; I'm glad they don't seem to hit South Louisiana as much.  Parts of Georgia and Alabama seem to get hit hard each year.

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13 hours ago, fm2176 said:

 

That isn't a bad idea, but I think it would be cost prohibitive for a lot of us.  My house is built on a slab and has survived for over 40 years, so barring a tornado passing directly through it I don't think it's going anywhere.  I'll admit to lucking out when I bought it, as it is just high enough to avoid flooding.  During the 2016 Louisiana floods, an estimated 75% of homes in my parish were a total loss; I was a new Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia and could only watch the reports and hope for the best.  Looking at flood maps, my house and a few others on the street looked like they were islands.

 

Speaking of tornados, I have considered eventually getting a tornado shelter.  The one I linked to would be plenty of space for the family and dogs but smaller ones are often displayed in store in Georgia.  I can probably justify an $8k or so shelter, as it could double as a vault for my guns and other valuables.  I can only imagine sitting in a shelter surrounded by a hundred firearms and thousands of rounds of ammo while the house is torn apart around us.  

 

During the three years I lived down there so far the only major storm was Tropical Storm Lee.  Virginia had more hurricanes hit than my house did.  When I lived in Coastal Georgia we had a tornado come close, though.  I lived in a 100 or so year old shotgun shack with no safe area to shelter in, the power went out, and when I went outside the sky was a weird green color and just seemed odd.  A few minutes later the neighbor came over to check on us, telling us a tornado had passed by.  Those things are no joke; I'm glad they don't seem to hit South Louisiana as much.  Parts of Georgia and Alabama seem to get hit hard each year.

This is a good way of building a house for having peace of mind.

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4 hours ago, Altan said:

This is a good way of building a house for having peace of mind.

 

That's true, but a lot of Americans just want the biggest home they can get for the least amount of money.  My house is almost 2000 square feet, with another 600 square feet of built-in garage space.  I can't imagine how much a reinforced concrete home that size would cost.  

 

Also, going back to cost, a lot of the most storm stricken areas have a large population that lives in trailers.  I grew up in one until we upgraded to a townhouse just before I entered my teens, and I lived in one for a couple of years while in the Army.  I'm just glad I have a brick and wood home to return to in a few months instead of a sheet metal death trap.

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10 hours ago, fm2176 said:

 

That's true, but a lot of Americans just want the biggest home they can get for the least amount of money.  My house is almost 2000 square feet, with another 600 square feet of built-in garage space.  I can't imagine how much a reinforced concrete home that size would cost.  

 

Also, going back to cost, a lot of the most storm stricken areas have a large population that lives in trailers.  I grew up in one until we upgraded to a townhouse just before I entered my teens, and I lived in one for a couple of years while in the Army.  I'm just glad I have a brick and wood home to return to in a few months instead of a sheet metal death trap.

Well, not in this style but a reinforced concrete house can be done in a few steps also, every 3-5 years you can do it partially according to your budget until it is all done. Plus a well built reinforced concrete house can be used by generations, you won't see cracks here and there. 

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Momma Nature can make even the most brave super scared. As an example, during my near brush w/ Irma, the peak winds in my area were ~70MPH and that was waaay more than enough for me.

 

There are solutions for those who really mean: "I don't care what it costs", that will withstand the worst possible conditions. I've seen coastal photos / video of one fully intact house w/ every single other house flattened, followed by an interview w/ the owner, describing the waaay over the top steps to attain that result.

 

For the rest of humanity, do the best incremental improvements and have layers of a plan.

 

Understand all aspects of the existing construction to determine the strongest and weakest interior locations. I had several more secure locations identified at my prior house, still determining the best spots at my current house.

 

From a non-expert these are the most important points, keeping the roof in-place, flood protection, maintaining the integrity of the windows and doors. Then there are all the other "incidentals", like nothing in the yard that will become "missiles", having power, medicine, food, fuel and communications.

 

Experience w/ both manually placed storm shutter panels and w/ hurricane windows, the windows are waaay easier, especially on multiple story structures, but IMO a steel panel bolted over the glass to a block building provides MUCH more protection (at the expense of time, storage, and maintenance, I'm probably the only one to sand and zinc paint my storm shutters). It is also SUPER dark inside when the shutters are up.

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45 minutes ago, wingless said:

Momma Nature can make even the most brave super scared. As an example, during my near brush w/ Irma, the peak winds in my area were ~70MPH and that was waaay more than enough for me.

 

There are solutions for those who really mean: "I don't care what it costs", that will withstand the worst possible conditions. I've seen coastal photos / video of one fully intact house w/ every single other house flattened, followed by an interview w/ the owner, describing the waaay over the top steps to attain that result.

 

For the rest of humanity, do the best incremental improvements and have layers of a plan.

 

Understand all aspects of the existing construction to determine the strongest and weakest interior locations. I had several more secure locations identified at my prior house, still determining the best spots at my current house.

 

From a non-expert these are the most important points, keeping the roof in-place, flood protection, maintaining the integrity of the windows and doors. Then there are all the other "incidentals", like nothing in the yard that will become "missiles", having power, medicine, food, fuel and communications.

 

Experience w/ both manually placed storm shutter panels and w/ hurricane windows, the windows are waaay easier, especially on multiple story structures, but IMO a steel panel bolted over the glass to a block building provides MUCH more protection (at the expense of time, storage, and maintenance, I'm probably the only one to sand and zinc paint my storm shutters). It is also SUPER dark inside when the shutters are up.

I have seen that video. I actually wanted to search for it and put the link here, is it the one that the interview was with a dad and son and they were saying they had to spend 1/3 more to make their house?!

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1 hour ago, wingless said:

Momma Nature can make even the most brave super scared. As an example, during my near brush w/ Irma, the peak winds in my area were ~70MPH and that was waaay more than enough for me.

 

There are solutions for those who really mean: "I don't care what it costs", that will withstand the worst possible conditions. I've seen coastal photos / video of one fully intact house w/ every single other house flattened, followed by an interview w/ the owner, describing the waaay over the top steps to attain that result.

 

For the rest of humanity, do the best incremental improvements and have layers of a plan.

 

Understand all aspects of the existing construction to determine the strongest and weakest interior locations. I had several more secure locations identified at my prior house, still determining the best spots at my current house.

 

From a non-expert these are the most important points, keeping the roof in-place, flood protection, maintaining the integrity of the windows and doors. Then there are all the other "incidentals", like nothing in the yard that will become "missiles", having power, medicine, food, fuel and communications.

 

Experience w/ both manually placed storm shutter panels and w/ hurricane windows, the windows are waaay easier, especially on multiple story structures, but IMO a steel panel bolted over the glass to a block building provides MUCH more protection (at the expense of time, storage, and maintenance, I'm probably the only one to sand and zinc paint my storm shutters). It is also SUPER dark inside when the shutters are up.

 

My house is an Acadian-style originally intended for the homebuilder and his family.  From my understanding, it was the first house built on the street before the developer built the rest of the houses, and he decided to sell it when he had some marital issues.  The build quality seems great, though some of the interior lends credence to the story, as despite having a built-in bookcase and desk and a nice brick fireplace, the flooring consisted of cheap linoleum and carpet when I moved in.  The design itself offers some protection too: there are few windows compared to most houses its size and the roof overhang protects the exterior walls to an extent.  

 

Irma made landfall in Louisiana with 150mph winds but I'll be far enough inland to not have to deal with the full force of storms.  I was drinking beer and grilling when TS Lee hit my area with 45mph winds in 2011; I'm sure a storm like Irma might convince me to go inside.  As it was, I walked out to the flooded yard and found out real quick that those clumps of floating dirt were actually extremely pissed off fire ants.  🤯

 

Those of us who plan ahead and try to "beat the storm", so to speak usually benefit from doing so.  We see it during every major storm, man-made or natural disaster, and other mass panic inducing event.  Empty store shelves, long lines at the gas pumps, and in some cases a 180-degree turn in the temperament of normally polite and helpful people.  IN my opinion, too many Americans live their comfortable lives without thought for what will happen tomorrow.  I'm even guilty of this...when I went to Louisiana last year we'd already reserved a house and rental van, so when my neighbor told me about the inclement weather moving in I figured "It's South Louisiana, it won't be that bad."  Flash forward and we were hunkered down in the Airbnb for three days, fortunately without power loss.

 

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I have a gasoline generator. I have fuel on hand. The Northeast is home to all kinds of weather. Most I ever went without electricity was during Sandy for about a week. That little generator powered the whole house quite well as long as we didn’t run a lot of things that have large start up draws.

 

The wife usually keeps the pantry and fridge stocked. And where we live really isn’t prone wide scale shortages. Where I live is relatively safe, but I got plenty of fire power to protect the family as well.

 

While not a proper prepper. I do keep current with outdoor survival skills. And my job keeps my EMT skills fresh. So depending on the SHTF situation, I’m good. About the only situation I don’t see coming out of are nuclear scenarios. I live way to close to NYC and military targets to think I’d be safe. Just gotta wait out these last few years until retirement and a move to a more wide open area in the country.

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18 hours ago, fyrfytr998 said:

I have a gasoline generator. I have fuel on hand. The Northeast is home to all kinds of weather. Most I ever went without electricity was during Sandy for about a week. That little generator powered the whole house quite well as long as we didn’t run a lot of things that have large start up draws.

 

The wife usually keeps the pantry and fridge stocked. And where we live really isn’t prone wide scale shortages. Where I live is relatively safe, but I got plenty of fire power to protect the family as well.

 

While not a proper prepper. I do keep current with outdoor survival skills. And my job keeps my EMT skills fresh. So depending on the SHTF situation, I’m good. About the only situation I don’t see coming out of are nuclear scenarios. I live way to close to NYC and military targets to think I’d be safe. Just gotta wait out these last few years until retirement and a move to a more wide open area in the country.

 

I agree, a large whole home generator isn't necessary to weather in place.  If I ever have the money in the first place, I really need to do a holistic assessment of my family's needs before buying a backup generator.  My neighbor just runs his portable generator during outages and if it's really uncomfortable inside the house he has a large Class A motorhome.

 

Having some form of home protection is a good idea.  I flipped through a book in my barber shop years ago that documented the New Orleans gun confiscations during the aftermath of Katrina (I think it was this one).  One thing that stood out was the fact that some neighborhoods banded together, blocking roads and having armed patrols to ward off looters and other criminals.  In my opinion, neighbors like that are worth their weight in gold, and one thing I love about my house is that it's on a straight dead end street with a lot of gun owners who believe in looking out after each other.

 

I'm currently 35 miles from DC and grew up 80 miles south of here during the '80s.  Needless to say, I recall the nuclear blast drills we had in school and thinking that if the bombs dropped we'd be far too close for comfort.  There's not a whole lot of strategic targets around Baton Rouge, so it should be safer in such an extreme scenario.  Also, the politics are bit...better.  Sad to think that a state known for corrupt politicians is preferable to those that have skewed interpretations of Constitutional rights and freedom.  Speaking of corrupt politicians, the Mayor of New Orleans during Katrina, Ray Nagin, is himself a convicted felon now.  Glad to see he went from gun-grabbing to prison.

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