In the Path of Destruction of Irma.
Was going to drop by and meet you in FL about five years ago when visiting my folks there but my dad got suddenly ill and died after six weeks. Like others, glad to see your post but bad circumstances. My 90 y.o. mom is in a gated community in Boynton Beach in a single family dwelling with two other wtf old people and a generator. She foolishly and now regretfully turned down my Tues plane ticket to BOS and will not have a good time there either. I was wondering if the surge would get her before Irma decided to hit Naples instead, am more optimistic now that a surge won't make it six miles inland. I don't understand why Weather Channel folks talk only about surge height and not how far inland it would go. Good luck to you and Trinity and CCWESQ in Vero. Let us know what happens, I'll post how my mom fared.
On a beach this afternoon in southern Florida.
Posted by Andrew Ian on Saturday, September 9, 2017
I am sort of surprised that preppers don't have a pretty good stash of petrol. When Katrins hit I drove to New York with 35 gallons of extra petrol (stabilized of course) I keep quite a bit on hand for just in case situations. We are still in the fossil fuel age. Solar panels are somewhat limited in a shtf scenario.
I am sort of surprised that preppers don't have a pretty good stash of petrol.
I have 5x 5 gallon gas containers, and keep a good watch on the upcoming weather. Ready to top off all of our vehicles and collect fuel for the generator.
Or are we all still waiting for the A-OK?
Lucked out, had a windy and rainy 24 hours and lost power, got it back. No flooding in Boynton, just trees down where she is. She said it was still traumatic somewhat and next time she will be on first plane out. Oops, she just called, lost power again as I write. Wtf hot/humid in FL, no A/C is intolerable. Back across the street to neighbor with generator.
Well, bad recent FL joke on seeing looter leave Lauderdale store wearing new red shoes. I told my son I thought looter was lucky to find his size. My son said he thought he was a .45.
Power's back up Chris. Only 2.5 days without electricity. Some damage to the patio, and a lot of landscaping destroyed but nothing major. Our area caught a very powerful feeder band so we had winds in the 105-110 mph. It got a bit sporty here for a while.
Will post a post-mortem here shortly. All in all I think we did extremely well and would grade us an A-. That's what years of preparing will do for you.
BUT, there are some lessons learned, including a few that I never thought of nor have seen people talk about here.
I would love to hear the reflections of the Florida PP members on their experiences. We have already hear from some. Thank you guys and gals.
I will abbreviate one bug out report.
What is the best way to make G-d laugh? Tell him your plans.
That was my experience in bugging out from South Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. If you are a regular reader here, I’m sure you would think that I was well prepared for a short term natural disaster. And overall I would say that was true. But though I was much, much more prepared than most people, nothing went quite the way I had envisioned. I didn’t have to stand in line for food that doesn’t need refrigeration. I was able to drive past thousands of people stuck at gas stations because I had enough fuel in Gerry cans to travel out of the state with two cars. And when I landed at my destination, Tallahassee, Florida, I was able to shop very quickly for all the stuff I couldn’t carry.
#10 – Short term emergencies are not (necessarily) the collapse. – I have been trying to explain for years that prepping isn’t about short term natural disasters, but after bugging out from Irma, I think I have a much better perspective of how to explain it.
Don’t by any stretch think that we are done with the damage of Hurricane Irma. …. But still, Irma is what I would consider a very short term emergency, and as I said, I think I figured out the key difference. In a short term emergency, there will be people who can help other people, and who are willing to help other people. In the collapse, the only “safe” place will be where you personally have food, water, security, and a roof over your head, and that isn’t flooded with water, radiation or refugees.
I knew that if I went out of the storm track, there would be no pandemonium, no lack of supplies, and nothing preventing us from having the baby without any drama. So I was able to go to my cousins, who were friends with a midwife up in Tallahassee.
People who don’t perceive a threat to themselves will help other people. With the collapse, for a time people will help each other, but as it becomes more and more clear that there will be no return to normal, that will end, and it will end ugly.
#9 – You can’t always take it with you. – Most of the long term readers here will tell you that I am no advocate of bugging out. But even so, I have a whole trailer of supplies that I can tow on the road. … I left the trailer behind and only took a large cooler and some road food. In the cars we really had no room because…
#8 – Gas takes a ton of space. – We ended up having to take two SUVs out of SoFlo, because we bugged out my mother in law and a total of 6 pets. I had 60 gallons of gasoline on hand in cans, and after topping off both tanks, we traveled with 8 steel Gerry cans, which took up about half the storage space in one car. There was no gas on the road at all, and thousands of families were stuck waiting, many of them fuming that they had gas coming to them, yet none arrived. About 100 miles out I pulled into a rest area North of Orlando and parked amidst the standing big rigs so I could hide and fill my tanks. By then people were already really angry, and desperate, and I think that breaking out that much gas would have caused a stir, if not a gunfight.
#7 – Sheep is a kind word for most people, and an insult to sheep. – It took us 13 hours to make a normally 7 hour trip, and it was not because there was too much overall volume on the roads. The delays were only before the rest areas, and created purely out of stupidity. After we passed a rest area we would go from stop and go traffic to instantly 70mph, then as the next rest area approached traffic would get slower, then there were red brake lights. Going North, this delay started as 5 miles before the rest area, then turned into 20 miles before as people decided that they needed to stop and top off, because they thought the rest areas had gas.
The problem was, none of the rest areas had any gas, and each rest area had hundreds of vehicles backed up and turned off before the pumps. A ton of people left last minute, with nothing, and very little gas.
In the back of the line nobody knew this, so as people came up to the long line on the left, many decided that they didn’t want to wait so they figured they would go to the front and cut the line. But the line wasn’t moving, so there was nobody to jump in front of. They would then stop and wait, until the second line backed up, then the third line would start, and that was when the Florida Turnpike turned into a parking lot.
#6 – Battery powered optics are for soldiers. – My “ready rifle” is a Tavor SAR, and it has an EOTech [sight on it.] Of course the battery was dead, and in my brain fog of trying to get out, I forgot that I had relocated all of my oddball batteries to a single box so “I wouldn’t lose track of them.” Thankfully if I really got stuck, the SAR has flip up irons, but the experience told me that battery powered optics are for soldiers who use them every day, and who carry backup batteries.
#5 – Stock up when you land. – When we first landed in Tallahassee, I filled up two carts with food, got two bottles of propane and a double propane stove from Bass Pro. My cousins, like most Americans, only have a few days worth of food in the house, but after one inexpensive trip to Walmart, we all could have survived a month. It ended up that we only lost power for a day, and everything was fine, but it’s easy to Monday quarterback when things go well. When it eventually doesn’t go well, all of the Monday quarterbacks will be dead.
#4 – Knowledge is survival. – I’m sure many of you reading this are long time readers, and you have learned with me all about calories per dollar, how to cook off grid, how to get water, etc. Don’t discount how important that knowledge will be if you get displaced with a bunch of people and you have to stock up from scratch.
When I went to Walmart, everyone was clamoring for the canned food, and I was able to get hundreds of pounds of flour, sugar, beans, rice, and pasta for a fraction of the price that similar calories would cost in cans. Generally canned food runs at about 100 to 500 calories per dollar, as does Velveeta cheese and nonfat dried milk. Walmart flour in 25 pound bags is over 5,000 calories per dollar. Beans and Rice are over 1,000 calories per dollar, as is sugar and pasta. I’m not saying don’t indulge in some Dinty Moore. But if you only have a “30 Day Supply” that you paid 100 calories per dollar for, you might want to take a look at some of my prior work here. Because…
#3 – The mouths will most likely stack up. – You may think “hey it’s just my wife and I,” but whether you stay in or bug out, most likely you are going to get wound up with other people who help you, or who you help, and your contribution to the relationship may be food. I personally ended up with a total of 14 humans to feed. … The more you plan for unexpected mouths, the more likely it will be that the other people are a help, and not a hindrance.
#2 – We all can be blindsided. – I think most preppers have a scenario in our heads of what we will do when “it all collapses.” The government will cease to exist. Money won’t work. Yadda yadda yadda. But if this past month has taught me anything, it is that nobody knows the future. I had never even considered that weaponized weather would be sent at us, as opposed to government storm troopers. I wasn’t prepared for anything to do with a flood. Where would I even keep a boat, assuming that a boat would even help? My prepping stuff is good for all 99% of all situations, but what if lost in that 1% is the key ingredient to survival?
#1 – This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. – From a famous poem by T.S. Eliot. And I wonder. Maybe there won’t be an event that we associate as "the day the collapse happened." Maybe we will just slip into a period where things will get worse and worse, and they never get better. Is this the beginning of a wave of compounding crisis that eventually leaves humanity grabbing for what once was?
When I saw South Florida plummet into crisis literally days after our trucks left for Houston, it made me start to think about things that are going on in the world. …
If crisis are stacked on top of each other, each of us will help the next guy, and then we will get hit ourselves. There will be no mass realization that the game of musical chairs is over. Eventually there will be nobody who can help anyone, and everyone who was somewhat prepared will have already given up their [surplus] resources to help others.
I lived in SW Houston in 1983 and sat the storm out. While it did a tremendous amount of damage, a friend picked me up the next morning and we toured much of SW Houston in his car.
I found a couple of tropical storms in the late 80's to be worse from a safety standpoint. These I experienced in Galveston… The wind was so strong we couldn't keep the casement windows closed at our apartment. I never doubted the structure itself as it was a former VA hospital (4400 Ursuline) that had walls a couple of feet thick or so.
We are way to dependent on electric and fossil fuel! My area got real lucky as the storm veered east and wind speeds dropped just before making contact. We still got 95 mph gusts which caused major power outages. Some people are still without power.
Without electric most stores and gas stations without generators closed and cell phone towers only worked for calls and texts. So no data for gps, weather updates or YouTube browsing. AM/FM radios worked, I have two small portable units and no longer get made fun of for having them.
Tip one have old fashion maps and small radio.
We all know it but I will say it anyways, almost no one is prepared for even the slightest emergency! Even with weeks of notice people were not prepared for being without power for more than a day. This scares me the most. I witnessed many people just lock up and do nothing but panic and expect that someone will fix it for them.
Tip two the bathroom! In my city we count on electric powered lift stations to pump our waste out of the city. Guess what happens when the power goes out and the backup generator runs out of fuel or breaks down. We had giant semi truck tankers pumping waste and trucking it out. We never backed up but came close.