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Thread: Disaster preparedness

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Disaster preparedness

    They’re talking about 60-70 mph winds occurring over the next couple days. Strong enough winds where the power will most likely go out at some point. I was talking with the Fire Chief about big storms in the past and necessary preparations homeowners should make and he suggested the following measures:
    - check weather radios and flashlights and make sure you have extra batteries.
    store lawn furniture, flags, decorations, tarps, or anything else lightweight that can blow away.
    - have nonperishable food on hand
    - if you live in area without city water, insure supply for both cleaning and drinking
    - charge up your cell phone (you may or may not have service)
    - have cash on hand

    The last one in particular got me to thinking. ATM’s use electricity and without it you won’t be able to get cash. I assume loss of electricity is also going to cause some sort of lockdown with most bank vaults, so going into the bank to get one’s cash is also not an option. With most people using either credit or debit cards to conduct purchases, a lot fewer people carry cash now than in years past, and it appears conducting business during times of crisis is one area we are put at a disadvantage compared to times past. We aren’t of course a cashless society yet but we are certainly moving in that direction. Disaster preparedness IMHO constitutes sufficient grounds to not do so entirely.

    I’m convinced folks living in hurricane prone areas generally have more experience when it comes to disaster preparation. LOTS of businesses around here, for instance, don't have generators. What are your experiences concerning disaster preparation and in particular what do you think about our increasing reliance on plastic in this respect?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    What are your experiences concerning disaster preparation and in particular what do you think about our increasing reliance on plastic in this respect?
    I have read about having enough cash on hand for 3 days just like having enough non perishable food and water for 3 days.

    What can I do to protect my cash flow?
    Since power may be out after a disaster, ATMs and credit card processing machines may not be working. In addition, banks may be closed or you may not be able to return home. To get through this time, stash a sufficient amount of cash, traveler’s checks, and a roll of quarters (to use in pay phones) in a disaster supplies kit that you keep at home and can get to quickly. To determine how much money to set aside, estimate how much your family would need for three days if you could not return home, the power remained out, or if you were unable to get cash from an ATM or bank.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    When I was in the Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC one of the offices I worked at for a while was the command center for all the forces out of Lejeune, Cherry Point, New River, and a few other places. We had to monitor their activities all over the world 24/7. I worked midnights and afternoons keeping tabs on messages coming in and going out. When there were hurricanes, probably 99.999% of the personnel on the bases were allowed to leave - I had to stay and continue working in my tiny office with another few people. Since we weren't allowed to leave the office during the hurricanes, our supply office would always deliver a pallet or two of MREs and bottled water beforehand. One MRE is enough for a day, especially if you aren't doing anything too physical.

    If we were to have a massive storm or earthquake here that cut power and closed stores for a week or so, we would survive. I actually have a few cases of MREs that are still tasty (I eat one every once in a while) and a few cases of bottled water are always on hand in the garage in case of emergency and our pantry is always stocked with some canned foods if I need them (veggies, tuna, sardines, anchovies, crackers, granola bars...). I have a few massive flashlights, and two small radios (one battery powered, one wind-up). We do keep some cash on hand as well but I imagine if it were a true emergency situation, that folks would probably start price gouging so even if we had a month's worth of cash, it would quickly become only enough to last a few days. We also keep a bag stashed away that we could quickly grab in an emergency if we had to leave the house that has copies of important papers and some other useful items.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Since moving out into the middle of nowhere (basically farm fields) three years ago, we have gotten better at the no electricity game. I bought a generator that can power a couple lights, the fridge, the well, and the heat. It actually doesn't require all that much power.

    We seem to loose power whenever it is windy or snowy. And since there are only two other houses on my road for two miles, we are the last to be fixed. It also means that I have to be the one to call every time the power goes out... which means I am on the phone with the stupid electric company every time.... ugh.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    One of these days we will spring for the $3000 for a auto-backup generator that runs on either natural gas or propane. Our worries are the food in the fridge and freezer, the well, and the sump pump, but it would also be nice to have lights and heat or air conditioning if the power goes out in the middle of summer or winter. Otherwise we are in good shape. We have a fireplace to add warmth, plenty of food since I grow and can it, camping stoves to cook on, guns and ammo to shoot zombies in the head, etc.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    Because I'm a relative newbie to Florida, I defer our emergency preparedness to the judgement of ZG. She had the propane generator and solar water heater installed when she moved up.

    I don't recall ever having an emergency preparedness plan in California.
    Annoyingly insensitive

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