…then today’s the day.
DAMN, it’s gonna be a long night…I HOPE. 😀
Hurricane Preparation Tips So Your Humble Abode Won’t Blow Away: From Acknowledged Hurricane Experts
2014 2015 2016 “Here We Go Again” Edition*
major dad and I are veterans of major Hurricanes Bertha, Fran, Ivan and Dennis (along with others less significant in damage for us, but worth preparing for). Thanks to Irene and Super Storm Sandy visiting brother Bingley, I thought I would offer up what’s worked for us in terms of preparation, both food-wise, house-wise PLUS some of the things folks don’t know about, that make life bearable if those winds of almost-September come early. I hope you’ll find something that you didn’t know before. (And please feel free to visit our previous posts afterwards for the EXCELLENT COMMENTS.) First up is the heavy lifting.
1: Shopping list suggestions for tonight/assoonasyoufreakincan is up underneath the board pictures.
2: And our “WHAT TO DO TO GET INSIDE READY” is posted at the bottom of it all, so now we have our experience covered completely, soup to nuts: food/supply shopping, to board up, to getting the inside of the house set. Make lists. Don’t trust yourself to remember everything you need and/or want to do. Write it all down. I do, every time. I hope the ‘all in one place’ format is proving helpful and PLEASE don’t hesitate to comment or email questions if you have any at all. thsister-at-gmail-dot-com
Full disclosure. For Bertha and Fran in NC (Cat 2 and 3, 56 days apart in ’96), we only lived 10 miles inland, were on the eastern side of the storm both times (translation: got beat all to hell), never boarded up and did just fine. The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage. Bertha came in during the daytime and, along around noon, we got to watch the neighbor’s metal shed explode and fly through our backyard at about 110 mph. That was the only thing we couldn’t control that day that went walkabout, and it would have killed someone if the wind hadn’t been parallel to the house.
BOARDING UP: If you want to board up, this is how we did it (In Pensacola, ’04 for Hurricane Ivan). (Now, there are terrific Plylox Hurricane Clips available, which will save you step #2, if you can find them. Be prepared ~ they’re a bitch to get them on the house, but they’re simple and great*.) They were all sold out when we hit Lowe’s, pre-Ivan.
Be prepared ~ NONE of this is cheap. BUT. The peace of mind is ENORMOUS. Plus, you’re so pooped from the effort, not to mention standing in line for supplies, that you sleep soundly. Measure and KNOW WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET THERE. Be ready to make quick adjustments for what’s left on the shelves.
1) Don’t screw with anything less than 1/2 inch plywood, REAL plywood. (That’s assuming there’s any left when you get to Home Depot. We used 3/4″.) Cut to fit flush INSIDE the windowframe. (We used two pieces here. Shaved the edge off a 5′ by 8′ full sheet and then a smaller piece to cover completely to the top of the window, hence, if you squint, you’ll notice a seam in the plywood about 3/4 of the way up.)
2) What’s going to hold those boards in place are 1 x 4’s on either side, snugged up tight against the plywood, cut to the height of the window, drilled into the frame from the side and held in with hex top TapCon screws, because of the masonry. I think we had a max of 5 screws per side.
I’ll have another post shortly on supplies and preparations:
(That’s dogfood double-wrapped in the plastic bags and Miller Light for the Squid Terrorist -our infamous next-door neighbor- to keep the generator running…)
* Handy Tip: The Squid Terrorist actually drilled through his clips and screwed them to the plywood sheets before attempting to pop them into the windows. Saves a ton of frustration.
Alright, shopping time.
IMHO and hard won experience, these are stores every single household should have (and you may already have much of it). Use your brain, based on the number and age of folks in your household.
Remember you are going to be HOT, cranky and exerting yourself in the aftermath if, GOD FORBID, the thing smacks you good.
Think of preparing for this as a picnic on crack. Take a good hard look at what you already have on your shelves first, add or subtract according to what you have on hand vs your particular needs/family’s tastes and then…
A Few Days PRIOR (three days out may be TOO LATE to find everything):
3 gallons BOTTLED water per person (for 3 days) minimum
enough prescription medication to get you through 10 DAYS if you take any
canned tuna/chicken/SPAM/shelf stable meats
those damned nasty vienna snausages
canned soups like “chunky” that don’t need water added
bread (Get the one with the FURTHEST OUT SHELF DATE)
canned vegetables, like green beans or baby peas
kraft macaroni and cheese in a box
large jar(s) peanut butter
large jar(s) jelly
various boxes of crackers
instant coffee or tea
coffemate, dry milk or shelf stable milk
sugar, salt, pepper
instant potatoes (like a BIG box of “Potato Buds”)
whatever fresh fruit your family enjoys
butter or (gulp) margarine
dogfood/catfood if you have furry family members besides, well…
snacks and chips
canned or plastic jarred fruits, like cocktail or peaches
antiseptic hand soap
plastic utensils (forks, knives,spoons)
plastic trash bags
ZIPLOCK baggies, QT and GAL
boxes of wooden matches
MANUAL CAN OPENER
large candles (and NOT stinky ones) WITH a GAS LEAK, CANDLES CAN BE BAD. **SITUATIONAL AWARENESS** KNOW what’s going on.
bug spray, both yard and personal
A BATTERY OPERATED RADIO (that voice in the dark from the local TV station will be your BEST FRIEND, trust me.) They make them now w/ additional hand cranks.
LARGE BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTS that will sit independently (hard to go to a dark bathroom holding a flashlight)
LED poplights are great
BATTERIES and SPARES that fit EVERY SINGLE THING YOU NEED BATTERIES FOR!!!
FILL YOUR PROPANE CANNISTER NOW (if you are on a direct gas hook-up, get a charcoal grill)
3 bags of charcoal (wrapped and taped in heavy duty plastic bags)
lighter fluid for the charcoal
CASH (ATMs take electricity, so do credit card machines at registers)
CAR CHARGER for cell phones (ours were worthless during Ivan but I’ve heard they’ve come a long way, tower-wise…)
COOLERS for the ice (and the stuff that’ll come out of that fridge)
FIRST AID KIT which I bolster with additional Ace bandages, BandAids of every size and description, sterile wraps, tapes, Neosporin, hydrocortizone, anti-histimine pills, aspirin etc.
Little Coleman tanks if you have camping stoves or lights (as always, to be USED ONLY OUTSIDE AFTERWARDS…DUH)
Old fashioned board games, playing cards, Mille Bornes, Yahtzee, books (especially with wired little ones)
Hold off on ice until the latest you possibly can, which is why it’s NOT on the “go after work TONIGHT” list.
TOP YOUR GAS TANKS off WHILE/WHENEVER YOU CAN. You all will have to fight a ton more people at the last second as well as the very REAL possibility of GAS SHORTAGES prior TO/for a while AFTER ANY STORM.
*DIRECT plug-in phone like a Princess type, if you have a PHONE COMPANY landline. Your multiple remote handset phone will not work when the power goes out, and your old fashioned one may very well get a call out on the substation batteries. See below.
When you’re ready to close the house up,
LOCK YOUR GARAGE DOORS DOWN. If you don’t park in your garage, PULL YOUR CARS SNUG UP TO THE DOORS. They provide the most excellent wind baffle you can imagine and, considering the further up the East Coast you go, the less the doors are reinforced like ours here in the Panhandle, you will NEED every little bit of wind mitigation you can muster. You car insurance will take care of whatever said named storm does to the vehicle.
This is doubly important because, contrary to the old wives tale about “equalizing pressure’, if those winds get into your garage, not only do they start tearing the garage to bits, they start LIFTING YOUR ROOF OFF. And then your whole house is a goner. The only house in our neighborhood to have the roof blown to bits during the 140mph+ gusts of Ivan was the ONE home where the owner had the garage door “cracked” opened to “relieve the pressure”. Derp.
*What to Do Inside*
Get Your Important “Stuff” Together
Your papers, diplomas, etc. All those things that make your life identifiable? Those things your would rush out of a burning building with? If they’re not already in one place together, get them together NOW. And add one more thing ~ a copy of a utility bill, like electric or phone. If, God forbid, you have to evacuate and they work it like they do down here, that address on your drivers license WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT PROOF OF YOUR RESIDENCY. You HAVE to have a utility bill with THAT address and YOUR name in your possession to return to your home. Period. (Great evacuation tips here in the comments.)
Have a “plan”. WHO are you going to call when it’s over, WHO knows where all your stuff is if, God forbid, something happens. If you get separated, have a meet-up. In our family, it’s Bingster and me tag-teaming. He has all our info for both sides of the family (including Kcruella). When the batteries on the landline substations were still working the morning after Ivan, I got a call out to him, and that’s how everyone else knew we were okay. AT&T screwed the pooch cell-phone-wise here, so we have KEPT our landline, in spite of everything. Trauma dies hard.
What to Do With Important “Stuff”
You all will laugh, but I double plastic bag it, duct tape it…and put it in the dishwasher, then latch the thing shut and tape over the entire front control panel. It’s waterproof and even if one of those spin-up tornados takes a chunk of the roof, the documents of my life are going nowhere, because they’re bolted under the counter and DRY. Other middlin’ precious things I double bag up as well and stash in a rack-free self-cleaning oven and the dryer (duct-taping the door of that shut).
Make sure every single water toting vessel is clean and filled with filtered (if you can) water, from the sun-tea jar to the ancient Igloo softball cooler to tea kettle, and all the pitchers in between. This augments the bottled water on your list and is the FIRST water you use. (Make sure it’s COVERED to keep out bugs/dust.) As well, EVERY POT is filled to the brim with tap water for use as either coffee/tea/mac ‘n cheese makings or wash/rinse water, as well as pet drinking water. All that’s staged on the kitchen counters.
Get ALL Your Laundry Done
You can run out of underwear FAST and blow through some serious t-shirts clearing flotsom. Plus, the second the last load is out of the washer, fill it up on it’s largest setting with cold water and STOP it. Voilà. Another source of water for rinse/washing. (The washing machine also makes an EXCELLENT ice cooler if you are space challenged, trust me. Fill it with THAT instead. Cover ice with plastic bags and towels for additional insulation.)
Scrub EVERY tub SPARKLING With a bleach based cleaner. We use a piece of saran wrap over the stopper, then plug it to make absolutely sure there’s NO leakage, then FILL THAT SUCKER UP. This becomes both relatively clean water to dip out for a sink sponge bath AND the ALL IMPORTANT FLUSH THE TOILET water. (And is ONLY used for…well, not tinkling.) Speaking of which, it doesn’t hurt to have a “Tidy Bowl” beforehand, if there’s a chance the power might be out for DAYS, if you get my drift…
Now, you may get lucky and have a trickle of water like we did after Fran, but the water company may beg you not to use it, because they’re trying to find leaks, or it’s not potable or whatever. (Another reason to HAVE A REAL RADIO: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE)
GIVE YOUR PETS AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO “DO THEIR BUSINESS”. Once the front door shuts on the howling outside, it’s shut for GOOD. If it comes in during the day, we make meals a tad lighter and earlier than usual. The Scotties and Labradors have always seemed to know something big was on the way and their systems have responded accordingly, but, let’s face it: when you gotta go, you gotta go. So don’t force the poor things into that position in the first place. Plenty of available water, but schmaybe that big dinner/breakfast isn’t necessary, okay?
LOCAL RADIO STATIONS (as well as simulcasts from local TV channels or your local university Public Radio) WILL BE YOUR BEST SOURCE OF WEATHER INFO for your area, not to mention what’s happening as the storm whirls overhead. John Ed Thompson out of Fox10, Mobile, AL is a GOD in our household for what he did during Ivan. At 3 in the morning, when ~ to quote the Squid Terrorist on the walkie talkie from next door ~ it “Sounds like the Devil’s trying to beat my front door down! I’m fixin’ to nail 2×4’s over it and, if that doesn’t work, I’m breaking apart the china cabinet to use IT!” It will be friendly voices in the dark, going through the SAME THING YOU ARE, WHERE you are and you’ll know about hazards/news pertinent to YOUR area (bridges out, electric crews on the way, boil water advisories) that simply WILL NOT be available on that NOAA stream. Plus, we have learned something new and incredibly helpful from callers to the station every single storm that could conceivably save lives or property.
As for just a weather radio I’m torn on that one. They do come in handy for a constant stream of information, BUT they also tend to be for a LARGE general area, and wear on the nerves after a while, since it’s a constant stream of computer voiced info, occasionally punctuated by earsplitting alarms that MAY/MAY NOT have anything to do with YOU. If you can have only one radio going, get one that has BOTH (we do!). It’s a Midland that has the NOAA feeds/alerts on bands, as well as AM/FM, plus a hand crank, in addition to regular battery AND plug-in. DOES IT ALL!
I canNOT stress enough: Your BEST information for YOUR local area will be your LOCAL radio stations, public or otherwise. KNOW AHEAD OF TIME: Spin that dial, find the ones that have affiliations with your local TV stations’ Weather/News programs and head directly for them when the shit hits the fan.
While you’re busy as a bee, I always, ALWAYS recommend setting the thermostat on your A/C (while you have it) as LOW AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY STAND IT.
As in MEATLOCKER. Wearing SWEATS IN AUGUST cold. “But, ths, why?” you ask.
Because the second that power goes out and ALL those anxious people are still in your house in August breathing?
That temp is going to climb and F.A.S.T. And it will suck so bad.
And you will still have HOURS of storm to go, and schmaybe days without power. You’ll thank me.
We were sort of old school with this. As I told Bingley in the comments, this is what we’ve always done, and ONLY works with a mostly FULL FREEZER. Once we’ve gotten ice ~ usually three to four of the big coolers’ worth, then three stacked on each other, on a beach towel, covered with garbage bags, then blankets for insulation ~ we already have inventoried the fridge itself. When the power starts going dodgey, we’ll transfer all the perishables out of the fridge to the lone ice chest (milk, BACON, eggs, half & half, etc.) and shut the door FOR GOOD. That’s IT. No peeking, no forgetting, no going in for something ~ you want the fridge to cool completely back down. When the power finally gives up the ghost, we throw unopened, big plastic garbage bags over the whole fridge, then cover that with packing blankets or whatever you have. Wrap some duct tape around it and keep your paws off. Believe or not, that will keep all but the flimsiest frozen goods rock solid for at about three days. If you don’t have power by then, you can start defrosting stuff and eating it. *NEVER eat anything that’s partially thawed. Throw it out. (*CHECK FOR THIS THE SECOND THE POWER COMES BACK ON as well, or it’ll refreeze and you could easily get sick from it later, and be clueless why. Don’t take the chance.)
With your ice chests, just break them out as you need them, always keeping the extras covered. We had ice for a week and a half after Ivan doing it this way, and thank goodness. (The stack worked out great against the door when the winds were threatening to blow it in. Dual purpose! And good times…)
There is NOTHING like the comfort of knowing you did everything you could possibly do to prepare. It’s out of your hands from that point forward.
Have a cocktail.
It’s amazing how many knuckleheads who evacuated and watched the whole damn thing on TV came home empty handed, small children in tow no less! We were living like refugees and had to give THEM supplies.
DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE THE SECOND THE WIND SORT OF DIES DOWN
Trees will still be falling. On your gourd.
DO NOT GO LOLLYGAGGING AROUND AFTERWARD TO “SEE”
No electricity TO RUN GAS STATION PUMPS – do NOT WASTE on sightseeing what may turn out to be your last tank of petrol for WEEKS! No electricity TO RUN STOP LIGHTS. LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES LAYING EVERYWHERE Flat tires upon multiple flat tires.
IT’S ANARCHY. STAY HOME.
Whip you up some coffee, scrambled eggs and lovely applewood smoked bacon sammiches on the Weber gas grill, like we’ve done the morning after EVERY hurricane.
It’s a good thing.
…Ivan the Terrible roared ashore.
Seems like yesterday.
Until you get it RIGHT, he means. Nigel Farage has a message for those guys:
If you want to stop the establishment from backsliding on Brexit, vote UKIP. pic.twitter.com/lcssChqwxS
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 15, 2016
…as far as certain DONORS are concerned.
Now go away.
Exclusive: Clinton charities ignore law requiring them to disclose millions from foreign donors
AG who could force transparency chooses not to
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has the power to force the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to publicly disclose the names of foreign governments and the millions they donate each year to the charities but he’s not doing it, a Scripps News investigation has found.
Schneiderman’s failure to require compliance with New York law and written instructions from his own office keeps the public in the dark about whether the foreign governments that gave money to the Clinton charities also had special access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, experts in private foundation law say. New York state has long required more transparency from non-profits operating within its borders than many other regulators.
A Scripps Washington Bureau review of tax returns and regulatory filings found that year after year the Clinton charities have ignored New York law and related instructions. However, the office of Attorney General Schneiderman, a Democrat whom Hillary Clinton named to her campaign’s “leadership council” in New York, did not respond to Scripps’ questions about the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which has never publicly disclosed in New York filings the identity of its foreign government contributors or the amounts they give each year. Scripps also discovered CHAI did not report hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign government donations to the state.
However, Schneiderman’s office said it considers the Clinton Foundation, which is a separate charity, “in step” with state rules.
The Associated Press was kind enough to remind us this morning that she’s not “SICK“.
She’s a HERO
Clinton has history of ignoring health _ and paying a price
The White House was submerged in scandal. Democrats faced tough midterm elections. And Hillary Clinton, far more popular than her embattled husband, had become a one-woman campaign machine.
But the nonstop travel in 1998 took a toll. Clinton developed a blood clot behind her right knee, prompting the White House doctor to recommend hospitalization and a week of bedrest.
Determined to stay on the campaign trail, Clinton settled on an alternative: A nurse would travel with her to administer the medicine needed to monitor her health. She kept her condition a secret from nearly everyone but her Secret Service detail, alerted only because an injury could have been life-threatening.
“Very few people knew about it at the time,” recalled Dr. Connie Mariano in her autobiography. “Her staff thought she had pulled a muscle exercising.”
I’m not going to be able to catch a wink of sleep tonight, with the guilt washing over me in repetitive waves.
YOU should be sleepless as well. BASTARDS.
…like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s.
Hillary Clinton 9/11 NYC pic.twitter.com/q9YnsjTxss
— Zdenek Gazda (@zgazda66) September 11, 2016
UPDATE: CNN is thoughtfully passing on the Clinton campaign spin with their headline:
Hillary Clinton not feeling well, leaves 9/11 event early
“NOT FEELING WELL“?
So that’s what we’re now calling a FACEPLANT INTO YOUR LIMO, is it?
…during the ceremony at Ground Zero this morning.
Hillary had "medical episode". Her "knees buckled". The mainstream media told you she was in "perfect health". pic.twitter.com/nksPIj66w4
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) September 11, 2016
CNBC is reporting she fainted…
JUST IN: Hillary Clinton became ill, may have fainted during 9/11 memorial that she was attending in lower Manhattan, sources tell @NBCNews
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 11, 2016
Update: the campaign is saying she “felt overheated.” #AllBetter
MORE: Campaign says Hillary Clinton "felt overheated" during 9/11 ceremony in Manhattan, is now feeling better. pic.twitter.com/fXwdVoZNde
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 11, 2016
And four more names were added on September 11, 2012…
…who just used the inclusive phrase “basket of deplorables” to describe Trump supporters.
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said at a fundraiser in New York City. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.“
…he’s saving the planet.
You never knew he was so conscientiously Gaia-friendly, did you?
How a Billion Oysters Are Set to Change New York’s Harbor
The Billion Oyster Project is restoring the harbor, once oyster at a time
New Yorkers eat up to half a million oysters in local restaurants every week. However, what most people probably don’t know is that after they’ve shucked and guzzled, those empty oyster shells go on to help the city.
Not only did oysters used to be the native keystone species of New York Harbor, but they also act as water filterers, provide habitat for other marine species and attenuate wave energy. Enter the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), the ever-expanding operation that is spearheading the race to reinstate oysters and reefs to the city’s harbor.
Formally established in 2014, BOP is a non-profit ecosystem restoration and education project that endeavors to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor by 2030. By securing would-be discarded oyster shells from top regional restaurants, curing and preparing them for reuse to grow new oysters—up to 20 per saved shell—to build habitat, the aim is to improve the quality of both the Harbor and the city.
…and so many more have left the building today.
Thank you, Gene.
Sweet MOTHER of GOD, SAVE us from 20-something feminist SJWs! In the store this afternoon, after looking up at Olympics on telly [insert disgusted voice]:
“WHY do they have the WOMEN in BATHING SUITS to RIDE BIKES in a race?!” [steam steam steam]
THS lifts quizzical eyebrow a la Ebola.
“It’s the triathlon [unspoken: YOU EFFING TWIT]. They swim a third of it.”
Interest now engaged elsewhere that outrage unwarranted.
Remember when it wasn’t ENOUGH that President Bush cut a vacation short and flew over Katrina ravaged New Orleans on his way back to the White House? How he should have BEEN there?
Good times, good times.
And it seemed like nobody was cutting short jack in Martha’s Vineyard.
Not for cities under water, not for cities on fire…
UNTIL what amounts to a CRISIS forced his hand (from the club shaft):
OBAMA INTERRUPTING VACATION TO CAMPAIGN FOR CLINTON
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — Golf, afternoons at the beach and … political campaigning?
President Barack Obama is interrupting what so far has been a leisurely vacation to help raise money for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee. Obama has said there’s never been anyone more qualified than Clinton, who was his rival in the 2008 presidential contest and his first-term secretary of state, to be president.
Good to know SOMEBODY can count on him!
…until Trump firmly (re: to liberal/pundit/mob media satisfaction) “disavowed” Duke’s despicableness? REMEMBER?
Ah, good times, good times.
I’m waiting on the Democrats, media and ESPECIALLY LGBT howls of outrage about the picture of this smiling fellow, SITTING DIRECTLY BEHIND HILLARY CLINTON last night at her rally.
Seats behind the party nominee at rallies are reserved for special folks, you know?
— WPTV (@WPTV) August 9, 2016
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) August 9, 2016
Maybe THAT’S Obama’s secret plan to destroy the Mullahs right there!
U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed
Obama administration insists there was no quid pro quo, but critics charge payment amounted to ransom
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
Everybody KNOWS Euros aren’t worth shit!
And ALL THIS happened before NOON on JUST THE FIRST DAY
— David Freddoso (@freddoso) July 25, 2016
— Corey Lazar (@CoreyLazarWINK) July 25, 2016
— SFist (@SFist) July 25, 2016
— Marc Thiessen (@marcthiessen) July 25, 2016
tfw when u realize u have created a monster u can no longer control pic.twitter.com/XnpX8k9oV2
— David Mack (@davidmackau) July 25, 2016
Do you remember what happened today many…MOONS ago?
The EAGLE FRICKIN’ LANDED
And the crowds went WILD!
How about a little song to savor the moment.
Let’s pause just for a second and revel in pure, unadulterated CONQUEST like it USED to be, when we could be PROUD of being the BEST at GOD DAMNED EVERYTHING…before the day goes to shit again, shall we?