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Vergent

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Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« on: August 30, 2013, 02:38:17 AM »
Hurricane season is upon us and I feel compelled to raise the topic that got me banned from American Weather. The New York times published the names and cause of death for the people who died in hurricane Sandy. Some are squemish about death, if that is you, this article is not for you.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/17/nyregion/hurricane-sandy-map.html?_r=0

In reading the list it became apparent that many, if not most, of these deaths were avoidable.  At any rate here is a list of ways to avoid being killed by a hurricane.

  • Heed evacuation orders. Board up your house if there is time. Turn off the gas and electricity. Get out of town. It's a good time for a road trip.
  • If your basement is being flooded, do not go down there for any reason. It is a death trap. As the water rises, the inrush accelerates making it impossible to get out.
  • The height of a storm is not a good time to go for a walk or a drive. This is particularly true on tree lined streets.
  • If you are elderly or in ill health and it will be cold, and can't get out of town, get to an evacuation shelter even if you are not in a mandatory evacuation zone. the shelter will have heat, and food. No one died in an evacuation shelter.
  • If there is a large tree close enough to endanger your house in a storm, have it removed. If you can't bring your self to part with it, have it pruned to reduce wind force and overhanging branches removed. Do not wait for storm warnings to do this.
  • Internal combustion engines, coal, and charcoal all make deadly carbon monoxide gas. Using them indoors is sure death.
  • Damaged and fallen trees have deadly stored energy, clearing them is a job for professionals. Lumberjacks call them widow-makers, even experienced professionals can be killed by them. A chain saw does not a lumberjack make.-Yoda
  • If you are dependent on oxygen, have a weeks supply of oxygen cylinders on hand at all times. Power outages are not always announced beforehand.
  • Stock up on battery camping lanterns and batteries(my suggestion is a LED headlight thy stay lit for up to 50 hrs on a pair of AAs)rather than candles and kerosene lamps, they are much safer.
  • Everyone who lives where there are cold winters should have a backup plan for heating their home should there be a power outage. A modern version of the Franklin stove is a good choice. Have the lumberjack you have cutting down that dangerous tree cut and split it for firewood. They will do this for a reasonable charge.
  • Learn first aid and CPR. Most YMCAs have courses. Or just buy a boy scouts first aid manual and read it. It may be your own life you save.
  • In a disaster it is everyone number one job to keep themselves safe. The second job is to keep the ones around them safe. A store clerk telling a customer that he needs a long extension cord because the generator must be run outside, could be saving a whole family by doing so. If you do it, you will never know, but if you do not do it, you may have a whole lifetime to regret that.

At any rate the topic is how to keep yourself safe in a disaster. Any thoughts?

Vergent




Artful Dodger

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 01:13:42 PM »
Hi Verge,

I don't waste any time on AmWX but, how did this get you banned?  ???
Cheers!
Lodger

Vergent

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 05:45:15 PM »
Hi Verge,

I don't waste any time on AmWX but, how did this get you banned?  ???

Lodger,

The title was different, I called it "Hurricane Sandy's Darwin Awards". So I guess evolution is a controversial subject over there. I am sure that if I called it "God's wrath for homosexuality" I would not be banned. They might have made me a moderator.

Vergent

ritter

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 06:00:43 PM »
Nice list, Verg. Much of that is applicable to any natural disaster. Although it is really no laughing matter, some of your items gave me a chuckle. Common sense is really not so common, it seams.

I'd add that a small solar charger and rechargeable batteries are also a good idea. Far cheaper than a generator and you can get your cell phone charged up with one, provided there is any cell service. This one is well regarded.



Also, more than the next meal worth of food is an advantage when you don't know when the lights are going to come on again. Best to put this away well prior to any warnings. I live in earthquake country. We don't get warnings so I maintain a few weeks of food in the pantry as well as a week's worth of water and a few gallons of bleach for water treatment should that run out (I live close to a river so have a supply).

CraigsIsland

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 07:04:20 PM »
Great list verg - censorship on boards can be a little too much.  :o

I'd like to add that families or dwellings should have a "emergency plan" or phone tree. I don't live in particular heightened risks, but we have light planning for the "1-100 storm" scenarios. Keep a list or binder with the head of household to stay organized and it'll help everyone stay calm if anything did happen. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

The Goal Zero rechargeable batteries are awesome. I have one for my cell phone on my bike like the one in Ritter's picture in case it drains way too much from GPS and sensor collection. Highly recommend their products.

Artful Dodger

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 02:50:21 AM »
made me a moderator.
Hi Verge,

If that's your true interest, why not step up to bat at Skeptical Science? ASI Blog contributor Daniel Bailey does just that (he's here on the Forum too, if you want to send a PM). He can hook you up!  8)
Cheers!
Lodger

Vergent

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 06:20:25 PM »
lodger,

No thanks! The only authority I desire is logic.  Back on topic.

If you are in earthquake country, it's a good idea not to live or work in unreinforced masonry structures, nor should you live or work in liquefaction zones.

Vergent

Artful Dodger

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 12:14:33 AM »
lodger,

No thanks! The only authority I desire is logic.

Ironically, that's the only requirement for this volunteer position. Which also holds no authority, except that earned through the evenhanded application of reason. At SkS, respect is earned.
Cheers!
Lodger

Vergent

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 04:19:31 PM »
13. Never build your home on a flood plain.



That is not unless you know how to build a house on a flood plain.

Vergent

Photo credit, my daughter E. A. S.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 05:27:12 PM »
That is not unless you know how to build a house on a flood plain.

Or, even better, live on a boat?  :D

Flood? what flood? (I exaggerate a little, sometimes the background conditions can pose you issues, or if you're connected to infrastructure it might have limited scope to go up)

Vergent

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Re: Lessons from hurricane Sandy
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 06:16:56 PM »


ccg

They do that as well, but space is limited in the dry season.

Verg