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Old 11-04-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: FL
772 posts, read 1,663,288 times
Reputation: 1587

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I received my schooling from Hurricane Andrew living in Miami in 1992:

1. With 3 small children, we evacuated to West Palm Beach. However, we waited until the day (noon advisory was 150mph winds) before which was already too late. The 2 lane Florida Turnpike NORTH was turned into a 4 lane parking lot and they didn't open the southbound lanes to northbound traffic. Took us 6 hours to make the 2 hour trip. We had family to stay with, but if you need a hotel room, they are going to go quickly. Moral: EVACUATE EARLY!

2. When we returned on Tuesday, we weren't ready for the devastation. Ensure you have 3 weeks of Food, water, clean clothes, whole house generator with a transfer switch, and plenty of propane and gasoline. As you saw from NY, gas was in short supply. Also, make sure you have enough CASH on hand as you won't be able to use your ATM/Debit/Credit Cards with no power.

3. Make sure you insurance policies and flood insurance are up to date. Even if you are NOT in a flood zone, Get Flood insurance!!!! Keep all important papers in a fireproof strong box and keep them with you. This includes birth certificates, policies, savings and investment documents, wills, etc.

4. Have protection. We experienced LOOTING in Miami on our street. We heard gunshots at night. Make sure you have a weapon(s) for protection; shotgun, pistol, etc.

5. Be prepared for Misery - No air conditioning, no ceiling fans, sleepless nights.

6. Document all your possessions either with a video camera or still camera and SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS FOR EVERYTHING. You will have to substantiate losses to the vulture insurance companies. This includes appliances, upgrades to your house, prized antiques, etc.


Just some of the lessons I've learned
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,237,563 times
Reputation: 944
I think the main problem for NY/NJ folks is complacency. My husband was born and raised in Queens. I lived there from age 4 to 24. We had storms come through, but storms like this one never happened. People in just did not expect it to be this bad. My sister lives in Manhattan (86 street). She was fine, but she called one friend who lives across the street from the ConEd generator site in lower Manhattan that exploded. He lives in a large apartment complex with his two elderly parents. My sister told him he should evacuate NOW! Told him to get off his cell phone and charge it because he is going to loose power soon. His response was "Nah, we'll be fine". Half an hour later, power goes off and his cell phone is dead. Next morning, the first floor was under 6 feet of water. No way to get out. If his parents had an emergency, there would have been no way to get help.

Three weeks before Sandy there was an article in the New York Times giving this exact scenario. People just don't think it could happen in NY.

One day, it could happen in Tampa. Just because we haven't had a really a bad hurricane in years, doesn't mean we won't ever have one. However, when do you know when to leave? When to take it seriously? When we first moved down here, I asked a neighbor when does she decide to leave because of a hurricane. She said she wouldn't leave. Not for a catagory 1, 2 or 3. She might leave if it was a 4, but she made it sound like it doesn't happen here.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:52 PM
 
5,453 posts, read 8,222,565 times
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I agree, but all the forecasters, and millions of apps out there, showed how HUGE this storm was...I mean common sense alone should have had people leave.


The way I see it here, is this: if the models point to us 3 to 1, or even 2 to 1, we're taking a fake weekend trip, if nothing happens, GREAT, but if it does, then we come ahead.


If I was in NY, I would have left only knowing that nothing was done to update all the undergrounds...that alone would have had me run for dear life. I have a friend who live a few blocks away in Queens where all those 100+ homes burned up...and she was telling me how the kids that used to live there wanted to go back home, and how they were throwing up from the stress that it caused to them to see all that devastation! Terrible, just terrible. And at least those people evacuated when told...because otherwise the death toll would have been doubled in numbers. What was so ironic, was how that same area of Queens got a plain crash right after 9/11...and a twister, and some other disasters....if i lived there, I would never go back to it no matter how pretty it was. Just to eerie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by annaegel View Post
I think the main problem for NY/NJ folks is complacency. My husband was born and raised in Queens. I lived there from age 4 to 24. We had storms come through, but storms like this one never happened. People in just did not expect it to be this bad. My sister lives in Manhattan (86 street). She was fine, but she called one friend who lives across the street from the ConEd generator site in lower Manhattan that exploded. He lives in a large apartment complex with his two elderly parents. My sister told him he should evacuate NOW! Told him to get off his cell phone and charge it because he is going to loose power soon. His response was "Nah, we'll be fine". Half an hour later, power goes off and his cell phone is dead. Next morning, the first floor was under 6 feet of water. No way to get out. If his parents had an emergency, there would have been no way to get help.

Three weeks before Sandy there was an article in the New York Times giving this exact scenario. People just don't think it could happen in NY.

One day, it could happen in Tampa. Just because we haven't had a really a bad hurricane in years, doesn't mean we won't ever have one. However, when do you know when to leave? When to take it seriously? When we first moved down here, I asked a neighbor when does she decide to leave because of a hurricane. She said she wouldn't leave. Not for a catagory 1, 2 or 3. She might leave if it was a 4, but she made it sound like it doesn't happen here.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,113 posts, read 5,482,514 times
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I fly down tomorrow night to close Tuesday on my new house in Spring Hill. I currently live in SE PA, within 10 miles of the NJ border.

I have relatives who sustained extremely heavy damage to their home at the NJ shore. It's their primary residence, not a second home. I know other people who had shore homes (2nd homes) who sustained significant damage. I know other people who endangered their lives because they did not evacuate when ordered.

My parents were without power for nearly 5 days. I gave them my portable generator to use. I never lost power at my house, but a mile down the road folks were out for over 4 days.

After I get settled in the new place, one of the high-priority things on my to-do list is to have an electrician wire in a generator interlock or a transfer switch. Then I will purchase a large portable generator that will run the whole house. Other than making sure I have enough gasoline available, I should be covered. Sadly, my new house isn't in an area with gas service. If so, I'd be all about a standby generator with an automatic transfer switch. I hope they expand gas service into more neighborhoods. Currently, it's about a mile from my new house from what I've been able to tell.

Unfortunately, but importantly - being prepared in terms of self-defense should not be overlooked.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,097,735 times
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How expensive do you expect that generator to be? Does it take a lot of space? How many KWs? I hear Craigslist has a ton of generators for sale from people who purchased them and never had to use them.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,113 posts, read 5,482,514 times
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I plan on getting the electrician to give me direction in terms of generator size. I'm taking a preliminary look at the large Generac units that you can order from Home Depot. There is a 15KW and a 17.5 KW. Both are portable and on wheels. I have also been looking at other similarly-sized units online and am probably going to keep my eyes open for a sale or a great deal once I figure out exactly what size I need based on the electrician's recommendation. They aren't cheap. But, I went through 4 days here without power once. I don't want to do it ever again, especially in Florida.

I have a storage room attached to the house (basically a built-in shed). I figure I can keep the generator in there instead of the garage. I'll have the electrician mount the power inlet box someplace convenient on the outside of the house and I can just wheel it over, connect the plug, start it up, and then go inside to the panel.

Once at the panel, all the breakers get flipped off including the main breaker. Then it's just a matter of sliding the interlock up, turing on the breaker from the generator feed then all the breakers for the stuff I want/need to run.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:23 PM
 
9,789 posts, read 8,181,855 times
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I am not sure if the Hurricane is really that bad by hurricane standards.

Some areas with Jersey that are flooded always get flooded when there is heavy rain. I do live in Queens right now, and I dont think there is any flooding here. But with that said there was not that much rain. There was no torrential downpour. I am not sure how towns like Little Ferry got flooded again. Yet, those towns always get flooded when there is heavy rain.

There are lots of residential housing right along the coastline, and it is very low and close to the water. There was very strong wind, and I guess that just pushed the water over the beaches and wetlands, and just washed some homes away. But again, you go a block over and everything looks fine. There is not that much damage.

Lower Manhattan was without power for like three days I think, but it is back on. And some subway lines are flooded. And that caused a real headache. But that is about it. I am not sure why the subways are not back up and running. How long can it possibly be to drain them? Buy a whole lot of pumps and just let them run for the whole day. As for the power, they cut it on purpose, so I am not even sure why it took that long to put it back on.

As for the gas lines, I am not sure why they exist. If the storm did anything, it is prevent the delivery trucks from bringing in fuel. There are lots of gas stations closed because they ran out. But most places never lost power, so I cant imagine that much people need fuel for a genny. Heck I was not aware that many people had gennies. Also with Lower Manhattan blacked, all those people dont need to go to work.

Last edited by NJ Brazen_3133; 11-04-2012 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,097,735 times
Reputation: 14611
These people whining that no one is caring for them need to be bussed the hell out of there and taken inland to some shelter, given food/comfort and get them out of the impact zone. Should have done that day 1. I'm sure there is shelter inland NY/NJ.

These people whining about gasoline lines saying that "this is America we shouldn't have to stand in lines" need to suffer because they've lived pampered lives and need to get a clue.

I'm tired of listening to them.

I sure hope our area is better prepared to handle the aftermath.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 4,030,122 times
Reputation: 3510
Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
These people whining that no one is caring for them need to be bussed the hell out of there and taken inland to some shelter, given food/comfort and get them out of the impact zone. Should have done that day 1. I'm sure there is shelter inland NY/NJ.

These people whining about gasoline lines saying that "this is America we shouldn't have to stand in lines" need to suffer because they've lived pampered lives and need to get a clue.

I'm tired of listening to them.

I sure hope our area is better prepared to handle the aftermath.

I wouldn't count on it. Most of the people here that I've talked to seem to be very complacent when it comes to hurricanes. With so much of the area in flood zones and a lot of the housing built before modern hurricane standards, I can't even imagine what a major storm would due to the area.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:26 PM
 
5,453 posts, read 8,222,565 times
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I think at least once a year you should live off the generator to MAKE sure it actually works.

They come in different sizes, but I don't think I'd trust one off Craigslist, too big/important of a purchase. I think I'd want to have some 5+ year warranty on it. Also, think about this, what will run off of it? the AC, fridge? as in how many things, because the more things you have(or want) running, the bigger the power of the generator I'm thinking = $$$$$+++. I think people should take some time to evaluate WHAT they can live without for a few days, rather that get a generator that's too big or too small.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
How expensive do you expect that generator to be? Does it take a lot of space? How many KWs? I hear Craigslist has a ton of generators for sale from people who purchased them and never had to use them.
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