How We Survived Sandy
Let me first
say we are doing well compared to the rest of the folks here on
Long Island , NY . I am no hard core prepper but believe strongly
that the need is there. We are in Nassau County and are served by
LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority. As I write there are about
300,000 people here without power. Some of the things I have witnessed
are very sad indeed and we were blessed to have our power back within
South of where we live along the water the houses have had their
basements flooded out. Even with prior storms my in-laws who live
near the water had their basement flooded to the ledger board on
their foundation. The water has never gotten that high since they
have lived there for over fifty years. Everything in their basement
was ruined. They had built up a sand berm but the water kept coming
and then rushed into the basement, carrying the sand with it. Note
to self, use sand bags. Upon entering their neighborhood the people
were all on the streets taking their ruined belongings and bringing
them to the curb. Everyone of them as I drove by had the Thousand
Yard Stare made famous in pictures and photographs from World
War II. We were able to give my in-laws our generator after they
returned to their house. They bugged out to a hotel in a dry area
of Long Island . Their Hotel lost power for a day.
Things that got us through the storm.
Over the past
few years we have removed large trees that, had they fallen the
right way, would have cut out house in two. We have three pre-teens
and could not have dealt with their loss. After both my wife and
I grew up near open water and the associated wind that can come
off the water we learned not to have overhanging trees. While the
shade generated from them cut out cooling bills, its just
not worth it if you, or god forbid, your loved ones lose their life.
a generator (period)
Get a generator
strong enough to power your refrigerator, a radio and a few lights.
This saved us from having to throw out our newly purchased foods.
We are fortunate to have both an old refrigerator (which seems to
last much longer than the new ones with planned obsolescence built
in, we are never getting rid of it) and a new one. The new one has
better insulation. So what we did was take the ice from the ice
maker and kept it in the freezer in zip-lock bags. This helped us
build us the cooling thermal mass. We kept on letting the ice maker
make more ice and put it in bags rather than letting the trip bar
stop the ice making. If you think you dont need a generator
then get one anyway when there is a sale because someone you know
will need it and being charitable may save someones life.
After the storm here it got down into the 30s and people froze
in their houses.
on gasoline and stabilize it before the storm.
The Coast Guard
shut the ports in NY which supply gasoline here and there are now
huge lines for gas. We had about fifteen gallons in the garage and
used about half of it before our power came back and we gave the
rest to the in-laws to power their pumps to pump out their basement.
We could have used a lot more gasoline. (check your local ordinances
for storage limits) Again, learning from this instance, if you live
in a low-lying area, rethink what you have in your basement. It
was never this bad before and they lost everything in their basement.
every picture of sentimental value.
On the local news channel most people returned to their home to
see if they could salvage any pictures. I can not tell you how sad
I found this. If you are like some of my relatives and have, over
the years amassed footlockers full of pictures maybe outsourcing
is a good solution. Since we take digital pictures now, we save
them on our hard drive and back them up to an external one terabyte
USB hard drive. If we ever had to bug out wed just take the
USB drive and boogey.
has helped us out. We went the canned route and slowly purchased
canned meals like Ravioli with Meatballs and had them in-hand for
use. We need to work on this as we were running out of milk and
a few other items for the kids (lessons learned).
this Summer in New England we went pretty deep into the Maine woods
to Baxter State Park . There was no running water and we had to
carry it in with the pickup. We used hanging bag showers to clean
ourselves and we carried in about 10 gallons of water for a couple
of days. Get yourself a good storage container for clean water.
We used two five gallon Coleman water containers but a few milk
containers with screw-on lids (Sterilized) would have helped.
While it could
have gotten to an apocalyptic TEOTWAWKI situation here the big drama
on The Island was as the gas pumps with fights breaking
out as people tried to cut each other in line. One man was arrested
for taking out a pistol. There is and was looting in other areas
where homes are damaged and abandoned. Thankfully I did not have
to rely on all the NRA patches I earned when I was a kid (I got
to Barr III)
power for Crackberries were a pretty big story here.
In New York City people who had power ran power lines to the street
to let others charge their cell phones. I use a battery back up
pack for my phone and fill it with four double-a rechargeable batteries
and keep them charged at all times. Link .This doubles my battery
life but when the area lost power
so did the cell towers. So
Ill be studying for the Ham technician license. We have four
hand held FRS walkie talkies that my son won in a Boy Scout Raffle
a few years ago and it did not get to the point where we needed
them. But they are great fun to use in the shopping mall to find
your lost kids at no cost.
is how friendly your area is to walking. If you have to travel everywhere
in our current situation with gas shortages youd
be walking everywhere to get your food and supplies. While this
has great health benefits you may end up burning more calories than
you can take in. Get a bike and a hand operated bike pump with either
a rack or basket to carry items. I need to get a hand operated air
pump as Ive been relying on the air compressor and it never
occurred to me.
the horrific scenes of 9/11 and losing many former colleagues (another
story for another day) and of the 2004 blackout here in NY, I learned
that yes, you have to get your news from the media but if you watch
the TV 24/7 you will lose your mind and get really really depressed.
Get up from the Idiot Box as my parents used to call
it and Move a muscle and change a thought. Getting up
and around rather than hunkering down in your foxhole makes you
feel Big and Strong.
What I have
learned is that a lot of people here needed our help. My in-laws
come for dinner every night. They needed my generator when I was
done with it. Our friends needed our extra heaters as they got their
power back but their boiler (in the basement) was trashed and could
not heat their house. Plan on being generous. Maybe someday it will
come back to you as you have paid it forward.
I need to reconsider
where we live. Right now I am unemployed from the financial community
here in NY and have worked in Project Management and I am PMP certified.
Hopefully the wife and kids will buy-in to the idea. Being a conservative
in NY has not suited me well. My father had his life saved by a
Naval Scholarship as his dad died at an early age from sclerosis
of the liver (as my friend Bill says, he never took the first step).
I tried to join the Military but was unable to pass the physical
due to a slight limp, I still got my pilots license though. I have
not flown since 1995.
Project Management Experience will be able to help me pick up a
job in another field somewhere safe. I have worked in banking and
software development as a project manager and business analysis.
I have traded for the worlds largest commodities firm (at the time)
and know a bit about financial derivatives. Enough to know that
its not the product but the greed behind it that ruins everything.
So long as a trading desk is very profitable everybody in management
leaves them alone. Ive seen some pretty smart people (on paper)
Blow-up and lose everything and then Ive seen
some pretty street smart kids make a killing.
while Im no hard core prepper, I got by with the help from
God and family. The 5 Ps are burned into my memory like a
scar. Proper Preparation Produces Perfect Performance. Yes, I know
there are derivatives of this saying. I was very happy to help other
people. Because as soon as I got out of feeling sorry for myself
I was able to feel great in helping others. This by the way has
saved my life in another aspect. Im an alcoholic and if I
had not learned the lessons I had over half a decade ago things
would have only gotten worse in this tragedy and I would not have
my wits about me nor my family as they would have left many years
I hope this
has helped you. Best, One Lucky Guy (and family).
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