Make as much ice as you can; particularly blocks -- empty half gallon or gallon milk containers are good for this; fill about 75% full to allow for expansion -- block ice will keep longer than cube ice. If you have a box that fit in your freezer, line it with an open plastic trash bag and fill it with water once it is in your freezer. Ice is a precious commodity during times of no electricity. A freezer that is full of ice will hold for quite a while, particularly if you don't open it except to take some ice out once or twice a day to re-stock a portable cooler with the perishables you're using.
Baby wipes are also really handy. Paper plates, disposable cutlery, paper cups -- while you might not ordinarily use them, in the absence of washing water, they're a godsend. For coffee fans: Melita makes a one-cup drip coffee cone (plastic) that sells for about four bucks; that, a box of #2 filters, and a bag of ground coffee will get you coffee if you have the means to boil water. You can brew into a thermos (just toss the filter and add a fresh filter and 3T more coffee after you've made the first two cups) -- this works well if you're using a propane bbq to heat up water for coffee and don't want to do so often. The little no-refrigeration-needed Land O Lakes half and half cups are handy.
I was here for Isabelle in '03 and a bad one in the '80s. Things were messy for a while -- and we went six days without power during Isabelle -- but we were safe.
"Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer
Shepard Smith on Fox (who rode out Katrina in New Orleans) just showed Dune Road on Long Island and said "If you're here--don't be." NYers on Long Island might want to move inland. And yes--fill every water holding container you've got if you're somewhere you think will lose power. We got hit with winds up to 80mph in a blizzard and lost power last winter, and filling the tubs, sinks, pots (the Crock-Pot works great) meant I could still flush, wash, and had fresh water for the dogs.
And if you're in North Carolina on the coast, please move inland, they're saying you're about to get slammed tomorrow night. Right now it's sounding like NC will get the worst of it (and of course there are people surfing in it. Oy.)
If you are in any of the evacuation zones and you have or know anyone with horses who needs to move them, there's a group on Facebook, Horse Evacuations East, where people who can take animals or who can help haul them are posting contact info. No need to stay for the livestock, just ask on there and people are ready to help.
Barbk has excellent advice. If you can refill or procure an extra propane tank for the BBQ - also good. This suburbanite did not know how to pop the manual control for the garage door opener...practice while the power is still on rather than trying to figure it out in the dark.
"awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.
I live in Virginia Beach, VA and am seriously considering leaving tomorrow morning. Right now just the Outer Banks and Sandbridge areas are to be evacuated, but I am worried.
Trying to figure out where to go......Richmond? Charlotteville? Lynchburg? Into NC towards Durham?
I'm really not looking forward to this!! I live in the Northeast and our ground is mostly clay where I am. We already have a sump pump in our cellar that runs at the slightest rain. So I was thinking ahead and have a generator on hold at the local hardware store. If we don't have power, my cellar will be flooded for sure! Winds here are supposed to be between 50 & 70mph and we could get about 6inches of rain....this is what they are saying now, but it won't even be here until Sunday into Monday, so who knows for sure. I've already got the flashlights & batteries handy along with matches and candles. I guess I'll grab extra food, water & supplies tomorrow before it gets really crazy. Looking forward to next week when this is all over!!
Anyway, I came across a good tip I hadn't even thought of yesterday. Closer to the storm event, set your refrigerator & freezer to their highest settings. That way, if the power goes out & you don't open the doors often, the items in them will stay frozen/cold longer.
I also agree with the supplies that come in handy like baby wipes (they come in unscented), plastic dinnerware & utensils, extra propane and the usual suggestions of extra batteries, canned food & bottled water. Also handy is hand sanitizer. If water is going to be a precious commodity, you don't want to waste it by washing your hands multiple times a day.
ETA - Just thought of this. Make sure you have enough clean clothes to last for a week per person. That includes socks & underwear. You don't want to realize a few days in that don't have any clean underwear left...
Last edited by nerdycool; 08-26-2011 at 01:22 AM.
I live in coastal Georgia...we'll get the rain bands and wind but we're in the curve (actually the westernmost part of the East coast) so it probably won't be too bad. It's rare that the hurricanes ever hit us full on. Stay safe all of you in NC and on up!
"He's so approachable and if she were anymore beautiful, she wouldn't look real." - Scott Hamilton on Meryl and Charlie
Meryl Davis and Charlie White - 2011 World Ice Dance Champions and 2013 World Ice Dance Champions!
If you can find a battery powered fan you may want that if temps are going to be high in the coming days. We used ours at night only. We are so used to having an air conditioner running and a ceiling fan that we couldn't sleep in complete silence. It helped keep us cool and put us to sleep. The thing used batteries like crazy so stock up on extra batteries that would just be for the fan.
"Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher
Two other suggestions: If you evacuate, or if you stay in an area that ends up getting somewhat hit, arrange to make one person (family member, friend) the key contact outside the area, and tell other family members to call that person for updates. You'll need to conserve cell phone batteries, and a system where one person is all you need to call can really help. I just sent out a group email when I'd get updates from my folks after one bad hurricane. Secondly, if you get the circuits are overloaded message, try a text message -- they often go through even when voice service is tough to come by.
Finally, if you have any medications you need to take, make sure you have enough to get you through the next week. If your pharmacy is closed (perhaps due to staff evacuating) it may be hard to get your Rx transferred to another pharmacy even if one is open.
^ barb is spot on again. Facebook seems to be the weapon of choice for locating people...have that family member create a facebook page as well, can also conserve cell phone battery/coverage. Others can post with word of mouth info for family members.
"awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.
Water is already gone in the grocery stores in my neighborhood.
Thanks for all of your advice! They are really helpful.
I will share mine:
- Put the ice packs in the freezer if you have any. When the power is out,
they can be in the ice box to keep foods cold for a while.
- Get ready the simple phone (no answering machine attached) that can be used in case of power outage.
- Charge the cell phones and other chargeable electronic devices (iTouch for my daughter).
- Pack medicines, toiletries, and a change of clothes in a bag in case you need to leave the house.
I have to fill the gas in my car and do the laundry (Thanks nerdycool for reminding that!) tomorrow...
I used to live on the coast of Mass, and went through several major storms, including hurricane. I even remember the eye of one storm going over my house. My husband is also not freaked about this one - as a fellow Massachusetts person, we feel that we're far enough inland here (Orange County, NY - just above Bergen County) that I wouldn't freak unless I was on a coast or in a flood plain. It's best to be prepared - to make preparations as you would for any major storm, including major blizzard.
If you feel you'd be best served by evacuating, you should do so, of course. It's really about what you feel is best.
Some things we normally used to do in coastal New England when a big one was coming:
- Fill up the cars with gas
- Pack a "OMFG" pack - small backpack with a change of clothing, some granola bars and water, ID, and essential meds, and keep it near the door.
- I like to have a radio that has battery power and/or is hand-cranked
- Candles/some sort of lighting
- Filling cannisters/bathtub with water
- Planning for powerless entertainment - books, games, etc.
- Washing clothing in advance (assuming power goes out and you won't be able to) - I am doing this now
- Having foods that don't need refrigeration, and if you don't have a grill or camp stove, also don't need heating
In other words, we planned to hunker down, as well as to be able to go quickly if necessary.
Today is Doomsday. Alternate side of the street parking will be in effect.
I wish a nice level 1 hurricane would come up the Gulf and up Georgia and give us some rain! We're parched here in Georgia.
However, my dear daughter in New Jersey is quite worried. She has a lot of trees surrounding her house on her lot, and their back yard gets flooded every big rain. They do have pumps, but this might be a challenge. Great suggestions from many of you! I will share them with my daughter tomorrow morning early!
My heart and prayers go out to all of you in the storm's path.
A friend just told me tonight that she and her husband have planned on being in NYC (lower Manhattan) middle of next week and they are quite concerned because of Irene. Hopefully the storm will weaken by then, so they can enjoy their visit.
Not to add fuel to the fire, but it's not looking good for NYC - a direct hit, in fact. NYC has not seen a direct hit from a hurricane in living memory and I'm worried people don't have any idea how bad it can get. From my own experience living there for 4 years, whenever it pours, the subway gets all flooded, as well as pockets of streets here and there, causing all sorts of transit chaos.
A direct hit from a hurricane would shut down the subway completely because the pumping systems are only equipped to handle 1.5 inches of rain per hour. It would be days, if not weeks, before you'd be able to pump out all the water from the subway tunnels and clean out all the yuckyness it'd have dislodged from the bowels of the tunnels. Moreover, much of lower Manhattan is landfill, and, of course, much of the city is low-lying waterfront, which means unprecedented urban flooding. I also understand that there is an ancient filled-in river underneath where I used to live on the Upper East Side, so although I'm no geologist here, I wouldn't be surprised to see all sorts of flooding popping up in unexpected, non-waterfront places.
ETA: the Weather Channel just talked about the "worst-case scenario" of a direct hit on NYC. The interesting tidbit was the "wind tunnel" effect caused by all the skyscrapers. Go up 25 floors and it's like going up another category in intensity. With such extreme wind, the windows on skyscrapers will blow out, causing widespread hazards.
Thinking good thoughts, though, for people in NYC, Long Island, and the NJ coast. (((stay safe)))
Last edited by UMBS Go Blue; 08-26-2011 at 07:39 AM.
Eys, I'm only really paying attention now, argh. I was thinking the storm would hit NC and we'd just get some rain on Sunday. Looked at some reports and...egads! I agree the subways will be a hot mess after this storm; they tend to flood even with more modest rainstorms. Actually, Bloomberg has the NYC preparing to shut down mass transit starting sometime on Saturday, which presumably will last through Sunday, maybe beyond. I'm on the Upper East Side (not so low-lying, I don't think), so I think I'll stick around, but I have a lot of water, ice and flashlight purchasing to do tomorrow!
ETA: UMBS, I just read the edits to your post. Windows blowing out?? I'm only on the second floor of my apartment building, but now I'm nervous enough to think about getting the heck out of Dodge! Hmm.....
"Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode