Disaster on top of disaster preparedness

bykfixer

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Disaster upon disaster prep such as cat 4 hurricane floods your street, a half mile away a chemical plants catches fire and emits toxins as you paddle to safety then you discover you forgot to put the plug in the boat, then your wife jumps over board to install the plug thinking the water was deeper and breaks her leg. You suddenly realize you are in a Louisianna swamp and there are gators and snakes while you put the plug in the boat.

Two ways to prep for that.
1) Don't live in a flood plain.
2) Don't live near a toxic chemical plant.

But seriously, I live in a city with an interstate running through it on one side and a rail road on the other. Dangerous chemicals go by my house daily. One part of town is one way in/out. If a crash occured and dangerous fumes plummeted their way they have one way out. If the danger is between them and the outlet they are screwed.

Before that part of town was built a train crashed and did just that. Many of those folks would have been sickened or killed. Any city with an interstate or rail road main line running through it should have a disaster plan in place. My city does not. So those of us who know what travels up and down the interstate or rails do.

Another part of town is surrounded by water on 3 sides. Three weeks ago two of the ways out were flooded when an area upstream got 9" of rain in an hour. The third was a bridge where repairs had just been completed. Had it occured a month before those folks would have been trapped and no way for ambulances to get to them if an emergency occured. Again my city has no plan in place. Also again some in the know are aware of a dirt road that leads to a water tower and it has a second way to it that doesn't flood so anybody aware of that road can flee to safety upstream.

In the event you happen to live near places with dangers from man made disasters or Mother Nature's fury, learn the escape routes. Especially the ones most don't know about.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Disaster upon disaster prep such as cat 4 hurricane floods your street, a half mile away a chemical plants catches fire and emits toxins as you paddle to safety then you discover you forgot to put the plug in the boat, then your wife jumps over board to install the plug thinking the water was deeper and breaks her leg. You suddenly realize you are in a Louisianna swamp and there are gators and snakes while you put the plug in the boat.

Remember that if you make it to safety, you likely have no indoor dining and few bathrooms available at restaurants or gas stations. Sanitation and hypothermia become real problems in a mass evacuation. Expect food and supply shortages to last as the system is already strained by the corona virus. Good luck getting a place to sleep for the night as many hotels are closed or housing corona virus patients exclusively. I'm sure ball parks and schools will be used as shelters but spread out victims to prevent them from getting sick, limiting occupancy. Even if there is room available, would you want to risk your family getting sick around so many people? Is it safe to sleep wearing a mask or does it deprive you of oxygen over time? What if you didn't have masks anymore and weren't allowed in buildings? Odds are, you'll be sleeping outdoors or in a rental car. Better watch out for looters and sleep with one eye open.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Looks like California is decommissioning 4 natural gas power plants by the end of this year amounting to about 2500 megawatts of power. These are plants that use sea water for cooling which is now banned. Looks like we better get used to rolling blackouts.

The wildfires on the west coast have burned over 3.3 million acres this year. It's unsafe to breathe the air in some places. Some people had to be evacuated by helicopter. Some burned alive in their cars trying to escape. They didn't have enough time to evacuate.

Hurricane Sally is now a Category 2 hurricane heading for land and there are more potential storms developing next.

With these disasters coming so frequently and killing people fleeing from them, I thought it would be good to discuss evacuation plans. A proper evacuation plan should not just be your town's plan that everyone follows and likely causes a bottleneck leaving you stranded in traffic with danger coming. You need a safe meeting place (a friend or family member's house out of the danger area) that your loved ones know to meet at if the SHTF. This location should be out of the danger zone, but close enough to reach quickly by any means available. For a large scale disaster, this might require leaving ahead of everyone else to avoid traffic or roadblocks. You should plan for alternative transportation to get through or around places a car can't get through. This includes a motorcycle, boat, bike, horse, electric scooter, etc.. It helps to have two way radios to communicate with your group in case you get split up. Cell phone service is unreliable during a disaster as the system goes down or is overloaded by emergency calls. Don't plan on a hotel for your meeting place. In my experience with wildfires, the first thing the American Red Cross does when they come to help in a disaster area is reserve all the good hotel rooms (if I remember right, they preferred the Holiday Inn). You also want to be surrounded by people you can trust, not a bunch of desperate people freaking out. If possible, it's advantageous to have more than one meeting place in case your first choice is closer to the disaster. An r.v. or camper helps but isn't a substitute for a meeting place. If your r.v. gets stranded or you are robbed, you want a backup place to go that won't be snatched from under you. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Once you get to your meeting place, wait for everyone to arrive and decide what's next. Resources may be limited, you may overstay your welcome after awhile, or the disaster may have followed you there. In any case, you may have to have a second meeting place to ride out the disaster for a longer duration or a bug out location (preferably with plenty of supplies and off grid modern conveniences including solar power and running water).
 

scout24

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HoF- Your post and the points made drive home the need for paper maps. You may have a route to a point in your head but not be prepared for detours, etc.
 

turbodog

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During all serious disasters I have seen the roads are barely navigable. Would not dream about fleeing in an RV. Flat tires were VERY commonplace also due to nails. Good realistic evac plan should include tire plug kit and air compressor. Note: plugging a modern radial tire is HARD due to steel cords and thickness of tire if you are not experienced. During Katrina a guy parked by the side of the road plugging tires... there was a LONG line of people. It was just some guy... not a tire shop. Some dude with a jack, generator, compressor, and TONS of rubber plugs.
 

Poppy

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HoF- Your post and the points made drive home the need for paper maps. You may have a route to a point in your head but not be prepared for detours, etc.
Wow isn't that true!
Once on the way North to NJ from Florida I ran into a huge traffic jam.. one after another. I decided to venture off following my GPS in my phone. At times I lost cell connection, and thought... holy crap... I don't really know where I am!

Years ago, I followed a map, and really paid attention to the topography of the area, and made mental notes of landmarks as I traveled, and especially when I made turns. I would even look back, after I made a turn, so that it would look familiar on my return trip. I could go anywhere ONCE, and never need a map again. Now... the idiot in the box, tells the idiot behind the wheel when to turn. I've become more dependent on that box, and that is a bad thing.

I do have maps in the car, but not as many as I had in the past. I used to carry street maps broken down by county. I don't think they are in the car anymore. They should be.
 

thermal guy

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I'm out in the country miles and miles away from any large body of water. We don't get tornadoes, floods,any of that crap. Just dam cold winters. But Having kids I always keep a mental reminder that crap can happen and prepare for what might.
 

idleprocess

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HoF- Your post and the points made drive home the need for paper maps. You may have a route to a point in your head but not be prepared for detours, etc.

The USGS website for downloading topographic maps has vastly improved since last time I looked at it. Topographic aren't as easy to use for navigating a car as a typical road map, but they're more versatile in the sense that they show terrain and features useful for navigation in an unstructured environment. I do suggest filtering for recent years (i.e. 2000-2020), otherwise zoom into the area of interest, click on a reference point to see what maps are available, and download the year and format of your choice - GeoPDF is the richest, but looks to require some tinkering to print as shown.
 

Kestrel

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One thing I do before heading into remote areas, is to download the applicable USGS topos onto my phone storage beforehand, for offline usage.
Not a perfect solution, but better than not having that option for sure.

I certainly try to keep paper maps on hand - and never undertake car travel without those 'Atlas & Gazetter' topo books for the state I'm in.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0899333478/?tag=cpf0b6-20
 
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markr6

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I certainly try to keep paper maps on hand - and never undertake car travel without those 'Atlas & Gazetter' topo books for the state I'm in.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0899333478/?tag=cpf0b6-20

I've had a couple in my jeep for the longest time and finally took them out. But I really should put them back in. I rely too much on my phone. It would be so easy to drop it, somehow fry the battery, forget a charger, simply misplace it or just have bad luck with some manufacturer defect when I'm away from home.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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On my agenda the Korean Flamethrower Squirrels are up next. Remember: If you see one in the road drive AROUND it!
No, next it was people claiming lives matter blocking dying people from getting into the hospital emergency room. I'll let you know if the west coast fires get started by those squirrels. So far, one was started during a baby's gender reveal party. We live in interesting times.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Very much appreciate the link to USGS map resource. Wow, even the temperature and amount of sun of the chosen location is shown. The initial map uses meters and I could not change that setting (except when you choose spot elevation instead of location coordinates), but when going to an actual map, it was in feet.
 

archimedes

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Although direct external sales links are discouraged anyway, would you please at least edit out all of the extraneous "referer" info included above.
 

raggie33

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im prepared for everything i mean it everything i even choose the room i sleep in to have the tactical advantage in case we have a home invasion .
 
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All these professional fighters had a plan .... Then they met a disaster face to face.



It's a worthy endeavor to plan for the worst. But it's wise to remember your plan pits you against something aptly named a disaster.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I had that quote in the first post. Don't forget the second quote I posted: "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything" -General Patton. The idea is to adapt to changes in your situation. Have plans for different contingencies and adapt new ones to your changing reality.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Looks like Los Angeles might be about to lose communications. The Bobcat fire is up to the access road to Mt. Wilson observatory and a communications tower farm. These towers affect t.v. networks, cell phones, and emergency communications for first responders. O.k., new emergency scenario: All local communications are out. 911 system down. Pilots can't communicate with ground support during a wildfire. Local news goes dark. No cell service. You were told it will take fire crews a month and a half to put the fire out, and it's not the only one in the area. Santa Anna winds are expected this weekend. Oh, and you live in an area with nearly 12.5 million people during a pandemic, prone to rolling blackouts. Do you ride it out and hope the fire doesn't get to you? Do you wait for a mass evacuation order? Do you get out of dodge now to avoid the panic or maybe take your family on a vacation? To bug in or to bug out, that is the question. Be specific. This may depend on distance from the fire, how safe your neighborhood is, your supply situation, distance to get out of the area, if you have to gather family and friends first, etc. So what would you do? What's your backup plan?
 
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