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Thread: Disaster Ready

  1. #1

    Default Disaster Ready

    ok so bottom line, in the event of a natural disaster i.e. hurricane, earthquake, etc, REALISTICALLY!!! how many days do you think one needs to be ready with illumination, b4 national/world wide help arrives, or power is restored.

    oh yeah i live in hawaii, so basically there is no where for me to drive i.e. katrina victims.

    im thinking 3 days. night only last at most 12 hrs i'll sleep through 6 so some where around 36 hrs lets say 50 just to be safe.

    what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    If it's anything like New Orleans then you would need enough run time to get away from the city and to a new place. Or if you're staying then a few months worth of light.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    A few years back (actually 10, I think) when Hurricane Fran came through our area we were without power for ten days. This was about as bad as it's likely to get this far from the coast. Now if I had earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunamis to worry about I'd want to be prepared for worse.

    Geoff

  4. #4

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Last year, we lost power due to a nasty ice storm. We had no power for about 3.5 days. Since I ran out of batteries, I made a candle holder out of a used CD spindle and a plastic plate.

  5. #5

    Default Re: disaster ready

    The American Red Cross suggests having a disaster kit that will sustain you and your family for 10 days. You would probably not need it for that long, but then again it is "disaster preparedness".

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by tebore
    If it's anything like New Orleans then you would need enough run time to get away from the city and to a new place. Or if you're staying then a few months worth of light.
    Mrs Umbra and I were on the high ground above sea level for Katrina and it's entire aftermath. We were very well prepared and in a good house and we hid from the Mayors minions. Our power was out for one day short of six weeks. Our phone was out for 7.5 weeks. Natural gas was out much longer.

    We used mostly dim lights and with just a little thought you can be ready to provide light for months without having to stock hundreds of cells. In the entire six weeks our total use of our brighter lights only came to a few minutes when it was all added together. This post may give you an idea for lights that will put you in good stead in an emergency without spending a lot of money on spare cells. Remember that when the power is out for a while your dim lights will seem brighter as you will have more visual purple to work with and much less ambient light to overcome.

    This post explains why lights with blue/green LEDs were used more than any of our than others.

    It should be remembered that hurricanes are just one of many threats that could cause you to have to rely on yourself for six weeks or more. Hurricanes at least give you three days warning before impact. Massive power failures, terrorist strikes or a bird flu 'Shelter In Place' quarantine and many other events may strike any urban area with almost unthinkable ramifications for all in the region. They are all come as you are parties.

  7. #7

    Default Re: disaster ready

    For those interested, this site has GREAT preparedness info, especially on assembling disaster kits. A good forum, too:

    www.equipped.org

  8. #8

    Default Re: disaster ready

    If there's a prolonged power outage I think after a while life becomes not too different from before electricity was invented. Candlelight and torches were used for a few things; if you needed to walk at night, there was the moon; but basically, most activities needing illumination were planned around the availability of sunlight.

    So unless you're doing SAR or something, I think like Sub Umbra, that powerful lights are rarely needed. People do multi-month AT trail hikes with nothing but a Photon II. As a flashaholic I'd want more, e.g. on Hawaii, I'd go for 1) a long running EDC like an Infinity Ultra; 2) some reasonable LED headlamp; 3) something a little more powerful like a Fenix. Run everything on AA NiMH cells, have a solar charger and an Energizer 15 minute charger with 12 volt power plug, letting you recharge in a vehicle. I think that's enough lights for most folks. If you want something monstrously powerful, go for something like a mag85 (NiMH powered) or an SLA spotlight that you charge up from 12 volts.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* watt4's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    for starters, have a couple long-runtime AA led lights and a couple dozen AA batteries

  10. #10

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Four days of no power after two particular hurricanes last year. In my case, we were lucky to have it back so soon because a lot of people in other areas didn't get it back for about 3 weeks or so. So yes, do get plenty of batteries. Anything LED were the best 'cuz of their runtime.

    Bottom line? Get a generator; we had one running non-stop. Nothing as beautiful as the sound of the generator running in those time.

    I didn't mind those nights, heheh. Real excuses to use flashlights. Cleaning up the mess is another matter, however.

    Lightmania

    oh, I almost forgot. Water. Very important. After one of the hurricane, our water supply was knocked out but that came out ok 'cuz we were well stocked with water. It is probably most important thing to have above all.
    light-ma-ni-a [lahyt-mey-nee-uh] (noun) a compulsion to switch on any form of lights; a fascination with illumination and nigritude.

  11. #11

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Also, if there's a lot of trees around you, it is not a bad idea to have a chain saw handy.

    Lightmania
    light-ma-ni-a [lahyt-mey-nee-uh] (noun) a compulsion to switch on any form of lights; a fascination with illumination and nigritude.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Concept's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    I live in an area that can be prone to cyclones, but touch wood it has been many years since a decent one has hit. I think there are so many variables, mainly the severity of the cyclone will obviously determine the length of time we are without power. My only saving grace is that we are on an underground supply so there would have to be a decent cyclone hit before we lost power.
    Concept

  13. #13

    Default Re: disaster ready

    man where do you guys live??? no offence, but i can't see being without running power and water, for longer than 2 days b4 major help arrives from either the mainland, or other countries. i mean oahu is a major tourist destination, thus i would asume that the disaster infostructure should be in place.i mean at least 1/4th of the people living on the island are probably tourists and who in their right mind packs disaster kits when vacationing in hawaii? aside for a small emergency flashlight of course.

    i mean does anyone know how long those islands victimized by the 04 tsunamis were without power, water, etc,

    but hey thanks for all the responses, and realworld experiences, i guess you never really know until it happens, i mean i bet katrina victims thought help would have arrived alot sooner than it did right?

    oh yeah and what is edc? sorry still new

  14. #14
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra
    Mrs Umbra and I were on the high ground above sea level for Katrina and it's entire aftermath. We were very well prepared and in a good house and we hid from the Mayors minions. Our power was out for one day short of six weeks. Our phone was out for 7.5 weeks. Natural gas was out much longer.

    We used mostly dim lights and with just a little thought you can be ready to provide light for months without having to stock hundreds of cells. In the entire six weeks our total use of our brighter lights only came to a few minutes when it was all added together. This post may give you an idea for lights that will put you in good stead in an emergency without spending a lot of money on spare cells. Remember that when the power is out for a while your dim lights will seem brighter as you will have more visual purple to work with and much less ambient light to overcome.

    This post explains why lights with blue/green LEDs were used more than any of our than others.

    It should be remembered that hurricanes are just one of many threats that could cause you to have to rely on yourself for six weeks or more. Hurricanes at least give you three days warning before impact. Massive power failures, terrorist strikes or a bird flu 'Shelter In Place' quarantine and many other events may strike any urban area with almost unthinkable ramifications for all in the region. They are all come as you are parties.

    what about blue filters for LED lights? would they do the job to avoid detection? I have a few blue LED lights but just ordered a blue filter from SF.
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  15. #15

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by HiKing808
    man where do you guys live??? no offence, but i can't see being without running power and water, for longer than 2 days b4 major help arrives from either the mainland, or other countries.
    Of Oahu's 4 military and 3 public airports, only two have an elevation over 18' (just one has an elevation over 30', and that is at Wheeler AFB). So it isn't impossible for a hurricane (Iniki in 1992 had gusts to 160mph) or tsunami to damage all of them except for a smallish one.

    In that case only small planes could land on short runways or on highways, and the bulk of relief aid would arrive at a minimum of three weeks later by ship (weather permitting, and if the ports are ok). By comparison, New Orleans is crisscrossed by Interstate highways, and it still took weeks to make them passable.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic flame2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Just curious.......do you guys keep a small backup generator and a jerry can of petrol in case there is any disaster?

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    I agree, a long lasting dim LED would be the best option for a disaster light. Multiple lights using same size batteries is another wise choice.

    Oahu is a popular tourist destination, however, if the brown stuff started flying and law and order deteriorated, you’d literally be stuck on an Island with nowhere to go. When I lived in Hawaii, I remember Tsunami evacuation routes outlined in the first few pages of phonebooks, so it is a real threat there.

    Also, Hawaii ‘s main industry is tourism and the majority of the jobs support it. If the crap truly hit the fan ala New Orleans style, it would be open season on the "rich" tourists. The social economic disparity between the haves and the have-nots is ever present on the Islands. Anytime you have that imbalance, a disaster occurring event levels the playing field, which can indeed get a bit hairy.




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  18. #18

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by HiKing808
    i mean does anyone know how long those islands victimized by the 04 tsunamis were without power, water, etc,
    Um, I guess you could say the villages that were washed away are still without power and water because everybody in them died after the 100 foot tall waves buried them! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_In...ean_earthquake In the third world, you're on your own.

    BTW:
    On April 2, 1868, a local earthquake with a magnitude estimated between 7.25 and 7.75 rocked the southeast coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It triggered a landslide on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano, five miles north of Pahala, killing 31 persons. A tsunami then claimed 46 additional lives. The villages of Punaluu, Ninole, Kawaa, Honuapo, and Keauhou Landing were severely damaged. According to one account, the tsunami "rolled in over the tops of the cocoanut trees, probably 60 feet high .... inland a distance of a quarter of a mile in some places, taking out to sea when it returned, houses, men, women, and almost everything movable."
    The April 1 (1946) Aleutian Island earthquake tsunami that killed 159 people on Hawaii and five in Alaska resulted in the creation of a tsunami warning system (specifically The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center), established in 1949 for Pacific Ocean area countries. The tsunami is locally known in Hawaii as the April Fools Day Tsunami in Hawaii due to people thinking the warnings were an April Fools prank.
    There's now 900,000 people on that tiny island of Oahu in the middle of the Pacific.
    And EDC is "every day carry."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightmania
    Also, if there's a lot of trees around you, it is not a bad idea to have a chain saw handy.
    Somehow I can't imagine HiKing808 would need to cut down coconut palms in Waikiki for firewood, since Hawaii is so much more tropical than Florida that nobody has indoor heating, and washing machines are often plumbed outdoors. Maybe for cooking the rich tourists?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Bottom line? Get a generator; we had one running non-stop. Nothing as beautiful as the sound of the generator running in those time


    +1

    I just had a power outage a few days ago, due to strong winds. Visiting a friend to work on her car. It was cold, rainy, miserable, very windy (which brought down the temp. index), and well, dark. Plus I got flu, which made things really much worse.

    I did use the multitude of lites I had with me to discover what kind of shyte I was in.... she had no generator, no propane devices, all in all, poorly prepared. Just some candles.

    Lites are the first line of defense so you can set up the entire infrastructure if something like this happens. LP stove is the way to go, kerosine heater is great, and a generator is a good idea. But if you get these for 2.5 days per year, it may not be worthwhile to spent on these things.
    ****** Malkoff Devices ****** “Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

  20. #20

    Default Re: disaster ready

    lol, I was thinking of debris clearing, making road passable, etc when I said that. But that'll work too if you live somewhere else cold.

    Lightmania
    light-ma-ni-a [lahyt-mey-nee-uh] (noun) a compulsion to switch on any form of lights; a fascination with illumination and nigritude.

  21. #21

    Default Re: disaster ready

    I guess before I got a generator I'd ask myself what I'd power with it. If my life is so dependent on electrically powered gadgets that I can't get by for a few weeks without power, maybe the problem I should fix is too much dependence on electricity, rather than lack of a generator. Of course that doesn't apply to those needing power for medical equipment or other such exceptional instances. As for me I'd much rather have 50 pounds of nonperishable food and clean water in a disaster, than 50 pounds of batteries and generators.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by 270winchester
    what about blue filters for LED lights? would they do the job to avoid detection (by NV gear)? I have a few blue LED lights but just ordered a blue filter from SF.
    Bold phrase added by me for clarity.

    I don't think blue does it. NV gear filters out part of the blue/green range so that lights in that part of the spectrum may be used without disrupting it.

    While I don't know the exact wavelength of the filter the Rigel MIL Starlite is the only light I know of that has LEDs tested and approved as compatable with NV gear by the Air Force's Advanced Research Lab in White Sands, NM.
    Quote Originally Posted by flame2000
    Just curious.......do you guys keep a small backup generator and a jerry can of petrol in case there is any disaster?
    In an emergency of short duration where the Social Order remains intact they may be useful but buying and using one may have very serious ramifications for the owner. In a serious emergency backup generators should be viewed as a mixed bag.

    Most people do a very poor job of correctly identifying the wide array of threats that they may face in an emergency -- this is somewhat obvious by the lack of preparedness in the general public. It is very easy to buy some food, water, a generator and fool yourself into thinking you have everything covered.

    During Katrina I know of some people whose generators were the main cause of their problems and the very reason that they were forced into their very poorly timed evac. One family thought they were all set and were running their generator in Gretna, across the river, when they had to call 911 to report that there were ten armed men in their backyard that they didn't know -- drawn to them by the sound of their generator. The police were in no position to be able to help them. The dispacher told the homeowner to kill them all -- and the homeowner wasn't up to it. Those folks were actually in pretty good shape -- except for the looters called in by their generator. They had weathered the storm and had enough supplies to hang for a week or so and then try to get out of town in a somewhat civilized manner after things calmed down a bit. But it was too late for them to take a low profile at that point. They ended up fighting their way out of town at the worst possible time. This happened many times in many places in the next few weeks.

    Some of the problems with generators in an serious emergency:
    • They require the purchase, handling and the long term storage of fuels which may pose a fire and explosive hazard.
    • They alert anyone within earshot that there is something worth stealing at your location. It screams not only that there are people about -- but also that they have something worth stealing. Ironically, in addition to the same things that many others have worth stealing your generator will also be an advertizement to looters and government officials that you also have two other things that are highly stealable in a crisis -- your generator and your fuel.
    • They totally give away your location to: looters, neighbors, police and the military. You should always have the option to only reveal your presence when and to those you choose. If everyone knows exactly where you are you not only face the threat of being murdered by looters or police (Katrina, New Orleans) but also your known location may also make you a political pawn for the use of any politician -- local, state or federal. (Katrina, New Orleans)
    • Looters are often methodical, slowly moving house by house and block by block for days or weeks at a time. If you or your neighbors are running a generator you won't even hear the doors being kicked in in the next block.

    As bleak as those arguments sound I do believe that there are some situations where I would consider using a generator:
    • If I lived in a neighborhood with a very cohesive population that were all into preparedness, were well armed and willing to organize a sentry rotation at night.
    • If it was a neighborhood with some but not all of the above requirements I may consider just running the generator during the daylight hours only.

    It is obvious that most who buy generators have never considered most of these things. It is ironic that the worse the situation gets -- the more you need it, the more dangerous it becomes to run a generator.

    I'm sure that many won't believe this (for many reasons) -- I just wrote it because I know that some will give it very serious thought.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 10-31-2006 at 12:53 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    I tend to agree with the notion that lighting should be among the last of your worries; the real keys are water, food, shelter, and first aid - everything else is surplus. As flashaholics, we tend to overlook the obvious!

    That said, 3-5 days is probably sufficient for most normal "emergencies" - blackouts, moderate earthquakes, etc. - where help will usually arrive within a few days. If anything lasts longer than that, you're really getting into the arena of "major disasters," which is a whole different ball game. If you're worried about *that* kind of disaster, better make sure you've got 50-gallon jugs of water and a few dozen CR123s on hand!

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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    The word "Disaster" is in the Subject line.

    In light of that usage I think that more serious emergencies would be appropriate for discussion. IMO, run-of-the-mill 3-5 day emergencies are not quite in keeping with the Subject of the thread.

  25. #25

    Default Re: disaster ready

    Thanks for your thoughts, Sub_Umbra. I read all your posts on such things very closely and sometimes print them out. Too easy to sit here in my comfy chair with my emergency equipment and supplies and think I'm ok. Good to hear from someone who's actually done it and knows how it really works, and have some idea of how far off I am. Thank you.

    Got Biodiesel?

  26. #26

    Default Re: disaster ready

    FlashInThePan hit it on right. In my case, we had all of our basic needs covered and thus can afford the luxury of having a generator.

    My experience would be the "most normal emergencies", that is, if one can call that normal. Sub_Umbra, thank you for posting your experience, you raised many good points and there's a lot to learn from your experience. Luckily for us, it wasn't that desperate.

    Its different for everyone; different needs for different situation. But the basic needs stay the same.

    And don't forget to have a mean of staying in touch with the news/weather like a portable tv or radio.

    Lightmania
    light-ma-ni-a [lahyt-mey-nee-uh] (noun) a compulsion to switch on any form of lights; a fascination with illumination and nigritude.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Very nice info. If at all possible, only try to count on yourself because no matter how much our fine officers of the law/soldiers/workers try after something hits, it all comes down to CYA(cover your a**).

    I hope that makes sense to everyone. Sometimes I'm not very good at explaining myself.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    I tend to agree with the notion that lighting should be among the last of your worries; the real keys are water, food, shelter, and first aid - everything else is surplus. As flashaholics, we tend to overlook the obvious!
    Emphasis mine.

    The obvious may very well get you killed in a disaster. First Aid is of very little value in a disaster even though it may seem obvious. First Aid is...well, just that, First Aid. It's what must be done FIRST -- and it presupposes that help will be along shortly. Disasters don't work that way. That's why they call them disasters. If the patient requires more than First Aid and that's all they can get -- they will die. You may apply direct pressure to a bleeder but if there's no 911 or no one to follow up and stitch it closed you'll only slightly prolong the death.

    For the record, US Marshals brought in from out of state in my neighborhood were still processing a list of over 3000 911 calls made the night Katrina struck 35 days later. The NOPD was on R&R in Vegas by then. (Really) You may find yourselves truly on your own.

    At this point, someone usually chimes in about how we're not doctors, and the danger and blah, blah, blah about a whole bunch of things they never thought of before...that make anything beyond First Aid impossible for anyone who is not a dr. Fine, let them think that. Let them watch their own kid or wife die needlessly. That's their business.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra
    [*]If I lived in a neighborhood with a very cohesive population that were all into preparedness, were well armed and willing to organize a sentry rotation at night.
    Oh man, I wish I had nabbors like that. I dont tell ANEYONE excpt for my imedet famley what and where it is... If someone dous kick the front door and find a untimley end, then they cirntley wont find aneything of use to them.
    "When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side" -ancient Chinese proverb

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: disaster ready

    Sub, thanks for your tip on the blue/greens. I just picked up a couple of them.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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