Hurricanes – Mostly The Aftermath…

As many long-time readers will know, we do have a little bit more than average experience dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes.  I ain’t no expert in the before part; you need to heed the local, very local, professionals who will guide you through any preparation, and neighborhood specific guidelines, for your immediate area.

But when it comes to the ‘after part’, well, as a long-time CERT recovery member perhaps I can guide you through the expectation and you might find some value.  Consider this little word salad a buffet, absorb what might be of value pass over anything else.

When the winds reach around 40mph, the utility company will likely, proactively, shut down the power.  This makes things a heck of a lot safer in the aftermath; and much easier and safer during the rebuild.  Don’t expect the power to be turned back on until it is safe.

Hurricanes can be frightening; downright scary.  There’s nothing quite like going through a few to reset your outlook on just how Mother Nature can deliver a cleansing cycle to an entire geographic region.

Telephone and power poles, yes, even the concrete ones, can, and likely will, snap like toothpicks.  There’s a sound when you are inside a hurricane that you can never forget.  It ain’t a howl, it’s a roar.  A damn scary roar that just won’t quit…. it will… eventually, but at the time you are hearing it, it doesn’t seem like it will ever end.

A constant, and pure rage of scary wind that doesn’t ebb and flow like normal wind and storms… hurricane wind just starts and stays, sometimes for hours.  Relentless and damn scary…. it just won’t let up.  And then, depending on her irrelevant opinion toward your insignificant presence, hopefully she stops.

Then silence.  No birds. No frogs. No crickets. No sound.

Nature goes mute.  It’s weird.

We have no idea how much ambient noise is around us, until it stops.

Oh, if she wants, she’ll keep dumping buckets on you as she wanders away.  Buckets. Not pails, garbage can sized buckets.  After the scour, yup, nature too has a rinse cycle.

If your town, city or hamlet is not underwater, there will be convoys coming to construct a pre-planned electricity grid recovery process.  Convoys from every city, town and state from the east-coast to the mid-west.  A glorious melding of dirty fingernails all arriving for the meet-up.   Depending on your proximity to the bigger picture objectives at hand, you will cherish their arrival.

But first, there will be an assessment.  The convoys will stage at pre-determined locations using radios for communication. Street-by-street everything needs to be evaluated prior to thinking about beginning to rebuild a grid.  Your patience within this process is needed; heck, it ain’t like you’ve got a choice in the matter…. so just stay positive.

Meanwhile, you might walk outside and find yourself a stranger in your neighborhood.

It will all be cattywampus.

Trees gone, crap everywhere, if you don’t need to travel, DON’T.

I mean CRAP e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

Stay away from power-lines.

Be entirely prepared to be lost in your own neighborhood and town for days, weeks, and even months.  Unknown to you – your subconscious mind is like a human GPS mapping system.  When that raging Florence takes away the subconscious landmarks I guarantee you – you are gonna get lost, make wrong turns, miss the exit etc.

It’s kinda funny and weird at the same time.

Your brain is wired to turn left at the big oak next to the Church, and the road to your house is likely two streets past the 7-11 or Circle-k. You don’t even notice that’s how you travel around town; that’s just your brain working – it is what it is.

Well, now the big oak is gone; so too is the Circle-K and 7-11 signs.  Like I said, everything is cattywampus.  Your brain will need to reboot and rewire.  In the interim, you’re gonna get lost… don’t get frustrated.

No street signs. Likely no stop signs.  No traffic lights.

Remember, when it is safe to drive, every single intersection must be treated like a four-way stop…. and YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION.  Even the major intersections.

You’ll need to override your brain tendency to use memory in transit.  You’ll need to pay close attention and watch for those who ain’t paying close attention.  Travel sparingly, it’s just safer.

Check on your-self first, then your neighbors. It don’t matter if you’ve never said a word to the guy in the blue house before.  It ain’t normalville now.

Break out of your box and check on the blue house down the street too.  In the aftermath, there’s no class structure.  Without power, the big fancy house on the corner with a pool is just a bigger mess.  Everyone is equally a mess.

The first responders in your neighborhood are YOU.

You, the wife, your family, Mrs. Wilson next door; Joe down the street; Bob’s twin boys and the gal with the red car are all in this together.  If you don’t ordinarily cotton to toxic masculinity you will worship it in the aftermath of a hurricane.  Git-r-done lives there.

Don’t stand around griping with a 40′ tree blocking the main road to your neighborhood.  Figure out who’s got chainsaws and set about clearing the road.  If every neighborhood starts clearing their own roadways, the recovery crews can then move in for the details.

Stage one focuses on major arteries… then secondary… then neighborhood etc.  It’s a process.  Oh, and don’t get mad if your fancy mailbox is ploughed-over by a focused front end loader who is on a priority mission to clear a path.  Just deal with it.

Phase-1 recovery is necessarily, well, scruffy…. we’re just moving and managing the mess; not trying to clean it up yet.  It’ll be ok.

Keep a joyous heart filled with thankfulness; and if you can’t muster it, then just pretend. Don’t be a jerk.  You will be surrounded by jerks….  elevate yourself.  If you need to do a few minutes of cussing, take a walk.  Keep your wits about you and stay calm.

Now, when the recovery teams arrive…. If you pass a line-man, pole-digger or crew say thanks.  Just simple “thanks”.  Wave at them and give them a thumbs-up. No need to get all unnecessarily familiar, a simple “thank you for your help” will generally suffice.  You know, ordinary people skills.

Many of these smaller crews will be sleeping in cots, or in their trucks while they are working never-ending shifts.  If you eventually start getting power back, and see a crew in a restaurant, same thing applies… “thanks guys”.  If you can pay their tab, do it.  If you can pay their tab without them knowing, even better.

Same goes for the tanker truckers. The convenience stores with gas pumps are part of the priority network.  Those will get power before other locales without power.  Fuel outlets are a priority.  Hospitals, first responders, emergency facilities, fuel outlets, then comes commercial and residential.

Remember, you are the first responder for your neighborhood.  Don’t quit.

Recovery is a process.  Depending on the scale of the impact zone, the process can take days, weeks and even months.  Take care of your family, friends and neighborhood, and generally make a conscious decision to be a part of any needed solution.

It’ll be ok.

It might be a massive pain in the a**, but in the end, it’ll be ok.

√Andrew

√Jeanne

√Frances

√Ivan

√Charley

√Irma

Keep a good thought.  Who knows, we might even end up shaking hands.

It’ll be OK.  Promise.

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168 Responses to Hurricanes – Mostly The Aftermath…

  1. GracieD says:

    Being born and raised in the Swamp of South Louisiana, I am very familiar with Hurricanes. Camille, Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, and the list goes on. Patience goes a long way. I do know that down here, a perfect stranger is likely to give you a few bucks if you run short, as well as a hot meal. That is what we are about. I think that is what America is about. Help those you can, and accept help if offered. Lots of love and many prayers to those in the path of Florence!

    Liked by 17 people

  2. TrueNorthSeeker says:

    Thank you SD for your sage advice. Prayers for all those in harms way from this storm. I will pray it looses some steam before landfall. I know we will see some heartbreaking scenes. But we will also see the best of humanity close ranks to help those in need after this storm. May God bless every one of the helpers; may they be swift in their efforts but safe as well. Good luck to all. 🙏

    Liked by 12 people

  3. Trumpstumper says:

    Love ya, Sundance.

    Stay safe.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Alison says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post, Sundance. For so many reasons I was positive you’d put out a ‘lead from the front’ post that combines sober reality of what people face with the hope that events like this bring out our best.

    Please stay safe yourself as you and your CERT teams take your strength & service to those in need.

    PS ‘Toxic Male’ is just about my favorite gender. 💖💖🇺🇸🇺🇸

    Liked by 13 people

    • Beau Geste says:

      Will the Washington Post have a headline “Trump complicit in reducing Florence windspeed and slowing its advance to give people time to exit from an ordinary hurricane”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. daughnworks247 says:

    You will really miss coffee in the morning. We rigged up a solution for this problem. Take two coffee empty coffee cans and poke holes in the bottom of the top can (for drip). Set your filter with grounds in the bottom of the top can (you might need a couple of filters). Pour in hot water (which you have boiled on the grill) slowly over the grounds and it will drip into the bottom can.
    Chainsaws, and a backup set of blades, is pure gold.
    And a bottle of bourbon is the best way to say thank you to a lineman….
    A gallon jug, with frozen water in it, is best in a cooler for things like mayo, cheese, deli meat. When the water from the jugs melts, you can drink it.
    Wash/dry ALL your dirty laundry and towels NOW.
    Fill up a plastic tote (the storage ones) with water and put next to every toilet in the house. Use a bucket of the water to flush.
    Keep wet, clean rags in your cooler and use them to wipe your face, neck, arms and nethers, the cool temp will be a blessing when it’s 90 degrees outside. Perfect for babies and frustrated little ones.
    God Bless.

    Liked by 16 people

    • Lineman says:

      And a bottle of bourbon is the best way to say thank you to a lineman….
      Chocolate Chip Cookies work really well for those of us who don’t drink too;)

      Liked by 12 people

    • chiavarm says:

      How was I supposed to know that I wasn’t supposed to drink the bourbon during the hurricane? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Coldeadhands says:

      Prayers for moms and their babies. Prayers for all 🙏🙏🙏

      Liked by 2 people

    • Beverly says:

      Best thing for coffee? Stovetop percolator. Remember those? All you need is a flame under the bottom.

      Heck, I still use one: never bought one o’ them newfangled coffee machines that cost a bundle and all brag about how they taste “fresh-perked.” Why not just fresh-perk it right on the stove with a classic percolator? Takes about 6 minutes tops.

      😉
      [Ebay has lots of them.]

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sayitaintsojoe says:

        If no percolator, you can take a new pair of nylons (pantyhose) cut the toe portion out fill it with coffee grounds and boil it in water. Being a treasure coast Florida girl most of my life we can get very inventive☕️.
        Also do not store your gas grill inside your house.

        Liked by 2 people

        • daughnworks247 says:

          Brilliant solution, pantyhose!!!

          Like

        • claypoole says:

          At our old summerhouse in the 1950s and 60s, Mom made coffee in an old graniteware pot over a flame. She put grounds in cheesecloth and broke an egg over the grounds, claiming it made the coffee clearer and better tasting. Can’t confirm that as I was too young at the time to drink coffee, but Dad was a particular cuss and thought it was grand.

          Like

  6. TWOHAWK 1 says:

    Blessings and prayers to all in Flo’s path. Please be safe.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. doublesharp says:

    I was in Moore Haven Fl for Wilma in Oct 05. FEMA was awe inspiring the way they mobilized dozens of dumptrucks and front loaders, blue tarp roof installers worked cant see to cant see day after day. My old memory says Jeb was Fl gov and W being potus may have been responsible for the A Team response.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Maquis says:

    God Bless you Sundance, and may He Bless all those about to experience the reality that Nature has her own plans.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Retired IG says:

    Thank you Sundance for this post. Here in my part of the US of A, we are somehow a prime picking spot for tornado formation. In 1985 we had the first F5 ever recorded in the US go through our backyard (only succeeded by the Oklahoma tornado later).
    https://www.weather.gov/cle/event_19850531_85outbreak
    While I did not live here at the time, my parents (now both deceased) forbade us from coming home until our annual get together on the July 4th weekend. We all wept to see the destruction of the “park” my Father had spent most of his lifetime creating here. Root balls from trees literally RIPPED from the ground. I have since learned that the root ball of a tree is roughly equivalent to the trees height.
    To this day I have people telling me that they came and helped my parents with their chain saws. We lost over 100 mature trees. This storm was the final straw I think for my Father. To see all he had worked on for so many years wiped out in seconds flat.
    Years later, while caring for my Mother I made some changes around the household where if a disaster struck we would be able to shelter in place. I wanted to ensure heat and water would be available if a disaster struck. Well food too but that’s another story.
    My prayers are with all of us and our loved one with branches on the tree of the Last Refuge. And most of all, for those that don’t have a branch on this tree. They need it the most.
    Be safe all and Love.

    Liked by 9 people

  10. SGH says:

    I can’t imagine what the Carolina’s are feeling right now…. I’m in VA Beach and it’s quite breezy compared to normal. We are no longer in a threat zone, for a hurricane actually bashing us.
    Thanks for your words, Sundance! One thing I’ve noticed with every major storm here is the silence afterward. It’s deafening! And unnerving in the dark!
    Praying for everyone.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Plain Jane says:

      I have a friend in VA Beach and tried to face time her today. No answer. Left her a message. Glad to hear that you all are not in danger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SGH says:

        She may have been evacuated, which I can’t recall ever happening in VA Beach. If so, given the initial hysteria here, she may just be more focused on getting home. Our kids have essentially been out of school all week over nothing… And we haven’t even gotten to the snow yet, which really shuts things down!!
        Better safe than sorry, always, but our kids are going to be in school until July here, I think!!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Plain Jane says:

          Thanks SGH. She does live alone, but has a son and his family a bit away.

          Like

          • SGH says:

            I’m expecting some flooding in regular flood zones with this beast, but nothing like before Flo’s shift. We’ll still get some weather from her, but shouldn’t be awful. I pray!
            In general, if you are worried about your friend, I don’t mind making contact with her and checking on her here and there. Hopefully, she has good neighbors, like we do, but I’d hate to think of my mom alone, just in general. Even if she were stubborn!

            Liked by 1 person

            • annieoakley says:

              All of my family is in VA Beach and Norfolk. The Norfolk group are in Ohio for a wedding. Mother and brother are in a Retirement Community near the Atlantic but all are staying. Sister is out of any flood zone in VA Beach so perhaps with the jog south it will not be too bad.

              Liked by 1 person

      • cthulhu says:

        I have a friend in Norfolk near the VA beach border. I’m watching and fretting.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Retired IG says:

    P.S. The GAWKERS who seem to somehow revel in seeing DAMAGE hurt my parents a lot. Actually had to close the major highway in front of the house OFF to a certain type of people who somehow, get some un-Godly pleasure from looking at the chaos and pain caused to others by a storm.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. truthseeker39525 says:

    Katrina ground zero veteran here.
    The lesson I took away was that all your Stuff- cars/house/contents/(I had two airplanes destroyed, along with all the rest of it)…. it’s all just STUFF.
    What kept me going was the thought that, WHAT IF all my Stuff came through without a scratch, but one of our Children had gotten killed…. how much WORSE that would be.
    With 14-ft of water in the yard, we lost a lot of Stuff….. but the Kids were just FINE.

    All my prayers to you in the Carolinas!
    Stay Safe!

    Liked by 15 people

  13. Mary Ann says:

    I can’t imagine what it would be like recovering from a major hurricane..
    When Irene hit Vermont it took 5 years to recover the damage ..
    I pray for safety through the storm..and I always remember the stories of miracle after miracle that God performs.. Prayer works! I am not crazy as a coon 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  14. H.R. says:

    Well, I’m becoming a little hopeful that the wind damage will be less than expected, but the water damage from the storm surge and rain looks to be unavoidable. That will be bad enough, but recovery will be a little faster if the trees stay up.

    Hoping and praying for only petty annoyances and safety for all, but it’s in God’s hands.

    I’m on the other side of the Appalachians and it’s projected that we’ll get a fair amount of the rains, but we should be only in the ‘slightly inconvenienced’ zone.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Patriot1783 says:

    A mans best friend can be his chain saw 😄

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Lineman says:

    And just another piece of advice “Don’t backfeed your Generator onto your normal power source and end up killing somebody and watch those downed wires they can still be hot laying on the ground…Take Care Out There…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Akindole says:

      They’re called “suicide” extension cables….for a reason. I still have some neighbors that spend 6 grand on multiple ATVs but won’t get a generator transfer switch put in.

      Stay away from that dryer outlet people.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. moondrops says:

    I thought your description was about Andrew and Homestead. Homestead was upside down. I hope to never see anything like it again.

    Like

  18. TreeClimber says:

    It would be awesome to shake your hand, Sundance, but I don’t think it’ll happen for us – we’re in lower SC, on a main thoroughfare with a lot of retired folks (and a couple of EMS responders live right across the road from us,) so according to my husband’s folks we’ll be back online pretty quickly. From all the forecasts where we are will get a low surge and a lot of rain but no more than TS winds and perhaps not even that.

    And we’ve also got a Dodge Durango so if we notice the water rising we can also get out…

    Like

  19. The entire essay is easily transferred to the northeastern snowstorms, other than the difference between drowning and freezing to death. Be prepared, folks. All the best to those in the storm’s path.

    Like

  20. Beverly says:

    On a more somber note: I saw this online from a Katrina survivor, New Orleans. I will post it in sections (long, but riveting reading).

    Katrina: after-action lessons learned

    Following on from this thread, I’ve begun to receive after-action reports from our field representatives in the disaster area, as well as from contacts in the State Police in Louisiana and Mississippi. The lessons learned are given below. I’ll try to add further after-action reports to this thread as I receive them, and I hope those who experienced Katrina first-hand will also post here about what they went through, and lessons that can be learned from it.

    1. People who were prepared were frequently mobbed/threatened by those who weren’t. This was reported in at least seven incidents, five in Mississippi, two in Louisiana (I suspect that the relative lack of Louisiana incidents was because most of those with any sense got out of Dodge before the storm hit). In each case, the person/family concerned had made preparations for disaster, with supplies, shelter, etc. in good order and ready to go. Several had generators ready and waiting. However, their neighbors who had not prepared all came running after the disaster, wanting food, water and shelter from them. When the prepared families refused, on the grounds that they had very little, and that only enough for themselves, there were many incidents of aggression, attempted assault, and theft of their supplies. Some had to use weapons to deter attack, and in some cases, shots were fired. I understand that in two incidents, attackers/would-be thieves were shot. It’s also reported that in all of these cases, the prepared families now face threats of retribution from their neighbors, who regarded their refusal to share as an act of selfishness and/or aggression, and are now threatening retaliation. It’s reportedly so bad that most of the prepared families are considering moving to other neighborhoods so as to start afresh, with different neighbors.

    Similar incidents are reported by families who got out in time, prepared to spend several days on their own. When they stopped to eat a picnic meal at a rest stop, or an isolated spot along the highway, they report being approached rather aggressively by others wanting food, or fuel, or other essentials. Sometimes they had to be rather aggressive in their turn to deter these insistent requests. Two families report attempts being made to steal their belongings (in one case, their vehicle) while overnighting in camp stops on their way out of the area. They both instituted armed patrols, with one or more family members patrolling while the others slept, to prevent this. Seems to me to be a good argument to form a “bug-out team” with like-minded, security-conscious friends in your area, so that all concerned can provide mutual security and back-up.

    My take: I can understand these families being unwilling to share the little they had, particularly in light of not knowing when supplies would once again be available. However, this reinforces the point I made in my “lessons learned” post last week: plan on needing much more in the way of supplies than you initially thought! If these families had had some extra food and water in stock, and hidden their main reserve where it would not be seen, they could have given out some help to their neighbors and preserved good relations. Also, a generator, under such circumstances, is a noisy (and bright, if powering your interior lights) invitation saying “This house has supplies – come and get them”. I suspect that kerosene lanterns, candles and flashlights might be a more “community-safe” option if one is surrounded by survivors.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Beverly says:

    2. When help gets there, you may get it whether you like it or not. There are numerous reports of aggressive, overbearing behavior by those rescuers who first arrived at disaster scenes. It’s perhaps best described as “I’m here to rescue you – I’m in charge – do as I say – if you don’t I’ll shoot you”. It appears that mid-level State functionaries and Red Cross personnel (the latter without the “shoot you” aspect, of course) were complained about most often. In one incident, a family who had prepared and survived quite well were ordered, not invited, to get onto a truck, with only the clothes on their backs. When they objected, they were threatened. They had pets, and wanted to know what would happen to them: and they report that a uniformed man (agency unknown) began pointing his rifle at the pets with the words “I’ll fix that”. The husband then trained his own shotgun on the man and explained to him, in words of approximately one syllable, what was going to happen to him if he fired a shot. The whole “rescuer” group then left, threatening dire consequences for the family (including threats to come back once they’d evacuated and torch their home). The family were able to make contact with a State Police patrol and report the incident, and are now determined that no matter how much pressure is applied, they will not evacuate. They’ve set up a “shuttle run” so that every few days, two of them go upstate to collect supplies for the rest of the family, who defend the homestead in the meantime.

    Another aspect of this is that self-sufficient, responsible families were often regarded almost with suspicion by rescuers. The latter seemed to believe that if you’d come through the disaster better than your neighbors, it could only have been because you stole what you needed, or somehow gained some sort of unfair advantage over the “average victims” in your area. I’m at a loss to explain this, but it’s probably worth keeping in mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Beverly says:

    3. There seems to be a cumulative psychological effect upon survivors. This is clear even – or perhaps particularly – in those who were prepared for a disaster. During and immediately after the disaster, these folks were at their best, dealing with damage, setting up alternative accommodation, light, food sources, etc. However, after a few days in the heat and debris (perhaps worst of all being the smell of dead bodies nearby), many found their ability to remain positive and “upbeat” being strained to the limit. There are numerous reports of individuals becoming depressed, morose and withdrawn. This seemed to happen to even the strongest personalities. The arrival of rescuers provided a temporary boost, but once evacuated, a sort of “after-action shell-shock” seems to be commonly experienced. I don’t know enough about this to comment further, but I suspect that staying in place has a lot to do with it – there is no challenge to keep moving, find one’s survival needs, and care for the group, and one is surrounded by vivid reminders of the devastation. By staying among the ruins of one’s former life, one may be exposing oneself to a greater risk of psychological deterioration. Do other members have any experience of, or theories about, this problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Beverly says:

    4. There is widespread frustration over the lack of communication and empathy by rescuers and local/State government. This is partly due to the absence of electricity, so that TV’s were not available to follow events as they unfolded: but it’s also due to an almost deliberate policy of non-communication by rescuers. There are many accounts of evacuees wanting to know where the bus or plane was going that they were about to board, only to be told “We don’t know”, or “To a better place than this”. Some have found themselves many States away from their homes. Other families were arbitrarily separated upon rescue and/or evacuation, and are still scattered across two or three States. Their efforts to locate each other are very difficult, and when they request to be reunited at a common location, all of those with whom I have contact report a blanket refusal by the Red Cross and State officials to even consider the matter at this time. They’re being informed that it will be “looked into” at some future date, and that they may have to pay the costs involved if they want to join up again. This, to families who are now destitute! I’m very angry about this, but it’s so widespread a problem that I don’t know what can be done about it. I hope that in future, some means will be implemented to prevent it happening again. Lesson learned: never, EVER allow yourselves to be separated as a family, even if it means waiting for later rescue and/or evacuation. Insist on this at all costs!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Beverly says:

    5. Expect rescuers (including law enforcement) to enforce a distinctly un-Constitutional authority in a disaster situation. This is very widely reported, and is very troubling. I hear repeated reports from numerous States that as evacuees arrive at refugee centers, they and their belongings are searched without Constitutional authority (i.e. martial law has not been declared, and there is no warrant), and any personal belongings seen as potentially suspicious (including firearms, prescription medication, etc.) are confiscated without recourse to the owner. I can understand the point of view of the receiving authorities, but they are acting illegally, and I suspect there will be lawsuits coming from this practice. Another common practice reported on the ground in the disaster areas is for people to be ordered to evacuate, irrespective of their needs and wishes – even those folks who were well-prepared and have survived in good shape. If they demur, they are often threatened and bullied in an attempt to make them abandon their homes, pets, etc. Lesson learned: in a disaster, don’t expect legal and Constitutional norms to be followed. If you can make it on your own, do so, without relying on an unsympathetic and occasionally overbearing rescue system to control you and your destiny.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Beverly says:

    6. Don’t believe that rescuers are all knights in shining armor who will respect your property. There have been numerous reports of rescuers casually appropriating small items that took their fancy in houses they were searching. Sometimes this was blatant, right in front of onlookers, and when protests were made, the response was either threatening, or a casual “Who’s going to miss it now?”. Some of our field agents report that this happened right in front of their eyes. Another aspect of this is damage caused to buildings by rescuers. I’ve had reports of them kicking in the front door to a house, or a window, instead of trying to obtain access with as little damage as possible; climbing on clean, highly-polished tables with hobnailed boots in order to get at an attic hatch to check for survivors; etc. When they left the house, often the door or window was left open, almost a standing invitation to looters, instead of being closed and/or secured. When the families concerned get home, they won’t know who caused this damage, but they will certainly be angered by it. I think that if one evacuates one’s home, it might be a good idea to leave a clearly-visible notice that all residents have evacuated, so as to let would-be rescuers know that this house is empty. On the other hand, this might make it easier for looters, so what you gain on the swings, you lose on the round-abouts…

    That’s all for now, but I expect other points will emerge over time. Hope these updates are helpful to you, and stimulate your own thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Beverly says:

    Re posts 1 – 6 just above: This observer wryly noted that this happened in the deeply corrupt, Democrat-run state of Louisiana, with a population of ne-er-do-wells who created a HUGE amount of trouble and turned large swaths of territory into a remake of “Lord of the Flies.”

    So be aware, and be safe; and don’t flaunt your food or your generator.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Coldeadhands says:

      Many reminders of many under reported instances with Katrina of abrogation of Constitutional rights i.e. confiscation of firearms…as if the storms weren’t enough tragedy to deal with. And then there was the melt away of civic structure, such as NOLA PD.
      Prayers upon prayers for all storm survivors. 🙏🙏🙏

      Like

  27. millwright says:

    Great post SD !! When ita s SHTF time we’re all ‘first responders ‘ in our neighborhood ! Especially important is your check off to succor your neighbors . Prepare and be ready to share . Its what makes America great !

    Liked by 1 person

  28. tuskyou says:

    Oh man, this is what I call a Sundance Special! Terrific post.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. beach lover says:

    What a wonderful post, Sundance. So true about the silence after the howl. If it comes at night, you have no idea what is going on outside. That sound you hear was the huge tree in front just fell but you can’t see anything in the blackness.

    I think one of the worst things going through Hugo, was the unexpected damage so far inland. We weren’t prepared, and on top of everything else, no communication, and we didn’t have any idea what was happening as it came through here in the middle of the night. The next 5 days were chaos. No water, ice, gas ….it was hot! Trees blocking everythjng. It smelled like Christmas because of all the downed pine trees. Bees were crazy. So many suffered bee stings as the whole eco system is turned upside down. Dead birds on the ground. Cars smashed with trees. If you were lucky to have your car, there was no place to go anyway. You find out your priorities quickly.

    Prayers to all in the path of this storm. I know we are smarter this time around.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. trumpsbamagirl says:

    After Isabel we used a pan on our turkey fryer to cook- bacon and eggs (that had been kept in a cooler!) on the morning after seem to make it feel less traumatic. You will appreciate the little things
    when it feels like the apocalypse.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. hellinahandbasket says:

    Hurricane Matthew2017 Patriot, is inspiration for Hurricane Florence2018 Patriots

    Like

  32. Very insightful article, I enjoyed reading it very much. I hadn’t considered that the power company would cut the power after 40MPH sustained winds, makes sense. The outer bands are extending and thankfully Flo seems to be weakening to a Category 2. Storm surge and rain will certainly wreak havoc on the coastal communities tho.

    Like

  33. TwoLaine says:

    Sundance, you are so sweet and thoughtful. Thank You for the continual messages of human compassion and guidance in all situations.

    Please BE SAFE everyone. Love, hugs and kisses to each of you in the path and all of you worrying about them.

    This too shall pass.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Kaiser Derden says:

    Wind and rain for gods sake … Sh*t falls down … Just like it does every winter in the northeast … If you live on a beach guess what comes with the whole BEACH thing … Have had 4 power outages in last year 0 hurricanes … There is always a price living near the ocean … or a river … This is it … Be safe but don’t be scared … Scared won’t save you if real trouble comes your way …

    Like

  35. Monticello says:

    Nothing like a natural disaster to bring out the best and the worst in people.

    Like

  36. tampafan says:

    Another tip from this Florida “survivor” :
    Everyone fills up vehicles to evacuate and depletes not only local gas, but gas along evacuation routes. Then, when it is clear to return, cars fill up along the way and get home empty. Rick Scott did a better job than most making sure refill tankers got thru to refill evacuation routes, but gas shortages can be a big problem for weeks after storm.

    If you have to evacuate, fill up a gas can or two for when you arrive home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • claypoole says:

      And if you have to evacuate, take a copy of your real estate tax bill with you so that you can prove you are a property owner. Next to emergency crews, only property owners are permitted to reenter after a storm, so as to keep the rubber-neckers out until after clean-up.

      Like

  37. Linda Gilmer says:

    Just a few observations from our experiences with Ike and Harvey. We are 60 miles inland but still had a number of issues to deal with.
    – Sign up for Nextdoor.com for your neighborhood. It is a great way to keep up with what is going on locally. Local authorities also post which let us know that we were under a boil water notice as well as when it was lifted.
    – If you have a chimney, have the cap checked periodically. The damage we got from Harvey was all from a leaking chimney which we were unaware of until we got 48 inches of rain in 24 hours.
    – If you have a pool, watch the level. Our pool overflowed and we had to lower the water level multiple times.
    – Have a good long heavy duty power cord. The power in our neighborhood was only lost on certain transformers, so we were able to keep our refrigerator running by borrowing from a neighbor.

    Like

  38. As a fellow CERT, I would add that people must consider every downed wire live, even if they aren’t sparking. Some idiot with an incorrectly installed generator may be pushing power through them. And as for the road clearing and power crews, just a thumbs up — don’t engage them in conversation, because they’ll have to stop what they’re doing and make sure you’re safe.

    Like

  39. MontanaMel says:

    Very timely and thought provoking posts here — THANKS, SD….and, others!
    Only a couple of thoughts to share now:
    1) Prepping is as much a “mind-set” as it is a “stuff” event! You must go thru a transition from “the before “normal”, to the “aftermath NOT normal”…those with military background will know this as putting on their war face, etc. There is a time to grieve losses, everyone needs this internal ability to mentally come to grips with “losses” – of whatever form they take… Sometimes, due to ongoing threats to health and life….there are only a few moments at first….you need to steel yourself, segment or compartmentalize your mind — pay respects but continue with the job/chore/battle at hand! This is sometimes referred to as “mentally tough” or “grit”….
    2) The “lawless” elements are a fixture in our lives now – this is not the civilization of our parents. They must be planned for, designed for, and responded to with force as needed to displace them from your immediate surroundings! IF NOT, they will consume you and your loved ones. Today’s GANG mentality and groups are not to be trifled with — most will KILL YOU upon contact if given 3-5 sec to think… These elements may appear in evac zones BEFORE the main storm strike… They will be checking for those gensets running and lights showing brightly… They will be looting at will – breaking and entering – etc. IF at all possible, do not “turn inward” with your attention(s) during this period when the roads are still open to travel by motorcar, etc. Remain vigilant outside and at any “distance” possible for earliest possible warning of such approaches. Once the storm has intensified and trees/poles are down blocking the streets – consider leaving a “key tree” in place that blocks “easy access” to your street/neighborhood – use it as a “gate” by use of a truck to drag it in and out of position…or, even, a wench on an ATV that is back-chained to a fixed object…Perhaps just a large branch will work for this duty – rather than some monster/heavy tree.
    3). Think Situational Awareness at all times!! Even while “working” on clean up… near zone is within 5 to 20 feet of where you are right then…mid-zone is more like 30-50 feet, like “across this street” up to the fronts of houses or other view-blocking obstacles…the “far-zone” is “along such corridors of sight” that allow distance viewing, ie: down the street or across a field to the next line of trees or cover. … These three zones need to be surveyed and checked repeatedly while doing any project/work… IF you can’t seem to master this, then “post a look-out”, perhaps a youngster in their early teens…or, someone that is unfirm and awaiting evac (casualty) Your “entry gate/point” should always be manned or at least observed… Refer back to #1 above, for help in knowing what and when to uncork the can of whipass on unwanted elements confronting you.
    4.) THINK SANITATION in those areas that flood….think about drains backing up “inside” homes…Think about all that PIG crap coming down the road mixed in with industrial waste along the way… Such a soup will kill you within 2 or 3 days if you let it into your body!!!…
    5.) Some of these things have to be thought out and you’ll need to do contingency planning too, ie: “WHAT IF….” . Some will depend on the “number” of able bodied persons available… one, lone, hold-out is going to have a very rough time of things – compared to say 7 to 12 to more along a controlled entry street… Think Neighborhood Watch with teeth and resources… God Bless All there. Check-6

    Like

  40. DMWT says:

    Because the Faux Messiah Hussein said that Donald J. Trump has a magic wand, I believe POTUS can change the weather patterns. (sarc)

    Like

  41. zephyrbreeze says:

    I’ve learned that some people will use the cover of disaster to settle old scores, with malice.
    It’s incomprehensible to most of us, but be aware that some predators aren’t just out hunting for loot.

    https://goo.gl/images/Yajsr4

    Like

  42. MontanaMel says:

    Roger ALL…
    Keep your EYES roving and looking…

    BTW: Out here, it’s forest fires we evac for and have to clean up after….etc. Our last was 2012.
    Better to have 2 (two) chain saws, eh?

    Like

  43. Electra says:

    Wow. I’m glad I live in Tucson. No hurricanes, snowstorms, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, floods, volcanos, tsunamis or plagues of locusts–just ridiculously hot weather. 🙂 But, seriously, my thoughts and prayers to those who live in the path of Florence.

    Like

  44. calbear84 says:

    Back in 2004 I had an excellent employee pack up and move with her Navy Seal husband to central Florida (for the fishing IIRC). They were promptly hit by THREE hurricanes – Charley, Frances and Jeanne – in about six weeks! They moved to Alaska a few months later.
    I’m praying that Florence continues to weaken!

    Like

  45. Sundance, you’re the BEST.

    Like

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