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Old 06-11-2012, 13:54   #16
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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I wonder if there isn't a parallel between this discussion, and past "simplicity" threads here on CF.

The same challenge faces us cruisers who seek the sweet spot in our choice of onboard systems and tools. If I rely on a tool that I don't understand, and have little hope of repairing or replacing, I am no more resilient than the high-rise dweller without electricity.
I wonder if they are not from the same crazy sailor. :-)
And as far as that last statement Mike, I disagree. Have you not sailed your boat with out electricity? Perhaps even stayed overnight? I could travel on my boat without fuel or outside power. And I think you could too.

I think Mike B impressed me most. Waited for it to stop blowing, got back on his boat and had food water and shelter. If the plague had been epidemic, he could of just set sail....
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:00   #17
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

What about using a small sturdy boat tucked away somewhere as a sanctuary and (if things get really bad) as a getaway vehicle?
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:10   #18
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

After the last few Hurricanes in Texas and Maybe Louisiana, you must build your house on stilts to with stand hurricane force winds if you want a house near the water on the Gulf, I wonder if they'll change the building codes for new structures on the North east coast so they'll appear like new homes along the gulf must?
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:38   #19
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

I think the apparent conflict comes from the highly slanted coverage of the event. The news loves to sensationalize these events, showing small areas of massive damage with tight camera angles for example.

After Katrina, I saw these things:
- A newsman standing waist deep in water with hip waders on, carrying on about how toxic the flood waters could be. When the camera unintentionally panned, it revealed that he was standing in a drainage ditch that was filled with water, and that the area was otherwise not flooded at all.

- People sitting on the roof of their home for DAYS at a time. How many people on this board would sit on the roof of a building for several days or longer waiting for a boat or a helicopter to come by and get you?

- People who refused to leave out of mere stubbornness and distrust of the government who was warning them to leave

- People who chose to stay in the area receiving government assistance, even when presented an opportunity to go elsewhere

- An insurance salesman asking for financial help because his home was uninsured


I think the majority of people are not like this. They go to a friend or a relative's house. The East Coast damage was limited to a narrow strip of homes and hotels along the coast line with few, if any exception. The worst of the effects was in New York city, but despite the repeated coverage of a "dark" New York, even the most sensational news networks felt compelled to show that much of New York in fact did have power, and was well into their clean up process within hours and days of the hurricane.

So I think, despite a few sensational events, most people are getting along fine - the greatest tragedies being the loss of personal mementos, and some homes and cars which were not insured. At the same time, many will be beneficiaries of massive aid contributions (like the 911 millionaires) and some will benefit from finally being able to tear down a small, old building on a premium beach lot.

Let's not forget that these poor, poor people are mostly living on some of the most expensive and exclusive coastline in the United States! I think we can expect to see 3-5 living units appear in place of every one which was destroyed - much more anywhere someone can buy approval to build a condo tower.
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:41   #20
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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I wonder if they are not from the same crazy sailor. :-)
Yeah, I notice that .

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And as far as that last statement Mike, I disagree. Have you not sailed your boat with out electricity? Perhaps even stayed overnight? I could travel on my boat without fuel or outside power. And I think you could too.
Of course. And I agree, but that just illustrates that a boat is fundamentally a much simpler living space than a high-rise condo in a big city. Even with this example though, I need to understand how to use and maintain systems such as standing/running rigging, sails, anchoring tools, thru-hull/sea-cocks. I have to be able to navigate, and to steer, and a bunch of other things.

If I can't do these things, then I'm in trouble, even on a "simple" sailboat. As my sailboat becomes more complex, I move closer and closer to the situation faced by those urban dwellers who are in crisis after the external supports are removed.
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Old 06-11-2012, 14:59   #21
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

I think home owners could lean a lot from cruisers. When I go cruising, I can usually go for weeks at least with no outside source of resources. My home has volumes more storage space than my boat, so why not be similarly prepared?

When I've been without power after a storm in the winter, it really comes down to a few things - How can I preserve heat and create heat? Do I have enough food around and some easy to find lighting?

It's amazing how a couple headlamps, a couple small propane bottles, a camp stove and some basic provisions can make all the difference.
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Old 06-11-2012, 15:13   #22
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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It's amazing how a couple headlamps, a couple small propane bottles, a camp stove and some basic provisions can make all the difference.
A homeowner needs even less than that. Their greatest real difficulty in availability of working toilets.

A sailor may be at sea unexpectedly for weeks. A New York city resident will be no more than a day or two before the government food wagons show up. Until then, they can live on cookies and beer. In the meantime they (a) will not have to go to work, (b) don't have to pay their rent, and (c) will likely score some good merchandise from FEMA. For a few, this is the best looting opportunity they can ever hope.

In NYC,we didn't see people lining up for fresh water. We saw them lining up to charge their cellular phones. This is their only source of electronic entertainment to fill their days until they sadly have to start paying the rent and going to work again.
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Old 06-11-2012, 15:37   #23
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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Many people just don't have the money to do the stockpiling, the leaving and returning after the storm, or buying the hurricane supplies. Then, some that do, they find when they return to their house after the storm, their stockpile of supplies, as well as there house simply insn't there. That is what happended in South Carolina after Hugo. I saw it, and it took a long time for people to get back on their feet.
Tee, I can see that poor people get more under pressure than others. On the other hand I get sick when I hear I did not have the money to prepare myself. If you are willing there is a way, at least for some basic food and water.

A decent Hurricane Supply is almost for free - at least for a week or so. Fill some empty soda bottles with tap water and chlorine, cost's nothing, buy cheap canned food for a week (canned soup for a buck or two). Add a camping cooker for 20 bucks if you do not like cold soupe. In fact you could feed a small family for less than 50 US for a week if your money is tight (stove included).

I do not say thats nice or comfortable - but we talk survival here. But as usual, there is no money for some basic food when all is already spend for beer or cigarettes before the storm hits....
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Old 06-11-2012, 16:18   #24
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

When I was 25, I realized I did not want to spend my life near an urban area, for a variety of reasons, one of them being natural disasters. The whole time I did live in the city back then, I always had a fireplace which worked. Since living in the country, I have lived without power for 10 days at a time twice. My friends in the city went 15 days those times without power. I always have had a back up plan, always keep a few months of basic food on hand, and know that if I got burned out, earthquake destroyed, or other problems, I have have back up plans for shelter. Tarps and an ax can give one shelter in a couple of hours. I am now rethinking my plans and thinking of giving up the land life and going for the boat life. I think the biggest asset is to have knowledge and always thinking outside the box.
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Old 06-11-2012, 16:42   #25
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Having lived through a couple of cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons as a homeowner that weren't overly severe, the biggest problem by far is lack of power. The reason its a problem is that widespread damage is done to powerlines by falling trees and other flying debris that simply overwhelms the repair crews. Also in many cases, individual houses have damage to the incoming wires that need to be tested and certified before the power is allowed to be resupplied to them which again can take a while simply due to lack of resources. We keep our cyclone kit together over the summer, but by far the best investment ever was the genset we have tucked away in a corner of the garage.
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Old 06-11-2012, 19:40   #26
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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... But as usual, there is no money for some basic food when all is already spend for beer or cigarettes before the storm hits....
Don't forget the lottery tickets.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:46   #27
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Pretty easy saying others could have, should have, while those here have warm clean clothes, a TV dinner, a dry heated room, and an internet connection. Glad most of us here are armchair quarterbacking this.

Katrina was mostly poor areas afflicted by the storm, or at least the cameras focused on those people. Those people did not fair well left to fend for themselves. Pushing shopping carts of looted beer seemed like a good idea at the time. A couple long wet days with warm beer and they were ready to be rescued. Another group of home owners were trapped in attics. Hundreds and hundreds of homes with groups of people trapped.

This event hit a different economic class of people by in large. I doubt 1% of the Sandy group were welfare class, or retired people living on modest social security with no other income. The Sandy victums were well to do, and working class people by in large.

Funny how the politically accepted poor people in one area, living in and around financial aid from the government for generations in some cases, gets aid, and the working class in another storm are told to get SBA loans to deal with the cleanup.

It is heartbreaking to see people displaced by storms. I hope none of us have to face weeks of dark cold black night's with looters being the only sounds you hear.

Everyone should have an emergency kit. Food, water, medical supplies, matches, firewood, camping gear. Tools, firearms, ammo, and a safe place to store this stuff. In an area where you can't fend in the wild, have a bug out kit, and store your supplies somewhere you can.........
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:39   #28
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........continued

Get to them.

We live in a aberrant world today. Indoor plumbing, sheetrock, air conditioning, tv, microwave popcorn, cell phones, smartphones, internet, light bulbs, healthcare. None of this stuff today, made its way into the lives of your relatives 150 years ago.

Look back thousands of years, and no one has had it so good. The poor today, live at a standard much higher than kings and queens not long ago.

That lightswitch on the wall? Enjoy it, as that is abbrant. What is odd, always reverts back to what is commonplace. Our society today, is enjoying fruits never seen before.

Enjoy it while it lasts. It is quite possible the storm victims of Sandy and Katrina have a taste of what life will be like for everyone in another 150 year's.

Walk into Wal-Mart and find anything made in the USA. Anything. Doubt you could fill one shopping cart. Our country no longer makes stuff. We consume junk from China.

The very tallents that built our way of life, are no longer taught to our young.

I had shop class in jr high school. I learned how to make a dustpan out of sheetmetal. I also took woodworking. How many kids today even know what a dustpan is? Clean the floor without a vacuumcleaner?

We have gotten soft, we have become uneducated in the things that built this country, and in a nationwide event like Sandy or Katrina, could change back to something more closely resembling a caveman, with no skills, and no way back to indoor lights and plumbing.

A cruiser lifestyle living on a sailboat and the skills needed to keep the ship afloat and running could be a great set of skills to have in an aberrant world.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:07   #29
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Got a shotgun rifle and a four-wheel drive.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:42   #30
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

As after Hurricane Katrinia, it is now happening with the survivors of Hurricane Sandy. They are cleaning out their flooded homes and along comes the government telling them that they have to leave their homes now because of mold danger. Saltwater and sheet rock do not mix without having mold grow. I helped strip out several homes of their sheet rock and carpets, down to studs and single layer of sub-flooring inside of several homes in Mississippi after Katrinia. It is not that hard, a half dozen people willing to sweat a little can strip a house in a day. The problem of recovery is the impediments which the government places in the way. In Mississippi, they tradesmen from anywhere with a tradesman license issued by any state to work in Mississippi doing Katrinia relief. I would be surprised if the unions in NYC allow NYC to accept out of state licensed tradesmen. Also, many survivors of Katrinia were able to live in tent cities while work was done in the recovery process. This is not realistic for Sandy survivors. Soon, after power is restored, the biggest issues for flood survivors will be cleaning and stripping out their homes and then paying for the reconstruction. For the people who can get it done quickly, they can then make a nice profit flipping their own home or buying and flipping others as the demand for homes will increase the prices over the next six months.
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