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Old 11-11-2012, 17:21   #61
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

I meant economic collapse in Argentina. Here is one article worth reading: City vs Country: Thoughts On Urban Survival | The Modern Survivalist.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:52   #62
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Welcome aboard skroah. I found the article interesting. I do not quite agree with your conclusions, but we appreciate your first hand experiences.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:59   #63
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

FerFal, author of the Argentine site. I think he finally moved to Ireland.

Lots of interesting stuff on that site.

Hopefully we never get to validate his accuracy.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:54   #64
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Newt, out of curiosity what conclusions don't you agree with? I'm always looking for food for thought in this area though I will state up front that it's not an unhealthy preoccupation of mine. I'm not overly vested in one mind set over another that is.

Since I basically live about half a mile from NYC I get asked this all of the time. I find that the assumption is that it's always the case that you never want to be in the cities, any cities, during a disaster of any kind. I don't think that's the case. If anything it's a very complex multivariate situation. My main argument is that if the government can step in they will in the cities first and that will not be beneficial to the outer areas. In general I've heard that if the situation warrants the continuity plans will forcibly relocate people from the outer areas to shelters in the cities. The government will not be able to provide security and resources to people outside the recovery zones. They are on their own, which may be fine for awhile.

After we were evacuated I drove out of the garage we were in and directly onto the turnpike onramp and traffic was very light out of the cities. We drove for over 180 miles to a nearby state and didn't see power or gas for about 160 of those miles. People in the outer areas were not driving around as there was no gas and no power even only after 48 hours after the storm hit. The few operational gas stations that we saw were exclusively for the ERV's that were streaming into the city in long convoys on the inbound lanes. My main point here is that people in the suburbs and country also rely very heavily on trucked out resources and fuel was coming into the city ports, so how much do you think would make its way out to the hinterlands? If things were bad I think that fuel out there would be for ERV's almost exclusively.

Aside from the fuel issues I think many of Ferfal's security points are valid. I grew up in Alaska and there are bad or at least opportunistic people everywhere not just the cities where more degrees of altruism may be required just to function correctly. We secured our building immediately and had plenty of people to keep it secure for a good long while if necessary.

All that said I think a families contingency plans should consider several types of scenarios, some that include staying put in the cities. In retrospect I would have stayed put after Sandy if I could have. The gas leak and some very minor structural damage worried the city engineers so they made us leave. We are back a week later.

In any event I think the number one plan should be to maintain fitness. My In-laws live in the country and have basically ossified into crab people from driving everywhere for 60 odd years. They would not be able to walk or run the 20 mile round trip to the nearest store or aid station. The NYRR has the largest group of distance runners on the planet. In worst case scenarios one might have to hoof it out of here so everyone better be able to cover a lot of ground by foot.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:01   #65
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
As I watch hurricanes or major storms from a distance, it always seems easy to "monday morning quarterback" and say this should of happened or that should of happened. What is happening to individuals concerns me most. It seems like there is always a group of people- not of any particular background- that sits down and waits to be rescued. This group always tends to do worse than the ones that: prepare with what they have and then get out and get busy afterwards.
Sometimes, when all electricity, food, and shelter is gone this may mean walking or driving to another place, in other words, becoming refugees. To others, esp sailors, it might mean working to get your boat in full order, and living on your own "island" until civilization is restored.
As a survival instructor, I taught kids how to live if everything had been taken away. I would like to hear how you guys did it after the storms took away your home, or your town. How did you find shelter, get food, hold yourself and your family together? I am not voyeuristic as much as interested so I can learn the lessons through you and pass it on to my kids...
Newt:

Two weeks after the storm hit I have began to look at some of the lessons learned now that things are returning back to normal:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: LESSONS LEARNED FROM HURRICANE SANDY

1) I was finishing up a 200 mile fall cruise just before the storm hit on a Monday. On the Friday before my boat was at a marina which is rare for me as I'm usually at a mooring or anchor. I had gone through my 50 gallon water tank and switched over to the 30 gallon one during my cruise. Since it was the end of the sailing season I decided not to refill the 50 gallon tank since I felt I'd only be draining it in a few days anyway or so I thought. It would have been easy since I was at a dock with water available for a refill. I did not count on moving on board after Sandy hit. I ran out of the 30 gallon tank just as I was about to get off the boat and head home last week. Though by that time I was also at a dock which had water available. Still filling up the 50 gallon tank while I could would have been a good idea.

2) The same thing happened with fuel. I only need gasoline on board since I have electric propulsion and really only use it for my Honda 2000 generator for charging the battery banks or motoring in hybrid mode. I started out with 6 gallons on board for my fall cruise. When I arrived at the marina I had one gallon left in a jerry jug and another gallon in the generator. I only had a forty mile run to the homeport so I decided not to refill the other jerry jugs because again I knew I would be ending the season soon. I ended up motoring most of those 40 miles back to my mooring. But, still had between 1/2 and 3/4 of a gallon in the jerry jug when I got back to the mooring. Luckily, I only needed to fire up the generator once in the seven days I was on board after Sandy. Solar and my 48 volt Marine Air-x kept the batteries topped up for my needs. But, gasoline became vary scarce after Sandy because stations had no power to pump gas or they ran out. In hind sight I should have topped up the jerry jugs at the marina when I had the chance just to be sure. If I did not need them for the generator I could have just poured them into the car's gas tank after things settled down.

3) Propane was another issue. My 11 gallon tank ran out just before I was going to head out on the fall cruise. Lasted two seasons Again, since it was the end of the season I thought I'd wait until next spring to refill it and use my on board back up cooking system for the cruise. I had three small 16 oz canisters for my backup Coleman stove and went through two of them and started on the third after Sandy hit. I was thinking it might have been hard to find another canister after Sandy with millions of people having no power but, luckily I never had to check this out. So I think refilling the on board propane tank would have been a good idea even if it meant most of the propane just sitting there over the winter. Filling the tank would have also meant I would have been able to use the pressurized hot water shower on board instead of the tea kettle heated water and gallon jug routine I had to use. I did not think about that until after I started the cruise.

Anyway those are the three main things I would have done differently. I already had enough provisions on board to last the week or more. With the items I took from the home freezer I was doing fine on board food wise.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:12   #66
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

No longer living in a City, I cannot comment on the current status of most of them. I can, however, see what's been going on in New York and New Jersey and it is clear, at least to me, that thinking one can safely rely upon the "Government" is fool's errand. One needs to be able to rely upon oneself and, at best, one's friends and neighbors. As evidenced by the looting and other behaviors in NY/NJ, it is also clear that one needs be able to defend oneself in such circumstances tho' whether many would be able to drop the hammer on someone in extremes is questionable.

For what it's worth, folks might want to take a look at the book "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen. It is a good, the somewhat frightening, but enlightening, read. It has been cited on the Floor in Congress as well as at the DoD.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26   #67
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Wow, a lot to digest in the past couple of posts. First I would like to thank the mods for allowing this thread even though it has been out of the nautical theme from time to time.
In answer to skroah: I would just say that as long as the disaster does not overwhelm government resources you are probably OK where ever you decide to make a stand. Just hunker down and wait. I however believe in total self sufficiency if necessary. The city just does not have the resources to exist in a such a state. You are right that resources will be sucked from the surrounding area for quite a distance as the people in the city struggle to survive.
That is why a well stocked sailboat may be the only logical ticket out. You can get beyond the reach of the disaster with out fuel. And you can stay healthy and safe in the meantime. I don't know if you can count on the roads (like you did)during most disasters.
Btw- thanks Mike for the f/u. Sounds like you did well.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:56   #68
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Agree on kudos to the mods. Thanks!

I like the multivariate idea. Need to stay flexible.

I think it's clear that there are times when the cities will be favored, and situations where they won't.

The point is to be adequately prepared for either circumstance, if possible.

But even living within a city is not the same for all. Some live in high-rises, where there is an elderly contingent that is highly dependent. I live in a row house that we own and control.

If they loose power, they are screwed. If I loose power, I turn on the genny, and have a beer. If things get real bad, I scoot on the boat, and have a beer.

Having a beer, that's nautical right?
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:15   #69
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

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If they loose power, they are screwed. If I loose power, I turn on the genny, and have a beer. If things get real bad, I scoot on the boat, and have a beer.

Having a beer, that's nautical right?
I think using the word "genny" keeps you in line with the forum rules...
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Old 12-11-2012, 13:23   #70
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Depends if you got the beer from your home or your boat's icebox... :-)
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Old 15-11-2012, 15:54   #71
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

I'm not sure where you are located ArtM, but I think you are very jaded in your opinion as to the true nature of what just transpired with regard to Sandy.

First off, you state>"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."

Complete hogwash! I happen to LIVE almost DEAD CENTER where Hurricane Sandy hit on the NJ coast near Sandy Hook. You must live in Southern California to make a remark like you did in the first sentence above. Damage was not 'limited to a narrow strip of homes along the coast'. I live 5 MILES inland and my WHOLE HOUSE was shaking at the height of the Hurricane with winds in EXCESS of 100MPH. I actually thought the roof would come off at one point.

NYC was NOT the worst area damaged, but rather from Atlantic City NJ all the way up to Staten Island NY. NYC was damaged severely in the Lower section and Coney Island area of Brooklyn. Many homes were completely wiped away that were not owned by 'rich people' but by working class Americans.

It took over 2 weeks for me to get power restored and I am 5 MILES off the beach at Sandy Hook NJ. The only way that happened was because 4 other MEN and myself from my street took it into our own hands to man up and clear 2 MILES of road covered in downed power lines and fallen trees. You or anyone else on this Forum is welcome to come and spend a day with me and I'll show you what REALLY HAPPENED HERE. Many people still do not have power, nor the ability to 'see what happened on tv or a computer' even today almost 3 weeks later.

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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 15-11-2012, 16:01   #72
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

No, 'help' was only on the way before the 'election' Art. FEMA has been more of a Dog and Pony show than any help here along the NJ Coast IMO. I have been helping feed people daily for the past 2 weeks ever since I was able to get my own place squared away and get down there. The USCG Station at Sandy Hook was pretty wrecked last I heard.

No, lots of middle class folks owned those 'expensive and exclusive coastline homes'. Anyone on this Forum that wants to come and stay in my home for a short visit to see the damage in person PM me. I'll be glad to show you around. I have credentials to get me in to the most damaged areas since I was a First Responder during the Hurricane.

The rebuilding will take years, and there are many people who through no fault of their own, lost their homes, and jobs prior to the hurricane who have literally nothing. This area could use some heartfelt American handup not hand outs. I worked Katrina and Rita and this area was not built for a Sandy, and the devastation in areas was as bad as Katrina IMO.
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Old 15-11-2012, 16:04   #73
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Art, the reason they lined up to charge their phones is because it was the only way for them to stay current on what was happening and where to go for assistance. Plenty of folks are still in need of help. FEMA is taking applications and giving folks a 800# to 'call to find out if they've been approved', which turns out to be a voice recording telling them they are DENIED any HELP!

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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 15-11-2012, 16:09   #74
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Well, then you would have REALLY winced if you saw 25 BRAND NEW FEMA TRAILERS that were having BRAND NEW expensive Generators being replaced because someone at FEMA decided to 'stage them' in a low lying area and the trailer were under 5 ft of water during the Hurricane!

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When I saw that FEMA generator running with (probably) no other load than a bunch of cell phone chargers, I winced at the inefficiency factor.

0.001% maybe?
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Old 15-11-2012, 16:16   #75
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Re: Lessons learned in Self-suffiency. Sandy and Katrina

Look up Atlantic Highlands/Highlands NJ. FEMA went through and tagged houses with orange 'unsafe for habitation' stickers and is planning to bulldoze many down. They told folks already that they would not be allowed back to the area once demolition begins. I had been bringing hot meals every night to these folks. Most have the clothes on their backs, most are suffering from PTSD. I personally spoke with a young man of about 25 yrs old who was in his house trailer when Sandy hit. When I asked him why he did not leave, he told me it was paid for and all he had. Folks here did not understand the power of this Hurricane before it hit. They never had something this bad here in the past 50 years.

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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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