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Old 05-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #16
AntePrincess
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I just remembered: before Sandy landed I packed up everything I could, starting with family photos and every item my children had a sentimental attachment to, in giant Ziplock bags that are sold for storing clothes. I put these in rubbermaid bins and double sealed them. You simply can't take everything with you if you evacuate, so I did my best for the things that mattered most to us. I put top priority on items I thought would help the children recover if we had to start over, followed by heirlooms and mementos of lost loved ones, followed by Christmas items (I couldn't help myself, we don't have many holiday items, but these were all things that mean a lot to us and make our annual traditions).

The other thing we learned, from talking to other families in the neighborhood: thermos cooking. Some of our neighbors have high end thermal cookers, which are basically state of the art thermoses with lidded pots you put inside, and were able to cook multi course meals with almost no fuel by bringing the pots up to boiling once and putting them in the sealed cooker to cook over time like in a slow cooker. We just had regular thermoses, but I made oatmeal, pasta, and soups that way. My aunt has sewn us a fabric 'haybox' filled with insulating beads that you can use as a bean bag chair, then in an emergency, you can fit a whole heated Dutch oven inside it, put the 'lid' on top and let it cook over the course of several hours without using additional fuel. It's pretty hideous and lives in the closet, but you bet I'll use it if I need it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #17
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The other thing we learned, from talking to other families in the neighborhood: thermos cooking. Some of our neighbors have high end thermal cookers, which are basically state of the art thermoses with lidded pots you put inside, and were able to cook multi course meals with almost no fuel by bringing the pots up to boiling once and putting them in the sealed cooker to cook over time like in a slow cooker. We just had regular thermoses, but I made oatmeal, pasta, and soups that way. My aunt has sewn us a fabric 'haybox' filled with insulating beads that you can use as a bean bag chair, then in an emergency, you can fit a whole heated Dutch oven inside it, put the 'lid' on top and let it cook over the course of several hours without using additional fuel. It's pretty hideous and lives in the closet, but you bet I'll use it if I need it.
Never heard of them. I will have to look them up.

The other thing I thought of was all important papers are in a fireproof box that I can just grab and go. Everything on our computers is backed up to an external hard drive too. No more lost memories!
You should also have pictures of your stuff and the serial numbers in case you need it for insurance.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:37 PM   #18
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Invest in a top notch NOAA radio -there are many available that you can charge by cranking, solar power, USB, or the car AND that can charge your phone or laptop for you if it's got enough charge in it- and make sure that it's properly set to the right stations for your area with alarms turned on. Put it somewhere central so you'll hear it.

If you have camping gear, which doubles as good emergency gear, make sure to take it out regularly, seal the seams of your tents, and waterproof it in case you need it. Tents are even useful indoors if you lose power in a cold climate (a tent is a lot less space to heat up than a room).

Invest in appropriate supplies for the temperature extremes in your area. For us that's layers of thermal long underwear and we also got mummy sleeping bags that are highly rated for each of the kids plus a set that zip together for ourselves.

If you shop at a warehouse store like Costco, keep an eye out for large, sealable plastic buckets that are labeled #1 plastic on the bottom. These are food and water safe. We save the buckets from our cat food and when we expect bad weather, we fill them with water. They don't seal very tight once used, so they aren't very useful for keeping things dry.

Stockpile LED lights. You can never have too many LED lightsticks and lanterns. I also stockpiled replacement batteries. It makes an enormous difference having safe light with no risk of burning down the building. With lots of lights we kept the family sane and entertained by playing the piano (which brought over neighbors with instruments of their own), reading out loud, doing puzzles, playing card and board games.

Make sure you have good boots, excellent wool socks, moleskin, and backpacks. Ideally practice their use. We live miles from the nearest supermarket, we ended up with a lot of guests once our power came on, and we needed more food, but the roads everywhere were closed, so we strapped packs on the kids, the guests, and ourselves, and we hiked into town, carrying back 50+ pounds each (well, on the adults). It turned out to be a great memory, but my boots were old and fell to pieces, so I was in flip flops.

If you have small children and live anywhere near water, I'd have life vests and child carriers such as slings or wraps (not strollers) in case you need to evacuate by water. Turns out you can carry a large toddler on your back with an improvised silk wrap. Don't know about less sturdy fabrics.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I had to LOL when I was reading your post on hurricane preparedness! Keeping warm, thermal long underwear, wool socks, etc. The last thing we think about down south when it's hurricane season is things to keep warm - we just want to stay as cool as possible when the power (and AC) is out!

I guess when Sandy hit it would have been cold in NE - those conditions are definitely not the case with hurricanes I'm familiar with

Most of our evacuations are moving inland away from low lying coastal areas.
Having water, food, battery lights, battery radio, cars with gas, and a generator (if possible). We have kept one 'ready' for years - haven't had to use it for awhile (thankfully).

It always amazes me that with all the warnings about using generators in inclosed places, there are always a few people that do it anyway, and there are usually fatalities because of this -

Everyone, keep safe this hurricane season.
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