Lessons Learned from IRMA

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Chad
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by Chad » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:32 pm

Most has been said already. After 6.5 days without power I have one piece of advice:
Never ever buy Duracell Quantum batteries. Most come out of the package with half a charge or less. And these were recently purchased.
I threw them all out...worthless crap!!
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by Rentprop1 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:37 pm

TeeJay wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:26 pm

Extra oil for oil changes on generator had to do this after day 2 of constant running, Im not sure of how long in between oil changes, but 50 hours ( run time ) for me was long enough

Buy a digital tv antenna borrow one first and see if you can even pick anything up, will not work for rural area

Add another muffler or long tail pipe to the generators for lower noise and for getting exhaust out of my shed better..this getting rid of the exhaust fumes, I could smell it creeping in my back porch on day 3 when the winds calmed down or shifted against back of house, need to direct it further away from sofit vents
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by George W » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:40 pm

zeebaron wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:40 pm
George W wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:57 pm
(and to run my FIOS router.)
Power consumption to both the outside fiber to coax converter box and the G1100 router runs about 18 watts in total.
I already have a battery backup inside the FIOS box. It will only run it for a short time. The router draws 12v 2amps via the a/c adapter. My plan is to hook up a solar maintained deep cell battery parallel with the already installed back-up battery, and a pig tail over to the router off of the system.
Half of my resolutions to problems come with a cold sweat somewhere around 2 am.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by George W » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:46 pm

TeeJay wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:26 pm
things i did right=.................................
Add another muffler or long tail pipe to the generators for lower noise and for getting exhaust out of my shed better
Set up a transfer tank kinda deal to buy and hold a large amount of gas. Fill up when storm is coming, put leftovers in vehicles to burn it off. I had a large amount of gas. 5 days of constant generator consumed about 60% of my gas and jockying a ton of cans gets annoying
Google: Generator quiet box. You can buy a pre-made one, or build one yourself. Bonus points if you add a solar powered attic vent fan on top of your shed to help with the fumes. Lowes has them, but want an ass ton for them. Ebay has them for cheap.
Half of my resolutions to problems come with a cold sweat somewhere around 2 am.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by cvasqu03 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:06 pm

We did OK. I, have a small generator that I used to power the freezer so we could keep food and drinks cold, but we were only out of power for about a day and a half. Satellite dish survived (rattled like crazy during the storm causing much concern), but lost alignment meaning we couldn't get a signal once power came back and had to wait for DirecTV to come fix it. We had plenty of gas and water saved up so that wasn't an issue either, nor was cooking as we had a charcoal grill and lots of charcoal. Here's what I would have done differently:
  • Have more D cell batteries. I usually stockpile batteries, but hadn't realized I was nearly out of D Cells and they're necessary, and they're impossible to find a couple of days before the storm.
  • Have battery powered fans. It gets really hot and stuffy indoors especially when boarded up.
  • See about a wired TV connection. I love DirecTV services, but hate that it's satellite based as the signal goes out whenever the weather is bad. In fact, I dislike wireless technology in general. All things being equal, I'd always prefer a nice solid wired connection.
  • Buy a portable AC unit. If you can't afford a full size permanent gas powered backup generator (we can't), even a small generator like ours would be perfectly capable of running a small portable AC unit which we could put in the living room so at least there's a space to escape the heat when needed.
  • If you have shutters, invest in at least one transparent one so you can see what's going on. This was the first time we boarded up, so I'd never realized how dark it can get inside the house when there's absolutely no sunshine coming in. I tried to sleep through a lot of it but when i awoke, I was still under the impression it was the middle of the night even at 10:00AM. This had the effect of making the storm seem more threatening, like if it was covering up all the sunlight. I then looked through the door's peephole and saw that it was actually bright outside, but the storm was hitting hard so I couldn't open the door. Trust me, the urge to open the door to see what's going on gets very strong after several hours, so a visible pane in the shutters might help alleviate this.
  • An alternative to the above would be to buy one of those new digital peep-holes that capture a big image and display it on a screen. Possibly even one that can project to your TV (if you have power).
  • If you have medical devices, invest in some sort of non-generator battery backup. My brother and I both use CPAP machines and both had trouble sleeping without them. A gas powered generator is no good for this as it's not a good idea to leave it running overnight, and you can't bring it indoors anyway.
  • Aside from a portable radio, see about having a portable TV. I have a little one I bought back after Andrew, but since all signals are now digital it's worthless. I'm sure there are new ones about that can capture the new signals.
  • I'll have to add: if you have family planning a visit from out of town in the days preceding a big storm, do absolutely everything in your power (and them some) to dissuade them from coming. Having them around just gives you a whole lot of extra people to worry about and even when the storm is over, it's not like they can enjoy their visit as nothing is open, it's hot, there's no power for communications, the house is a mess and there's nothing to do. Trust me, frustrations will flare and all it will do is cause unnecessary family drama. The least said about this the better.
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by bmup » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:11 pm

Another thing I just remembered -
A week ahead of predicted landfall, lots of items are unavailable locally. ("D" size batteries, water jugs, cylume sticks, MRE's, whatever) Amazon Prime 2 day shipping could help out a lot.
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by neverenoughguns » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:54 pm

bmup wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:11 pm
Another thing I just remembered -
A week ahead of predicted landfall, lots of items are unavailable locally. ("D" size batteries, water jugs, cylume sticks, MRE's, whatever) Amazon Prime 2 day shipping could help out a lot.
I ordered a portable ac unit and paid next day shipping through Amazon prime. It did not arrive for over a week (Thursday) and power was back on within 2 hours of being hooked up.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by zeebaron » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:02 pm

neverenoughguns wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:54 pm
bmup wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:11 pm
Another thing I just remembered -
A week ahead of predicted landfall, lots of items are unavailable locally. ("D" size batteries, water jugs, cylume sticks, MRE's, whatever) Amazon Prime 2 day shipping could help out a lot.
I ordered a portable ac unit and paid next day shipping through Amazon prime. It did not arrive for over a week (Thursday) and power was back on within 2 hours of being hooked up.
Nobody is set up to handle unexpected increases in purchases before a storm. Stuff I ordered from them didn't come until Thursday either. And nobody carries much inventory on hand anymore locally. They usually need two days at a minimum for stuff to be replenished from the warehouse, even if it's fairly local.

I had an urge to buy the yearly few cases of bottled water at Sam's Club for the season a month before the storm hit, but felt lazy that day and didn't. At least I had a backup plan with buckets. The only thing you can do is to always have your s';t together, if you can afford to. You can always donate perishable supplies close to the expiration date if you don't use them...

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by g.willikers » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:10 pm

Since we hadn't decided to stay or run, we didn't get carried away with preparations.
No sense in leaving lots of stuff for the looters.
So we just did the very basics.
Renewing prescription medications, gathering water and food, filling the freezer with ice, that kind of stuff.
Mostly what would serve either way, leaving or staying:
Camp stove, camp light, candles, two dc fan, lots of flashlights and batteries (but no more than we usually have), some gizmos to charge phones from the car, 'etc.
In the end we decided to stay and didn't suffer much even without power for nearly three days.
The food in the freezer didn't have time to thaw and the fridge side was pretty much ok, too.
Fortunately we had running water the entire time, so cold showers were a welcome relief.
Plus a 12 volt dc cooler that would have helped if needed.
And a pocket sized AM-FM radio that came in very handy since it was the only way to get news on the storm.
I doubt we would do much more in the future.
Keep it simple and uncomplicated.
Makes it easier to flee if required, too.
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by zeebaron » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:41 pm

George W wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:40 pm
zeebaron wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:40 pm
George W wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:57 pm
(and to run my FIOS router.)
Power consumption to both the outside fiber to coax converter box and the G1100 router runs about 18 watts in total.
I already have a battery backup inside the FIOS box. It will only run it for a short time. The router draws 12v 2amps via the a/c adapter. My plan is to hook up a solar maintained deep cell battery parallel with the already installed back-up battery, and a pig tail over to the router off of the system.
You're lucky to have the battery in the box, the FIOS tech said they don't install them anymore (but he may have been lazy or bullshitting to avoid giving me a new one).

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by George W » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:59 pm

zeebaron wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:41 pm

You're lucky to have the battery in the box, the FIOS tech said they don't install them anymore (but he may have been lazy or bullshitting to avoid giving me a new one).
Not sure if it was luck or not..... I was an early adopter of FIOS when they came in to my hood. The only boxes available were large (16x24) commercial types.

If you want one with a battery backup, I can ask a friend that does installs for FIOS.
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by zeebaron » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:07 pm

I've got to switch back to Spectrum since Frontier is jacking the bill up another $40 this coming February (up from another $40 increase this Feb, yes I've called to try to negotiate, lol...), but thanks anyway.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by cougar_guy04 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:24 pm

Copy/pasted from another forum. 2 years in Alabama made me a bit lax this year. Lesson learned.

AAR – Hurricane Irma
What Worked:
  • Had a basic outline of packing lists
  • Never letting my car go below half a tank (3/4 when there's something chruning in the Atlantic) paid off.
  • Staying off of highways/interstates (Turnpike, I-95, I-75)
  • Having hard copies of documents and having documents in cloud
  • “Drop Dead” timeline for making bug out decision
  • Had plenty of water, no need to run to the store to stock up last minute.
  • Eteckcity lanterns are a damn good value for the money.
  • Camp stoves & propane grills are awesome, as are french presses. I had forgotten how peaceful it is to sit outside on the porch and enjoy a cup of coffee and grill up some breakfast without any modern distractions.
What Didn’t:
  • A Ford Explorer is not a replacement for a pickup truck. I think I can barely haul more in that car than my old Crown Victoria.
  • Packing last minute, items got forgotten/overlooked. Not necessities, but there were some holes.
  • Not having multiple predetermined BOLs.
  • No way to keep cool or have air moving when power goes out.
  • Frogg Toggs keep you dry but you might sweat to death in them
  • I could have thought ahead to bring more beer to my buddy's house.
Improvements Going Forward – Actions Items/Protocols/Procedures:
  • Put in PM schedule in place for prep checks. (Generator check/run, Battery backup check, Check all batteries in lights/remotes, Rotate fuel & refill
  • Pre chill/Pre-ice coolers
  • Keep roll of doggie/poop bags in each car (also rolls into bug out bags). Even in a hurricane, I refuse to be "that guy" and leave dog crap on someone else's yard.
  • Determine quantity of sandbags to prevent water incursion at entryways, find location to fill (or store) sandbags
  • Complete Bug Out Books
  • Complete Bug Out Bags
  • Congregate & Secure All Vital Documents, store in waterproof pouches
  • Clear garage for at least one vehicle.
  • Work some sort of setup to maximize cube in Explorer (look to Akro totes or Action Packers for internal, Action Packers/Surplus Pelicans for external)
  • Rotate out MRE’s, long term storage food
  • Have more juice/milk stored for the wee one.
  • Fix iPad or acquire new one, look into tablet for kiddo
  • Anchor point and grounding point for generator
  • Make dedicated tote for generator stuff (extension cords, 3-outlet taps, power strips, etc.)
  • Have more cash on hand just in case.
Improvements Going Forward - Equipment:
  • Finish battery bank/backup system
  • Hitch Hauler or small (4x6/5x8) trailer to transport extra items (generator/fuel/cooler).
  • Source 4 more 15 gallon drums for fuel/water
  • Source more 5gal Fuel cans to complete 12 can rotation
  • Look into RTIC (or equivalent) cooler. (65 or 110?)
  • Find small fans. (Battery operated, USB or 12V powered)
  • Breathable rain gear, Bibs & Jacket (Carhartt Storm?)
  • Look into small inverter generator (Honda EU2000i or Generac/Yamaha equivalent)
  • Hardened chain and lock to securing generator (Both inverter 2k & standard 5k)
  • Have extra sanitation stuff handy (Hand sanitizer, Antibacterial soap/Hibiclens, “Blue Water”/Toilet items)
  • Square away tools for cleanup/rebuild/prep
  • Extra batteries for cordless tools
  • Corded backup for high draw/high use tools
  • Tool/bit for putting on wing nuts for corrugated shudders, probably some washers too.
  • Get portable icemaker
  • Store some more water (15-20gal tap in 1gal tea jugs/2L soda bottles, 5-6 cases of 1/2L bottles)
  • Get portable/window AC unit for a cool room. 2 if possible (kiddo's room and our room)

As for what would be nice to have, I'd really like to be back in northern Alabama. Barring that, a lot of the "stuff" list is nice to have. We got by really well with what we had, the family definitely wasn't hurting. One thing I definitely want to do if/when we buy a house down here is to already have the shutters done and maybe impact windows too. Accordion shutters would be preferable to the corrugated ones, but either would be preferable to lugging plywood around. A transfer switch to plug the generator directly into the house would be really nice. Depending on where we buy, I might look into having some sandbags ready to go. The local authorities were handing out 10 sandbags per household . . . 10 sandbags would probably cover the front door. The garage door and three sliders on the ground floor? Fuggedaboutit
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by draggindakota » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:56 pm

1 thing I've learned: buy a chain saw. The power line that feeds my street has one tree on the line. That's it. Up and dowm the main cross streets the power is on. Fpl has told me twice that our power was restored, but it never is and that tree is still on the line. They assure me they know the tree is there and are just waiting on a trim team to gwt to it. If I had a chainsaw I'd but that b!tch down myself.
Why would you want to give away any of your rights or freedoms? Just because one jack wagon doesn't have an elevator worth Andre 3000 doesn't mean that I should have my privileges taken away.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by TampaShooters » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:08 pm

I don't get to evacuate, I have to work, so...

1. A better air mattress... The station floor sucks
2. Water Bob for the tub, just in case.
3. Stock up on gas. 10 gallons will do, which I can rotate through with the riding mower and edger so it won't get stale.

Everything else I'm good with, plenty of food and we had a ton of mre's.... Which I'll pass on until starving.
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by TampaShooters » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:14 pm

zeebaron wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:41 pm

You're lucky to have the battery in the box, the FIOS tech said they don't install them anymore (but he may have been lazy or bullshitting to avoid giving me a new one).
FiOS no longer installs the battery backup.. But the battery backup was only for the phone, nothing else.

I was an original FiOS customer at rollout, and they just came by and replaced all of my equipment.. Inside and out.. And the battery backup is gone...I kind of miss it because it's was dead and alarming out for a few years..
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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by Lilwoody » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:28 pm

Orlando Paulitician wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:11 am
Funny how all the people on this forum got some great lessons learned on individual responsibilities of preparedness from Irma.

A friend of mine who's a Republican lobbyist; he had no extra food preparations, and relied on other people for food (he stayed at another friend's house who's a DoD contractor). He had no generator and relied on other people for that. So he took no self-responsibility at all, and yet learned nothing like the comments stated here. In fact, the only thing he did learn, was that it's important to raise taxes so that roads can be more quickly maintained.

As if roads stop hurricanes or that newly built roads that are the lowest point on the plane don't get flooded. Ironic the different perspectives. When one's livelihood depends on tax revenue, one can only fathom solutions to one's problems that involves tax revenue.
I really didn't think this would dissolve into attempts to bash folks based on their politics but since you brought it up. For every one of those unprepared "Republicans" I'll wager there are a thousand less prepared democrats. I know this as plain fact from first hand experience and seeing it repeat again in the Florida Keys.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by George W » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:40 pm

TampaShooters wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:14 pm
zeebaron wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:41 pm

You're lucky to have the battery in the box, the FIOS tech said they don't install them anymore (but he may have been lazy or bullshitting to avoid giving me a new one).
FiOS no longer installs the battery backup.. But the battery backup was only for the phone, nothing else.

I was an original FiOS customer at rollout, and they just came by and replaced all of my equipment.. Inside and out.. And the battery backup is gone...I kind of miss it because it's was dead and alarming out for a few years..
I thought this too until earlier today when I unplugged the power to the box. I lost TV and internet, even with the wifi router still on. All I'm looking to keep running is the wifi anyways and plan to use the battery backup to power the router.
Half of my resolutions to problems come with a cold sweat somewhere around 2 am.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by zeebaron » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:57 pm

George W wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:40 pm
TampaShooters wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:14 pm
zeebaron wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:41 pm

You're lucky to have the battery in the box, the FIOS tech said they don't install them anymore (but he may have been lazy or bullshitting to avoid giving me a new one).
FiOS no longer installs the battery backup.. But the battery backup was only for the phone, nothing else.

I was an original FiOS customer at rollout, and they just came by and replaced all of my equipment.. Inside and out.. And the battery backup is gone...I kind of miss it because it's was dead and alarming out for a few years..
I thought this too until earlier today when I unplugged the power to the box. I lost TV and internet, even with the wifi router still on. All I'm looking to keep running is the wifi anyways and plan to use the battery backup to power the router.
The sealed lead acid batteries in those things last only about 4 years, so if it's that age or older it's probably bad if it's not powering anything now.

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Re: Lessons Learned from IRMA

Post by George W » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:18 pm

zeebaron wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:57 pm
\
The sealed lead acid batteries in those things last only about 4 years, so if it's that age or older it's probably bad if it's not powering anything now.
I had the battery replaced last year and it holds a charge. I don't have phone service, and have been told that the battery is useless if you don't have a phone.

My concern is I would like to have internet w/wifi (not concerned with having TV) in the event of another power outage. I know I can use the backup battery (and/or and additional deep cycle battery) to power the router with the cord I have made up. I know I can use my solar charger to keep the battery up.

I don't know if I need to keep power to the box in order to have internet. If so, will the same backup battery power it? I need to get off my ass and test it out. If it fails, I need to get with my friend that works for Frontier and see what he suggests.
Half of my resolutions to problems come with a cold sweat somewhere around 2 am.

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