Disaster checks

messybun

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I’d like to create a thread to check in with people dealing with disasters and share information about natural disasters. If you have ideas, or things that worked in the past, even products, please mention them. I know preparing with animals is completely different than without them. For me personally, it was a nightmare the first time we had a huge disaster.
On this forum please do not include covid as a natural disaster, there are plenty of forums for that already.
And please be friendly and compassionate! I have seen so many places where people are absolutely vicious because someone had to leave their animals or similar situations.
 

Baymule

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About the only disaster prepping I have done is for hurricanes, but we no longer live in hurricane country. For my horses, I filled their 300 gallon water tank and opened all gates, even to the neighbor's pasture. They chose where to ride out the storms. Mostly they stayed in the open pasture. They had a choice of woods, barn or pasture and they chose the open pasture.

For the chickens, I filled water and feed and stored plenty of water for the days afterwards. I stored plenty of water for us too. Brand new plastic trash cans in a sheltered spot on the porch, filled with water and the lids taped down with duct tape, did the job.

Now, we have the occasional snow or ice storm, they never last long, but getting water to the animals is a chore. For the horses, I fill their 300 gallon tank. I can break ice on it for them to drink. For the chickens, sheep and dogs, I haul hot water, break ice and pour it in. I keep plenty of feed and hay, so no problems of running out. Snow and Ice may not be a big deal for most people, but when it only comes around every few years, in the south, there are no ways of handling it, so it is a big deal here.
 

frustratedearthmother

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Hurricanes are our biggest challenge here. I've ridden out every one of 'em and I do not enjoy it. After Hurricane Ike we spent nearly two weeks without power living in a house with roof and window damage. My DH was working a traveling job and was out of state at that time. He wanted to come home and I said no way! Stay where you are or go on to the next out of state job but do not come home. He has health challenges and needs electricity. I had a generator that was just strong enough to power the water well and several appliances if I rotated them. It would run a small window AC unit, but not the whole house unit. So, while it was inconvenient it was infinitely better than having no generator at all.

Like @Baymule mentioned - our horses chose to stay out in the open during the storm. Goats hunkered up in the barn.

We also have floods to worry about. I'm lucky enough that my house is out of reach of most floods (so far) even though the water comes up in the yard, covers the drive way and our road. Worse is the road to town floods severely because of the bayou that runs through that area. During major rain events it spreads far and wide so getting to town is impossible. You stock up ahead of time or you go without.

Besides all the obvious things like water (large totes for livestock water), food, ice and livestock feed/hay(!) we make sure we have charcoal/starter fluid or a way to cook without electricity. We are all electric here so we need a way to cook. A camping stove that runs on those small propane bottles was indispensable along with a French press for coffee. Cards, board games and books to beat the boredom. (or a generator to power computers, lol)

The older I get the stronger my self-preservation instinct grows. Because I live soooo close to the coast and never intend to evacuate I've taken actions to allow us to stay here and be safe and as comfortable as possible. Step 1 was to buy a larger generator capable of powering the whole house. For reasons that might not be applicable to other folks or locations we chose a gasoline generator. That means we must store adequate supplies of fuel. If there's no electricity the gas pumps don't work either.

While my house has stood as strong as possible against hurricanes - a tornado would bring devastating damage. Hurricanes bring tornadoes and we had a tornado pass within 50 yards of us during Ike. My next line of defense was to make the big decision to invest in an above ground storm shelter. Might be a bit over the top, but the 2020 hurricane season has convinced me that Mother Nature is pi$$ed off and fighting back, lol. The shelter that I've ordered (and will be delivered in Feb) is rated to withstand a Cat 5 hurricane and 250 mph winds. It's 8 x 10 and will be bolted down to our concrete driveway.

www.safesheds.com

With these precautions in place, I feel safe against any wind event.

We also stay pretty well stocked on groceries/supplies at all times. It's much easier to buy a few extra things every time you shop instead of needing to run out and spend hundreds on "storm supplies."

Hurricane preps are pretty much ingrained in those of us who've lived in hurricane danger areas for our whole lives. Problems come for those who've never been through one.
 
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messybun

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Hurricanes are our biggest challenge here. I've ridden out every one of 'em and I do not enjoy it. After Hurricane Ike we spent nearly two weeks without power living in a house with roof and window damage. My DH was working a traveling job and was out of state at that time. He wanted to come home and I said no way! Stay where you are or go on to the next out of state job but do not come home. He has health challenges and needs electricity. I had a generator that was just strong enough to power the water well and several appliances if I rotated them. It would run a small window AC unit, but not the whole house unit. So, while it was inconvenient it was infinitely better than having no generator at all.

Like @Baymule mentioned - our horses chose to stay out in the open during the storm. Goats hunkered up in the barn.

We also have floods to worry about. I'm lucky enough that my house is out of reach of most floods (so far) even though the water comes up in the yard, covers the drive way and our road. Worse is the road to town floods severely because of the bayou that runs through that area. During major rain events it spreads far and wide so getting to town is impossible. You stock up ahead of time or you go without.

Besides all the obvious things like water (large totes for livestock water), food, ice and livestock feed/hay(!) we make sure we have charcoal/starter fluid or a way to cook without electricity. We are all electric here so we need a way to cook. A camping stove that runs on those small propane bottles was indispensable along with a French press for coffee. Cards, board games and books to beat the boredom. (or a generator to power computers, lol)

The older I get the stronger my self-preservation instinct grows. Because I live soooo close to the coast and never intend to evacuate I've taken actions to allow us to stay here and be safe and as comfortable as possible. Step 1 was to buy a larger generator capable of powering the whole house. For reasons that might not be applicable to other folks or locations we chose a gasoline generator. That means we must store adequate supplies of fuel. If there's no electricity the gas pumps don't work either.

While my house has stood as strong as possible against hurricanes - a tornado would bring devastating damage. Hurricanes bring tornadoes and we had a tornado pass within 50 yards of us during Ike. My next line of defense was to make the big decision to invest in an above ground storm shelter. Might be a bit over the top, but the 2020 hurricane season has convinced me that Mother Nature is pi$$ed off and fighting back, lol. The shelter that I've ordered (and will be delivered in Feb) is rated to withstand a Cat 5 hurricane and 250 mph winds. It's 8 x 10 and will be bolted down to our concrete driveway.

www.safesheds.com

With these precautions in place, I feel safe against any wind event.

We also stay pretty well stocked on groceries/supplies at all times. It's much easier to buy a few extra things every time you shop instead of needing to run out and spend hundreds on "storm supplies."

Hurricane preps are pretty much ingrained in those of us who've lived in hurricane danger areas for our whole lives. Problems come for those who've never been through one.
Great things! Have you heard of earth bag houses for a “storm proof” shelter? I am just learning about them and wonder if anyone on here has had experience with them?
 

messybun

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Okay, with all the crazy weather how are y’all coping? What do you want to tell the rest of the country, in case it hits us next? So sorry to all y’all who are dealing with such trouble, I hope it gets better soon.
 

Baymule

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Texas has had record breaking ice storms, snows and low temperatures. For possibly the first time ever, ALL 254 counties are under a winter storm warning. We have had record breaking cold temperatures not seen since 1909 and 1930. -6F degrees at the Tyler airport this morning, it was -3 this morning at our place. We are not set up for extreme weather like this. My sheep barn has one side, one. It is a roof extended 20 feet off the side of a 12'x24' portable building. Our problem is ferocious HEAT, not COLD. There is a radiant heat barrier under the metal roof which cuts the temperatures as much as 10 to 15 degrees. Not that is doing me any good now! We have 17 baby lambs, 2 are bottle lambs, in the house. #17 was born 5 days ago at night during an ice storm. Poor little thing has never known in her short little life what warm is. I cut the sleeve off a sweater and put it on her, cutting holes for her legs. I stuff her in my coat twice a day to warm her up. Then she nurses her mom and curls up again.

My husband and I work together as a team, he has been sick and I won't let him out in the frigid cold. So he boils water on the stove and pours it in buckets and I carry them to thaw out water for the horses, steer, sheep, dogs and chickens. I did put the buckets in my wagon, but once we got 7" of snow.....I carry the buckets. I feed the animals a little more because they are burning energy to keep warm. Plenty of hay, all they can eat. He feeds the bottle lambs while I'm outside. When I come in from hours of caring for the animals, he has breakfast or maybe lunch, and coffee ready for me. I deeply appreciate it, I'm tired, cold and hungry.

This has been hard work. If I had a warm, snug barn, heated water buckets, and whatever else makes living with such cold more bearable, it might be easier. I have a whole new respect for our BYH'ers that live in the frozen areas.

It takes me hours twice a day to care for the animals. What was easy and quick has turned into a frozen lot of hard work. For my new lambs, it is life and death.

Our dogs are working dogs. Keeping them warm has not been hard. they are happy in the snow. But they must have a dry place to get out of the wind, somewhere to snug down and warm up. We have had a bobcat prowling around, so one dog goes in the barn at night, 1 in the pasture next to the barn, with a part of the barn for shelter. 1 stays in the back yard and side pasture that goes to the back of the barn and two in the front, they have access to the porch and dog beds.

The roads are VERY bad, you'd better have EVERYTHING you need plus what you might need. There has been LOTS of wrecks. Schools are cancelled, many businesses are closed, because people can't get there. It was on the news this morning that grocery stores would be open from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Rolling blackouts add to the misery. Trees fall in power lines, they break under ice loads. People are cold, have no heat, no way to cook food. Millions have no power at all for hours or days.

We have had an ice storm, then sleet for a day and night, then snow, then below ZERO temperatures. Tomorrow, actually starting tonight, is another ice storm and the next day is more snow. Four days from now we will briefly get above freezing. Sunday, the 21st will finally warm up and start thawing out.

We have not lost power-so far. Our water pipes have not frozen up. We are all electric and have no other source of heat. If you have no other source of heat, you might want to think about that.
 

Alaskan

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There is nothing worse than driving on icy slushy roads in summer tires...

So that alone is something that just can't be fixed if you live where snow is so rare.

Even expensive "all weather" tires are crap compared to quality snow tires.

So yeah... no one down there should get in a car.
 
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