Prepare as for a huricane??greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Ok folks, all the big important Gubmint people say we should prepare like a huricane was coming.
Lets talk about what huricanes are like then. Can someone relate what the devastation was following Fran or Hugo? What was it like to get hit by a major huricane? What did you get from the outside that you needed? (knowing there will be NO outside when Y2k hits).
-- Art Welling (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 1999
for info related to Andrew and Hugo.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), March 06, 1999.
--------------------------------------------------------------------- MAJOR DISASTERS CAN TAKE AWAY CREATURE COMFORTS
Many of victims suffer three weeks or more without the basic necessities of life. The following are areas of basic utilities and comforts one should be preapared to find alternatives.
The first is to be prepared for quick, prepanned action when a disaster is identified.
During Hurricane Hugo, one couple in Awendaw, South Carolina, had assumed a complacent attitude concerning the impending hurricane. Within minutes, they found themselves chest deep in water from the storm surge entering their home. In the dark, the couple climbed onto the roof and were almost stripped off it by the devastating winds. Before they could contemplate the danger of the winds and the pelting rain, the house walls collapsed and the roof began to float out to sea. Fortunately, it lodged in a row of trees, and branches provided a precarious perch until morning finally arrived and the relentless wave action had begun to break up the roof.
CIVIC SUPPORT SERVICES
Many civic work groups were formed to cut trees, make roof repairs, and provide temporary housing. Churches established soup kitchens, and some offered full meals for victims and workers. Churches also operated transportation pools to assist victims in reaching different support agencies.
Response from across the nation was substantial. Unfortunately, there were no consistent guidelines given to those sending assistance. Many trucks arrived having had no prior contact with any of the "clearing house" organizations. Therefore, some areas received too much, and other areas received too little. Some trucks rode around for days trying to find a drop-off point. One critical shortage was manpower to operate the different distribution centers. Another problem was too much donated clothing and not enough food, water, baby food, diapers, soap, blankets, radio batteries, and other basic necessities. Tons of clothing were left to rot in the rain.
The dependency of our society on electricity was plain to see during Hugo. For instance, with no electricity to operate the gasoline pumps, there was no gasoline. Those gasoline stations that either already had a generator or were able to purchase one for 300% of predisaster prices were soon sold out. Without fuel, there could be no chain saw operation and, therefore, no tree removal. No tree removal meant blocked roads and no gasoline deliveries. Of course no electricity also meant no refrigeration, and the account of related problems could go on and on.
Sometimes as a utility company entered neighborhoods, the residents would wave and applaud them like returning war heroes, along with the police and fire department personnel.
Food shortage became acute with grocery stores boarded up (some of them had already been stripped before the storm hit). Even those who had extra refrigerated food, lost it due to power outage and the fact that ice was not available.
Rural areas were basically neglected by the organized food providers who opted for more densely populated areas in need. Although the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and local organizations performed admirably, those victims without transportation were not able to reach these support agencies. For the mobile able to reach a relief station, there were long lines. Many people waited hours for a hot meal or for some basic staples. Sometimes the items received--those available for issue--were not the ones needed.
Regrettably, there were no identification systems whereby hoarding might have been checked. Some people having transportation traveled from station to station collecting more than their share while others did not know where the relief stations were located. In a number of known cases families sent children through relief lines several times. One family admitted they acquired enough food to keep them a year.
Another bit of irony relates to those usually self-sufficient people who could not rely on independent means of food procurement. Salt water flooding killed many wild edible plants, and untreated sewage in the areas made foraging dangerous. Hunting and fishing were not productive in securing food, for the storm had killed wild animals in the forests. For several weeks after the storm hit, no birds were seen or heard, a smell of death pervaded wooded areas, and fish in freshwater ponds were dead due to flooding.
WASTE DISPOSAL AND SANITATION
Many septic systems were flooded from the high water levels or were damaged by falling trees. Sewage overflowed into city streets because of flood-damaged sewers. Toilets could not flush and were backed up due to broken sewer lines. Even toilet paper became in short supply. As an emergency measure, lime was issued for spreading on the ground to kill germs; and later, in populated areas, portable toilets were set up on the streets to lessen some of the sanitation hazards.
To add to the health danger, there were no garbage pickups.
INSECT AND RODENT INFESTATION
The local roach population boomed. Even "clean" motels incurred roach infestation, and roach bait and sprays were soon sold out. The debris, garbage, and decomposing food offered a haven, also, for rats and other rodents. Insects became a severe problem. Most of the prevailing homes had lost their window screens to the winds and mosquitoes were thick when the warm nights made it necessary to open the windows. In some areas, the mosquitos were like a fog, but repellents were not available.
Generally there was no potable water because purification plants had suffered structural or water line damage, or the plants had no electricity to run the pumps. Water mains were ruptured by roots from falling trees. Water in the system was contaminated by the sewage and ground water sucked into broken lines. Even when safe water was available, it was almost unpalatable due to quantities of deteriorating leaves and pine needles in the local reservoirs. Although some areas received water from tanker trucks that were moved in from other areas, price gouging from suppliers ran rampant--in some instances, water sold for $5.00 a gallon. The shortage was complicated by a lack of containers for carrying water when it could be found. Of course, well pumps could not operate without electricity, and, ironically, flooding ruined many well pump motors where there was electrical service as it contaminated the well water itself. Some with water were afraid to drink it because they did not know how to purify it by chemicals or how to make a fire to boil it. One positive note, however: a beer manufacturer provided bottled water in beer cans.
The need for water had been greatly underestimated by everyone. Not only do we need water for drinking; it is necessary also for cooking, flushing toilets, cleaning eating utensils, washing clothes, and bathing. One of the strongest contributors to a decline in morale is to deprive a person of bathing for an extended period.
On the other hand, a great morale builder is the provision of warmth and good lighting. When a long day is spent in survival activity, it is reassuring to return to a warm, well-lit home. Evenings can then be spent in reading, cooking, bathing, repairing tools, making plans,etc., as well as in having social contact. Communal sharing of supplies and activities pulled many families through Hugo.
For most others, however, this was not the scenario. With no street lights, pitch blackness prevailed at night. It was frightening to see many people milling around after dark as both a result of and cause for anxiety. In some suburban areas, the National Guard was unable to enforce an imposed curfew as people experienced the boredom and anxiety that rapidly sets in when normal patterns are disrupted. In some low income areas, the bars were in full swing by noon, and by dusk, bands of drunken men were moving out into urban areas looking for something to do.
I recall a fright I experienced one evening when returning late to my motel. I made a wrong turn and found myself lost in the inner city after curfew. When I paused at the first intersection, several people brushed my car. I was fortunate, for they might have broken out a window and crawled in. Needless to say, I did not slow down at other intersections.
The weather was seasonally warm when Hugo hit, so the need for heating was not a concern. Had a fire been needed for heat, light, or cooking, most matches to be found would have been ruined by rain and moisture. A few people with dry matches and a wood stove were able to dry out their living quarters and some clothing to prevent the mildew that became a widespread effect of the storm.
During Hugo and its aftermath many people pulled together and survived as best they could. There was strong mutual support and helpfulness. Many times I saw American flags flying among the rubble as a symbol of the pride and determination of victims who had survived and were not giving up.
Hurricane Hugo was one of the largest disasters to be experienced in this decade. Unfortunately, because of its magnitude, the support agencies were unable to adequately handle the effects. There were confusion and false starts on the part of agencies, and many victims had cause to feel helpless and become angry toward the powers in control.
In any survival situation, knowledge and advance preparation are crucial although loss cannot be completely prevented nor predicted. Yet understanding the tendencies of a natural disaster can enable one to become prepared physically and emotionally. Surely the mistakes made and the lessons learned from Hurricane Hugo will not soon be forgotten--or will they? ---------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 1999.
Prepare for a hurricane that may last for 6 months to a year. Hit everywhere in the World at the same time. Cripple emergency response teams. Devistate the economy for 5 years or more....
Forget the storm analogy. Instead prepare for a worldwide depression, hope for a resession, with spotty utilities and banks during the first six months. Add to that some food chain and supply problems, and you have a good picture of what we could be facing.
-- Bill (email@example.com), March 06, 1999.
The fact that they are telling people to prepare for three days is all part of their spin plan to prevent panic and overbuying. After a while they will raise that to a week, then 3 weeks, and by the end of the year they might actually be telling us to be prepared for 2 or 3 months. If the government is telling you 2 months, any smart person would be prepared for 6 months minimum!
-- @ (@@@.@), March 06, 1999.
I won't go into the long discription of what Kauai was like, but lets say an old lady neighbor said it looked like world two without the dead bodies.iI'll keep it short. The military in three days time brought water purifying systems, (they purified the very dirty streams) those tablets, ICE, MRE's generators for the Water co, hospital, airport.(not sure who else got them, not the public. Portable air traffic control stations, (for the military to get their planes in and out, and eventually to get the tourists out.) National Guard security. We went under Martial law for a week or so.It was strange answering to those guys. Took about 10 days to get food into stores. 1 to 3months(depending on where you lived)for power, same for water. CALK your bathtub, most of them leak water slowly. They can be uncalked later!!! Also clean baby bottles, and diapers were a priority alot of people forgot. Gas took awhile too, that's where the other generators went. Good luck, Aloha
-- Justin Case (justin case@Aloha.com), March 07, 1999.
1 major storm, one small island. How about 50,000 major storms all on one date. No military (unless you live in urban area), no generators (unless already available locally), MREs (get em while you can), grocery stores (????), gasoline ($10+/gallon, if available)
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 1999.
That's the point Bill.
-- Justin Case (justin case@Aloha.com), March 08, 1999.