Advice from Surviving Hurricane Ike

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Editor's Note: This post was submitted 9/15/2008. We hope that Diana's situation has improved significantly since submitting this.

Hurricane Ike has devastated Texas, Kentucky National Guard have been deployed to assist and the Louisville, Kentucky area was hit by Hurricane force winds Sunday afternoon leaving a trail of downed trees, wrecked homes, power outages and devastation.

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Our entire city is currently without power, no gas stations are open and trees are across all roads leading from my house. I don't have electricity, telephone service or reliable cell phone service at my home. But we are safe and relatively happy.

Here are a few tips to get you through any emergency:

  • Be prepared: This takes some advance planning. Stock up on the following:

    • At least 1-5 liter container of drinking water
    • Emergency radio which operates on a crank battery
    • flashlights with WORKING batteries (we also have several of those press on dome lights)
    • a manual can opener and canned goods that can be eaten without warming
  • Always refill your cars gas tank when it gets between 1/2 to 1/4 full.
  • Keep your cell phone recharged.
  • KNOW where your emergency supplies are kept (we keep all our flashlights in one closet).
  • NEVER approach downed power lines. Call your provider and report downed lines as soon as you are safely able to do so.
  • Downed tree limbs can be deadly. Limbs can fall unexpectedly, chain saws are dangerous. IF you are inexperienced proceed with extreme caution! Paying to have limbs removed is cheaper than the hospital bill that results from you trying to do it yourself.
  • NEVER use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home.
  • Report any damages to your homeowners insurance. Take photos of damage. Remember that losing the contents of that basement freezer can result in a paid claim.
  • Consider purchasing a gas generator if you live in areas prone to power outages. This can preserve your refrigerator contents and allow you to make a pot of coffee or use the microwave. If you have a gas generator be sure to know how to use it properly and keep gas, in an approved container, handy. Don't use the generator indoors.
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  • RELAX, Take a nap or use this time to play games with your kids, take a walk (if it is safe to do so), pickup small sticks and limbs for a bonfire later in the season (make a game out of cleaning up your yard), reconnect with your neighbors, lend a hand to a less fortunate neighbor or an elderly person in your neighborhood. Share your chainsaw or power tool skills and lastly count your blessings.

Source: My own unfortunate experiences with prolonged power outages :-)

By Diana from Prospect, KY

September 23, 20080 found this helpful

Who would have thought that IKE could have caused so much damage in Kentucky ?

Your tips are a good reminder for all of us. You just can never tell when an Emergency Kit, or Bag will be necessary. We take so much for granted.

Especially the bottled water......we never think that we can't get water out of the tap.

Thanks again for your tips.

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September 23, 20080 found this helpful

One more tip for surviving storms and prolonged power outages. This applies more in the winter with a snowstorm, but this is a good place to mention it.

If the power is out and you are heating with kerosene, don't overlook the top of the kerosene heater for cooking! A pot of soup on the kerosene heater will help put needed humidity back into the air of your home, plus fill your tummy! One of the best steaks that I've ever eaten was cooked in a frying pan on top of a kerosene heater. Also, a great place to heat those canned foods that you could eat cold, but tast better heated. Wouldn't those spaggheti-os taste better warm?!?

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September 24, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for posting your tips. My husband is in Houston, TX and was without power for one week! Not fun! We think the generator is the way to go for the next season.

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September 24, 20080 found this helpful

I just wanted to let you all know that after 9 1/2 days witout electricity we finally got our power bsck on

Many others living nearby us are still without power, so please continue to keep them in your prayers! Thankfully the temperature was about 20 degrees cooler than it had been the day before IKE blew in so we were not roasting. I think that is what saved our sanity. We are fine but tired of playing UNO by candlelight! haha

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September 24, 20080 found this helpful

If you don't have a signal in order to make a cell phone call use text messaging. For some reason a text will go through even when a call won't. I learned this during Katrina and Rita. Texting was the only way that I could keep in contact with most of my relatives in Louisiana. This also works when you're going through mountains or "woods" and can't get a signal.

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful

Here's a tip I followed through with to help my daughter out who was w/o power. She had no hot water, no cook stove and candles sold out quickly. All that were left was expensive ones and her funds were meager having to buy ice to keep some foods cold.

I purchsed for her a two burner dual fuel camp stove that she can cook with, heat water and use unleaded gas if she prefers over the other type of gas. I also bought her a Dietz Brand oil lantern that can be carried indoors/outdoors and a couple extra wicks. The glass globe is secured and the base wide enough to prevent tipover and has a metal handle. She was w/o power for six days.

I've learned from Hurricane Ike to make sure to have one's car filled with gas, plenty of stocked up staple foods and am planning on purchasing the same such lantern and cook stove for our own use should we be w/o power longterm.

Fortunatly we were able to share freezer space so another's food didn't perish. We do have a generator should we be w/o power for a lengthy amount of time. A good thing to have on hand.

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June 10, 20120 found this helpful

Here are a few tips learned from Hurricane Ivan: If at all possible, try to keep 2 or 3 (5) gallon gas cans full if a hurricane enters the Gulf, withdraw money from the bank, if you are lucky enough to find a gas station on, they will be using a generator to pump gas only, have cash on hand to pay for gas, we have already started filling & freezing gallon (milk jug) jugs for water. We put these on the bottom of the freezer, stock up on non-perishable food, dried fruit, cases of bottled water. We were without lights /power for three weeks. Remember your relatives, start stocking up now-and don't forget the first-aid kit, and extra meds for health issues. Here's a safe hurricane season to everyone-God Bless and keep us all safe.

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