Wed. Aug. 28, 2019 – so there’s a storm coming your way….

77F and humid at 6am, but I’ve spent too much time reading the news. Gotta get the kids up and ready, so more later….


 

Now it’s later!

Here comes the storm, now what?

If you’ve been listening and doing, then all you have to do is recheck your preps, and do the little last minute things.  Top up your fresh veg- you can be sure THAT won’t be stripped from the store.  BAKE a loaf of bread.  Maybe pick up some dairy if your normal shopping hasn’t happened yet.

Remember that water is still coming out of your tap!  No need to buy bottled water if there are crowds.  Worst case, buy buckets and fill them.  Locate your water filter, bleach, and maybe your Bob water bladder.  Do laundry and wash dishes.  Wash the bathtubs thoroughly and get your duct tape ready so you can fill the tub before the storm hits.  Don’t forget a bucket for moving water from the tub to the toilet.

Charge up battery powered devices, and charge up all your power packs and rechargeable batteries.  By now you should have some sort of lithium battery for your phone and tablet.  The $80 jump pack from  Costco has a USB port and works well according to my wife.  If you don’t know where it is, locate your AC inverter and put it near your car for charging bigger things.  Test flashlights and battery lanterns.

If you haven’t already, fill your extra gas cans, fuel your generator and test start the gennie.

Look to your property.  Get ready to secure loose articles.  If the predictions warrant, get ready to do your board up.

At this point, you haven’t done anything irrevocable, haven’t spent money you don’t have, and have basically just ‘freshened up.’  Time to watch the storm approach and make any adjustments to your plan.

 

If you HAVEN’T been prepping, you’ve got a lot more to do.

Start with the basics, food water shelter.

Food- hit the canned and boxed meal aisles of your store.  Grab veg and beans, chili, and chicken or stew.  Get some pouches of pasta with sauce.  Get enough for a couple of weeks , at least ONE week.  Since the ‘french toast people’ have probably stripped the bread, eggs, and milk, grab a big bag of tortillas.   Grab some rice, instant or one minute rice is preferable in this case as it takes less to cook.  Grab some oatmeal and sugar or syrup, again quick cooking is better.  Grab some treats for the kids.

Water.   If your store has bottled, get some.  If not, then hit up Home Depot for buckets and lids.  You can fill them at home for drinking water.  Remember, water is still coming out of your faucets.  You may prefer bottled water for drinking, but your municipal water won’t hurt you (unless you’re in Flint, and then you’re on your own.)  You don’t NEED food safe buckets for this short time, but they are better for long term use.  Worst case, buy 2 liter bottles of the store brand generic soda, pour it out, and use the bottles for water.  You might want some koolaid or tea to flavor your water.

Shelter- your home should be fine unless the storm is huge.  If you live in a shack, or in an area prone to flooding, think hard about going to a shelter.  If you are going, better early than late.  Pick up anything that the wind can turn into a missile.  Secure all loose items.  Seriously, put them away.  Charge up all your things that need charging.  Wash everything that needs washing.  Tidy up.  Fill bathtub with water for washing, cover the drain with duct tape first.  Make sure you have some way to make light, battery powered is preferred to fire.  Have at least a battery powered radio to listen for news and updates.

That’s about all you will be able to do in a couple of days, but it should be more than enough and it’s certainly more than 80% of your neighbors will be doing.

 

Chime in in comments if I missed anything appropriate for short term preps, or if you have questions.

 

nick

43 thoughts on “Wed. Aug. 28, 2019 – so there’s a storm coming your way….”

  1. From Yesterday:

    You want warm weather so the covers stretch and form easily, but not hot because you’re out working in the car.

    The fellers in the cushion room of the un-air conditioned auto plant I worked at in the 80’s wore cropped t-shirts and short shorts in summer. That was due to the steam filled forms the covers were loosened over before being jammed onto the cushions. Looked like go-go dancers in clod hoppers. 4 man teams worked 2 on / 2 off on 20 minute cycles to allow for some cooling relief.

    I need a new truck.

    Think it thru carefully. $4k for a “new” engine installed is a ripping good steal. That was the price of the rebuilt block alone for my blown ’04 Forester. The “new” 2018 I ended up with has no turbocharger, my preferred manual trans and no semi-autonomous safety gadgets. Last year for those “features”. Your “new” trans hasn’t paid for itself yet. And $50k will vanish quickly enough with the new house. Just .02 worth.

    Backup camera: A trivial enough project. The ’18 has one and the LED bulbs I replaced to the rear make for 4000 lumens worth of actinic visibility. Next up is an Android head unit with 9″ screen that promises plug ‘n play DIY installation for ~$600. We’ll see about that.

  2. Be familiar with the roads in your area. After a flood event it’s not just possible, but likely that bridges will be out, and erosion around culverts that divert minor streams under streets may make close a road you don’t think of as having a “bridge”. Being able to get from point A to point B may depend on your ability to put together an alternate route.

  3. A cool 70f this morning. Nice change from the last couple of months.
    Nick seems to have covered the basics for preparedness. It looks like those of you who live in areas regularly hit by hurricanes should be better prepared for disruptions than the majority of us.
    It seems that the daily drumbeats of collusion, were replaced by racist, then white nationalist, and now RECESSION-WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. At least this one has some facts behind it. There WILL be a recession just like there will be an earthquake or CME; and we will all die at some point. I’m not getting my nickers in a twist. Prepping will reduce the effects of any disruption.
    And I’m not the least bit worried about dying. After reading many hundreds of NDE experiences, I am confident that better things are on the other side. I just want to ensure that when my time comes, my prepping makes life easier for those poor souls left behind.

  4. From yesterday, about auto mandates and unintended consequences. Remember that the insurance companies lobbied for 5 mph bumpers to reduce costs in minor collisions. The opposite happened, with costs up by a factor of several. That was caused by legislators who knew nothing about auto structure.

    Or, remember the “promise” that air bags would eliminate the need for seat belts? I know some people who are still angry over that bait and switch. Not me, I think seat belts are the single best safety idea, and was prepared to install my own if they no longer came with the car. I had already done that before seat belts were standard, and one of those saved me from severe injury and possibly death.


  5. Or, remember the “promise” that air bags would eliminate the need for seat belts?

    Who would have thought that the government would mandate multiple explosives be placed around the passenger compartment in all autos? If this had been proposed in a science fiction story in the 50s, it would have been proof of an oppressive and violent government. But it’s for your own safety, just don’t let the kids or small adults ride in the front seat lest they be killed by the safety devices.

  6. I’m with Nitghtraker, but with a slight difference. I am going up in cost instead of down from buying a new truck.

    That rebuilt engine seems a better option than repairing yours, and, IIRC not a huge cost increase. Again, you need expert advice, but I would worry about debris already circulating. The extra cost of the new-to-you engine with that stunningly attractive warranty gains years of good service over an iffy fix.

    How about this: fix your truck and keep it as a daily driver. After you get over the new house expenses, buy that new one and keep it in the garage where it will age more gracefully. Keep it for special occasions, and shift the wear and traffic risks to the one you already have.

    Spoken by the guy with an eight car garage that isn’t full… yet.

  7. @harold, and don’t forget small stature men and women being injured because they sit too close to the steering wheel. Which led Ford to implement adjustable pedals, which are not a simple solution, but probably have saved a life or two.

    And don’t forget the women assaulted when their cars wouldn’t start due to “safety” features requiring seat belts to be fastened. Remember when the front seat passenger belt needed to be fastened around your grocery bag? (since the seat sensor said someone was sitting in it) Which led to better (more expensive) seat sensors, better (multistage) more expensive air bags, and more general Fukery. Every time getting more expensive, more complicated, more interdependent…

    n

  8. Who would have thought that the government would mandate multiple explosives be placed around the passenger compartment in all autos?

    Yes. And I have to remind myself that I should not put my hands near the top of the steering wheel because the driver air bag could break my arms in a minor collision. The new advice is “9 and 3” instead of the old “10 and 2” for position on the steering wheel.

    And, my ophthalmologist scolds me into wearing sun glasses while driving, but I’m afraid of what might happen if the air bag drives them into my eyes. Maybe I should get tinted safety glasses. Oh, and a helmet. Yes, a helmet! Think of all the lives that could be saved if all auto drivers and passengers could be forced to wear helmets. Many more than motorcyclists – because there are scads* more auto occupants than MC folks.

    I’m just getting started, but have to go, so I will spare you fine folks of more of my drivel.

    *A scad is a scientific unit that is a LARGE number.

  9. Nick – not to forget the multi-million vehicle Takata airbag recall.

    The faulty Takata airbags’ inflators contain a defect that can cause them to explode and propel shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

    To date there have been 14 verified deaths and over 200 serious injuries from these “safety” devices.

  10. Don’t forget a bucket for moving water from the tub to the toilet.

    In Florida, if you don’t have a pool, be on friendly terms with the neighbor who does. And have a bucket.

    The pool water isn’t potable, but it will work for flushing a toilet or two … or thousands (depending on the size of your pool).

  11. @nightraker, check out youtube for some good android head end reviews. There was one in particular, something about “we check out the cheapest android head unit available on ebay” or similar.

    TL:DR- an amazing amount of flexibility and usefulness crammed into a box.

    n

  12. I should add to my original post, you want some method to heat your food and drink too.

    You probably already have a grill. For non-campers I like the tabletop single burner butane stove. You can find them at walmart, or asian grocery stores. Get some fuel bottles too. Of course, hiking, backpacking, or camping stoves are easy too, and you might already have one. For casual preps, the bottled propane two burner coleman stove is a good choice. A single bottle camp or hiking stove is a small choice if space is limited.

    If you are crafty, a “penny” stove works and is tiny.

    you can always eat canned goods cold, but they’ll taste and look better hot.

    n

    (personally, I like to eat. I’ve got DEEP redundancy in the cooking food department.)

  13. You probably already have a grill. For non-campers I like the tabletop single burner butane stove. You can find them at walmart, or asian grocery stores. Get some fuel bottles too. Of course, hiking, backpacking, or camping stoves are easy too, and you might already have one. For casual preps, the bottled propane two burner coleman stove is a good choice. A single bottle camp or hiking stove is a small choice if space is limited.

    Adapters exist to connect the Coleman camp stove to a standard BBQ propane tank.

    We have one among our stash of items in our garage.

    Water. If your store has bottled, get some. If not, then hit up Home Depot for buckets and lids.

    Home Depot has water coolers, both their own branded item and Igloo.

  14. I need a new truck.

    Think it thru carefully. $4k for a “new” engine installed is a ripping good steal. That was the price of the rebuilt block alone for my blown ’04 Forester. The “new” 2018 I ended up with has no turbocharger, my preferred manual trans and no semi-autonomous safety gadgets. Last year for those “features”. Your “new” trans hasn’t paid for itself yet. And $50k will vanish quickly enough with the new house. Just .02 worth.

    Yes, that $4K for the rebuilt engine with the three year 100,000 mile warranty from a very respectable shop is a good deal. If my 2005 Expedition was not having other electrical issues and I did not want a 8 inch tv screen in the dash with a rear view camera, I would go the route of the rebuilt engine.

    Actually, I am thinking about buying this $38K F-150 truck. It is not the long wheel base that I would prefer nor does it have the max towing package but, it is a very good price for a 4×4 F-150.
    https://www.helfmanford.net/new/Ford/2019-Ford-F-150-for-Sale-in-Stafford-TX-0f741aff0a0e0ae909e6074d1bd59a6f.htm

    I can’t do anything until after I close on the new used house on Sept 12 so I have plenty of time to reexamine this decision many times. Meanwhile, I am driving the 2005 rice rod with 119K miles and putting miles at 30 mpg on it. Its paid for, the A/C works, and I don’t mind rowing (shifting) my way forward.

  15. Spoken by the guy with an eight car garage that isn’t full… yet.

    Well, gotta have room for “stuff”, right? And everyone needs a garage queen or two.

    Eight car garage? On a slab, totally enclosed? I’m kind of turning green with envy over here.

  16. Water. If your store has bottled, get some.

    I keep 30 cases of 24 bottle Ozarka water cases on hand in the garage at all times. We go through 3 to 4 cases a week so I am constantly refreshing it. Our neighborhood HEB sells the 24 bottle cases for $3.50 to $4.00 each so I grab 2 cases each time I visit HEB.

  17. You probably already have a grill. For non-campers I like the tabletop single burner butane stove. You can find them at walmart, or asian grocery stores. Get some fuel bottles too. Of course, hiking, backpacking, or camping stoves are easy too, and you might already have one. For casual preps, the bottled propane two burner coleman stove is a good choice. A single bottle camp or hiking stove is a small choice if space is limited.

    Adapters exist to connect the Coleman camp stove to a standard BBQ propane tank.

    Yes. I have two of these, one at the house and one at the bug out place. I like cooked food also.
    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-High-Pressure-Propane-Hose-Adapter/dp/B0009PUQAK/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I also have the Coleman stove oven adapter for cooking bread:
    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000016462-Camp-Oven/dp/B0009PURJA/?tag=ttgnet-20

  18. “How to become a billionaire in five easy steps”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/investing/how-to-become-a-billionaire-in-five-easy-steps-25518/

    “And following in the footsteps of WeWork, Peloton formally filed paperwork yesterday to go public on the NASDAQ under ticker symbol PTON.”

    “The company anticipates a share price that will value the company at roughly $8 billion.”

    “Yet according to its filing, the company lost $195 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. That’s four times worse than the company’s $48 million loss in Fiscal Year 2018.”

    You know, I have been wondering about this also.

  19. Meanwhile, I am driving the 2005 rice rod with 119K miles and putting miles at 30 mpg on it. Its paid for, the A/C works, and I don’t mind rowing (shifting) my way forward.

    I’m driving my 2001 Solara today because I wanted to fill its tank before Clear Channel stirs up a new gas shortage this weekend. Not topping off needlessly — the car was almost E anyway.

    The mechanical throttle on the old Toyota is a *lot* more responsive than the new car’s electronic version even if the acceleration isn’t at the same level.

  20. ““Rust is the future of systems programming, C is the new Assembly”: Intel principal engineer, Josh Triplett”
    https://hub.packtpub.com/rust-is-the-future-of-systems-programming-c-is-the-new-assembly-intel-principal-engineer-josh-triplett/

    “At Open Source Technology Summit (OSTS) 2019, Josh Triplett, a Principal Engineer at Intel gave an insight into what Intel is contributing to bring the most loved language, Rust to full parity with C. In his talk titled Intel and Rust: the Future of Systems Programming, he also spoke about the history of systems programming, how C became the “default” systems programming language, what features of Rust gives it an edge over C, and much more.”

  21. Spoken by the guy with an eight car garage that isn’t full… yet.

    The new used house is coming with a three car garage with a 10 ft extension to the back, a total of 1,089 ft2. I have plans already.

    In the distant far future, I am wondering if I can put in a driveway to the back of the garage and add more covered stalls back there. Just wondering. Don’t tell the wife.

  22. I pulled the trigger this weekend on a new truck, the Ram 1500 Classic, Big Horn trim, 4×4. The Labor Day sales have started, and it dropped from $35k to $29k overnight, and I made my offer by noon. Two others showed up to try to test drive it while I was signing papers.

    I bought the V8 Hemi, I would actually have been a bit happier with the V6 and 3.55 axle, but it’s a decent vehicle for the price.

    As for the archaic 1998 Explorer, its transmission is shot, and would cost twice the blue book value of the vehicle to replace. And then I’d have a 21 yo vehicle with 275k miles on the rest of the drive train and electronics. I can literally *see* ancient and brittle tiny little broken hoses in the engine compartment…though oddly it passed the smog test with flying colors last year.

    Apparently my neighbor’s son is lusting after the rear end, something about it being a better differential than his Ranger of the same era. I may just give it to him for a birthday present, he’s a fine young man.


  23. Is it bigger than a google ?

    Probably not. But certainly bigger than a shirt(-r)wad.


  24. Is it bigger than a google ?

    I think an Amazon is bigger than a Google.
    (Just checked. As of today, yes.)

  25. We just got a thunderstorm that was hurricane worthy levels of rain and wind.

    And now the sun’s coming out.

    n

  26. There are pix out of China of huge mountains of share bikes.

    It’s a scam to burn investor cash.

    n

  27. just having that discussion with the wife a minute ago… she thinks it will die as half will be over land. I guess that’s possible, if half is over land.

    n

  28. I was in downtown San Antonio earlier this year. The amount of dockless scooters laying around was simply amazing.

    Just wait until they drain the Riverwalk areas in January.

    This year’s maintenance cycle didn’t happen, ensuring a bumper crop of scooters next January.

  29. ““Rust is the future of systems programming, C is the new Assembly”: Intel principal engineer, Josh Triplett”

    Have the interns finish the Linux port before putting them to work on Rust.

    I have the O’Reilly book somewhere around, but it got pushed down the vacation pile. We haven’t had enough vacations this year, and I’ll be occupied this weekend in San Antonio.

    Whenever I play with Rust, the binaries seem extremely large. Like Mozilla, start with one of your less critical components and see how it goes. I’ve seen articles about building DLLs in Rust which interface to other pieces written in C/C++.

  30. Fla. authorities are saying to stock 7 days of food and water. That’s up from the 3 days FEMA’s been pushing, but short of the 14 days promulgated after the Cascadia Rising exercise in the Pac NW…

    So I’ll just continue on to 6 months, then a year.

    n

  31. Fla. authorities are saying to stock 7 days of food and water. That’s up from the 3 days FEMA’s been pushing, but short of the 14 days promulgated after the Cascadia Rising exercise in the Pac NW…

    It looks like the storm won’t pass over Hispaniola and get torn apart by the mountains.

    The projected path takes the storm over a lot of warm water. Not good. It could be a Cat 3 when it hits the Florida East Coast, and that intensity is when I would start to worry.

    Utility crews usually stage for storms in the parking lot of the McDonalds on the Disney property near Animal Kingdom, but if that location is in the path of the eye, they will have to wait someplace further north, probably in GA. Sounds like the state is planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

  32. End of life preps. Don’t make a family member your executor. They’re going to have more than they can handle with grief alone. Particularly don’t put the oldest hyper-responsible emotive control freak in charge after they’ve been your hospice worker for a month.
    Because it’ll turn them into exhausted jerks.

    Select a neutral (carefully vetted) third party with no skin in the game. Really. You’ll be doing your surviving loved ones a favor.

    California is sucking. I’m mean and hated mom apparently because I already grieved the loss of her to alcohol years ago, have been through dozens of close deaths including four this year so am pragmatic, and am more analytical than the typical human. I’m sad mom’s dead. I’m more sad her death has unleashed chaos.

    Making changes to my executor when I get home.

    @greg
    Programming / gender. I don’t know any superb woman programmers. I’m not sure I know any superb male programmers IRL. Count me in the 90% not the 10%. With the exception – I love doing IT stuff for fun home from work and love tinkering with code. My skill and abilities don’t match my interest level. Doesn’t diminish the glee I feel doing it, though.


  33. Eight car garage? On a slab, totally enclosed? I’m kind of turning green with envy over here.

    Well, it was a dream a loooong time coming. It was designed to be economical. It is 56 x 60′ with a sloping ceiling that is 18′ high inside at the top, 16′ at one end, and 10′ at the other. Wood frame on a slab, no basement (wish I could have.) Walls are 2 x 8″ balloon framed. Rafters are 16″ TJI, so no roof trusses: just an unobstructed box. Two 18′ sectional overhead doors with tracks that follow the roof pitch so no intrusions when open or closed. Fully insulated. Exterior is steel roof and siding for zero maintenance: no hail here.

    Oh, and it is evaporatively cooled. Our climate supports that. Most days, it is about 75F or lower inside. System only consumes about 0.5 kW so is cheap to run. The 250,000 lb concrete slab serves as thermal storage. Heat is solar; the south facing wall is 16 x 60′ and serves as a large low efficiency unglazed collector. Air will circulate between the steel siding and the plywood underneath. It can produce enough heat to keep it comfortable. The ductwork isn’t finished yet, but without heat it has been around 55-60F the two winters so far, with the coldest at 48F for a few days.

    I plan to eventually put a couple of rooms inside, and their tops will provide a second floor for more storage. I cheated when I called it eight car: that is four wide by two deep. I never plan to have more than three “daily drivers” so the others are storage or project cars that don’t need an easy exit. I do have a couple of garage queens.

    I don’t mean to brag. This was a lot of hard work, with more to come. I did have a lot of hired help from a friend who is a contractor. And, it is not the biggest of its kind in our neighborhood, but I never have been competitive. Life is not a contest. There are many more important things, as I was reminded today when I attended a funeral for a friend’s wife.

  34. @Jenny: Sorry you’re going through that. It sounds like problems between siblings, probably driven by grief on the parts of the less objective ones? People tend to lash out at available targets, and you’re available. You’ll get through it, and hopefully your siblings will come to their senses after some time has passed…

    – – – – –

    On a different subject: Does anyone have any practical experience with running a business network using Azure Active Directory, etc.? I’m working with a small organization for which a cloud solution like that seems very attractive: They literally don’t need any installed applications beyond Office.

    It would save them paying an external company to run physical servers, so the cost savings would be huge. Local backups remain important, of course, but that’s easily solved.

  35. End of life preps. Don’t make a family member your executor. They’re going to have more than they can handle with grief alone

    My wife was executor for my dirtbag father-in-law. Never again.

    The family law attorneys don’t like to do it, but you can reject being named executor and let the state appoint a third party. In the case of my father-in-law, I think someone with an objective point of view and empowered by the court to deal with my in-law’s antics would have been a better choice.

    We will reject being named executor for my mother-in-law when she passes. We’re clear on that point.

  36. @greg
    Programming / gender. I don’t know any superb woman programmers. I’m not sure I know any superb male programmers IRL. Count me in the 90% not the 10%. With the exception – I love doing IT stuff for fun home from work and love tinkering with code. My skill and abilities don’t match my interest level. Doesn’t diminish the glee I feel doing it, though.

    You probably operate at a higher level than you think.

    Lots of people out there will take advantage of your passion. I speak from experience, both in my career and watching what my wife deals with in hers.

    We discourage our children from working in IT and medicine. “Kids, don’t make our mistakes.”

  37. @jenny, I’m sorry you have to deal with that on top of her passing. I had not thought of the issues.

    What I’ve seen personally and through attending estate sales every weekend is that it takes most people a full year to settle an estate. Some will be a bit shorter, many are longer. Many just locked the doors after securing everything, and didn’t come back for most of a year. It’s not unusual to go to a sale and find the deceased person had their parent’s estate sitting there too in boxes. That complicates things enormously if there is surviving family…

    I wish you the strength and patience to do what needs doing….

    n

  38. We discourage our children from working in IT and medicine. “Kids, don’t make our mistakes.”

    I think that’s a bit sad. IT is a good profession, better than most. There are no professions out there that are free of bad managers and dirtbags. At least in IT and medicine you generally get paid a pretty good salary.

    Read about the crap that people put up with in retail, or sales, or whatever other field you like – it’s no better, and often a lot worse.


  39. Don’t make a family member your executor.

    BIL was for my FIL. No real issues. I was for my aunt but there was nothing left as all her assets had been consumed over the years. Rest of the family hated her and was glad she died. I was not much of a fan either. Wife is sole beneficiary of my MIL’s will with instructions on how to distribute. That will be interesting and I really want to stay out of that mess when it happens.

    Wife and my will’s are reciprocal and son gets everything. Thus no real issues as he is an only child.

  40. I think that’s a bit sad. IT is a good profession, better than most. There are no professions out there that are free of bad managers and dirtbags. At least in IT and medicine you generally get paid a pretty good salary.

    Unlike many other fields, Medicine and IT are filled with managers who have never done the hands-on work in their career and couldn’t muster the IQ points to learn if their lives depended on it.

    My wife’s clinic manager in WA State was such a useless passive-aggressive bully that he was shown the door not long after we crossed the border into Idaho on our exodus adventure heading to Texas. The only reason Crazy Cat Guy (they exist!) kept his job was his ability to guilt my wife.

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