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Hurricane escape tips

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i started one thread about hurricanes (http://survivalthreads.com/topic/55-pictures-from-hurricane-ike-lots-of-pics-inside/) but it was relativly absent of helpful information. but this deserves a whole thread, because there is a LOT to cover.

this info is good for any natural disaster where you have advanced warning, but some info can help no matter the disaster, so keep that in mind.


should you stay, or leave? 

staying is a major gamble, especially the closer to the water you are, so put me in the "leave" camp. the safety of your home doesn't mean much when your house can be picked up, shredded apart, and flung into the gulf. that said, if you stay, you can clear out your property quicker, and defend your home from any possible looters. in the end, it is up to you, weigh your options, and prepare accordingly.


if you stay

you are in for one hell of a ride, 145 MPH winds, 22 foot high waters... You may not see such severity, but mother nature is hardly discriminatory With that in mind, if you do stay, you will need the following.

water (16.9 fl/oz and 5 gallon jugs)

generators (enough to power lights, tools, fridges, AC's)

gas (in good metal fuel cans, USGI/NATO cans are the best)

OTC and prescription meds, and a good first aid kit (CVS will NOT be open)

LED flashlights (no exception, LED lasts longer, is more durable, and brighter)

AM/FM emergency radios (you will have no TV, and very little if any phone signal)

batteries (the more the better, don't cheap out)

boots (work boots for construction/cleaning, and shrimp boots for general stuff in water)

plywood window barricades (reinforcing them with 2x4's is a great idea)

chainsaws, and spare parts (chains, bar oil, etc)

food (M.R.E.'s, wise company rations, freeze dried, etc)

ice (very critical, freeze a bunch of water bottles, and make as much ice as you can, all ice will be gone days before)

weapons (knives, pistols, rifles, shotguns. it is sad, but some people ain't worth a drop o' pee)

tarps (several)

gatorade (good fuel for your body)

hygiene products (specifically baby wipes)

general tips for staying

turn your generators over every month or so

buy all of this well in advance, do not be looking for plywood at lowes at the zero hour, it will be gone.

avoid the gallon jugs of water, the plastic will deteriorate, and that is no bueno

frozen water bottles make excellent bed coolers, and by morning, they will have melted

do not throw away melted ice water, drain, and purify it

unplug all electronics and elevate them if possible

do the same with family heirlooms and pictures


if you leave

the cautionary move, you get to leave a few things out, but you will still need



OTC and prescription meds, and a good first aid kit

LED flashlights




AM/FM emergency radios

hygiene products




walkie talkies


family heirlooms

sensitive information (stored in a hard drive AND in paper)

general tips for leaving

be the first to leave, do not wait till the last minute to decide

walkie talkies are a godsend if you have a caravan

keep a decent sized cooler in your car where you or a passenger can reach it, fill it with bottled water and gatorade, nothing else (beer, soda, etc)

keep a handgun concealed on your hip (if legal...) do not draw attention to you, or your vehicle, be it from law enforcement, or desperate joe schlow

have somewhere to go, be it a friends house, or a hotel, don't just stop in a walmart parking lot.

don't count on gas being available, use what you brought with you.

do not skimp out on what you take, you may end up having nothing to go back to


this is part one, i will add more stuff later

Edited by zackmars
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part duex


some general tips

even if calls don't go through, text messages might still work. it may even take up to an hour to get through, but a text message an hour later beats a phone call you will never get.

rain gear can be a lifesaver, a USGI poncho is awesome, but in a pinch, a poncho can be made from a industrial grade garbage bag.

gloves are a good thing to have, from work gloves for construction to nitrile for medical stuff

watch out for snakes, after ike, our yard was INFESTED with water moccasins, i dispatched well over 20.


worst case scenario

if you leave at the last minute, you will be stuck in the worst traffic ever seen, the stuff you bring will be all you have, no gas, ice, water, medicine. nothing.

if you get in a checkpoint, and law enforcement sees anything suspicious (guns, knives, weapons, out of date paperwork, the route you are taking does not lead to your destination) they might decide to search your vehicle. and that is absolutely no fun.


if you stay, and it gets bad (like katrina) law enforcement may decide to put a curfew in place, but looters won't care. Not to say it will be like Black Hawk Down, but people will be looking for food, water, anything of value.

if you have any of the above, you may need to defend it, keeping a long gun within reach is prudent, as is keeping a handgun on your person.


before ike, i talked to the local sheriff about weapons, and he said this, "on your property you can carry what you want, we will not bother you as long as you are on your property, or on another's property along side them, like neighborhood self policing. checkpoints will be staffed by national guard and maybe some federal agents, they will not play so nice, so keep your stuff covered up."

"you loot we shoot" signs might work as a deterrent, but they may not. make sure your weapons are in good condition, loaded with good ammo, and make sure you know how to use them.

if it gets REAL bad, again like katrina, your food supplies will start to dip, and maybe even run out completely, a .22 caliber rifle and subsonic rounds, and a fishing rod are a godsend. depending on water quality/pollution of your AO, you may want to skip fishing.


part 3 will come later 

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Those are some seriously in-depth tips! Having never lived in a hurricane zone, I wonder how building construction could be improved to make it resilient to such events?

I am thinking of those skyscrappers with movable/flexible platforms when they are in earthquake prone regions- anything similar?

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3 hours ago, Thomas said:

Those are some seriously in-depth tips! Having never lived in a hurricane zone, I wonder how building construction could be improved to make it resilient to such events?

I am thinking of those skyscrappers with movable/flexible platforms when they are in earthquake prone regions- anything similar?

Most "hurricane proof houses" around here are basically normal houses on stilts, 18-20 foot high.


I've seen dedicated ones, usually dome shaped, made of concrete. Sorta like little bunkers. You won't see much of them around the Texas gulf coast though, not entirely practical, and very expensive.


If one was looking for a house on the water here, I'd look for these things, in this order

On stilts

No drywall (wood paneling looks cheesy, but it isn't as vulnerable to water as dry wall)

Hurricane proof windows

Reinforced garage doors

Hurricane shutters (if the house doesn't have a wrap around deck)

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part 3

disaster relief groups


After both katrina and ike (the two most destructive storms to hit gulf states), disaster relief came in two forms, the national guard (attempted to maintain order, and gave out supplies) and FEMA, who, well...

FEMA (http://www.fema.gov/) is a government agency, and is about as incompetent as they come. after seeing how they handle natural disasters (katrina, ike, sandy), it will do you no good to expect any timely (let alone effective) help, people have gone months without temporary trailers that were promised to them.


There are other groups, like red cross, and local churches are always quick to lend a hand, but more than once their help has been squandered by FEMA.


The point is, you need to be self reliant, if a tent is all you have, it is better than a trailer that is still 4 states away, and after the storm, you may well find the best disaster relief group will be your neighbors.


keeping cool


With no power, no local stores selling ice and ice cold drinks, avoiding heat stroke will be absolutely critical, especially once clean up begins. You will be out in the sun, chopping wood, pulling up carpet, fixing your roof... Doing all that, even in autumn/fall, heatstroke can set in FAST, in some cases in as little as 20 minutes. So you obviously will want to avoid this, so some tips; 

Make as many ice cubes as you can, freeze a bunch of water bottles.

Take a towel, throw it in some ice cold water, and put it on your head, or around your neck when working outside.

When you are sleeping, put some ice bottles on your sheet, this will help you stay cool.

If you have to work on large amounts of land, invest in a good camelback, it just makes life easier.

Keep your ice in coolers that can be drained, when it melts, pour it into a large pot and purify, use as you see fit.

When working hard, avoid drinking soda and energy drinks, and alcohol. stick to water, or Gatorade. Gatorade, Powerade, and generic brands because they rehydrate, and replenish sodium lost by sweating.

Part 4 is coming.

Edited by zackmars
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On 7/29/2016 at 10:29 AM, Thomas said:

From all of this, the clearest advise I am getting is to stay away from hurricane zones. Come up North Zack! ;) 

Nah, i like it here :D

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Kinda left this for awhile, but harvey has me in the hurricane mood, so the part 4 i never delivered


Scenario, it's the last few hours before the weather turns, but in the frenzy, you forgot to get a loaf of bread, or milk. The big supermarkets will either be empty, or closed. Small, local convenience stores might have stuff. It won't be much, but it beats having nothing


Have a large flashlight, like an old 6 D-cell mag-lite, with an LED conversion. It won't be super bright, but it will last forever, and is difficult to loose. 


Speaking of light, lanterns are awesome. I'm a big fan of the streamlight siege's, but most any quality lantern will work well. Again, stick to LED. Avoid any glass


Have a lot of USB battery cores. Stash them all over the place, your purse, your car, bathroom, etc. Putting your phone/tablet in airplane mode will also help charge faster, and avoid wasting the charge.


Information is critical, and here in the US, nothing beats NOAA, no matter how much you like your local weatherman.


NOAA will get you critical info, and nothing else. No politics, no news anchors saying how aweful it all is.


Have multiple back ups of sensitive documents, computer hard drives, SD cards, thumb drives, whatever, just have copies.


Have a way to your roof, if its through the ceiling, keep some tools and signalling equipment in the attic, near the access point


We have another band coming in, so I'll close this out.


What advantages are there to staying?


You have more space to store supplies, and aren't limited to what you can stuff in your trunk

You can protect your home and possessions from looters

You can begin cleaning up immediately, you don't have to wait for the water to come down to cut up your carpet and float it out


Keep a level head, have some books, scale model kits, hell even legos, to keep you entertained. You can be there for days

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