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Old 08-25-2019, 11:12 AM
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So, I was watching the local weather and mention was made of Tropical Storm Dorian.


This reminded me that my home is the established bugout location for my family and friends that live on the Gulf coast. Some near Matagorda and some in Galveston County. I have extended family on the Bolivar peninsula and close personal family friends that live in Port Arthur and Orange along Sabine lake. All are welcome just hopefully not at the same time.


Now, I prep like everyone else. I have a minimum one year of dry goods. Adding my can goods preps would bump that up to at least a year and a half for two people. Plenty of bottled and jug water as well as a large pool (great for toilets in water outage). I have lots of propane and gasoline on hand as well.


I think I'm good on "normal" preps, but prepping for family and guests is a bit more difficult than I thought. During Hurricane Harvey my parents bugged out and came to my house. They stayed for over a week and boy was it an eye opener.


One thing I didn't expect was an entertainment issue. I have internet and it's fine for two people, but apparently only two people. When my parents got here they were understandably worried about their home being destroyed so they were obsessively searching every possible news source known. Most of the time they would be streaming two different live feeds like KHOU and The Weather Channel. Whatever they were doing it ate up all the bandwidth and my wife and I effectively couldn't surf.


Food was the next issue. Even though I have plenty, it just wasn't the kind of foods my parents wanted. So right off the bat we had to get to the store and get foods they'd enjoy. I'm sure we could've made do with all the stuff we had, but they were already miserable enough with worry, so we got what they would enjoy.


There were a million more issues and difficulties, all minor. But this time I'd like to be better prepared.


One of the additional things I have to consider is that I have family in Galveston County. For those that don't remember, Galveston County got hit hard by Harvey. We tried to get them to evacuate and come over but they didn't. It was a disaster for them. But now I know that this time my Galveston County family will definitely come over if this happens again. This could add from two to four more people plus pets into the mix.


They have an RV, so I installed an RV electric panel near my concrete parking pad as well as a water hook up so hopefully that helps.


Now I'm trying to think of better ways to prepare this season. Keeping a boatload of family from getting bored when it's storming outside is a priority.


Does anyone else out there have plans for folks bugging into your home? If so I'd love to hear what preps you do.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:52 AM
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If you are on septic that can be overloaded. Include huge loads of laundry. Also power panel has limits and increased potential for fire. Fire safety like them having fire and co monitors and extinguishers. Fire spreads.
Visitors aren't working so have no income. May not have cash. Prepping for 1-2 is not bad but for an extended family it adds up.
Any on rx drugs? How will they get them far from home?
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:56 AM
PoorRichard05 PoorRichard05 is offline
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So, C2, I have a question for you.

You have actually been through that. What would you do differently? Were they any other unexpected problems you could warn other about?
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:11 PM
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If you are on septic that can be overloaded. Include huge loads of laundry. Also power panel has limits and increased potential for fire. Fire safety like them having fire and co monitors and extinguishers. Fire spreads.
Visitors aren't working so have no income. May not have cash. Prepping for 1-2 is not bad but for an extended family it adds up.
Any on rx drugs? How will they get them far from home?
Good points here.


First, the septic tank. Coincidentally, just yesterday my wife suggested I get the septic tank pumped. It's been at least ten years and now's the time. Since you mentioned overload I think I'll rush it and call tomorrow.

Second is RX drugs. During Harvey my Pop only brought a few days of meds. He normally knows better but during the bugout he forgot to bring all of it. The local VA wouldn't resupply him because they're one of those contract VA facilities and since he didn't go there they wouldn't help. Bureaucratic nonsense really. He finally contacted Houston VA and they sent temp prescriptions for him. We wasted half a day on that.

All I know to do next time is for him to leave a little stash of meds when they visit. That way there's some kind of backup available. That and simply nag him before he leaves to not forget his meds.

It's sad when the kids have to nag their parents. I guess aging can be funny that way.

Lastly is cash, during Harvey I had plenty on hand and my parents did too. Lucky thing we did, when we were at the grocery store the atms all went down and it was cash only. We were one of the few customers that had cash. That was a real prepping win that day.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:23 PM
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So, C2, I have a question for you.

You have actually been through that. What would you do differently? Were they any other unexpected problems you could warn other about?
Totally unexpected was a gasoline shortage.

Once the hurricane was predicted to come our way, people began doing the normal thing and topping off vehicles and their jerry cans with fuel. However at some point a rumor of fuel shortages somehow began.

Craziness and panic ensued. Everyone rushed to gas stations and begin filling trashcans and containers of any sort with gas. Long lines formed and prices went up everywhere. The Gov went on TV trying to ensure everyone there was plenty of gas and all shipments were still arriving on time. It didn't work. People panicked more.

By people panicking and overbuying they actually created the very gas shortage they feared. This all lasted about a week to a week and a half.

Luckily I had prepared and had all vehicles topped off plus an additional hundred gallons available. I was able give 20 gallons to my parents as emergency gas for their trip home, plus my wife and I never had to get in lines or experience shortage. By the time we even got half way through our supplies the crisis was over.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:39 PM
Mule Skinner Mule Skinner is offline
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Originally Posted by Cornly2 View Post
So, I was watching the local weather and mention was made of Tropical Storm Dorian.


This reminded me that my home is the established bugout location for my family and friends that live on the Gulf coast. Some near Matagorda and some in Galveston County. I have extended family on the Bolivar peninsula and close personal family friends that live in Port Arthur and Orange along Sabine lake. All are welcome just hopefully not at the same time.

.
A hurricane is a wide area event.
What if they are all affected at the same time?
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cornly2 View Post


One thing I didn't expect was an entertainment issue. I have internet and it's fine for two people, but apparently only two people. When my parents got here they were understandably worried about their home being destroyed so they were obsessively searching every possible news source known. Most of the time they would be streaming two different live feeds like KHOU and The Weather Channel. Whatever they were doing it ate up all the bandwidth and my wife and I effectively couldn't surf.

We're good. 65" OLED, PS4 and lots of games and movies.
Lots of downtime during extended SHTF situations and being entertained while staying put is often overlooked as you say. A good colection of movies can help quite a bit.
Even if power goes down the Nintendo Switch has two controls and in this weather a solar pannel charges small devices fast.
We also play cards from time to time, board games too.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:52 PM
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A hurricane is a wide area event.
What if they are all affected at the same time?
It's very possible and will be difficult.

Lots of folks will have to sleep on cots and such thats for sure.

Food, we'll definitely have to create large simple meals for a crowd. I hope they all like beans, rice, and Spam.

Now I just thought of dishes. We'd be washing dishes around the clock.
Extra soap and backup dishes will be needed. That or lots of paper plates and cups.

So much to think about really, but I do need to think more and prepare.

I'm betting it won't be fun, but I guess it'll be safer than everybody riding out a hurricane on the coast. Plus, everyone's favorite, rent will be free.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:57 PM
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We're good 65" OLED, PS4 and lots of games and movies.
Even if power goes down the Nintendo Switch has two controls and in this weather a solar pannel charges small devices fast.
We also play cards from time to time, board games too.
I had all that lined up too. I'm probably your age and that's good entertainment for me too, but not my parents. Normally they'll play cards though, but they were so worried about their home being destroyed they just couldn't relax. It was news, news, and more news for a week straight.

I'm hoping next time to figure out a way to distract them so they can relax a little. If it's possible.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:44 PM
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Tell them to bring anything special they want with them. Not just meds, but foods they prefer if they don't want to eat what you have. I'm Mom and bugout location to a lot of people. They already know to bring with them what they're afraid I won't have, including "entertainment". Having raised seven kids (and half a dozen of their friends) I have a special talent for finding busyness for idle hands.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:49 PM
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The hard truth is you are providing a place that will provide for their survival at a time when their survival might not be possible without your generosity. Having all the comforts of home would be nice but it canít be expected. You love them enough to provide a place where they can be safe, comfortable and fed and that alone is more than most people in the path of a storm can expect.
If they need to surf the internet they should consider having one of their phones work as a WiFi hot spot.
They need to help you to help them.

Kudos to you for caring as much as you do
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:59 PM
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Will they be bringing a freezer load of food with them so it won't spoil?
Freezer and refrigerator space might be limiting. Do you have a couple extra coolers for the people in the RV? or they might have their own coolers. Or if you have an extra fridge laying around, might want to plug it in and give it a new water filter.

Having 2 washing machines hooked up is nice. I am a single guy and have 2 washing machines. If you have an old washing machine laying around, you might investigate a way to hook it up.

That is a great idea to give them an RV hookup. Does that include a septic connection as well?

If you have good cell phone coverage, you might get one of those mobile hotspot devices with a month's worth of data, to give them or you another way to get internet.

And definitely have a TV hooked up with an over the air antenna, so they can watch the live coverage even if cable or internet goes out.

And a good supply of wine and champagne and cheese.

And like any good hotel, Extra towels, shampoo, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, women's hygiene products, can come in handy.

For the animals, I have no idea. I would make a fence enclosure and tell them that's where the animals go. And have a bag of food and a few dog dishes or whatever they need. No way would I put up with a bunch of animals running around the house.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:52 PM
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Will they be bringing a freezer load of food with them so it won't spoil?
Freezer and refrigerator space might be limiting. Do you have a couple extra coolers for the people in the RV? or they might have their own coolers. Or if you have an extra fridge laying around, might want to plug it in and give it a new water filter.
I have a few extra coolers but no extra freezer space. However, just having general space helped last time. My Pop brought everything he could that was important to them including all his guns. I wound up keeping alot of that stuff till well after they settled back down. I'm sure glad I had extra space.

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Having 2 washing machines hooked up is nice. I am a single guy and have 2 washing machines. If you have an old washing machine laying around, you might investigate a way to hook it up.
Good idea, thanks.

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That is a great idea to give them an RV hookup. Does that include a septic connection as well?
No, but the pad is about 50ft away from my septic tank. I wonder if a hose can be linked to it? I guess I need to look into that.

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If you have good cell phone coverage, you might get one of those mobile hotspot devices with a month's worth of data, to give them or you another way to get internet.
Sadly cell service at the house is terrible, it's part of the internet problem as well.

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And definitely have a TV hooked up with an over the air antenna, so they can watch the live coverage even if cable or internet goes out.
I have OTA antenna. During Harvey though, the local San Antonio news showed very little of the hurricane unless it affected us directly. That's why we scrambled to get other sources. Ultimately, KHOU (Houston) had a live stream we accessed with a tablet and then displayed on the big TV.

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And a good supply of wine and champagne and cheese.
Ha! This was the main reason we went to the grocery store.

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For the animals, I have no idea. I would make a fence enclosure and tell them that's where the animals go. And have a bag of food and a few dog dishes or whatever they need. No way would I put up with a bunch of animals running around the house.
I have no plan for animals at all for now. It's definitely an area that I need to consider more.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:40 PM
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We evacuated to family "seat" during Rita. It was a real learning experience.
1.) News came from dynamo powered radio. Everyone interested (not all were) had a schedule. No piggies hogging the radio all the time.
2.) Doing laundry by hand uses a lot of time and energy which are both in excess during electrical outage. Keeps people busy and uses up nervous energy. Same with cooking over a grill. Assigned chores are a good thing!
3.) Nervous / excited animals cannot be put all in the same enclosure. Chaos and wounds ensue. If possible, exercise pets regularly to use up their excess / nervous energy.
4.) Simple crafts for kids can use up some time and energy. Also book reading to / with adults. Plays, dress-up, board games, magazines.
5.) Make a checklist of what you need to take to bug out. After sharing that in advance with your parents, maybe make one for them, too? It might help them to focus when preparing to evacuate.
6.) Really, this sounds harsh, but this kind of event is limited (2-3 weeks) and everyone needs to get over the need for special treatment. You are volunteering, out of the goodness of your heart, to take in displaced family members who did not provide for their own evacuation. You are not running a 5-star hotel but bless your heart for trying. Cornly2, you sound like a really kind and accommodating person.

Anyway, this is what I learned during our evacuation experience. BTW, we now have our own place for evacuation and it's reduced at least some of the pressure.

FWIW
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:05 PM
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Just because, what's in your BOB to signal a passing chopper while your "Up-On-The_Roof" and the canoe is still chained to the porch? Add a magnetic checkerboard to keep the the youngsters occupied while they are on the roof during daylight. JMHO.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:07 AM
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Do you have a garage with a nice concrete floor? [i.e. no coating]. Leave the cars parked outside and mark the concrete with hopscotch/four square for the kids -- or just let them chalk color. Gives the kids a place to play and be loud while it is raining [tools and such, you want an adult to stay in there too so they don't 'explore'. When the rain stops, then you can use the garage pad, patio, etc.

Neat thing I saw on a local news about how to handle pet 'bathroom' issues. One of the few things I ever saw that was new and useful. Take a small plastic wading pool like you get at walmart. Plop some sod in it [well, you have to buy that too]. And there is a doggie potty so you don't have to go out in the rain [or have the dog wading with the fish and snakes].

Dining room table and kids. Throw some sheets over it to make a 'fort' and it is amazing how many kids will happily crawl under there to play and sleep. Use lawn furniture pads for mattresses.

Disposable Accident pads!!!!! They make them for adults as well as pets. Some small children under stress should probably sleep on top of one. Don't trust parents to bring enough diapers for a baby -- just ask the size [or weight of baby] and go out and get another bundle before they arrive -- they got enough to do trying to pack up.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:25 AM
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Re: those little wading pools. During the year of the Hurricanes I had the slightly larger model from Walmart. Took a bit of a roll of 1by2 wire fencing that was three feet high. Opened it out, then cut it so it fit into the pool and just bothered to twist tie it together. Some paper on the bottom, some wood chips, small waterer on some bricks, food dish and a sheet over top [big enough to cover all the way around]. Worked great with my chickens during the year of the hurricanes 2004. Pop them in that in the garage, sheet all the way down, they'd go to bed. Clothes pins to hold the sheet up, they'd be chickens.

Had briefly contemplated getting two pools, one for the top, but one worked fine. Such a set up, with a pool top, might work fine with a small dog to make a little 'run'. Or even for a cat or rabbits.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
All I know to do next time is for him to leave a little stash of meds when they visit.
Keep in mind prescription medications not in the original container, or not in the possession of the person whose name is on the prescription can be illegal.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:47 PM
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I don't know if it has been discussed yet (did not see it) but remember your pets ---- crates if you have them, and their vaccination records. I say this as a long-ago shelter volunteer for the shelters that allowed pets. Of course food and bowls, too.

In our case, we required pets be in crates or cages and could show proof of vaccination, although I am guessing nobody would be turned away without these things either.
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:37 AM
Potawami II Potawami II is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornly2 View Post
It's very possible and will be difficult.

Lots of folks will have to sleep on cots and such thats for sure.

Food, we'll definitely have to create large simple meals for a crowd. I hope they all like beans, rice, and Spam.

Now I just thought of dishes. We'd be washing dishes around the clock.
Extra soap and backup dishes will be needed. That or lots of paper plates and cups.

So much to think about really, but I do need to think more and prepare.

I'm betting it won't be fun, but I guess it'll be safer than everybody riding out a hurricane on the coast. Plus, everyone's favorite, rent will be free.
The dishes really got me here because I HATE them. I would for sure have a couple 5 gallon buckets full of paper plates and plastic silverware. I would also probably buy the store out on tortillas since then you can skip using dishes for some meals.

As to the food I would be using the opportunity to rotate some things. For instance I know that we are a month away from the fall canned good sales and I'm slightly over stocked on corn and green beans. Breakfast one day would be corn, onions, and mushrooms sauteed up and then made into omlettes. Put them on a tortilla and spoon on salsa and you're eating good in the neighborhood. Next day might be green beans, onions, and diced spam with the same plan. Less dishes used and rotating preps.

Another thing that I would have handy is a bucket with dish soap, shampoos, and things of that nature. You know somebody is going to forget their toothbrush, do you save up the brushes and toothpaste from family dental visits?
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