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Old 01-17-2010, 08:44 AM
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Default My Minor SHTF – could have been a Major SHTF



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Minor SHTF – could have been a Major SHTF

Saturday night wife was out with her family and I was sitting home catching up on some paper work when I hear fire engines down on the street. Didn’t give it a thought at first then I started to smell smoke and thought the fire was local. I went to my window and looked down at the street below – I live on the 30th floor of a high rise – I noticed the firemen hooking up their pumper to my buildings water stand pipes – fire was local – it was in my building!!
I quickly dressed, grabbed my go bag and wife’s work in progress of a go bag as well as my escape hoods and cat carrier and placed it all by the door. While doing this I turned on my scanner and heard the NYFD talking about my building – the fire was 21 floors below me.
The fire was put out quickly but several of the buildings systems failed, the fire alarm did not ring, the halls were full of smoke but none of the fire alarms in the halls went off – the ones in apartments did work.
One apartment was damaged, no one hurt but some deficiencies came to light. No way would I have been able to make it to the street carrying everything. I don’t want to have so much with me that I prevent others from getting out if we have to evacuate.
Right now I am thinking of breaking down our go bags and making one large duffle bag with all our stuff. I am going to try this and do a practice run down the stairs – on a day when all the elevators are working – I am not carrying that stuff up 30 flights!!
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:03 AM
offgridmontana offgridmontana is offline
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Dude, escape from New York!
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:05 AM
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>making one large duffle bag with all our stuff.


What stuff are you trying to carry? Stairwells are only so big. They don't need to be full of people
trying to drag a bunch of replaceable crap down to the street.

Seems to me the only thing you need to worry about is getting decent boots on, wallet
and maybe just grabbing your cat. Forget the cat carrier.

Your in a high rise, every second counts.

McLOVIN
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:11 AM
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Good that you are safe. Glad you took this as a lesson to be learned and to work with it.

Recently we had a fire (late august) No one was home, other than the cats, who are safe.
I was at work, my wife and step daughter were headed out of town that morning to visit family out of state.

As to the failure of the alarm systems and the like, Something is definitely not right with that situation.

Get to know your neighbors and plan how to get out discretely, however you may need to lend assistance. As to housing and the like, perhaps re locating closer to the ground, say the 4th floor may be an option? I am not sure as to what the living/ property situation is like in New York. If you have the option, what about pre staging your bags in a car, other other lower to the ground safe location or cache?

Again, glad you are safe. Get the super or who ever you call it and perhaps the fire department to go over the emergency alarm systems.

SOme one else may not have scanner access and would have to rely on such a system to avoid disaster.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by charlie505 View Post
Minor SHTF – could have been a Major SHTF


I quickly dressed, grabbed my go bag and wife’s work in progress of a go bag as well as my escape hoods and cat carrier and placed it all by the door.
No way would I have been able to make it to the street carrying everything. I don’t want to have so much with me that I prevent others from getting out if we have to evacuate.
Right now I am thinking of breaking down our go bags and making one large duffle bag with all our stuff. I am going to try this and do a practice run down the stairs – on a day when all the elevators are working – I am not carrying that stuff up 30 flights!!
Hi! Im glad you are ok! I am curious if you dont mind me asking? Being close to a quick escape situation do you recall or thought of later what would have been the most important items you should have in your bag. Also thinking of the worst, no home to go back to, what would you have had in your bag that you wouldnt want to loose in fire, realising the smallest items you can only fit. Although this is not the same situation but we live out in the middle of no where and I have a child that requires quick travel situations to hospital(4hrs away) and we find that we need a go bag on hand at all times. Anxiety is my main problem when faced with a quick get and go situation. Wish I new the cure for that, it really interferes with emergency/bug out type situations and thinking clearly what to do/grab! My biggest issue once we get past the get the car loaded and go is the long night travel in the middle of the desert, no cell singals most the way and the fear of breaking down. Our last trip for him was late at night, snow storm, emergency flight unable to take him and so we was faced with the trip ourselves. A 4 hr trip took close to 8hrs. I was freeked out the whole way up of breaking down in horrid snow weather/cold and dark conditions. What are some recommendations from others about that type of traveling and being prepared for break downs, especially snow storms or not and a child that needs emergency care(or adult care)? We so need to move to the city, but just not able at this point.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:03 AM
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Glad to hear that you and everything is fine and that the FDNY was able to get things under control fast.

Situations like this can obviously be a 'wake-up call' to whatever plans we have worked out either in theory or practice. IMHO you have the right idea of 'lightening' the load a bit and living in a high rise makes your situation unique compared to most that are more on ground level . In the case of a fire it's not as simple as going out a door or window and your safe...you have to navigate down smoke filled hallways and stairwells, through lobbys and into the street.

You definitely had the right frame of mind to grab your 'Go bags' and the cat, but lugging all that down 30 flights of stairs would be a bear. IMO I would 'tweak' my plan a bit for this type of emergency maybe a custom 'fire escape Go bag' with any emergency equipment you may need to evacuate/navigate through a high rise fire. I would also have both electronic copies of any important paperwork and/or pictures on a flash/thumb drive and possibly hard copies of important papers (birth certificates, deeds, titles, bonds, etc.) stashed in a safe deposit box somewhere and yes...insurance as well

Keep us posted and good luck
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
Seems to me the only thing you need to worry about is getting decent boots on, wallet
and maybe just grabbing your cat. Forget the cat carrier.

McLOVIN
Naw, a cat carrier is essential if you want to keep the cat. Carrying it by hand is a bad idea, imagine a feline who suddenly freaks out in a stressful situatiion and sinks claws and teeth into you, trying to get away from what it perceives as a threat. Chucking the savage beast through a wall in such a situation might be satisfying, but if you're going to go through the trouble of trying to save a cat you might as well be successful. You need something it can't escape from, and - more importantly - that will keep it away from fleshy parts it might latch on to.

Maybe the OP could make the carrier itself a BOB, and just stuff the cat inside in an emergency. Ir'd be good camouflage, and - in the event of theft or inspection - who's going to try to reach into a carrier with a crazed cat inside?
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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Hi all
I was chatting with someone on another board and they had a great idea
I am going to make up to identical BOBs - each will contain wifes things and mine plus copies of important papers - so if one of us is home we grab one and go - it will have everything we need. Both of us home - we grab both.
Cat carrier is a must.
Slaps head and thinks why didnt I think of that!!!
I have had to carry large items down the stairs before in emergencies - not to bad going down - up is murder. Also stashing some stuff in car.
Thanks All
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie505 View Post
Cat carrier is a must.
Getting cat into said carrier is a whole 'nother ball game. Just sayin.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:05 PM
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30th floor? more than enough altitude to introduce your cats and other personal belongings to the thrills of BASE jumping. altho considering its NYC the big issue is going to be one of the gawkers running off with whatever happens to land in once piece.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:23 PM
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Default 30th floor!

Dang Charlie,
Glad everyone is OK but I hope you dont have to stay ther long. I also hope you have another place to bug out to.This southern guy could not live on the 30th floor of any building. Good luck
TXak
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:35 PM
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500 feet of good 3/4 inch rope, some mountain climbing gear and a 20 pound sledge hammer will give you the fastest exit you can imagine. Just getting all that gear tied to the end of the rope, drop it and then run face first down the side of a building carrying the cat in his carrier would be one hell of a video. Tying the knots to run face first down the side will take some practice but if it is good enough for the military to get into a fight, it must be good enough to let someone escape from danger as well. Even just repelling would be much faster and probably safer with all the people crowding the stairs to get out. It's not like the landlord can complain because you got yourself out. Not that it would be everyones first choice to escape, but it never hurts to have a plan "B". In this case, a rope, a harness, and a hammer will get you, your family, and your gear on the ground real fast. Sad as it is to say but a thousand feet of good rope could have saved a lot of lives at the twin towers on 9/11. There may have been some fractures and bad rope burns but i think a lot of people could have gotten out just sliding down a good strong rope.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:58 PM
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Place the originals or copys of your cats vet records inside the carrier in a zip-loc freezer bag, so that if you get seperated afterwards from kitty, or Fluffy needs vet care the records are instantly available. Mark the carrier records inside. Also concidier a carrying strap for the carrier, so that you can free both hands if neccessary. Don't forget a BOB for kitty supplies like food,water, and necessary meds. Place a absorbant pad in the bottom in case of accidents.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:10 PM
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just throw the cat out the window with a little kitty parachute on it? lol...
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:20 PM
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how about 300 feet of rope....lower the stuff onto an awning or something then run down and get it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:06 PM
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First strap on some iron and a few mags, oops you live in New York city, can't do that.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:26 PM
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It would take to long to rapell down the building - I would be stoping at every floor to wave good-bye to the other residents and then take a picture of the expression on their faces!
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:08 PM
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Strikes me that most of the BOB needs to be in the car ALL THE TIME. All you should need to "grab" is the normal EDC, personal documents and the cat carrier. Push comes to shove if you and the cat make it to the car then you should be good to go. You might not want to have personal documents in the car, but everything else should be there. 30 flights is a long way down in a crowded, possibly smoke filled stairway...

I'd never live above the 6th floor (the height of the reach of a ladder truck.) Don't like staying in hotels above the 6th floor either, though the view can be spectacular.

Allan
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:12 PM
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Glad your ok, now would be a good time to look for another place to live, preferably closer to ground level.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:36 PM
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Open up the window, pitch the cat out then evacuate the building in time to catch the kitty. ***SPLAT !!!*** hey! They really do always land on their feet! TP
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