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Thread: What natural disaster or disruption of daily life have you experienced?

  1. #1
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    What natural disaster or disruption of daily life have you experienced?

    Going off the food storage thread, I ask: How many of you have experienced serious consequences from a hurricane, earthquake, flood, forest fire or otherwise? I guess I've been lucky, I've lived through earthquakes and floods but never had a serious consequences. I lived through a 3 day power outage that probably affected me more than those. What have you experienced, learned and would do differently or the same?

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    We lost power for a week in October from a freak snowstorm that came before the leaves were off the trees. The biggest thing for me was how long it took just to do simple tasks, like washing dishes, without power. It was tiring, and I was not up for cooking from scratch the way I normally do. Too much time and too many dishes. Just flushing a toilet meant a couple of trips to haul water from the hot tub on the porch, all these little things added up. The first couple of days were fine, but lack of internet meant I was bored. I realized how dependent I am on my computer for information and entertainment.

    We were pretty lucky, as parts of town had power after the first two days, so I was able to grocery shop, and check my email at the library. In a true emergency, we would have run out of potable water after 2 days.

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    My area can go weeks without power due to snow and ice. Power was out at my parent's house for 10 days due to a snow storm in October this year. Lots of down trees and clean up to deal with. It's not so bad that time of year. We can manage without. It's when it happens in deep winter with night time temperatures in the low teens and negative numbers that it becomes a problem.

    Occassional flooding takes washes out roads and entire highways were lost due to the hurricane this year in our north country.

  4. #4
    Mrs-M
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    We've been exceptionally lucky thus far. No disasters/disruptions to mention. Would definitely like to see that trend continue.

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    Senior Member peggy's Avatar
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    Went without power for about 2 weeks back in the 80's due to a hurricane. It was hot, sticky, and I was pregnant! Miserable, but we survived. After we all realized we wouldn't have power for a time, we opened up our freezers, pulled out the thawing meats and had several block-wide B-B-Q's. That did make it much more tolerable. the funniest part actually was our cat. He was a fur person who wasn't exactly blessed with a pleasing personality in the first place, but after 2 weeks in the stifling heat, he got very testy. Started hissing at anyone who came near.
    I always laugh at survivalist cause I'm figuring they have never really been through something like that. Especially the ones who stock up guns along with their MRE's. First of all, who they gonna shoot? Their neighbor, when they ask for a crumb of something? From what I've seen, in extreme conditions, neighbors are generally in it together and helping each other, not sitting in a hidey-hole shooting at each other. And second of all, why MRE's? Why not canned ham and stuff like that. Stuff you would actually want to eat! You can even get canned bread, if you want. And then just rotate it. Which reminds me, with winter coming on I need to replenish my emergency, doesn't need cooking stuff.

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    We lived in a remote area of FAR Northern California for 22 years and the power went out all the time, often for a week plus. Mostly in the winter because of snow, but we were prepared -- wood stove for heat, which we cooked on, soups and the like, and we'd stocked up on supplies, and lanterns for light, so no real problems, except the streets weren't plowed so we had to walk wherever we needed to go. We were always prepared. We had water, for some reason. We'd heat water and wash a few clothes at a time and hang up around the wood stove. Our cat was the only one that had a problem -- deep snow (about 3+ feet) and no place to go potty! It was funny to see yellow holes in the snow, about three inches deep, with brown things at the bottom.

    Sometimes a forest fire would get close and the town would be so smoky, and it occasionally knocked the power out too, but not very often. Weird seeing flames coming over the hills, but we knew the Forest Service (including my DH) would take care of it! And they did ...

    The town I grew up in Central CA was flattened by an earthquake in the '80s, but we weren't there. The town we lived in on the ocean in FAR Northern CA (not the one with snow and fires, above) was prone to tsunamis -- one destroyed downtown long before we moved there, and another one in the last year or so that took out the harbor. There were several small ones while we lived there, hardly noticeable. One gained power as it moved south and killed a woman somewhere on the central coast.

    But no real danger to us in any of these cases.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I went without heat in sub-freezing weather for nearly a week a few years back. I had enough food, warm bedding and cats for heat. I'd rather not do it again.

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    My house burned down in the calm between two huge winter snowstorms in the PNW. I was living on Lopez Island at the time, and the entire county had no power. Our was the third fire that day, and the volunteer crew was pretty exhausted. We were in a rental, and the owner had installed the wood stove improperly. Phone lines were down, so we threw the cats out, got into our cars with the dogs & birds, and high-tailed it out of the woods. I stopped at a house that had a live phone, and gotthe call in. Then we drove back to watch it burn.

    The community rescued us, and we were provided with housing, furniture, clothing, food, etc. for months. It was, all in all, an amazing experience.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    My most routine disruption here, on the island one over from Redfox's Lopez, is power disruptions for 1->14 days, generally combined with winter weather and wind storms that knock down trees and block the roads.

    We also get, in the right winter conditions, serious icing on the road down the side of the mountain here, and can't get out until it clears up.

    The main lessons from those events for me was to prepare in advance with some supplies, tools, neighborhood organizing, and being in physical condition to handle clearing out the mess.

    I've also been through some significant earthquakes, including the Loma Prieta, which disrupted roads, power, communications, and supply chains. Same lessons for those, really.

    My biggest concern here at the moment is wildfire though. Participating in the Firewise program, clearing fuel, and making the home as fire-resistant as is reasonable, combined with evacuation planning ahead of time, is hopefully helping some.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfox View Post
    My house burned down in the calm between two huge winter snowstorms in the PNW. I was living on Lopez Island at the time, and the entire county had no power. Our was the third fire that day, and the volunteer crew was pretty exhausted. We were in a rental, and the owner had installed the wood stove improperly. Phone lines were down, so we threw the cats out, got into our cars with the dogs & birds, and high-tailed it out of the woods. I stopped at a house that had a live phone, and gotthe call in. Then we drove back to watch it burn.

    The community rescued us, and we were provided with housing, furniture, clothing, food, etc. for months. It was, all in all, an amazing experience.

    And what happened to the cats?????

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