Things learned from Hurricane Sandy

One of my friends, KE7VNE, passed along this great post from someone who experienced Hurricane Sandy.

By Frantz Ostmann
< >
on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7:13am

  1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3
  2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
  3. Yes it can happen to you.
  4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
  5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
    1. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage
  6. Should have as much fuel as water
    1. Propane
    2. Gas
    3. Kerosene
    4. Firewood
    5. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)
  7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up… (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
  1. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
  2. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
    1. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
    2. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.
  3. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
  4. Stored water can taste nasty.
  5. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
  6. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
  7. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
  8. Your 1972 honda civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
  9. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
  10. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
  11. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. (Love you Steve!)
  12. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
  13. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
  14. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
  15. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
  16. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
  17. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
    1. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
  18. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
  19. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
  20. You can never have enough matches.
  21. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
  22. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
  23. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
  24. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!
  25. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,
  26. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
  27. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty” hahaha
  28. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of ramen and a box of poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)
  29. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
  30. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
  31. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
  32. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
  33. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
    1. Computers,
    2. Phones
    3. Radios
    4. TV
    5. lights
  34. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
    1. Fridge
    2. Toaster
    3. Freezer
    4. Hot plate
    5. Microwave
  35. When it gets dark at 4:30pm, the nights are really long without power.
  36. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi- warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
  37. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
  38. Things that disappeared are never to be seen again for a very long time.
    1. Fuel, of all kinds
    2. Matches, lighters of any kind, etc.
    3. Toilet paper
    4. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
    5. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
    6. Milk
    7. Charcoal
    8. Spark plugs (generators)
    9. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
    10. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
    11. Extension cords
    12. Medicines (Tylenol, advil, cold medicine, etc)
  39. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.

There were also many things that were not learned from hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely wife/husband, that my Heavenly Father is really in charge, period, and finally that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am .. Wherever that is… hahahaha..

God Bless!!!

Singing the praises of unsung ham heroes | Urgent Matters

Singing the praises of unsung heroes

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with David Sumner, the CEO of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which represents the amateur-radio community. Sumner was to be the keynote speaker at the Radio Club of America‘s annual awards banquet in New York City a couple of days later. Since it had been a while since I last spoke with him — far too long, really — I thought this would be a good time to catch up.

He told me that amateur radio was alive and well. This surprised me, though I don’t really know why. I suppose it’s because a lot of things that were popular in my youth — hula hoops, for instance — have fallen by the wayside in this era of technological one-upmanship that makes the Cold War arms proliferation look like a potato-sack race.

Sumner completely understood my reaction. "The perception is that we’re stuck in the Sixties," he said. "But the number of licenses continues to grow. In fact, this is the sixth straight year of growth."

He attributed the increased popularity in part to the do-it-yourself movement that is sweeping the country — if you doubt this, then spend some time surfing your cable or satellite system’s program guide. According to Sumner, DIY clubs are popping up from coast to coast. He told me of one in Washington, D.C., that operates in a church basement.

Members can access a wide variety of equipment and tools — the type of gear that is problematic to store if one dwells in a condo or apartment, as many D.C. denizens do — that can be used to build an even wider variety of things. A few members started to build ham radios just for kicks, and this led to the formation of an amateur radio club, Sumner said. He further predicted that more of these DIY clubs likely will be spawned as the reurbanization of America continues.

Periodically, we have written stories about the vital role that amateur-radio operators play in the aftermath of a major disaster, when commercial and public-safety communications infrastructure often is rendered inoperable. I recall that the hams were the only source of information for several days following the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people and displaced 1.7 million more.

Sumner told me about the role that hams played in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Though public-safety communications systems fared very well in the 10-state region impacted by the disaster, that didn’t stop the amateur-radio operators from getting involved. They worked with the American Red Cross to establish communications at dozens of shelters that popped up across the affected area. For many victims, the hams were the only way that they could get word to family and friends that they had survived.

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their service. Amateur-radio operators tend to do their thing in anonymity. But when it hits the fan, they are front and center, right where you need them. America is better for it.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.

Mark LeckCEO

Direct: (801) 877-2887
Main: (801) 437-0106 x 115
Fax: (801) 437-2215

Sent from my iPad