View Full Version : Hurricane prep tips from a survivalist

06-02-2009, 01:53 PM
Hurricane prep tips from a survivalist

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009, 8:28 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009, 6:52 AM EDT

Laura Moody

TAMPA - Brenda Derby is a born fighter— 20 years in the army, retired. She remembers when Hurricane Charley hit. Back surgery put her out, unable to prepare, she was alone. Then came Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. She promised herself never again would be she be unprepared. Now hurricane season is here again.

"I love, it enjoy it. That pyschs me up," Derby said. "I'm a survivalist. That's my time."

She has enough to take care of herself, her dog Tucker and everyone else she knows and loves. In the spare bedroom of her Tampa condo, sit cases and cases of bottled waters and MREs.

"Chicken and Thai sauce, Jambalaya," she said giving FOX 13 a tour around her upstairs. "It's for our neighborhood here… I think worst casing it like Katrina"

It's not just food either. Derby keeps a fully stocked first aid kit, dozens of lifejackets, with whistles attached, Maglites for everyone.

She's the woman you want to know when the hurricane hits. She has some good tips, too- like storing first aid and canned food in and around the hot water heater where there's space and it's out of the way and keep a can opener tied to the piping.

"Canned yams are good, tuna fish, beans, Vienna sausages," she goes on. "The day before it hits, lower your temperature down on your refrigerator, colder. You'll hear it click on."

Before the power goes out, hit your breaker, she says, for your a/c, your air handler, your appliances.

"You don't want it to surge," Derby said.

And she keeps silver change on hand.

"Once the sun comes out but you still have no power, you're able to get out to a gas station," Derby said. "ATMs have no power, cash registers have no power."

And while she's getting all of this prepared, she knows her friends are like most people out there. They won't take it seriously until the threat is already here.

"They all just say 'I'm going to come to your house', they don't need to be ready," she said laughing.

More hurricane tips from a survivalist:

Have silver coins and change on hand. There will be no "breaking a $20" a stores and ATMs will have no power
There will also been no electricity for fuel pumps at gas stations and no ice machines (dry ice is easily available and is a better choice)

Expect Raw Sewage in streets

Fill bathtubs up with water, bleach them first.

Flatten full toilet paper rolls and put them in ziploc bags

1-2 hours before the storm: Turn off your breakers to A/C, air handler, water heater and any appliances/electronics-- protect them from a surge

Lower temperature in freezer and refrigerator 1-3 degrees or until it clicks on--

Once the power goes out, do not open freezer (even to peek) -- it will stay frozen for at least three days and then you call pull food out and begin to cook on your grill (gas or charcoal kept in waterproof container)

Use all the space around your hot water heater for canned storage space and first aid kits. Stack it tall and keep at least 2 can openers tied to the pipes.

Have first aid kits, bug spray, sunscreen, bottled water or gatorade, battery-powered fans, weather radios, regular radio (this is where you will get your information), spray paint to paint name of insurance carrier on house, life jackets with whistle, flashlights, spare batteries (all sizes), playing cards

My Fox Tampa Bay (http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/hillsborough/survivalist_hurricane_prep_tips_060209)

06-02-2009, 06:43 PM
Stores will usually open up 3 or 4 days after a hurricane passes thru here. Having cash and a car filled with gas is a no brainer. However, people are so used to buying everything with credit cards, it is amusing to see a dummy try to buy something with a c.c. Stores will post signs, cash only.

I keep my freezer filled with buckets of ice from the ice maker. It cuts down on electricity but also keeps the inside of the freezer colder if the electricity goes off. I have kept food in my freezer for 5 days (unthawed) after the juice went off. Had to cook it after the 5th day. Bagged ice (crushed) is a waste and just makes a big mess.

06-02-2009, 08:13 PM
Some stores will open a day or two after the storm. The Publix (grocery store) near me was open the day after Charley passed over us (the EYE of Charley, not just the edge). It passed over us from about 6-10pm and I found the store open the following afternoon. I believe they had a generator which ran a handful of cash registers and half the lights. Of course there was "caution" tape, cones, and big signs blocing off the cold sections saying "Not for Sale". The Wal-Mart Supercenter was also open after the storm, but they didn't have any lights (only a dim ambient light from the skylights)...a line formed outside and an employee with flashlight would lead you to what you needed. There were a few portable generators outside with long cords leading in to power a few cash registers.