Hurricane prep tips from a survivalist
Updated: Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009, 8:28 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009, 6:52 AM EDT
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