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Old 10-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #31
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
I think I've seen this in a movie before. It doesn't end well.
At least one of the movies with this type of scene was pooh-poohed, IIRC.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:29 PM   #32
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

flooding everywhere. im in south hackensack blocks from little ferry and moonachie which are under water. me and my van came through ok. my hosts house never lost power (yet). cellular service is all over the place. mostly its voice thats out. texting works but its delayed about 40 mins at times. i have wifi to a fios connection and that has been solid. no water on property so all good there.

but surrounding area is hammered. i hear sirens every 5 minutes and i heard that several police departments lost their buildings to flooding. ( for those of you not familiar with this area, if you drive down a road for 10 miles you will drive through 5 - 10 different municipalities all with their own incorporated governments and such).

so im in a good spot unless i need to travel beyond a few blocks.

got two days of food and water left. should be ok as my host has additional supplies and the electric (knock on wood) has stayed on.

hope everyone else in the path of sandy is doing ok.

van was rocking all night but for all the wrong reasons....
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:07 PM   #33
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Thanks for the post! Keep us all up to date, and we are wishing the best outcome possible for all the folks going through this. That said, as a SMB'r, I would really like to follow this to see how you and your "forced" SMB life play out.
Best,
Marc
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #34
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Anyone heard from our OP, WvVan? I wonder if he's out of power? If he lives where I think he does (in WV), they've got about 2 feet of snow they're digging their way out of right now.

Howbout an update WvVan??? You OK?
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:37 PM   #35
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Hey Gang,
I'm doing fine. There's a rain/snow line and for no apparent reason I happen to be on the rain side. Just south or east of here a few miles and they have a couple feet of snow. At the highest elevation east of me they received three feet (and climbing) in less then 24 hours. I-68 (which goes over the mountains) was closed for a time. Haven't heard if it's re-opened yet. I really lucked out on this one.

In other news, I just got a message from Nomadcat who lives in lower Manhattan and they are without power, probably for days. Hope he doesn't mind me passing on this story. He drove his Sportsmobile from the storage garage where he keeps it to his neighborhood and he's using it charge up everyone's cell phones. How cool is that!

Thanks for checking up on me.
Dave
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:44 AM   #36
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Received another update from Nomadcat:

Quote:
Crazy around here. No stoplights in Manhattan is always an adventure.
Driving in NYC without traffic lights must be something akin to a Mad Max movie.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:28 AM   #37
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

trust me...the current lack of traffic lights has only resulted in a .00001% increase in people not waiting for a green
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #38
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

Hi All.

My power was restored yesterday. It was an interesting 5 days, let me tell you. No electricity, no heat, and no cell service. Luckily, I had cold water, though.

The most reliable technology I had was all from the mid 20th Century - a flashlight, albeit my Surefire and Streamlight versions, a landline with old fashioned, non-electronic phone, and a transistor radio.

I'll go into more detail and lessons learned later on, but I was well-equipped and prepared, thankfully. In fact, I could have gone on for a long time, but am grateful I did not have to. Whitey Ford was a hero and I was the most popular guy on the block, as I parked her each day in front of my building and charged peoples' phones. They were amazed that I had AC, as well as DC power and a seemingly unlimited supply of juice. Those golf cart batteries come in handy. I was using 10 to 15 amp hours a day and my solar panel was recharging that easily, even with the clouds. Love, love, love that solar panel.

There are many lessons learned, but I'm tired and just wanted to check in. NYC may have to consult the Dutch and the engineers in New Orleans because it seems as though we'll have to prepare for events like this more often. AND, my personal opinion, but I think cell towers need to be treated like critical infrastructure and should be fortified in terms of run time, but that's all for another day.

A lot of people are still suffering, without power, without food, without their homes. People are panicking and topping off on gas, whether they need it or not, apparently. Cabbies are driving to Connecticut for gas! My Transferflow 46 gallon tank was another thing I'm really happy about. I witnessed some of the best, most generous and giving parts of humanity and a little bit of the worst. I'm planning to volunteer in Staten Island later this week.

I hope anybody else around here is safe and your vans are okay, too.

Best,

Paul
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #39
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Frankenstorm!!!!!

Paul

Glad to hear that you are well and were able to be of service to your neighborhood.

Landlines. The only thing that works in a disaster. Cell phones do not. Just look at the past when the NE when black because of a power outage.

Look forward to reading your lessons learned.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #40
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Re: Frankenstorm!!!!!

okay, here's a quick post. I'm still tired, but wanted to get this up while it's still in my head. take some parts with a grain of salt.

A quick post on lessons learned.

Since I am a student of survivalist literature, as well as gulag, prison camp, and military first-person accounts, I probably think more about emergency preparedness more than I need to. At the same time, I am well versed in the "when the s**t hits the fan" literature and, while it's entertaining, I don't necessarily subscribe to that world view. It's nice to be prepared, but I think it's a waste to devote all of my life's energies on it. You do what you can and then go out and have fun, drink coffee, work, and eat pizza. So, what did I learn from this, the longest power outage I can recall in my lifetime?

1. The one gallon ziplock bag of water in the freezer thing really worked. I moved them to the fridge - frozen solid, of course - and they bought me at least another two days of fridge time. That being said, I think having perishables around is a psychic drain, and worrying about them is akin to having a corpse around - always reminding one of one's mortality. Not, I might quickly add, that I have ever had a corpse around. Bad analogy.

2. If you like coffee, keep a can of it around unopened for emergencies. If I had not ground mine the day before the storm, I would have been s**t out of luck. You then need either a gas stove with a percolator, a french press or some filters that you can drip coffee into a cup with. If you have electric, you can actually get a sterno and boil water. Sterno fuel keeps forever. This may sound nuts, but I don't think so. During the storm's aftermath, the top thing people were interested in was where to get hot coffee. Even if you had to boil your water over a sterno, it would be a satisfying activity and the payoff is that hot cup of coffee. Not bad. If you like it with milk, keep a small can or two of condensed milk around or, better yet, powdered milk. It keeps a long time.

3. Dress appropriately if it's cold. Being cold sucks. If it's hot, get naked and lie around suffering. Don't go outside naked during emergencies.

4. Keep clean and keep your place clean. Try to maintain a bit of self-discipline. I found it really important for my morale to keep my place in order, to give myself little camp baths, and to not let the place fall to crap. If I had felt like my life was devolving into a cesspool, I think mood would have plummeted. Instead, I found that, as each day went by and I was doing well, my mood improved. I had my little routine and I kept to it. I have seen this basic theme over and over again. From descriptions of long jungle marches in WW2 to prison camp narratives, keeping one's physical surroundings and personal hygiene up are important for one's mood. This probably applies at all times, as well, and not just emergencies. I should make a mental note to shower at least once a month.

5. Stay in touch with other people if you can.

6. Get a good flashlight. It's worth paying a bit extra. I like ones with an LED bulb and, though it's counterintuitive to buy one that doesn't use commonly-found batteries, I like the non-rechargeable police models that use CR123A batteries. Those suckers have a 10 year shelf life.

7. I am going to look into what it takes to build a charger that I can put my bike up on.

8, Always keep plenty of dog or cat food around. Cookies are not my usual thing, but they were nice to have, as well. Sugar is a cheap fix.

Okay, I'd like to have 10 bullet points, but I'm tired. More later.
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