We’re here to learn from each other, and Hurricane Irma provided a real-world test of our preps. This page is a collection of notes and photos, in no particular order, of what worked for our members – and what didn’t.
Debris awaiting removal. Building in the background is the Glenwood, Florida Post Office.
Propane stove and table. Camp Chef Explorer Model EX60LW-3, Max BTUs = 60,000 (30,000 per burner). Note: Camp Chef makes higher BTU per burner stoves, but they are intended for boiling large pots; the heat on those cannot be adjusted down low enough for most cooking needs. The 30,000 BTU per burner models are a better choice for most cooking needs.
Collapsible drying rack helps keep things dry when everything else is wet.
The Sun Oven worked well – in this case, meat loaf. (Click image for Sun Oven website)
Empty plywood racks at Lowe’s. Preparedness means being prepared BEFORE it is needed – while you still can.
Ice Air Conditioner – I made a temp A/C. Cooler with holes, any battery powered fan, and ice. The air goes over the ice and is sucked out by the fan about 10 degrees cooler. Not enough to cool a whole room, but enough to blow on a bed while sleeping. I used dry ice, one block lasted about 20 hours. The battery never ran out. Used for two days.
Two generator setup. Large one is used to run the well pump for 5 minutes about twice a day. The EU2000i is far more economical (and much quieter) to run for the freezer, refrigerator, solar water heater pump, etc. Note the lock and cable – generators are hard to hide and they are a prime target of thieves.
Using an electric water heater is not very practical, but the small electric pump that circulates to the solar hot water panel takes very little power. A sunny day will produce plenty of very hot water. Cuts the power bills during ‘normal’ times.
The best and safest way to use a generator is with a Transfer Switch. Be sure to label each circuit breaker so you can manage the load. Make it easy to read in dim light.
A hot water bottle works just as well with cold water. Fill up one or two with ice water just before going to bed. Place them beneath your knees, and will cool your body down enough to make it easy to sleep in hot weather. They should be in a cloth bag to prevent condensation from being a problem.
For washing up, use a water container that has a valve that can be turned to remain on while you’re using it.
These are great. 12 LED lights. Easy to store. Used them with Hurricane Matthew.
These are great. 12 LED lights. Easy to store. Used them with Matthew.
Definitely a comfort item when it’s hot and no A/C. The green can contains menthol – it doesn’t reduce temperature, but it feels cool on the skin. Also eliminates the ‘sticky’ feeling. Makes it easier to sleep in the heat.
What didn’t work – I neglected to unplug the water softener. Power went to the water pump just enough to start the regeneration cycle, but not finish it. I ended up pumping dirty salt water into the house plumbing system and had to flush it all out. ALWAYS disconnect any water treatment system if power is not continuously available.
Lack of storage space is no excuse for not preparing. These water jugs collapse into a small space when not in use.
For area lighting in a compact and rugged package, you can’t beat the TLL by Maratac. TLL is Temporary Landing Light – designed for marking helicopter landing sites. It has 3 modes – bright, dim, and strobe. It’s powered by a single C-cell battery (other models uses a D-cell or AA-cell). Occasionally available from County Comm.
County Comm has top quality items in limited quantities that can’t be found anywhere else. Great EDC items!
For notes from 2004, when Hurricanes Frances, Charley, and Jeanne came through here within a one month period, click here.