Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

6/29/2018

Hurricane Season Preparations

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,News and Current Events,Personal Care,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

The Gulf Coast is well into Hurricane Season. Are you prepared?

Here in Texas, hurricane season is kind of a big deal. And, with global climate change making tropical storms more frequent and more severe, it’s getting to be a bigger deal all the time. Usually, we have more than enough time to prepare, if you’re paying attention, but it never hurts to get ready well in advance so you’re not fighting for bottled water, bread and canned food with everyone else at the last minute.
So far, since I’ve been in Houston, I’ve been through one horrible tropical storm, and near miss and two actual hurricanes. After that first tropical storm, since my ex-wife and I were looking for a house, I chose one that wasn’t pulling up carpet. That turned out to be a pretty smart decision as not far away the neighborhood has some flooding issues. Thankfully, in the 18 years I’ve lived in my house, that’s never been a problem. But, all that said, I still worry about hurricanes and do try to take some reasonable precautions.

There are a couple of philosophies when it comes to hurricanes. Mostly, it’s either stay or go.
If you stay, you need to think about what you need to get by for an extended period of time. Most emergency preparedness sources suggest that you need to have food, water and other supplies for at least 72 hours. A great resource to help you plan is the Ready.gov site for hurricanes. They go over what to expect and even have really helpful PDF downloads to help you plan and prepare. And, actually, Ready.gov has a lot of resources for other kinds of disasters, too, like Wildfires, Tornadoes, Volcanoes, Floods and more. It’s definitely a resource worth checking out.
If you’re in the Houston area, like me, the city has their own disaster preparedness site, Ready Houston. It’s a good site and they offer a free DVD you can use to help you plan for emergencies with advice specifically for the Houston, TX area. They have videos on the site, too, as well as links to training other places, like FEMA.
One thing to consider if you have pets, for instance, is what to do with them during an emergency. FEMA has a training course for helping you with your animals in an emergency situation, which I found via the Ready Houston website. (They also have a more general, but, apparently, pretty complete course in general emergency preparedness.)

If you decide to make a run for it, you may want to put together what’s alternately called a “go bag” or a “bug out bag”. Personally, I feel the name “go bag” seems less paranoid and crazy-survivalist sounding, but it amounts to the same thing.
The idea is simple, really, it’s just a bag with all the things you need for anywhere from three days to a couple of weeks, ready to go on a moment’s notice. Not unlike a hospital bag for a pregnant woman, the main thing is that it’s packed and ready so when panic hits, you can just grab the bag and, well, go. Personally, I do NOT have a regular go-bag already prepped, because I frankly don’t have anywhere I’d run to in an emergency. And, if I did, I’d be neck deep in other people doing the same thing. But, again, you can take this as far as you’d like, assuming anything from temporarily relocating to another city and staying in a hotel to running off and hiding in the woods for a couple weeks. It’s up to you. But, either way, consider what might go into that bag. For some good examples, check out Scott Kelley’s Bug Out Bag on Kinja, who even provides links to what he bought so you can get it easily, too, and the oddly less woodsy approach to a bug out bag by American Rifleman Magazine, though I’m less convinced that you really need to be overly concerned with being armed. Remember, it ultimately comes down to just being ready for what ever you think might happen wherever you are.

I would also suggest that you have some long shelf-life food on hand, like every good IT guy has in his desk. In the past, I’ve used Millenium Food bars, actually, since they provide a lot of calories and energy with a five-year shelf-life, but really any good protein bar will do in a pinch.
One really good idea is to scan important documents, like a home-owner’s insurance policy and financial information and IDs and put them all on a LaCie USB key Flash Drive, or something similar that you keep on your keys, in case all the original documents get destroyed during a disaster or when you’re not at home.

So, in short, the idea here is to be like the Boy Scouts, prepared.
Have you gotten ready for hurricane season yet? Start now!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words by J K Hoffman.

6/5/2015

Hurricane Preparedness

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Dog and Pony Shows,News and Current Events,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Hurricane season started on Monday, June First. Are you ready?

Here in Texas, hurricane season is kind of a big deal.  Or, at least, it is to this kid from the Heartland.  Of course, most of the time, we have plenty of time to prepare because you see these things coming from a long, long way off.  Still, it’s better to be prepared early rather than competing with everyone for bottled water, bread and canned food.

So far, since I’ve been in…
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10/22/2010

Mossberg Just In Case

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:10 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Speaking of survivalism and the coming zombie apocalypse…

Okay, so last week I was sharing links about survival rations to keep you going through some “worst case” scenarios.  Well, this week, I think I have found the ultimate in fear marketing for the survival market.  Seriously.  The Mossberg “Just-In-Case” line.
You get, in an air-tight tube complete with carry strap, a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun with pistol grip in a resealable water-proof bag, and either a “survival kit in a tin” or, for the marine models, a multitool with serrated, lock-back knife.  I assume you have to buy your own ammo, but, still, that’s pretty much the last thing every long-term survival kit needs, right?  Stock up on those rations, then fend off the zombies with the shotgun.  That should pretty much cover it.

No, this is not a joke.
Yes, a friend told me about this, so their word-of-mouth campaign is working.

10/15/2010

Survival Rations

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Most of you don’t realize that I’m a closet survivalist.

No, really, it’s true.
Back in high-school I read books about surviving the coming nuclear apocalypse.  For real!  All about how to hide in the sewers until after the fallout was safe and all that stuff.  Oddly, much of that comes in handy during hurricane season here in Texas.  Strange, but true.  Okay, not so much the part about hiding in the sewers, but a lot of the other stuff.  Like how to get drinkable water and stocking up on canned goods and the like.
Which brings me to the links I’m about to share with you.  If you’re from disaster prone areas, you probably hear all sorts of things about making sure you have enough survival rations to last for at least seven days, until help can arrive.  So, how about longer?  I mean, what if the zombie plague pops up one day and you, thinking strategically, don’t really want to leave the house for groceries?  What’s a survivalist to do?  Apparently, go to Costco, where they offer a 1-year supply of dehydrated and freeze-dried food, with a shelf-life of roughly 25 years, for $799, plus tax.  No, I’m not kidding.  In fact, Costco knows their market so well they offer an entire range of emergency food kits and supplies.  For real.  And, honestly, the pseudo-survivalist in me really wants to buy some of this stuff, just in case.  I especially like that 55-gallon emergency water drum.
And, if you don’t like the look of what you’re getting for your money, just compare them to what the troops are eating in Afghanistan in their MREs!  Trust me, this selection is way better than mil-spec!

Well, hurricane season is basically over for us here in the Gulf Coast, but, it never hurts to stock up for next year!
Also?  There is no season for zombie plagues.
I’m just sayin’…


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