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Preparing for a hurricane - home and office - Round 2

By Darryl~ Moderator ·
08/26/2009 - NOAA just upgraded the latest depression in the Atlantic to Tropical Storm Danny. This storm looks like it will bother a few more people as it is forecast to brush the coasts of NC, CT, RI, MA, NH & ME this weekend before making landfall in the Canadian Mairtimes.

So Nova Scotia gets to have a replay of "last" Sunday, "this" Sunday, except instead of brushing the coast, it's forecast to come in the Bay of Fundy which puts Truro on the "windy" side.


08/24/2009 - We just received a lot of wind and rain but not much damage in our area.

****something we failed to check before the storm****

We didn't check the UPS's - 3 failed to function proper.
One took out the phone system & it had to be reprogrammed before we had phones this morning. The other 2 were non-critical systems which just prevented backups to the GIS & AutoCAD servers.

Still lots of waves at Peggy's Cove :)

08/23/2009 - Noon Sunday....

It's here....vertical rain and all.
Looks like it will touch Halifax this afternoon (60 miles from Truro)

For those interested in seeing some wave action, below is a link to Peggy's Cove Lighthouse just outside Halifax. Set the refresh rate for 2s. The sites been coming and going, they've been getting some lightening strikes so they may have power issues.


08/21/2009 - The US & Canadian Hurricane centers just put us under a Tropical Storm Warning & Hurricane Watch so I guess we're not going to avoid this one.

The plan is to leave the servers up while we still have power. The remote sites (water treatment plants, etc) are "on their own" unless major damage happens at one of them, they all have generators to keep the systems running but we'll lose data if we shut down our servers at the courthouse (the municipality's office).

Two of us are within walking distance to the office (actually, that's my "safe place" so I may be there anyway).

They are forecasting a storm surge at high tide. We're at the end of the Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world & the highest tides of the year occur tomorrow during the surge...about 3" of rain should be down by then with another 3" possible after (can you spell disaster?).Flooding "shouldn't" be an issue at the office but it is for me at home...I have a walking route that can keep me on "high ground" and the other person walks "from" high ground....just much further....we're it for the IT dept. as the Network Admin is too far out of town, she can connect remotely if we have power.

The UPS is good for about 4 hours but no A/C power backup....our current temperature is 91.3 and a "feel like" of 112.6....tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler.

Any suggestions from the people in the Southern US? (thanks Nick & jck, I read yours & it was you have anything to add?).

And yes Sonja, my camera batteries are charged...I'll get some before & afters....maybe even the TR flag flying "during".


08/20/2009 - Well the first "bad boy" of the season is planning to pay Nova Scotia a visit on Sunday, his name is Bill ( now they say the "best case" is winds of about 75 mph & 4 inches of rain....we won't talk about the "worst case" right now, but it's winds about 140 mph (I could race Scummy on his bike with a skateboard & a sail ) and a lot of damage.

So we do the normal things at home....have 3 20lb tanks of propane filled, lots of water, food, cash, etc.

At work, we make sure we get a full backup & put the tapes in the vault at the bank....we'll shut down "non-critical" systems Friday before leaving work....everyone will have a fully charged cell phone. We have a disaster recovery plan that is up-to-date & we follow it.

What does everyone else do to prepare when you "know" a disaster is most likely going to happen?

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I've never understood 'Hurricane parties'

by CharlieSpencer In reply to What I do

When I was in the Guard, we had a name for people who held hurricane parties in evacuated areas. We called them 'corpses'.

"Good afternoon sir. The governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation of Hilton Head Island because of the approaching hurricane."
"You tell the governor I ain't going nowhere!"
"No problem, sir. If you'll just give us your name and the phone number for your next of kin, we'll go on to the next house. Oh, and the power company is going to turn off electricity to the island at midnight."

I hear the Louisiana NatGuard told people to write their names and contact info on their forearms in magic marker, since the bodies might not be found anywhere near the house.

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I suspect you've been through a couple of these...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to I've never understood 'Hu ...
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If you're still on line

by CharlieSpencer In reply to I suspect you've been thr ...

Not much more than what's already been offered.

When I was in the Army we used to keep computers cool by placing damp towels over them. Obviously you don't want anything that's dripping water, but the evaporative effect has some value.

Crank the A/C up full blast now, and drive the temperature down as far as you can before you lose power. Electricity isn't going to be the problem; you'll run out of 'cold' long before you lose juice.

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Yeah...but with the temperatures we have right now

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to If you're still on line

once power is gone we'd lose the cold to the servers in half an hour or less(about enough time for me to walk there & shut them down).

I think I have everything addressed....we should be good for power until noon or so tomorrow....if you think of something, send me a message....we've only done this a couple times in the'd have more experience with it.

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Good thing you put "don't reply"

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to If you're still on line

Yeah, we're okay so long as it doesn't decide to shift about 100 miles to the west...that would put it in the Bay....worst scenario...I don't even want to consider that...we'd get the wind too!

Right now it's the rain....but the rivers are low...that's good also.

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We survived three days without power

by JamesRL In reply to Preparing for a hurricane ...

During the great blackout of 2003.

We have a BBQ and a camping stove that run on propane. I always have one full 20lb tank and one partial (in use at the BBQ)

I know enough to insulate my freezer with sleeping bags so it will last longer.

I always have a pantry full of food that can be quickly heated, and some that needs no heat at all.

Thanks to TR, I have a cell charger that works on AA batteries, and thats one thing that failed last time.

We go camping often for 2 and 3 days at sites without elctricity, so we are used to the drill. We have lots of flashlights and candles.

Last night we used them, as we lost power. A tornado touched down about 10 miles away.


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I saw the reports of tornados in Ontario on the news...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to We survived three days wi ...

you don't get much warning for might be able to keep an eye out for them when the weather becomes favorable for their development but that's about it...they can do serious damage!

We've had a couple spells of over a week without power (once in the winter...brrrr) so we're pretty good there too...I have 3 20lb tanks of propane I rotate so I always a 2 full plus whatever is in the 3rd.

We used to do a lot of camping also, so we have all the cooking equipment etc also. I got one of those "crank" LED flashlights as a gift last year, it has an output to charge a cell phone....I thought that was neat...I have a cable to fit my phone but haven't tried it yet.

So, are the tornados still kicking around again today there? They make me nervous...we don't get them here much...maybe an F1 every couple years in all of NS....never been one in Truro that I can remember.

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2004 here in FL

by jck In reply to We survived three days wi ...

I remember when Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne all marched through Florida that year.

People in parts of central Florida were without power for 17-20 days. The power companies contracted crews from 7 other states to come down and get things back on as fast as they could.

That was a scary year.

I am the same way, though. I have 3 cases of bottled water at all times.

I keep a spare fridge in the garage with 2 litre bottles filled with water and frozen as icepacks/potential drinking water.

I keep batteries and canned foods that don't spoil at all times.

The only thing I have to get before a hurricane is cash. And, I have 6 ATMs within a 5 minute walk of my house.

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The Ice storm of 1998

by JamesRL In reply to 2004 here in FL

Kinda the worst case scenario for many. It was three icy downpours in a short period. Some people were out of power for more than three weeks.

Toronto escaped the hard stuff, but Montreal and Ottawa got hit hard.

They actually used rail locomotives as generators at some places. Many of the big electrical transmission towers were destroyed.

My father had retired about 5 years earlier, from a 35 year career as a lineman, he was tempted to go east and help.

The big hazard after the ice itself was fire. People depended on woodburning stoves, there were chimney fires, and some blockages causing some deaths from carbon monoxide. Firetrucks had to move slowly and in many cases there was no water pressure.

When I got a job a few months later it was clear a lot of Y2K scenarios were as a result of the effects of the ice storm. People learned how to cope with extended loss of power, and even businesses.


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Yeah I remember that

by jck In reply to The Ice storm of 1998

I even saw a documentary on it.

My friend lives in Ottawa and works for the Canadian government, and he told me stories about it.

Of course, I remember being in Minnesota as a kid with 12 foot snow drifts against the building and my dad digging a tunnel down to get to the street. Or, going to Des Moines Iowa and seeing the snow plow/frontloader piles on street corners 2-3 stories tall.

I can't imagine living that far north. There's enough issues living down here and getting 2-5 storms. Living through months of continual cold below -10C would kill me I think.

Unless I got me an Inuit woman! :^0

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