Hurrying In A Hurricane

Recent events in Texas and Florida remind us that in some cases, it’s better to flee danger. To the extent that hurricanes travel rather slowly, a motor-vehicle is a practical solution to getting large numbers of people out of harm’s way. Buses are better than smaller vehicles in terms of rate of evacuation and efficiency but many of us do own personal vehicles which can be used.

There is an EV connection here. Many were frustrated in evacuation because they could not use the vaunted advantage of great range of the gas-guzzler because the tank was running on empty and line-ups and outages at filling-stations wasted many hours. Folks with an EV sitting in the garage or driveway already topped up from the mains just load up the vehicle and go…

Of course, many EVs are short range, but except for Florida, there is an obvious way to go, away from the ocean where the hurricane is stronger. Florida was an exception because it is a peninsula and the hurricane was so large. Still, an EV as modest as Solo could get people rapidly away from the ocean and it would have no problem in stop and go traffic idling or wasting energy. EVs are most efficient at the crawling rate we saw in Florida.

The result was that folks who owned cars stayed or went and those who stayed are now being rescued from a lack of everything: house, food, water, electricity, fuel… Going was the right idea and EVs will make it easier next time. BTW, the idea that a few days of food and water are enough to “ride it out” is a dangerous myth. Lack of a house can take a year or more to fix and it may take weeks to restore electrical power. Utilities just won’t send power into demolished homes or whole communities will burn. Food and water are difficult for a week or more as fuel is in short supply/distribution and roads are impassible. What’s in your pantry? Where is your pantry? Was it all in that home that blew away or was washed away or crushed? It’s time to build bunkers and ride EVs.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to Hurrying In A Hurricane

  1. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson thing is it different from country to country. Australian Mil is able to airborne deploy self contained water treatment systems very quickly. Its one of the reasons why when there are disasters in our area the Australian mil is called on due to a fairly large stockpile of that equipment. Its the one thing that has come out of the USA disasters so they don’t have large stock piles of this classes of equipment and don’t have the means to rapid deploy them either.

    The amount of reserve you need is directly linked to how good your countries disaster response is. Clean up in Australia takes weeks but food and water problems are normally done in under 3 days. Why so fast. The reality about Australia is kind of nasty if you are healthy and in a disaster area the police orders are used so you must assist. So the local population comes the human work force to clean the area up this mean it important to keep them healthy and feed. Years+ to replace houses this causes Australian to scratch head. After cyclone builders in Australia are pulled from everywhere. Lot of pressure is put on insurance companies to be paying out. Result the expect house repair/replacement time after cyclone is 6 months max as long as you paid your insurance.

    Why does Australia have this down to such a fine art. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Tracy Cyclone Tracy from 1974 where basic none of the building of darwin was up to code so the complete place got basically flattened is used a a planing model for emergency services and military being that they must be ready to deal with a Tracy level problem times. Yes the first time being darwin it took 5+ years to restore the city. Since with better building codes and better response systems 5 years to rebuild has been turned into 6 months. The idea is to be rebuilt before next major storm if possible why because non repaired building if another cyclone hits becomes a flying missile source.. Reality is in most cases 8 months should be the upper limit for repair/replace of building to be kind of safe.

    Australia is one of the places with world best practice at dealing with cyclones. There is a big difference between world best practice and what the USA and other countries do. That difference means you have to attempt to have more stores.

    Please note the Darwin model Australia uses says there will be almost no stores because all buildings are basically gone so what ever the population had stored is gone. So mil and emergency services better be able to pick up the slack quickly. This is why we don’t need the same level of reserves.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “Australia you can most likely be fine food and water as long as the cyclone does not kill you. Ok you choice of food might be quite limited.”

    I worked in the North for more than a decade. I lived fairly well on ~$3/day for food, mostly dehydrated or frozen, and abundant local water. In the worst case, we could go to the lake and dip water out or cut a hole through the ice. I once melted snow but it was unsatisfactory being loaded with all kinds of wind-blown debris.

    Again, the advice to have just three days’ supply of food and water is poor. One should plan for a few weeks at least. In our present home we have frozen food galore which would likely be good for a week if the power failed and dehydrated stuff good indefinitely. It would be a different diet but we wouldn’t be very hungry for a week or more. Water is another issue. Our well uses an electric pump so we would need self-sufficiency in power to be comfortable. That seems to be the big issue in Florida. Some filling-stations did not have power nor a generator and blocked roads combined with widespread power outages is a long term situation. The power-companies have fixed the low-hanging fruit but it could be weeks for the rest. 8 people died in a nursing home yesterday simply because a Florida power company did not give them service for the air-conditioners. 911 was called. The power company was called. Still people died. Stupidity. Apparently, a list was drawn up for those institutions which should receive priority and that nursing home was not on the list…

    A lot of things have to go wrong to make disasters happen and people can easily protect themselves from some disasters by keeping reserves of food and water and having some local power generation. I’m working on the latter…

  3. oiaohm says:

    http://www.minearc.com/disaster-relief/stormsafe-cs/
    Ivan some the bunkers used by mining to be cyclone resistant power grid is powered by debian and can be deployed on a hard patch in a swamp.

    Do note the ventilation on that stormsafe. Its designed to auto seal if the complete thing end up under water. So you will not drown but you might suffocate if the storm flood water does not retreat before the contained air turns toxic.

    Robert Pogson it does depend where you are. In Australia after most of the cyclones road transport system is restored in 2 days. This is mostly due to simple brute force of drive a dozer down road and push everything out way. So you will be able to re supply in 2 to 3 days. USA you will need a week or two. Most goods in Australia move by road and restoring roads include bridges using mil solutions does not take long at all.

    So Australia you can most likely be fine food and water as long as the cyclone does not kill you. Ok you choice of food might be quite limited.

  4. Ivan says:

    It’s time to build bunkers and ride EVs

    In a swamp and power it all with Debian.

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