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What are the BEST WAYS to combat Mother natures natural disasters, either on the move or stationary? Any Personal experiences?


The Few

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Hello everyone,

 

The title is self explanatory, but PLEASE share your experiences or knowledge to those of us that could use it..

 

Natural disasters are (Most of the time) unpredictable.. What do you know that could save the lives of many, simply by telling us your experiences, or a common knowledge to the subject??

 

Tornado's, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods, Sink Holes, Winter freezing storms, ETC..

 

Thank you all, the information you give could be a life you save!!

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Have enough fuel to get out of dodge. - Never park at night with empty tanks

 

Friend of ours filled up in west Texas before they parked at night. Another couple they were traveling with just went in and parked (cause after traveling all day they were tired, we're all tired at the end of the day) 20 minutes after setting up for the evening, park management told everyone to leave, they were evacuating the park because of a heat lightening strike 20 miles away and the winds were blowing the prairie fire directly at them. Our friends, he in the motorhome, her in the toad exited the park stage left and ran perpendicular to the fire's path. The other couple, had to look for fuel!!!

 

During an event, people are going to look out for their own wife, kids, property, etc the same as we would. This is natural!! Overnighting, I break the truck and trailer apart, pull ahead to clear and stop. I try to park so that I am pointed in the right direction rather than having to turn around (when everyone else is)

 

Know the county your in - weather radio calls disasters by county. Good to have one of those.

 

The often recommended grab bag - pills, meds hard disk backups, with some ready cash (bills).

 

Prepare and practice. We did at work, why not at home?? Think about what you NEED to survive and restart your life.

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This is going to be a much longer post than I would usually make, but it is an important subject and I see no way to respond to the questions asked without a lot of information. If you want a short answer, this isn't it. :)

 

Our hurricane plan has always been to leave and head away from the threat. With them there is almost always an ample warning and on one occasion we were resident volunteers and the staff suggested we take a trip, which we did.

 

The issue of forest fire or other types of wildfire is one that about the only prep you can do is to follow Bill's suggestion. Like him, I nearly always fuel at the end of the day for any number of reasons. I also keep about 1/3 tank of water as well. That type of threat is pretty rare at least in our experience. We have experienced smoke from a fire but never been evacuated.

 

Earthquakes.......... Not much you can do on that one other than to keep the RV stocked with supplies and fuel. There is usually no warning and you just deal with whatever happens. We have experienced a few while in CA but none that had any lasting effect upon us. Most people travel by RV for many years and never have any negative impact from one. Pam's family lives very near a major fault and they keep the RV as a backup shelter in case the house should be damaged. Because of the suspension of an RV, they have never heard of one being harmed unless it was under a collapsed building or tree. They have lived in CA all of their lives and are now mid 70's.

 

Sink holes....... Same as earthquakes but much less probable to effect someone in an RV. Never heard of any kind of warning or of an RV having a problem from one.

 

Winter freezing is something that happens to the vast majority of fulltimers at least occasionally. If you choose an RV that is of quality construction and well insulated, about all that needs to be done is to fill the water tank and remove the water hose. You may want to also disconnect the sewer hose and store it where it stays warm as they do become very brittle when cold. I'd want to be sure that my batteries were in good condition and fully charged in case of a power loss but that is about all that is needed. If your RV is not weather tight, you can probably survive but it won't be much fun. Preparing for that is mostly a matter of buying the right RV with good insulation and dual pane windows.

 

I left tornadoes for last because it is one that frightens most people more than any of the others and like freezing weather, you probably will be somewhere that has this sort of weather in the area at some point. It is also one that I have a great deal of experience with as I have lived where they occur seasonally for most of my life, and I was part of the disaster recovery for the one which recently struck Van, TX. There are no states of the USA which have never experienced any tornadoes but the odds are much greater when in the mid-west or when in a hurricane area. There is no reason for panic when you receive a warning of an approaching storm that could produce a tornado because the vast majority of those who receive a warning never experience any damage from one.

 

First of all, it is very important to remember the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means that the conditions are such that a tornado could be going to develop, while a warning means that there is either one active, or developing, or the conditions are such that one is expected to develop. With a watch you need to stay informed and be ready to take cover on short notice, but in most watches the tornado never happens it is just an alert that it could happen. When the report changes to a warning it is time to take action, now.

 

Taking cover when warned of a tornado is very much like wearing a seat belt when you drive. In both cases you probably won't experience the need for it but if you should there will not be time to take cover or put on the belt and you need to have already done so before the event takes place. Statistically there is very little probability that a tornado will strike you, even when nearby. Even a very large tornado is only a mile or less wide(usually a few hundred yards wide) and it typically is on the ground for a few miles, so it only "gets" the unlucky ones. The one which struck Van passed 6 miles to our east, but it also happened so quickly that those not already in shelter did not have time to move to shelter and it killed two people that we knew well. I have probably taken shelter at least 1000 times in my life and to this date not one time have I personally suffered any loss from a tornado. The key is that you have no time once the storm is on you. Any RV that happens to be struck directly by even a small tornado will be destroyed. In Van I saw several RVs which were parked at the owner's home and not occupied and all in the direct area were totally destroyed. Had they been occupied, the people would have been victims. More than 80% of the damage from a passing tornado is done not by direct damage but by flying debris from the structures that it destroys, according to FEMA and the NOAA. I saw one house that was just off the path in Van where a 2X6 had been thrown completely through the roof of an otherwise undamaged house such that it went through the roof, ceiling and imbedded in the wall of the kitchen about 2' above the floor. No RV of any kind is safe if a tornado happens to strike it and so I will continue to take shelter for another 1000 times and if not unlucky I will continue to leave the shelter with no personal loss.

 

A far more likely loss from this type of storm is from hail. Most of the storms which produce tornadoes or threaten to do so will produce at least some hail. We do know more than one RV owner who has experienced damage from hail and that too can be a frightening experience. We know a couple of Escapees who were in their RV in SD when a hail storm did major damage to RVs in the park and it broke the skylight out of their Dutch Star almost totally. There were many RV roofs that were replaced from that storm and insurance paid most of that. But hail is almost never life threatening like tornadoes so just be aware of it. The other more common damage from this type of storm is wind related as there are nearly always straight line winds associated with one which can do harm. I always try to avoid parking my RV where there are any dead or damaged trees nearby and the same is true of old, falling down buildings. Remember that flying debris is just as dangerous from any wind source. I also park with the RV such that the rear is pointed into the prevailing winds if at all possible as a precaution as it is far less likely to be move that way. The most important part is to stay aware of the weather and when it threatens, go to the shelter and wait it out, even if you are the only one who goes there. One of the reasons that people are harmed in such storms is that so many of us have taken shelter many, many times and yet not had the storm hit where we were. After a while most folks stop taking cover and that is why they stay in the RV. The folks who died in the Van tornado chose to ride out the storm in their "manufactured" double-wide home. Even a stick built house will provide more protection than an RV so pick the strongest building around and move as far inside as possible. They to choose a room with no windows an if possible plumbing in the walls which strengthens them. Bathrooms tend to be one of the best places to shelter.

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Have enough fuel to get out of dodge. - Never park at night with empty tanks

 

Friend of ours filled up in west Texas before they parked at night. Another couple they were traveling with just went in and parked (cause after traveling all day they were tired, we're all tired at the end of the day) 20 minutes after setting up for the evening, park management told everyone to leave, they were evacuating the park because of a heat lightening strike 20 miles away and the winds were blowing the prairie fire directly at them. Our friends, he in the motorhome, her in the toad exited the park stage left and ran perpendicular to the fire's path. The other couple, had to look for fuel!!!

 

During an event, people are going to look out for their own wife, kids, property, etc the same as we would. This is natural!! Overnighting, I break the truck and trailer apart, pull ahead to clear and stop. I try to park so that I am pointed in the right direction rather than having to turn around (when everyone else is)

 

Know the county your in - weather radio calls disasters by county. Good to have one of those.

 

The often recommended grab bag - pills, meds hard disk backups, with some ready cash (bills).

 

Prepare and practice. We did at work, why not at home?? Think about what you NEED to survive and restart your life.

 

 

Thank you, VERY good information, and I will take this into account!!

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This is going to be a much longer post than I would usually make, but it is an important subject and I see no way to respond to the questions asked without a lot of information. If you want a short answer, this isn't it. :)

 

Our hurricane plan has always been to leave and head away from the threat. With them there is almost always an ample warning and on one occasion we were resident volunteers and the staff suggested we take a trip, which we did.

 

The issue of forest fire or other types of wildfire is one that about the only prep you can do is to follow Bill's suggestion. Like him, I nearly always fuel at the end of the day for any number of reasons. I also keep about 1/3 tank of water as well. That type of threat is pretty rare at least in our experience. We have experienced smoke from a fire but never been evacuated.

 

Earthquakes.......... Not much you can do on that one other than to keep the RV stocked with supplies and fuel. There is usually no warning and you just deal with whatever happens. We have experienced a few while in CA but none that had any lasting effect upon us. Most people travel by RV for many years and never have any negative impact from one. Pam's family lives very near a major fault and they keep the RV as a backup shelter in case the house should be damaged. Because of the suspension of an RV, they have never heard of one being harmed unless it was under a collapsed building or tree. They have lived in CA all of their lives and are now mid 70's.

 

Sink holes....... Same as earthquakes but much less probable to effect someone in an RV. Never heard of any kind of warning or of an RV having a problem from one.

 

Winter freezing is something that happens to the vast majority of fulltimers at least occasionally. If you choose an RV that is of quality construction and well insulated, about all that needs to be done is to fill the water tank and remove the water hose. You may want to also disconnect the sewer hose and store it where it stays warm as they do become very brittle when cold. I'd want to be sure that my batteries were in good condition and fully charged in case of a power loss but that is about all that is needed. If your RV is not weather tight, you can probably survive but it won't be much fun. Preparing for that is mostly a matter of buying the right RV with good insulation and dual pane windows.

 

I left tornadoes for last because it is one that frightens most people more than any of the others and like freezing weather, you probably will be somewhere that has this sort of weather in the area at some point. It is also one that I have a great deal of experience with as I have lived where they occur seasonally for most of my life, and I was part of the disaster recovery for the one which recently struck Van, TX. There are no states of the USA which have never experienced any tornadoes but the odds are much greater when in the mid-west or when in a hurricane area. There is no reason for panic when you receive a warning of an approaching storm that could produce a tornado because the vast majority of those who receive a warning never experience any damage from one.

 

First of all, it is very important to remember the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch means that the conditions are such that a tornado could be going to develop, while a warning means that there is either one active, or developing, or the conditions are such that one is expected to develop. With a watch you need to stay informed and be ready to take cover on short notice, but in most watches the tornado never happens it is just an alert that it could happen. When the report changes to a warning it is time to take action, now.

 

Taking cover when warned of a tornado is very much like wearing a seat belt when you drive. In both cases you probably won't experience the need for it but if you should there will not be time to take cover or put on the belt and you need to have already done so before the event takes place. Statistically there is very little probability that a tornado will strike you, even when nearby. Even a very large tornado is only a mile or less wide(usually a few hundred yards wide) and it typically is on the ground for a few miles, so it only "gets" the unlucky ones. The one which struck Van passed 6 miles to our east, but it also happened so quickly that those not already in shelter did not have time to move to shelter and it killed two people that we knew well. I have probably taken shelter at least 1000 times in my life and to this date not one time have I personally suffered any loss from a tornado. The key is that you have no time once the storm is on you. Any RV that happens to be struck directly by even a small tornado will be destroyed. In Van I saw several RVs which were parked at the owner's home and not occupied and all in the direct area were totally destroyed. Had they been occupied, the people would have been victims. More than 80% of the damage from a passing tornado is done not by direct damage but by flying debris from the structures that it destroys, according to FEMA and the NOAA. I saw one house that was just off the path in Van where a 2X6 had been thrown completely through the roof of an otherwise undamaged house such that it went through the roof, ceiling and imbedded in the wall of the kitchen about 2' above the floor. No RV of any kind is safe if a tornado happens to strike it and so I will continue to take shelter for another 1000 times and if not unlucky I will continue to leave the shelter with no personal loss.

 

A far more likely loss from this type of storm is from hail. Most of the storms which produce tornadoes or threaten to do so will produce at least some hail. We do know more than one RV owner who has experienced damage from hail and that too can be a frightening experience. We know a couple of Escapees who were in their RV in SD when a hail storm did major damage to RVs in the park and it broke the skylight out of their Dutch Star almost totally. There were many RV roofs that were replaced from that storm and insurance paid most of that. But hail is almost never life threatening like tornadoes so just be aware of it. The other more common damage from this type of storm is wind related as there are nearly always straight line winds associated with one which can do harm. I always try to avoid parking my RV where there are any dead or damaged trees nearby and the same is true of old, falling down buildings. Remember that flying debris is just as dangerous from any wind source. I also park with the RV such that the rear is pointed into the prevailing winds if at all possible as a precaution as it is far less likely to be move that way. The most important part is to stay aware of the weather and when it threatens, go to the shelter and wait it out, even if you are the only one who goes there. One of the reasons that people are harmed in such storms is that so many of us have taken shelter many, many times and yet not had the storm hit where we were. After a while most folks stop taking cover and that is why they stay in the RV. The folks who died in the Van tornado chose to ride out the storm in their "manufactured" double-wide home. Even a stick built house will provide more protection than an RV so pick the strongest building around and move as far inside as possible. They to choose a room with no windows an if possible plumbing in the walls which strengthens them. Bathrooms tend to be one of the best places to shelter.

 

WOW!!

 

You should be the " RV emergency advisor chairman" for this forum!!

 

VERY detail oriented explanation!!

Many folks will read this and get a BETTER understanding on what to do in case of a natural disaster!!

 

We all take for granted that EVERYTIME we go out on an adventure, everything is going to be alright..

Posts like this is always good to write because it is a reminder, and it also heightens the awareness and keeps us thinking ahead of the game ( proactively)

 

Thank you sir for your time and explanation!!

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One thing that I think gets overlooked a lot when making emergency preparations is to always have a prearranged point A, B, and C (or as we call it... our "close", "near", and "far") clearly defined of where to meet in the event you may become separated with the rest of your party. Phone services may be interrupted, areas may be inaccessible, someone may have been transported for safety or medical care, etc.

 

We also use a simple code that tells other family members what location and at what time to meet. Ie., "DN17".. Dad at "near" location at 5pm. Our family are avid hunters and used to our family markings to help pinpoint the location of the message. It doesn't have to be eleborate. Just as long as everyone is on the same page.

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I refer you to: Mr. Miyagi: "Remember, best block, no be there."

 

Risk assessment is usually subverted by enthusiasm. Yes, it is possible to go overboard and usually the price paid is in convenience (won't-fly people) or worse. Life is a risk and to gain its rewards one must risk something to pay the way.

 

There are hard learned rules that many ignore or reject and the risks they take have their own rewards.

 

One of my favorites is about choices:

I am not afraid of doing something bad. I am afraid of unavoidably remembering it for the rest of my life.

 

Make an effort to understand the probable risks and either plan for their occurance or just "..no be there.".

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