Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hoping our Gulf Coast CG Families are Safe: Gustav and Hanna

From the Weather Channel online “Gustav is moving northwest, away from the Cayman Islands, but heavy rains, flash flooding, strong, damaging winds and battering waves will continue to impact the islands this morning. Conditions should improve this afternoon…The forecast track continues to indicate that Gustav will swirl into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early tomorrow and then track northwestward reaching the central Gulf Coast by early Tuesday. Gustav will slow as it nears the coast.”

The Weather Channel also reported that “Tropical Storm Hanna was centered about 310 miles east of Grand Turk Island as of 5 a.m. EDT. Maximum sustained winds were 50 mph.” Eeek!

According to Rear Adm. Joel Whitehead, 8th District Commander recently stated, “"Hurricane preparedness is a year round effort for the Coast Guard.” We knew that, but what of the families left behind?

I have little, if any, experience with hurricanes. I’ve always been fortunate to live out of an area where they were most prevalent or at least evacuate well beforehand if one was headed my way. At any rate, I have no idea how the Coast Guard or other agencies may aid the CG families left behind in horrendous weather. How much hurricane preparedness is there? Do all units have an Ombudsman or at least a phone tree? What sort of liaison exists between ships and families when a cutter is deployed? Do these folks just wait by the phone for world to come down or do is there always a plan of action?

I know that one of our contributors has been offline since yesterday. I’m assuming that she is currently evacuating her home, maybe just laying low and being watchful. She’s not in Louisiana, but I did find this on the web about the National Guard helping to prepare for evacuation in Louisiana: Evacuation in Louisiana. In part, the article reads, “The door-to-door campaign comes less than 24 hours after Gov. Haley Barbour ordered mandatory evacuations today for some residents in Hancock and Harrison counties. Forced to leave will be those living in FEMA trailers, Katrina cottages and residents in designated flood zones.”

In light of all this weather, I figured I’d bump on the post Amber shared with us recently:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Are you prepared?
To say the least, disaster doesn't always give warning. Whether you are in California or Texas, Florida or Maine, there are times when nature takes us by surprise. Earthquakes, winter storms, flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes...the list goes on and on.

My family lives in Texas, and now that I'm back on the Gulf Coast, it's (past) time to think about Hurricane Season. It's in full swing, and two systems have hit the Texas coast all ready. If you live in an area that could be impacted by a hurricane, you MUST have a disaster kit ready. It's so hard when you're dashing in Target or Costco praying that there's a bottle or two of water left, or maybe, hopefully, the batteries or bulbs you need for your flashlight.

Here is a comprehensive list from
FEMA's website:

· Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
· Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day.
· Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
· Flashlight and extra batteries.
· First aid kit and manual.
· Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
· Matches and waterproof container.
· Whistle.
· Extra clothing.
· Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
· Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
· Cash and coins.
· Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact

lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
· Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
· Other items to meet your unique family needs.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
· Jacket or coat.
· Long pants.
· Long sleeve shirt.
· Sturdy shoes.
· Hat, mittens, and scarf.
· Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
· Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is cool.
· Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
· Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
· Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies.
· Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
· Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
· Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
· Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack, or duffel bag.


Amber said...

I'm still here. You were right on the laying low. I'm still not sure whether I'll be evacuating, as the latest models show Gustav paying my friends and family in TX a visit.

My sweet husband is with his crew making preparations for their storm duties. He sent me a text this morning that pretty much wraps up this week for me:

"Standby to Standby.
Semper Gumby."

I'll keep you posted. Prayers for all of those that are in harm's way, and trying to figure out what to do and where to turn.

Just a Girl in a Port said...

Glad you checked in. (hugs) I hope your family or their surrounding areas do not see as much devestation as you thought. I'll keep you all in my thoughts. Be safe.

C Anderson said...

Great post. For those who read the comments: this is an essential kit for surviving in/on any coastal town. Here in Kodiak, we are targets to tsunamis and earthquakes. Above all, check out your local resources for "free" starter kits that provide you with basic essentials and information about emergency aid. Semper Paratus.