Hurricane Barry has come and gone, and most of us were lucky enough to be spared from its wrath, thanks to the dry system pushing south from Arkansas. Those along the coast and those living in Mandeville, LA were not so lucky. They were hit by some nasty storm surges, flooding homes and businesses. Some people were caught off guard, and others thought nothing of the storm. You always need to take these events seriously even if they turn out to be a big juicy nothing burger.
Being a company that services the gulf south exclusively, Pot-O-Gold Rentals is very familiar with the destruction a hurricane can bring. We got off easy this time, so don’t let that go to your head. You need to have a plan. You need to have emergency food stores, a g.o.o.d. bag (get out of dodge bag, go bag, or bug out bag), home defense, and an emergency escape plan.
Preparing Your Home and Business
The one thing that everyone is concerned about is losing their home/business. Always have a plan to protect them, and always have the materials available. In times of crisis, people panic and get way more than they need to be safe. Who can blame them? It’s human nature. The last thing you want to do is hear that a storm is coming only to have you frantically running to the hardware store, wading through crowds of people all trying to get the same things. The three (3) biggest things you should have on hand to keep your house safe are sandbags, plywood, and polyethylene plastic sheeting, commonly referred to is Visqueen.
Sandbags are arguably the most important of the three, but the plastic sheeting goes hand-in-hand with them. Sandbags protect your home from floodwaters. You can buy a pack of 100 from your local hardware store for about $35. To fill the sandbags, I would recommend going to your local landscape supply yard and purchasing sand by the yard. It will be substantially cheaper than buying sacks of play sand from Home Depot. You can usually get one cubic yard of sand for around $40.
Filling your sandbags may seem like a no brainer, but people often do it completely wrong, offering your home less protection. When filling your sandbags, fill them half (1/2) to three quarters (3/4) of the way, giving the sand the ability to move and mold freely around what you are trying to cover. To lay your sandbags, you first want to lay down a sheet of plastic over the cracks you are trying to seal. When you place your sandbags, do so forcefully to allow the sand to mold to whatever you are trying to seal then tamp it down with your foot. When you stack your sandbags, you want to stagger them like bricks. Stacking them this way creates more stability and a better water seal. The best places to place your sandbags are at every entrance, your dryer exhaust, and any weep holes you may have in your house. Brick houses have them every few feet along the bottom row of brick. You will see gaps in the mortar. Do not overlook those, otherwise your sandbagging will be for naught.
Plywood should be used to cover all windows that do not have storm shutters. Flying debris and high wind can shatter windows with ease, which can cause serious injury to those inside the building. Broken windows also mean water damage.
Emergency Food Supply
This one is a biggie. When there is no power, you are flooded in with nowhere to go, and you do not have access to clean water, things can get ugly fast. You should always have emergency food and water stores. When a disaster looms over the horizon, people rush to the store and buy up all the water, bread, and peanut butter. If you just so happen to be at work when this storm is announced, you may be completely out of luck. The store shelves may be completely empty by the time you arrive.
To prepare, you should invest in some MREs or freeze-dried emergency rations and a few cases of bottled water. My personal ration of choice is the 4-week emergency food supply from My Patriot Supply. It has enough food to last a person twenty-eight (28) days averaging 2,000 calories per day. The food is freeze-dried so you will need 12.5 gallons of water to prepare the entire supply. While this particular kit doesn’t contain any protein, you will be enjoying mashed potatoes, maple oatmeal, potato soup, mac and cheese, buttermilk pancakes, chocolate pudding, fettuccine alfredo, several rice dishes, and more. If you wish to have protein, they do have add-on kits. These rations have up to a 25-year shelf life. Let everyone else eat their peanut butter sandwiches.
Everyone should have a plan to get out when the proverbial poo hits the fan. You should know where you are going to go and how you are going to get there. Whether it be at family or a friend’s house or a hotel, always have a plan.
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan ahead, there can always be that monumental disaster that happens which completely cancels all your plans and you are left up creek without out a paddle. Therefore, you need a properly stocked g.o.o.d. bag. I have one at home and it is packed with everything that I need for survival. I am working on building one for my fiancée right now. What I carry in my bag may seem a bit paranoid and “doomsday prepper-like,” but I am always prepared. In my bag, I keep my kabar knife, a few MREs, a canteen full of water, a fire starter kit, 2 small flashlights, an AM/FM radio, a burner phone, a small book of phone numbers, a pen, water purification tablets, paracord, a poncho, a tarp, a small mirror, a first-aid kit, a sewing kit, batteries, a battery brick, gloves, a survival guide, a ham radio, $200 cash, a fishing kit, a bandana, a fishing hat, respirators, a tooth brush, baking soda, wet wipes, bug spray, binoculars, a multi tool, a map, copies of important documents, clothes, a firearm and ammunition.
I know that may seem like overkill, but you can never be too prepared when something happens and you have got to get out. Some may ask, “Why the firearm?” In times of crisis, people get desperate. They will do what they can to take from others so they can survive. It’s understandable, however, you need a way to protect yourself if such a thing occurs. I would argue that having a firearm in your g.o.o.d. bag is the most important thing to have next to food, water, and clothes.
Is my bag heavy? Yes, it is. Is everything in there absolutely vital? No, but if anything ever happens where everything just seems to go wrong, I know I’m prepared. You should do some research online as to what makes a proper g.o.o.d. bag for your situation.
After all is said and done, you will have to rebuild. This is never fun nor is it easy. Filing insurance claims alongside everyone else causes delays and frustration. Pot-O-Gold can help alleviate some of your frustrations. We can provide you what you need to start clearing out your home/business, a place to relieve yourself, and even a nice, hot shower. Nothing makes you feel more human than a nice shower. Here is where we get a little “sales pitchy.”
In times of disaster, Pot-O-Gold has been relied upon by hundreds of thousands along the gulf coast. We have provided roll-off dumpsters, porta potties, shower trailers, and more to individuals looking to get by and to non-profit organizations and governments setting up shelters and emergency centers.
We have large fleets dispatched to affected areas to makes sure that every unit is serviced on time. People who are affected by a natural disaster have enough to worry about.
If you are affected by a natural disaster, please call Pot-O-Gold Rentals to reserve your units. We are always here to help.