By Ray Gano
Sept 30 – 2017 – It has been an interesting several days living through Hurricane Harvey.
First of all, we did not have it as bad as many others in southern Houston area as well as those along the coast. Compared to them, we got off pretty easy.
Everywhere you look there is flooding going on everywhere. We have lull in the storm right now, but looking at the Doppler radar we have another large band of yellow and red headed straight for us.
It seems that the “eye” is sitting almost right over Houston and spinning counter clockwise. So as you can see by the picture, all the rain is headed right for us here in north Houston.
Stay Alert – Stay Alive
Tracye and I do not watch much TV. We don’t live on Fox News or local news for that matter. What alerted us to Harvey is some friends of ours said something on Facebook about evacuating their son’s school down in Corpus Christi. That was the Monday prior to it making land.
Tracye was on top of this one and she alerted me to what was going on. I looked into it and sure enough there was a tropical storm headed in that direction. This was Tuesday that we noticed this.
Wednesday, after keeping an eye on this storm we thought that it was prudent to do some last minute stocking up.
Things that I checked on…
– Check all our flashlights and camp lanterns and get new batteries if needed.
– How much meat did we have in our freezer? If a lot, start cooking / smoking some of it off so that it will last in a cool fridge vs needing to remain frozen.
– Filled up our vehicle with gas
– Checked on all our medical supplies
– Did we have enough lighters to light stoves, BBQs, fireplace, etc
– Checked both of our battery operated radios and pre-tuned them to NOAA stations / local news. Put new batteries in them as well.
– Downloaded the latest version of NOAA weather app to our phones. If you live in a natural disaster area, this is an incredible app to have. It alerted us with flood, tornado and high wind warnings.
– Made sure we had enough dog food, dog treats and such.
– Finally, cleaned and oiled my Glock & ran a few “slap, rack, bang” drills just to refresh myself.
Pretty much we were good to go. I still have a lot of my smaller survival gear like my radios, flashlights and other things so we were not out needing any of that.
We also work on keeping a pretty well stocked pantry and we are glad we did because the stores in the greater Houston area got severly depleted pretty quickly.
I am glad that we made our resupply run when we did.
Because we were paying attention I did not see the big crowds in the stores. I shopped early, had a list and shopped with a mission, get in, get supplies, get out.
Things I Wish I Had
As many of you know we moved back from Panama to the US just a few months prior. So I really have not had the means to get totally “prepped up.”
So what I have been doing is keeping a list of things that I have seen that I need.
I want to share that list with you so that you might benefit from it too.
The WaterBOB – this is a thick plastic liner that will go into your tub. You can then fill it up with 100 gallons of water. This is an item that we used to have when we lived in New Braunfels. This was one of our water back-ups that we had in place. This is a great product that one can use pretty quickly to store up some water.
If you are a two person family like Tracye and I, this gives us one gallon of water per person per day. That is if we are able to fill it to capacity and that being 100 gallons.
This was one of the first items that I put on my list because we have a spare bathroom with a tub and I did fill it, but I was not able to fill it to the brim because of the overflow thingy that prevents one from filling it that high.
The great thing is that this only costs around $23.00 on Amazon. This is inexpensive enough that you can purchase several and place them in bathrooms ready to go.
Another point is that it is inexpensive enough that if you do use it and do not need the water, then it is just $23.00 spent. You can empty it out, but I am not sure that you are able to get it totally dry without it creating some sort of mold inside the bag while drying out.
The WaterBOB – http://amzn.to/2vN2yp4
A Men’s Waterproof Rain Jacket – Believe it or not, it is almost impossible to find a comfortable well-fitting WATERPROOF rain jacket. At the height of the hurricane when it was coming down in buckets, my “water resistant” jacket did not last but 3 minutes in the torrential downpour.
Do you know how hard it is to find a “waterproof” rain jacket these days?
Well the answer to this is a great product that I have had my eye on for a while, but I seem to forget about it till the time I really need it.
What is that? Rust-Oleum NeverWet Liquid Repellent
You have got to check this stuff out. In fact, here is a great video on the effects of this product.
You can get it on Amazon as well for just $23.00 – http://amzn.to/2wma3a1
I say this because every time my “water resistant” jacket gets soaked, I think about this stuff and wish I treated my jacket. If you saw the video above, you would see that it would work doing some amazing things.
Things That Made Life Easier
Chinete Paper Plates – Believe it or not, this is one of those things that really helped. As simple as it sounds, this really helped us by not having to do dishes and such. OK, I had to clean up pans and silverware. Still this was one less hassle that we kept the stress levels low.
We are now keeping these on hand and it is great to have around for those days that you don’t feel like doing the dishes.
Chinete Paper Plates – http://amzn.to/2vNmHv2
Mechanics M-Pact Work Gloves – I am a fan of Mechanic brand gloves and when we were ramping up here for the hurricane, I got another pair of Mechanic gloves. But these are not the standard gloves that I have had before. These have impact points which help if or when limbs, debris or other objects fall on your hand, the raised rubber points help protect your hand. For example having a branch snap and fall when I did not getting your hand out of the way in time.
I like how these gloves breath and yet are still strong not ripping up when doing the heavy work.
Mechanics M-Pact Work Gloves – http://amzn.to/2emIaop
A DVD Library – We were without internet and cable for almost two days. I am glad that we had some DVDs that we brought back with us from Panama. This helped because our phone’s internet was not doing well either.
Anything that can help take your mind off of the pounding rain and nonstop high winds is really worth its weight in gold. Having those sounds hour after hour start grating on your nerves. Having distractions like DVDs to watch help pass the time.
My Kindle Fire 8 – Hurricane or no, I LOVE my kindle. I have about 7 books I am reading right now. Having this during the hurricane also helped pass the time and took my mind off of the rising water we had going on back behind our property.
Folk, I am a HUGE fan of the kindle. I am one who loves to read also. The great thing with the Kindle Fire is that they are inexpensive, you can down load shows and movies to it. There are a lot off apps, including Bible apps you can get for it and yes, you can download games for it as well.
I take my kindle almost everywhere I go and with what Amazon has done with the new Kindle Fire, well it is one of my more valued investments in me. It was one of the first things I purchased when I got back to the states.
Kindle Fire 8 – http://amzn.to/2vNkZtP
It is interesting just reflecting as I write, I already see what I am going to need to start gathering up preparing for this massive clean-up that we have facing us here in Houston.
Hydration Day Pack – While out working, one is going to need to keep some food with them, small first aid kit, other small items to get one self through the day. Staying hydrated is also important. This is why having a hydration day pack to carry all your gear is important. – http://amzn.to/2xCDVh5
XL Bandanas – An extra-large bandana can be used for so many things. But the biggest use I see is wearing it as a head covering to absorb the sweat and a face covering to prevent dust and such getting into your lungs. — http://amzn.to/2wtAMQu
Comfortable Goggles – This is also going to be needed for the clean-up and is solid eye protection. – http://amzn.to/2wXM1DG
N95 Face Masks – Once cleanup is going, there will be a lot of mold, disease, and all kinds of “yuck” floating around in the air. Having these sort of masks will help curb breathing that stuff in. – http://amzn.to/2wY4jVF
Work Gloves – I have my mechanic gloves already, but it is always good to have several sets because one is always losing a glove. You don’t want to be out doing clean up, misplace a glove and you are then tearing your hands up. – http://amzn.to/2wXoqTM
Other Items For Your Pack
Personal First Aid Kit – http://amzn.to/2xCM4Sr
Life Straw – http://amzn.to/2xCOKQb
3 Day ER Bar – http://amzn.to/2ev4Vue
Blackhawk Tatang Knife – http://amzn.to/2wXvHmz
Hand Sanitizer – http://amzn.to/2vx8jw5
Small Roll of Gorilla Tape – http://amzn.to/2ev5R1w
550 Paracord – http://amzn.to/2wp9fkA
This is the first of a series letting you know what I notice, what I could have used, what I will get before the next one hits, etc.
The storm is over but now the clean-up is started.
The storm is not the hard part; it is dealing with the devastation, the emotion, the massive loss that so many have faced.
In fact, I know of two families that have lost everything.. house, car, everything. One is a dear missionary friend of mine.
I am working with Pass The Salt Ministries and helping as the north Houston coordinator. Pass The Salt and other ministries are teaming up and making a difference. At the end of September they are sending down their first relief team and will have follow up teams after that.
If you want to get involved and be a part of Christians helping Christians with this massive clean-up, please go to http://coachdavelive.com and sign up and you can donate to the cause there as well.
Please continue to keep all of us here in Texas in your prayers.
Together we are making Texas Strong.