Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Hurricane Sandy AAR

“Ar-jedi” posted a Hurricane Sandy after action report that’s worth reading, over on (The lack of capitalization is in the original. Regardless, he included a great deal of useful info.)

hurricane Sandy visited us and left behind a mess. not but a week later a Nor'easter visited and caused more issues. the result was 12 days without utility power. i thought that it would be useful to document some of the successes and failures of dealing with this short term outage.


i live with my wife in a semi-rural community approximately 15 miles inland. my immediate family members live either very near the water (mom) or just a few miles in from the shore (brother and sister). i work about 35 minutes north of home.


our house has a well, 220 feet deep with a 0.75HP submersible pump at the bottom of the hole. it requires 240Vac at 8A running current, with an inrush of about 40A. aside, everyone in my town is on well water –– but this is not the norm for the county, where municipal water is most common.

build up:

the NE (specifically, the mid-Atlantic coast) does not get frequent hurricanes; our worry is generally about Nor'easters –– which can carry a lot of rain (>8" in 24 hours) or alternatively a lot of snow (>24" in 24 hours). hurricane Irene passed over last year, leaving most folks in our area without power for 2-4 days. Sandy first appeared on our collective radar about a week before landfall, although at the time the projected tracks were all over the map. some models had the eye going north of us, some south, some showed it veering out to sea, etc. one note –– the NE area is structured primarily atop rock and clay-based soil; ergo, unlike areas with sandy soil it does not absorb water and then drain all that easily. frankly, with a storm of this size i was more worried about the quantity of rain versus the wind.

common preps:

my wife and i live fairly simply and have on-hand at all times enough for about a month of "no societal contact" living. we keep our food, water, and other staples maintained. from this perspective, if Sandy had just "shown up" i don't think we would have had much of a problem overall. for example, in the basement are 24 cases of bottled water, qty 4 NATO type 5 gal water cans, and upstairs there is plenty of stored pasta, rice, soup and other. in addition i have a modest store of freeze dried food as well. there is a shallow creek out behind the house and this non-potable water could be used for flushing toilets, for example. it is relatively high in iron and so it's not a great input to a portable water filter.

event preps:

i anticipated Irene again, and there would no power for 2-4 days. nevertheless on thursday (5 days before the storm arrived) i topped my available fuel stores to the maximum: 25 gallons of gas (5 x 5 gal NATO cans), and 16 gallons of diesel (2 x 5 gal NoSpill cans + 6 in the tractor tank itself). so i believed from the outset that we were "covered" in terms of fuel stocks, and of course these stocks could be prolonged by changing usage. fuel tanks in my truck and my wife's car were also filled.


my primary concern was the safety of my family, including my mom and siblings. at my home, my worry was structure penetration or damage from trees. while i have culled some trees away from the house over the years, there are one or two that could give the house or the detached garage a good sized headache. the other concern was of course power –– for water, heat, and comfort.

Read the full report here.

1 comment:

Randy Meyer said...

I believe next time this wont be that worse,we learn from this so much.Thanks for your review.