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#1 miocean

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Hello all,

My ocean was not kind to us here in the Northeast part of the USA but I, along with my family and friends, made it through Hurricane Sandy (also called "Frankenstorm") with little or no damage. We were very lucky as there is major devastation and loss surrounding us. Living less than a mile from the ocean and 200 yards from a large river we stayed dry as we are considered high ground. 17 feet above sea level doesn't sound high to me but it was enough to keep the water away. After the storm hit and power went out the sky would light up green with transformers blowing up.

We have been 5 days without power. It was connected this morning and we were lucky because we were told it could take weeks. There are so many power lines downed by trees and poles snapped in half. It will be many days before the entire area is restored.

The homes closer to the beach and other bodies of water were flooded, many destroyed. It is so sad to see people's belongings at the street for trash pickup. Although homes look like they are okay here they are structurally unsound and will have to be rebuilt. Other towns nearby had much greater loss, houses gone. LAND is gone along with the houses that were on it. Some people have lost everything.

Having no tv or Internet access has been difficult but we know enough about what has happened that, in a way, I am glad it hasn't been constantly present. We were well prepared, my years of living in Florida and knowing hurricane preparation and years of wilderness camping helped us a lot.

I am so grateful I do not depend on dialysis as it would be difficult to do with the power outages and gasoline shortages we are having now. I did have to drive 2 hours to get anti rejection medications as they were delayed in the mail but I have everything I need now.

I hope all of you are doing well especially if you live in the area that was hit by the storm. Thanks to Joelf for sending an email to make sure I was okay. I just happened to be at a location where email came in. My home is now starting to get services back.

Sending out positive thoughts to all,

miocean
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#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

Hi Miocean,

I'm very glad that you survived the storm. As you know, we were very worried about you. I'm sure you will still be dealing with the after effects of the storm for a very long time.

I also did wilderness camping when I was young, but I never thought that it was anything you'd have to put into use for storm survival, or for that long, either.

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Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Joelf

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:40 PM

Hi Miocean,

I'm very relieved to know that you and your family and friends are okay after the storm; it looked truly horrendous on our news programmes and I feel so sorry for those people who've lost their homes and all their treasured possessions. Thankfully, we don't really experience storms quite so horrific in the UK.

I do hope that you will be able to get back to some sort of normality although I expect it will be a daunting cleaning up and rebuilding job for everyone.

As I said in my email; I know you love your ocean, but that doesn't mean that you want it in your front room!! ;)

My best wishes,

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#4 judyt

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:50 AM

Hi Mio,
Great to hear your personal news. I have been thinking about you and wondering how bad it was. We have had a little bit of experience here in NZ of similar devastation with the earthquake in Christchurch last year.

I went to Christchurch not long after with my brother to visit relatives and can imagine just how it looks in your town now.

Kind thoughts and best wishes to you and your neighbours.
Judyt

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

Miocean, now it looks like the question is, how are you going to survive the next storm that is coming on its heels this week? I hope you are still well prepared, have an ample supply of meds, and are hunkered down safely.

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Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#6 miocean

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

We are now experiencing winter storm 'Athena." It is SNOWING right now and has been for 8 hours. I don't even want to look out the window and see how much snow we have here (and I love snow.) One of the nearby towns has 8" and over 3,000 homes still do not have power in that town alone. There are still over 400,000 without power in this area. Transformers are blowing out and places that power was just restored are losing it. Concern is for the fragile existing power structure and more lines down due to heavy winds and snow on weakened trees. Even the Relief Centers had to close as the roads are dangerous to travel with ice and flooding.

It is like a war zone and I am not exaggerating, everywhere there are signs of loss and destruction, so many people have lost EVERY material possession. Military vehicles and national guards are blocking off roads to the highly damaged areas. Areas have been evacuated again because of more flooding and the loss of protective dunes and islands from the hurricane. Lines for gasoline are long, sometimes a mile. We are on a rationing program in my state but not in my county. A major refinery has been damaged by salt water flooding, they have gas but cannot pump it.

I drove to my therapist today in the rain and back in the snow. I usually begin my session with the positives but today when she asked how I was I told her I was feeling traumatized and she agreed we all are. When your therapist agrees to feeling traumatized you know it's bad. Even my steady as a rock husband had a meltdown the other day. Yesterday I drove to a shopping mall and just stood there and stared at things that looked normal. And I hate malls.

However, there are positives. People are stepping up to help others. Hundreds of trucks to restore power are coming from all over the country. I feel helpless because I cannot do anything to physically help others due to my disabilities and weakened immune system. I have donated items needed and am helping to coordinate a delivery of needed supplies coming from another state, being gathered by a person I met on the beach who cares a lot about this area (you never know what you will find on the beach!) Today I bought new socks for the national guard who are out in this miserable weather.

And...once this storm passes the sun is going to come out and it is going to warm up.

Thank you all for caring!

miocean
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#7 Joelf

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:44 PM

Hi Miocean,

I think that although we in the UK can try to understand how traumatic and frightening it must be, we really have no idea of the devastation that such a storm can wreak. We get excited and everything comes to a standstill with half an inch of snow!! ^_^

You're right about such a storm bringing out the best in people though; it does restore my faith in human nature when, during a crisis, it shows that the "Dunkirk" spirit is alive and well! ;) :)

Best wishes to you all,

Jo Frowde
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#8 debonair susie

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:51 AM

Stay as safe and well as you are able and thank you so much for keeping us posted as to how you are doing in the thick of things!

We have our fingers crossed this shall pass and everyone will have regained power who don't have it and will be safe through all of this.
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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#9 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

Hi Miocean,

Oh my goodness. I've survived some incredible blizzards but I've never been through anything like you are describing, in the aftermath of an already horrendous storm. I can certainly understand feeling traumatized by it. It's extremely thoughtful of you to be trying to help out others right now. I hope the ordeal is over soon, for all of you.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#10 Margaret

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:17 AM

Hi Miocean,

I'm catching up on the messages today and saw your post. I hope you have power and heat back by now. I saw on the news where the rest of NYC area should have all their areas back on by tomorrow. I can't begin to imagine what many have been living through. :crying: I did look for a generator a week before Sandy hit and they were all sold out and no where to be found/ordered.....in central Pennsylvania!!! We do have Gareth listed on the electric company's emergency list due to his C-PAP and Nebulizer (asthma) but even they said to go to a shelter and not rely on that.

Take care, Everyone.
Margaret

#11 miocean

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Hi Margaret,

Thank you for posting. I was out of power for 5 days, there are thousands still out after 16 days! You could find a generator here, they were all sent here which is why you can't get one!

To all,

This event has been an eye opener, especially for how disasters relate to medical issues. I know to have my medicine supply, but due to how the insurance company will release the prescription and systems going down the order I put in was delayed. I was about to run out of a very important, hard to get medication. Even the hospital didn't have it when I was there and none of the pharmacies in the area had power, let alone phone service, so I couldn't even try to find it locally. If I could I would have had to contact my doctor and he would have to get them the prescription, but if there is no fax or electronic mail what happens? There is a little catch there that I don't know how to quite work through. I was fortunate because I could drive to the issuing pharmacy but if roads weren't clear or unsafe I would not have been able to do that. The pharmacy was calling me almost immediately about returning the original package, which I had but all systems were delayed. Any ideas on that one?

During the time I was on dialysis and oxygen I worried about storms and what would happen if I had to evacuate or if power went down. Fortunately, it never happened. The power went out at the shelters here as well during the storm. I imagine the next place to go would be the hospital. We are now looking into a generator but are still doing research into them and thinking about what we want to do. If I was reliant on power for medical reasons I would definitely get one.

I've learned there are 3 kinds of generators: gasoline, propane, and natural gas. If you have a gasoline one, if power goes down at the gas stations they can't pump gas unless they have generators so you may not be able to get gas to power it. I live in a condominium and we are not allowed to have propane inside the building and there is no storage space outside so that gives almost the same issue as the gas. When a tank runs out you have to replace it and if there is no place open to buy the propane, you can't get it. A natural gas generator is hooked into your house line, if you have one, but they are very expensive. You also need to take into account the size generator you need to power what you want to power. I can add this to things I know that I wish I didn't (like everything I know about scleroderma.)

We take our "conveniences" for granted, and when they go down we need to have Plan B especially with complicated medical issues.

miocean
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#12 Margaret

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:46 AM

Hi Miocean ,

Thanks for all the insight you have learned throughout all of this. I knew of gas generators and have seen the long lines of people trying to get gas. I also heard that the generators needs to be away from the storm, but not inside due to carbon mononixde poisoining. So, where do you put them? Anyway, like you, I will continue to check into them. We do have natural gas here at our home for heat. That may be the way to go. Unfortunately, I have a dear husband who feels that if he hasn't needed something in 50 years, why buy it now!!!

Take care, Everyone,
Margaret

#13 Joelf

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

Hi Miocean,

Thankfully, we haven't experienced the dreadful storms that you've had in the US, but we did buy a petrol driven 3kW generator about 3-4 years ago after having had years of power cuts. It produces enough power to run some lights, the central heating and/or a boiling ring /microwave so at least we won't starve and we can have a cup of tea! :P We have special jerry cans which hold 3 imperial gallons of petrol which is enough for 30 hours, by which time we hope the electricity company will have got their act together and restored the power. As we live down a little unmade lane the worst scenario is that we're the only ones affected, which means it can take a while for them to fix it; the best thing is if the whole area is out and then we know they'll have to work quickly to restore the power. ;)

Each time we have had a power cut we've said "Right, now we must get a generator!" but never actually got around to it for about 30 years!! :rolleyes: My husband bought a rather natty little trolley with wheels to keep it on and it lives in one of my stables so that should we need to use it we can wheel it up to the house. We tend to use it to power the hedge cutters as we have a lot of large hedges that grow like triffids if not controlled, which saves having yards of cable trailing around the garden.

I can see that it could be a problem for you to store it; we're in a rural area where most of our neighbours have generators, so it's not difficult to find a space for it.

I hope to goodness that you don't ever experience such an awful storm again, but a Plan B does sound a good idea, just in case!

Best wishes,

Jo Frowde
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#14 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:11 AM

Hi Miocean,

Wow, you certainly raise some interesting and difficult questions about emergency preparedness. I have to admit we have virtually no emergency plans or preparedness at all, which I would lay up to being the negative result of positive thinking, I.e. "Oh, it could never happen to us!"

So we are going to take some time to discuss emergency plans for our household today, and make an action plan. Realistically, disaster could strike anyone at anytime. And proper use of positive thinking is for deciding that there will be no more procrastination on the importance of being prepared for disasters, that we can make a mighty fine plan and we can do it today.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#15 miocean

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

As far as medications, I know when you travel you are told to take them in the original container AND a copy of your prescription. I have never taken a copy but when I see my doctor in December I am going to ask for undated ones if he can give them to me. That way, if I ran into the situation again, at least I would have the script and could skip the step of having to locate the doctor and get it from him to a pharmacy. That would only leave having a pharmacy that is open and has it that I can get to, if there is phone service available and the roads are open!

Here is another thing I discovered: When cell towers go down phone landlines usually still work. However, we had included our phone service in a bundle package with our cable and internet. I thought we still had a standard landline, but we didn't as it was powered by the cable and was cut off when the cable service went down. Now I have to change the service back again. Many people have eliminated their landline and switched to only cell phones, but this is a good reason to keep your old fashion landline AND a standard phone, not and electronic one that has to be plugged into a socket and charged to function.

miocean
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#16 miocean

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

I just thought of another important emergency plan. After the Twin Towers were attacked in NYC this area was given emergency plans to initiate. One item that was brought up was to designate a central meeting place in case of a situation where you are separated from your family/loved ones. This should be a different place than your home, a location that everyone is familiar with. That way, if communications go down and you are separated and worse case scenario is that your home is in a danger zone there is a place for everyone to meet.

Isn't it sad to even have to think of these things? :(

miocean
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