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Episode 217 S6-17

Hurricanes and Wildfires


Special Guest:

The Endless Night Ch 17

Chin Gibson

As hurricanes swept through the east and wildfires plagued the west, The Changing Earth podcast hosts, Chin and Sara were in the line of fire. After the chapter from The Endless Night, Chin and Sara share their stories, how they prepared and how you can get ready for such disasters in your area.

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Natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires sound like they are two very different creatures, but there are many commonalities when it comes to preparation. You may not be home when either strikes. All your preps may be ready, but if you can’t get home to them, they’re useless. Make sure you know multiple routes to your home. Be aware of road closures and stay gassed up. Some apps can help you. “Windley” is one that Chin suggests. Also, there are scanner apps so you can listen to radio chatter for wildfires. Watch the local news. On Facebook, like county and weather pages. Also, local communities usually have groups you can join to stay on top of what is happening around you.

Things can move fast during a natural disaster; being ready well beforehand is the key.  Know your neighbors. Develop a relationship ahead of time and exchange phone numbers. If an emergency strikes, they can be your best contact to help you evacuate or make sure your home is secure. Make sure you have any digital apps you want to use recorded ahead of time. However, it would be best if you did not plan to rely on your cellphone. Typically, there is no cell service during most natural disasters.

Whether faced with a hurricane or a wildfire, you can prepare your home well ahead of time. For fire danger, home defense beforehand is critical. Have a min of 100 ft defensible space, not trees or shrubbery touching/overhanging home, outside/indoor sprinkler system or pool pump, no debris on the roof or combustible material near home.  For a situation like a hurricane, have a plan to secure your house (door and windows). Stow and secure all your furniture and loose object on the property, so they do not become flying missiles. For either situation, clear out gutters and trim trees and bushes.

A hurricane is typically more of a bug in situation. Store your food, water & medical supplies for at least two weeks for every person and pet staying at your location. Know historical flood data for storm surge, rain, and flooding. Know your High Tide times and how it will coincide with flooding. Have enough batteries & ways to recharge for two weeks. Do not depend on cell phones and smartphone apps; they may not work.  Have battery-operated radios, scanners, NOAA weather radios and two-way radios for communicating with others. Have multiple ways to cook food and heat water; propane, wood, & solar (after the storm passes) and the fuel to operate cooking items. Have power tools and hand tools for cleanup & make repairs after the storm. Have means to protect those at your location.

During a wildfire and many other disasters, you may have to bug-out. Some disasters, like wildfires, are much tougher to track. Know your evacuation routes (both official and unofficial) and know them well.  Plan out safe stops for gas, food, bathroom along the way to your destination using apps like google maps, iExit, & Gasbuddy.  In a situation where it is raining, know what roads would flood. Have battery flashlights, headlights, general-purpose lights. Have plan A, B, C & D, so you can be flexible to changing situation (storm path, loss of utilities, government actions, civil unrest, etc). Be ready to evacuate in less than five minutes. Have a binder of relevant documents like birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, marriage certificates, an anything else you might need. Make sure you can quickly evacuate any valuable you couldn’t possibly live without and your survival gear. Study the disaster that threatens you most so you can understand the nature of the beast. Practice evacuating your stuff as fast as possible — Time yourself.  

Make plans for your animals in advance, especially for large animals that require a lot of effort to move. Give yourself time to get out. Have a preestablished go line and as soon as the fire or smoke reaches that line, it is time to get out!

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The Endless Night Ch 17

Chin Gibson

Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.

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