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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:28 pm 
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After I posted my friend's story in Current Events, some of you guys wanted to start this thread for discussion, so here it is.

Some details if you haven't read the original thread:
I grew up in SE Louisiana, about an hour from Denham Springs. I've known Kim since we were 5. We went all through school together and then college. On Sunday Kim and her husband realized that her cousin Sarah and her husband, who live in Denham Springs, had not reported in.

On Monday Kim posted this:
https://www.facebook.com/kimberli.burri ... nref=story

I encourage you to read the post, but the basic story is this: Sarah's house was 1 of 4 in the immediate area that was dry. The other 3 houses had been abandoned. From Sunday evening to Monday, they took on 150 people. In one house. There were people literally swimming to their front yard. Airboats and flat bottomed boats were bringing loads full of people because they were the only dry land nearby. Babies, children, adults, elderly, and most of them with nothing except the clothes on their backs. Obviously, they very quickly ran out of everything. Monday a National Guard truck (I'm assuming a high water truck) came by with a few supplies (no specifics on the supplies, but it was very little). We still don't know why they never came back or directed anyone else to the house after seeing such a desperate situation.

After multiple tries by family to rescue them, trying to get authorities to them, with no success, we were finally able to get them in touch with the Cajun Navy (praise God for those people), who were able to rescue them Tuesday morning. They're all fine aside from obvious emotional trauma and dehydration.

Here's a short follow up post that shows where they had spray painted the street in front of their house hoping to be seen from above. There were helicopters flying over the entire area, and they could see them in the air, but no help ever came from the "officials."
https://www.facebook.com/kimberli.burri ... 5682426734

I don't have any more details at this point, but they're all understandably exhausted, and already working on helping other friends and family in the area who are in need. If I get more details, I'll post them here.

So... what would you do? I stated in the other thread that I always assumed we would just take care of our family, and not take on other people or do anything that may put us in jeopardy, but given this situation, I don't know if I could do that. Turn away infants and kids and helpless people who would very likely die if I didn't help.

This situation has caused me to question a lot of assumptions I've made about prepping. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

edit: The duration of this particular event was Saturday afternoon-ish to Tuesday morning, and that's because of unrelenting efforts of family and citizens who knew of their situation and were determined to do something about it. If no one had known, or if it was left to the authorities, they would still be there now. The water is just now receding enough in some areas to get out on foot.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:57 pm 
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IMHO:

One of the differences between being a 'prepper' and a 'survivalist' is the community and humanitarian aspect of it. Would I love to be Les Stroud and just grab my BOB and Family, and strike out? Sure, but faced with the situation above? No. I wouldn't. Time to break out the buckets, start stringing some tarps and get this thing functioning like a well oiled machine. I think (Again in my humble opinion) Survivalist = How will *I* get through this. Prepper = how will *we* get through. Yes, in this situation, with knowledge that it's temporary and help is coming (sometime, from somewhere) or even that it'll be over soon, I'd break into my supplies, open my food and home, (After securing some things in my locked room), and start running a camp.

After all, a human life > a few hundred dollars in food.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:05 pm 
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I tend to agree, especially given the situation and probability of the event not lasting long. I think I've always focused in my mind on situations that would be longer-term and how the knowledge that the situation would last for quite a while would affect our willingness to share supplies and resources, especially if we needed every bit of what we had for our family.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:08 pm 
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designerchick wrote:
given the situation and probability of the event not lasting long.

I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Yes, many of us plan for TEOTWAWKI and as I've said elsewhere, there's something strangely compelling about that. But the reality is we're most likely to use our preps in the kind situation your friend has faced for the past several days. I mean lets be honest: that's pretty likely to be the worst case scenario we'll ever see, not a total societal collapse or apocalyptic zombie infestation.

Knowing that there's light at the end of a [relatively short] tunnel will make all the difference to me in deciding whether or not to freely share my preps and household resources with strangers who are in desperate need.

If the problem is short term, I'd personally prefer to be part of the solution.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:28 pm 
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Dumb question: What's "Vincent Trace"? I understood SOS HELP, but I don't recognize that.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:08 pm 
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Like many survivalists/preppers, I think storing a whole bunch of food is a good idea.* We often say things like "I have X months/years worth of food" meaning that amount for one person or family. While I say that, really I think about it more often in terms of being able to feed X people for X days. I'm guessing most "doomsday" survivalists think about it that way as well. A year supply of food for one person might seem crazy paranoid to a non-survivalist, but that same amount of food would feed 150 people for only ~2.5 days.

*I should specify that I think it's a good idea for people who have the means and space to do so. For some people having more than a basic food supply is not a good idea.

Sanitation seems like it would be a huge problem with 150 people, especially with the water table being so high. Having lots of extra heavy-duty plastic bags(like trash compactor bags) and the ability to filter and boil lots of water seems important.

If the wind isn't howling then basic pole and tarp shelters wouldn't be expensive to throw up, but the poles and tarps would have to be set aside in advance.

This is something I personally want to do some more work on. If there was a large-scale evacuation of Anchorage then my grandma's homestead (where I'm currently living) seems like a place a lot of people might want to stop, being near the highway. I'd much rather have some preparations and a plan than try to run people off. I have some more everyday life and basic preparedness projects that I need to finish before I start working on that stuff though.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Close_enough wrote:
Dumb question: What's "Vincent Trace"? I understood SOS HELP, but I don't recognize that.


It's the name of their subdivision and street.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:36 pm 
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A realistic assessment of my property says I could house 150 neighbors out of the weather for a short term event. It would not be comfortable. If the people were in good shape, amendable and willing to work then feeding them would be doable for a few days. I already have a burn pit so trash would not be an issue which leaves bodily functions. My little house septic system won't handle a load of 150 people for even a short period of time. Digging an outhouse for a short term event seems extreme so IDK.


Having run military units that size I understand a lot of the logistics involved but with no resupply in sight this would be a short term event by necessity.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:51 pm 
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So, my wife and I talked about this kind of stuff on our first conversation about prepping. My wife made clear we would not be turning people away. That might change if we start to face an actual long term event, but for now, she has made her decision, and I"ll live with it.

We are in a small apartment in a complex, so really, we don't face much threat of 150 people showing up. The apartment complex does, but we don't, and maybe that changes things. Maybe that changes the nature of "individual" vs. "collective" responsibility. Remember, individuals feel personal responsibility, but collectives can shed that responsibility onto others (Kitty Genovese).

Further, our faith and our personalities mean we will do our best to help others. It is just the way it is. We are that way now, and we will likely continue that in a disaster.

I probably need to stock up on Ramin. It would at least be something of a comfort food. And cheap.

In dealing with things, I figure a few 55 gallon drums (sanitation) and some large pots of Ramin along with sticks and tarps are the way to go. And space blankets. That is the cheapest ways I can think to take care of that many people in a cost effective way.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:21 pm 
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Sobering.

Validates the theory I heard from jack on the survival podcast that the majority of disasters a prepper will face affect a relatively low number of people. As the number affected increases, the probability of said event reduces. An inverse relationship.

Cancer
Car wreck
Job loss

These are very common. Localised flooding is also way up there.

Analyse and prepare accordingly.

Don't be the guy who had 20,000 rounds of 5.56 but can't run up a flight of stairs.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:01 am 
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quazi wrote:
Like many survivalists/preppers, I think storing a whole bunch of food is a good idea.* We often say things like "I have X months/years worth of food" meaning that amount for one person or family. While I say that, really I think about it more often in terms of being able to feed X people for X days. I'm guessing most "doomsday" survivalists think about it that way as well. A year supply of food for one person might seem crazy paranoid to a non-survivalist, but that same amount of food would feed 150 people for only ~2.5 days.

I think of it the same way - I can feed 4 people for a year or 12 people for 4 months. Or, in this case, 150 people for about 8-10 days. Which is NOT very long in the grand scheme of things, but would actually be enough for this situation. Could feed everybody chili once, soup a couple of times, spaghetti once or twice, then we're down to literal rice & beans, oatmeal, popcorn, pancakes & tortillas. I've got enough paper plates/bowls for 1 meal, after that there's going to be a lot of washing up between shifts. Which brings us to...

The first limitation I can see is water and fuel (to cook and boil more water). I don't have much stored - have barrels, have not gotten to them. No excuse. But even at max, that's 1 day of water (150 gal). I have a filter - I can filter about 30 gallons an hour, it's supposed to last 1500 gal and has seen only light use. I really, really wouldn't want to be using floodwater if at ALL possible tho. If it was still raining - the rain barrels (and buckets and bowls) would be really helpful. I don't know how cool it was getting, but using tarps to collect condensation (tho that'll be spitting in the wind for 150 people). I saw dehydration was noted as a problem in designerchick's post.

Fuel - not for heating (tho I think packing 150 people into my house would actually keep it above freezing in winter!) but for cooking and boiling. Because the kind of things I can make for that big a crowd involve rice & beans. I have a working template and enough cardboard & tinfoil to make at least 4 more solar panel ovens - they would probably be most efficiently used to pasteurize water instead of boiling, as it takes them hours to cook food. Kelly kettle and the little woodgas stove could burn all the sticks in the yard til we ran out, and then the kettle at least could burn all the scrap paper & then we might have to start on the least important of the books ( :gonk: ). I've got 50 lb of propane, truth be told, boiling/griddling that much food 2 or 3 times a day I'm not sure how long that would last (or how to figure that out. Hmm....)

I've got a fair bit of gasoline but nothing that will burn it by design and that's probably better saved if anybody brought a boat with them & just needs fuel to go look for a way out...

Sanitation will be 5gal buckets and trash bags, I have a couple little potty seats to go on a couple. We're on city sewer but I'm kinda assuming that's not going to be doing well in a flood big enough to get to my place.

Space - tight as heck but we could fit everybody in the house - depending on where the water was, roll the car out of the garage for more space in there. We've got a couple tarps - no poles, probably enough rope to rig something between the house & garage, or house & trees.

Reading designerchick's original thread - sounds like they had power for the first day or so, which means the AC could still be running & let people shelter from the heat & humidity, & would have saved a day's worth of fuel for cooking and boiling.

Stercutus mentioned if people were willing to help - some of them would HAVE to, we couldn't do this all ourselves. Pretty sure at least some of the able folks will be up for it tho. (Want something different than rice & beans next meal? Great, here, you lot take turns cranking these wheat grinders...)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:16 am 
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You would be surprised at the number of people who are perfectly willing to stand there and do nothing while others do stuff for them. It is shocking sometimes.

People who are already in shock (say from seeing all of their possessions wash away in a big flood) are going to be tough to snap out of it until things get back to normal. Hard to say how they will react.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:22 am 
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Stercutus wrote:
You would be surprised at the number of people who are perfectly willing to stand there and do nothing while others do stuff for them. It is shocking sometimes.

People who are already in shock (say from seeing all of their possessions wash away in a big flood) are going to be tough to snap out of it until things get back to normal. Hard to say how they will react.


Related to that: it's amazing what one person can accomplish in terms of leading/organizing if they take simply take charge and appear to know what they're doing.

I actually offer that in a very positive light, although I'm sure many can imagine that turning into some sort of nefarious scenario (especially fans of The Walking Dead :twisted: ).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:51 am 
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Something that might not be as directly life threatening as dehydration but could still add massively to human misery is not being able to get dry. Being wet all the time sucks. If it is warm out (I'm assuming it is in Louisiana this time of year) it probably wouldn't kill anyone but it might lead to people getting sick.

I'm not sure how to inexpensively and expediently solve that for so many people if it is continuously raining.

If a person is careful, a paper bowl can last them breakfast, lunch and dinner for about a week in my experience. Putting the new bowl inside of the old bowl helps it hold together better. Maybe in a humid/rainy environment it wouldn't hold up so well.

Toilet paper is another thing that would go fast, especially if people end up with diarrhea from drinking contaminated water.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:57 pm 
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Cooking for 150 is very different from cooking for 2.
All my life I have cooked for large groups of people, and the change can be difficult.
--
Do you have the facilities and/or the cookware for that many?
I'm big on chafing dishes and fondue pots.
This set is $12 from Party City, disposable inner pans can be found at a Dollar Tree (package of 2).
Stores in a 24 inch space on the shelf, with packs of inner pans and 12 large Sterno cans inside.
You put water in the large pan (kept warm with the Sterno) food in the inner pans. The water is kept clean and can be re-used many times, or used for cleanup.
I've used the same frame for years, I store it in a large plastic bag in the garage to keep it clean & dry.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:42 pm 
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ZombieGranny wrote:
Cooking for 150 is very different from cooking for 2.
All my life I have cooked for large groups of people, and the change can be difficult.
--
Do you have the facilities and/or the cookware for that many?
I'm big on chafing dishes and fondue pots.
This set is $12 from Party City, disposable inner pans can be found at a Dollar Tree (package of 2).
Stores in a 24 inch space on the shelf, with packs of inner pans and 12 large Sterno cans inside.
You put water in the large pan (kept warm with the Sterno) food in the inner pans. The water is kept clean and can be re-used many times, or used for cleanup.
I've used the same frame for years, I store it in a large plastic bag in the garage to keep it clean & dry.
Image


OK that's just brilliant! Never even considered something like that.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:49 pm 
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That's a good idea ZG. I'll have to look into getting one of those.

If a person has a lot of dried beans, rice, wheatberries, etc. then a big haybox cooker might be a good way to save fuel. It seems like it would be relatively simple to build one big enough that a large pot could be set inside of it. An alternative could be a large cooler. If warm water was used to wash out the previous meal then it might not rob too much heat from a pot of boiling rice being dumped into it.

A good sized dutch oven might also be a good idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:55 pm 
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ZombieGranny wrote:
Cooking for 150 is very different from cooking for 2.
All my life I have cooked for large groups of people, and the change can be difficult.
--


If you could point us toward some recipes, and the nuts and bolts of feeding large groups of people quickly, it would be greatly appreciated. Most of my food preps are based on a small group camping scenario (one burner, one pot, one family) and not feeding prodigious groups of people.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:52 pm 
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I like these sites.
I had other bookmarks years ago, but these are the ones I kept.
http://www.grouprecipes.com/48082/cooki ... ounts.html
http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/
http://recipesforacrowd.com/
http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,l ... ty,FF.html

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:30 pm 
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One thing to remember:
if you want people to eat more, then mash things (potatoes, apples, etc) if you want them to eat less, then chunk them.
We used to joke about adding another can of water to the soup for each new person.
That really isn't too far from the truth, 'stone soup' works. A handful of this, a smidgeon of that.

Turning your meat into stews & soups can stretch food much more than just tossing them on a grill.
Keep all trimmings to make 'broth' for the next meals.
It helps to keep folks hydrated, too.

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Thanks a TON for the info here!

My wife and I spent 2 weeks volunteering at a camp and feeding 120 people. No air conditioning, and temps in the 90's to 100's (actual temps, not heat index). It was highly institutional food, and a fairly institutional kitchen. My wife and some other ladies handled the food while I handled the dishes.

Translating that experience into feeding 150 people during a disaster is quite a challenge. Thank you all for sharing your advice and tips!

I"m thinking maybe bleach would be VERY valuable in such a situation? I"m thinking a lot about sanitation and ways of drying people out and raising moral.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:25 pm 
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I think the #1 morale item would be a radio. Getting news about what's going on and what's coming, even if it isn't good news, is better than sitting around worrying about what might be happening and letting one's imagination fill in the worst possible scenarios. Another positive thing about a decent sized radio is that a lot of people can listen to it at once, although high volume tends to suck juice.

Additionally a HAM radio would be really good, so messages could be relayed back and forth to friends and family.

The last nasty flood we had around here our radio reception went to shit. Maybe a better antenna would have prevented that problem.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:38 pm 
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For cooking I have a huge gas grill with 8' sqft of cooking space. I also have another gas grill that the huge one replaced sitting off in the shop. Then there is the double burner Coleman white gas I picked at the yard sale for $10. Both the grills have side burners. I also have a large griddle to place on top of the Coleman with with a non-stick surface. I can scramble about 30 eggs at a time on it.

Just using the one large grill I have fed up to 50 people at a time easily. We keep a lot of frozen hotdogs on hand because they don't require cooking and they keep forever frozen. You can also catch them cheap on sale.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:19 pm 
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Quote:
I think the #1 morale item would be a radio.


I am going to so with connectivity. If you get net you can get just about anything including radio. You can learn a lot more a lot faster and communicate out with practically everyone that you want to communicate with. Now that most major providers allow world wide calling over web you can also call or text anyone as well. Web is harder and more likely to be outside your control but exponentially more powerful, useful and morale building.

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