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Now that we’ve dealt with personal matters, let us
look at the environment.

In many areas you are restricted from burning garbage.
If you weren’t you’d build a hell of a fire and get rid of
the garbage; because that garbage is going to be a major
health risk. Rats will move in along with every thing else
that creeps or crawls.

You have got to clear the area one way or another, get
everything that can be labeled trash as far from you
as possible.

There might not be garbage collection for a while, so
you have got to figure out the smartest move for you
and your community.

The faster you can clear the area around your premises
from the debris the safer you will be.

If your house has been damaged to the sense it is unlivable,
there is no sense hanging around. Find somewhere to go. It
will rain again, and you will be wet.

If there are rooms which are liveable, organise them to
you comfort. You might wind up living in the pantry, or
the basement, or the sewing room. Change it to be what
you need it to be; no sense being uncomfortable.

Sure this is common sense, but after a hurricane, that
commodity is in very short supply.

Don’t waste water washing clothing.

If you can get to somewhere unaffected, then by all
means, but it is better to wear your cleanest dirty
clothes than to try to wash with a limited water supply.

Don’t wait on government to help you.

Unless you live in a place which has a program for fast
relief, (think of Katrina, how two years later people are
still waiting), self help.

If you are insured be prepared not to get the value of your
damage. Insurance companies thrive on collecting premiums
and not paying them out.

Again, to use Katrina, it was decided that people suffered
flood damage, not hurricane, hence were not covered.

Many people who have survived hurricanes have adopted
a self- insurance policy; that is to pay their premiums into
an interest bearing account every month like clockwork.

If you collect from your insurance company and are going to
rebuild, consider if you need to rebuild here, or should move
to a different location.

If your location is ‘safe’ but your house wasn’t, your new
house will be done in a different manner.

Firstly, where do storms come from?

Do they come from the East? West? South? Check past
hurricane tracks.

Where I live, hurricanes come from the East and travel to
the west, north west.

This means, the East side of your building should be
the most secure, and act as a buffer.

Putting your garage along the East side, meaning that the
house has an extra wall is the safest. A west exposure
is the wisest.

A concrete roof is often the strongest, and make sure if
you are using blocks that there is an iron rod in every
one of them.

Many houses are not properly built. Look at those which
stood up, and see why your’s did not.

After a hurricane driving around is a bad idea. You will
likely get flat tires because of the debris in the road.

Wear water boots, and walk and look and see what is
happening, and where you can help.

Often helping takes your mind off your personal damage.
Organise work or clean up crews to deal with your community.

During the period of darkness, of stress, of everything being
a hassle, take time to talk to people. Not a litany of loss
which will make you feel bad, but uplifting things that make
you feel good, humorous incidents that make you laugh.

Put no pressure on your family. Make no big decisions, save
if it’s time to leave the area.

Base this decision on how close you are to a river or the
ocean, or if you have suffered due to a land slippage, on
the cost of repairs, or if you are in apartment, the rent
vs the time it is taking for the building to be repaired.

A mobile home is lovely, but it always will suffer from
hurricane damage. It might be time to move to a place
which doesn’t experience hurricanes.

If it is just that you feel disgusted at your loss, stay
put, let some time pass, and see if you feel the same
way once everything is back to normal.

Live during the daylight until electricity returns, then
be careful when you start to replug. Sometimes there
is damage, which could lead to a fire.

You should have shut off everything, so when power returns,
go to your fuse box, and put on each switch in turn, making
sure everything is alright.

When water returns, and you shower, think of all those
who live without electricity and running water, and Give


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