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  • #8359
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Hurricane Andrew on Aug 1992, I got married in April 1992. We purchased our first home a small 2 bedroom home in Coral Gables, Florida. It is about 20 miles from Homestead, Florida the center of were Hurricane Andrew hit.

    We just moved in, the house still had the old window from 1924. I have lived in Miami since 1962 and all I remember was something happening I believe in 1965 or 1967 when a hurricans passed though Miami and knocked down some trees so I though well that was not that bad when I was a kid so this is about the same.

    So Hurricane Andrew came, at the beginning it was just a lot of wind. Two hours into it which was very long time when the wind is just getting stronger and stronger. The windows were starting to bend and looked like they were ready to break so I tell my wife start looking for wire hangers in the closet and I will find the pliers. The wife get four or five wire hangers and I start to break the screens to get to the windows and started to put the wire hangers around the windows to hold them closed.

    That stopped the windows from breaking. Then came the blue lights, the sky would turn blue from all the transformers blowing up on the electric poles. Lights are all gone by now in the middle of Hurricane Andrew. We were able to know what was going on with the battery radio. They would tell use about some of the tornado that were going on, but no one had any idea were they were.

    Morning came and Hurricane Andrew had left us. Roof damage every were, trees down to the point were you could not drive any were. Everyone that owned a chainsaw got to work, so I started cutting trees for days, helping people that did not have a chainsaw.

    We didn’t have water or electric for 28 days, I had friends that lived up north drive down and bring me water and food. The people in the Homestead area there homes were destroyed.

    From that day on I have been a prepper. I believe Hurricane Andrew has prepared me to a point. Many have never gone without water for more then two or three days.

    I do believe what is coming is a lot bigger and we all need to prepare better.

    #8361
    wildartist
    wildartist
    Survivalist
    member7

    Amen! Things get really bad during a short-term disaster. Think about what will happen when it lasts for years…

    #8376
    Profile photo of tweva
    tweva
    Survivalist
    rreallife

    Freedom – thank goodness you think quickly and kept your windows. My aunt and uncle lost their house inKendal/ Cutler Ridge to Andrew. I had been gone from there for 5 years by then but remember seeing all the news stories and photos. This one always stayed with me – found again on web.

    Andrew did make stricter building codes afterwards didn’t it? I remember seeing pictures of all the damaged mobile home parks.

    Hurricanes are very scarey – the sound of the wind was spooky.

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    #8404
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Freedom, glad you got out of this more or less unharmed.

    Im curious about this. Florida gets hit by hurricanes on a regular basis. Are there special building codes or regulations to make places more hurricane proof? Do people consider the probability of getting hit by a hurricane when they select an area to live?

    I just imagine there must be a lot of awareness to these issues in Florida.

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #8415
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Jay, After hurricane Andrew there was a lot of changes to the building codes in South Florida. No more wood framing with wire mesh. All construction is now concrete blocks. New construction has hurricane proof windows, there was a lot of change in the roofing codes too!

    A hurricane like Andrew had many tornado’s in the center so when I went to help rebuild Homestead what I saw was canals of homes destroyed right next to homes that just had a little roof damage. I did see barrel roof tile go though steel doors so the next hurricane we will see how good the hurricane proof windows will do!

    tweva, The hurricane can last a very long time(8 to 12 hours) so just think if a tornado last 5 to 15 minutes, just think what 8 hours feel like at 100 to 140 miles an hour winds and not knowing if there is a tornado coming your way since there is very little information on the radio and there is no t.v.

    I was think fast when the windows looked like they were going! But what I remember is all the blue lights and how the night sky was turning blue from all the transformers blowing up.

    #8715
    Hannah
    Hannah
    Survivalist
    member6

    Thank you for sharing your story, freedom.
    I live in Charleston, SC so preparing for a hurricane is one of my biggest priorities.
    I imagine we’ll have another “big one” soon, since Hugo was our last.

    #8724
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    Thanks for sharing the story Freedom. Here we do not have so extreme weather, so I can only imagine how bad could be.

    Good thing that came from all that is fact that you are prepper now!

    #8732
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Selco, You welcome. I think hurricane Andrew started the prepping that maybe was always there in my blood since I am Cuban born my parents told me for many years that nothing is guaranteed. That any Government can change from one day to the other and our freedoms will be lost. This is what happened in Cuba, and it happened with you too in your Country. But it was a war in your Country which has never happen in Cuba.

    Cubans lost the freedoms for over 50 years of Dictatorship.

    #8737
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    I think prepping is natural. We just get raised to forget about it because the system provides for us… but like you said – nothing is guaranteed!

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #8751
    elijah
    elijah
    Prepper
    member6

    Freedom, I regret you went through the experience you did but I’m glad you were able to extract a useful life lesson from it.

    I wish that people would take the lessons from testimonies such as yours and take at least some measures to look after themselves if things go bad. Naturally we all advocate comprehensive preparedness but even storing a weeks’ food, water, meds and hygiene items is a lot better than having nothing at all. If only people could get deprogrammed that the government or the police are always going to fix things for them.

    Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
    Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!

    #8754
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    elijah, The three weeks without water and food and no electricity I only saw one police car go though our street. We had friends from up north bring me water and food. I would give them the money to bring in can foods and a lot of water. So we need to prepare because if something bigger happens on a national level many will die and no one will come.

    #9099
    Profile photo of Pheonix
    Pheonix
    Survivalist
    member5

    I was in the national guard when hurricane Charlie went through south Florida. I spent six weeks as a guard and directing traffic at an ice and water distribution station in Punta Gorda. We passed out ice, water and food to about 3,000 cars each day.

    That area has lots of communities that are built on small islands that are connected to the mainland with roads built on earthen berms. Many of these roads simply got washed away by the storm and the residents were trapped. We had about the only vehicles capable of getting to the people at these remote locations. We loaded Hummers and 5 ton trucks full of ice, water and food and drove through the communities passing it out. I had people crying and hugging my neck for giving them a few bags of ice and a case of water. They had been completely on their own for about a week at that time.

    By this time the predators had also shown up to loot the damaged homes and rob people. We had patrols set up to guard against it, but our biggest danger was the citizen patrols. They tended to shoot first and ask questions later if they could not identify you. Once the powers that be came to grips with the fact that people were going to defend their own they began to work with them and it worked out pretty good.

    There was also people who would do what we called “Milk Runs.” They had large 4 wheel drive off road vehicles and would charge people in the remote locations $20 each time to drop off ice, food and water. Eventually FEMA started issuing papers to people who volunteered to do this for free so we knew who was legitimate and who was not. These papers also allowed you to get gasoline too. But it was bad in the beginning.

    Our site was under the direction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Game Wardens. So we supported them when they needed it. I got to help catch one of these “Milk Run” guys. We knew the vehicle he was driving so we made sure his truck was stuck in line while we got into position. Once we were ready he was directed to a parking spot off to the side. When the officer asked him for identification and FEMA paperwork he got belligerent. Our Sergeant had already ordered six of us to surround the truck and I was standing behind and to the side of the officer. It was late afternoon, about 100 degrees, no breeze of any kind and I had been standing on a asphalt parking lot in full battle rattle since about 6 am. I had less than no patience for this guy and his attitude. The officer kept asking for his ID and FEMA papers and the guy got mad and quickly leaned over and reached in to his glove box. I stepped in, slid the bolt home on my M-16 loading a fresh round, pulled it to my shoulder and told him to move real slow. A split second later five more bolts slammed home, the officer drew his weapon and the place was locked down. You could have heard a pin drop. Realizing his life span was being measured with a stopwatch at this point he got real calm and cooperative. He was taken into custody without further incident. He had no weapons in his glove box, just vehicles registration papers and ID. As it turned out he was not making milk runs, he was legitimately giving out the ice, food and water to people in his neighborhood who needed it. The officer even helped him to get the right paperwork so he could continue to help out. The dumb ass almost got shot trying to get his ID because of his attitude. The moral of the story is that keeping calm and not giving attitude to a tired grumpy guy holding a loaded assault rifle can extend your lifespan considerably.

    #9128
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Pheonix, I was there!! I was in Miami when hurricane Charlie went through south Florida, but needed to go to close to Punta Gorda, I had a home which I sold 2 years later on an island called Little Gasparilla Island. You can only get them by boat and there are no cars there. So I when to look at what happened to my house and spent some days there cutting trees off the small roads on the island.

    #9163
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Phoenix, thanks for the details of your experience.

    By this time the predators had also shown up to loot the damaged homes and rob people. We had patrols set up to guard against it, but our biggest danger was the citizen patrols. They tended to shoot first and ask questions later if they could not identify you. Once the powers that be came to grips with the fact that people were going to defend their own they began to work with them and it worked out pretty good.

    Can you share some more details how everyone worked together? How was this managed / coordinated?

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #9174
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    In Miami and Homestead the first week were bad were there was homes that were left robed. Then the citizens did patrol the area. Everyone did help and worked together which helped a lot of the old. I am not sure that this will happen in an EMP or a collapse of the economy after the first 30 days. Everyone will help in the first 30 days after that if they see it will be years before thing get back to normal I think then the SHTF. When people run out of food and no one is coming to help then thing will change.

    But for a hurricane I believe people will always help.

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