Houston mamas, watching Ike? WDYT? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/grap...?5day#contents

So I'm thinking this doesn't look good. I live in NE Houston, well outside the mandatory evacuation zone, but at almost 7 mos. pg I really don't want to be sweating and eating MREs full of preservatives for a week. My poor feet are already swelling!

What does everyone else think? Do y'all have plans?
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#2 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I'm nervous, but not panicking yet... yet.

I really don't want a hurricane. Sigh. We've got tree limbs over our roof- not good.

We won't leave. We'll stay.

-Angela
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#3 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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I am taking a watch and see approach. I just have to make sure we have plenty of lanterns due to power outages. My girls freak out in the dark.
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#4 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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I'm not worried...it will probably turn anyway! But if it doesn't, we'll just camp out in our dark & hot house like we did after Rita '05.

NE Houston is far away (enough) that it wouldn't be even close to total destruction...I'm in Kingwood and have never seen any significant damage from tropical storms/hurrincanes in 15 years!

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#5 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:42 PM
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Unless it was a mandatory evacuation, we'll stay put. We're in NW Houston so I'm not too concerned. Besides, we left for Rita (we lived in an RV at the time), and it was insanity!! We sat in hot traffic for 12 hours going to Wimberly. We were fortunate to be on DH's motorcycle and not run out of gas like many others (this was pre-baby of course).
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#6 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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This is my first hurricane season in the area (east of Houston), so I'm checking the weather reports ridiculously often. We left for Gustav (mandatory evac in our county), and are prepped to go for Ike. I have a hotel reservation up north, which I can cancel up to the last minute if Ike fizzles out like Gus did.

DH is out of town at the moment, so last minute prep will be up to me. Hoping I don't have to pack up and drive, but also unwilling to stay and have to face potential loss of power/water/sewer. This tired and yucky feeling pregnant lady wants her comforts .

When we moved out here, we were told Rita was pretty much a fluke, the kind of thing that never happens. Whatever!!
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#7 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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NE Houston is far away (enough) that it wouldn't be even close to total destruction...I'm in Kingwood and have never seen any significant damage from tropical storms/hurrincanes in 15 years!
I think a lot here have that mentality now. And I think it's terribly dangerous. The Houston area has not had a direct hit from a serious storm since Alicia. And the projections of what would happen to the Houston area today if they were hit with another Alicia are scary stuff.

-Angela
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#8 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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We are in central Houston and will stay unless it looks like a cat 5. If that is the case I think we'll get the heck out of dodge. We're fairly well prepared with water and food and cooking fuel. I don't relish the idea of being several days to a week with out a/c, and flooding does worry me. During TS Allison my immediate area did not flood too bad, though if it looks like it might I have plans to move my car to the parking garage near me.


I'm going to the grocery store today for my regular shopping and plan to pick up a few supplies. More batteries and some disposable roasting pans (to use as litter boxes should we need to evac with cats)


Keep your gas tanks full! don't wait until the last minute to fill up. During hurricane season I try not to let it get below half a tank. I'd also suggest stocking up on water if you haven't already. If the storm does look like it's coming this way and you are planning to stay, don't forget to wash and fill your bath tub with water. It can be used to flush the toilet! You can add 1/8 tsp of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water (let stand at least 30 minutes) to make it drinkable if you can't boil it. Oh, and don't forget to start freezing ice if it looks like the storm is going to hit. Big blocks of ice come in handy. Take a clean milk jug/water jug and fill it with wter and freeze it. Big ice blocks melt more slowly than chunk ice.


Angela, Alicia was scary. I was a baby when it hit, but my DH was 10. His family stayed at their home in Baytown, which was near the water. All of the houses west of theirs are GONE now (see for yourself here.)They turned the area into a nature preserve. I am hoping we do not have a repeat of Alicia - we are long over due for it though, so I am preparing for the worst.

I will pack some bags and get things prepared in case we do need to evacuate we can do it quickly. I plan on drugging my cats if we have a long car trip. If you have pets, be sure to ask your vet about sedating them if you think they will need it.
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#9 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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I'm watching it, but was thinking/hoping it would turn and hit more of LA and less of Houston. I'm not getting up in arms about it right now. Just watching and waiting and not really planning to leave unless it looks really bad.

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#10 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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I don't think it's something to be taken lightly, although I'm making myself not panic until about Wednesday or so! lol It's just too early to know what's going to happen. If it looks like it'll be a direct hit we'll evacuate (we're sw of Houston...Sugarland/Missouri city). I think I'd go absolutely bananas in a house with no electricity for more than a few hours.

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#11 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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We had a fire after Alicia as the power surged when it came back on. There are lots of worries with a storm.

Thanks for the ice reminder! I can start that today. It's also good backup water that way.

Hoping it doesn't hit. Though the 2pm models are making it look more likely.

-Angela
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#12 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I am currently 36 weeks...am hoping that there is not a major impact from Ike, but the latest projections has it impacting the Houston area.

As far as power goes (I'm in the Woodlands), as long as it doesn't take transmission out in Beaumont (like Rita did)...anthing on the WOTAB grid area should be ok (distribution lines going down not withstanding) power wise. If transmission goes down in Beaumont..it will get ugly for us if it gets hot and the one resident power plant can't keep up given that Entergy is pretty busy right now trying to get the transmission lines up in LA after Gustav. If Houston is hit, we'll have power given that we aren't on the same transmission grid as the rest of TX.

Besides losing power in the heat (which, let's face it is an inconvenience that a cranky preggo would rather avoid, vs. a real tragedy)...our main worry is the wind coupled with trees.

Hopefully it will stay Cat 3 or less, and head further south west.....

I was in Houston as a youngie during Alicia, and remember it got pretty wild...but our area of houston wasn't particularly hard hit and we didn't have any significant damage...but there has bee a lot of additional construction since then..and more construction = more flooding etc.

So, in conclusion, feeling a bit anxious, but given where we live we won't need to evacuate...just prepare for discomfot and perhaps tree/wind related damage if we have a a hit in Houston or Beaumont ....
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#13 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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We aren't in an evacuation zone, but I like to be prepared.

I made a list of the supplies I have on hand and posted in the family safety forum (because Jacques said I should post there about hurricanes in general)

casemnor, you mention the heat.. I think I am going to buy some battery powered fans to help with that. That's what I'm worried about most! I can handle no lights, no refrigeration, but damned if I don't have a/c. I can't imagine being term and no a/c.. ugh.
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#14 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Ugh. These hurricanes make me crazy. It's looking like it may be headed south/west of Houston right now though...of course always changing. If Ike's a really bad one we'll probably leave, but I'm not sure. We left for Rita but only because I was pregnant and I wasn't willing to rough it if we'd lost power/water/etc. Otherwise we'd have probably stayed.

Any chance it will just dissolve and no one will get hit?

For any hurricane geeks, I enjoy this guy; his live chats are pretty interesting:

http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/

This site is pretty cool too:

http://www.stormpulse.com/

Mama to two beautiful sons Wife to DH
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#15 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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maybe it will hit rockport and blow our dilapidated (yet, we carry insurance on it..) beach house away!
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#16 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Hey guys, I just want to thank you all for the thread and the links. I'm not keeping up with local news, or even national news, so this was the first I knew of a hurricane. And since this is our first year in Houston, it's our first time having to consider any of this as well, so the informational links are great.

Thanks!! : :
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#17 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Okay, I've got a newbie question. Presuming it doesn't become obvious we should leave (I'm not sure how I'll figure that out unless the gov't says Sugar Land should evacuate, but I'll deal with that decision later), what are reasonable timeframes to expect possible power outages? Not being able to cook... well, I need to start some planning asap. Worst case, I'll end up with some meals (that we can eat room temp) for some future night when I could cook but just feel lazy. Any ideas? TIA.
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#18 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Angela, Alicia was scary. I was a baby when it hit, but my DH was 10. His family stayed at their home in Baytown, which was near the water. All of the houses west of theirs are GONE now (see for yourself here.)They turned the area into a nature preserve. I am hoping we do not have a repeat of Alicia - we are long over due for it though, so I am preparing for the worst.
I was a tiny babe as well, so of course I don't remember it. I get all excited about Tropical storms but I think it's just masking the inner panic...I always get supplied anyways.

As much as I hate being without AC, it was kinda nice during the aftermath of Rita because for 3 days DH and I got to actually SPEAK to each other- no TV, internet, or other distractions available...it was kinda odd these days with how busy our lives are, kwim?

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#19 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Okay, I've got a newbie question. Presuming it doesn't become obvious we should leave (I'm not sure how I'll figure that out unless the gov't says Sugar Land should evacuate, but I'll deal with that decision later), what are reasonable timeframes to expect possible power outages? Not being able to cook... well, I need to start some planning asap. Worst case, I'll end up with some meals (that we can eat room temp) for some future night when I could cook but just feel lazy. Any ideas? TIA.
It's really hard to say. Since it doesn't look like it will be a 4 or 5, and unlikely even a strong 3, I would be shocked if you had more than 3 days without power in Sugarland. Outlying areas can expect longer without power, but it's hard to predict.

-Angela
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#20 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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As much as I hate being without AC, it was kinda nice during the aftermath of Rita because for 3 days DH and I got to actually SPEAK to each other- no TV, internet, or other distractions available...it was kinda odd these days with how busy our lives are, kwim?
And with Rita- we never lost power at all. Not even a blink (and ours regularly goes out in thunderstorms...)

-Angela
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#21 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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It's really hard to say. Since it doesn't look like it will be a 4 or 5, and unlikely even a strong 3, I would be shocked if you had more than 3 days without power in Sugarland. Outlying areas can expect longer without power, but it's hard to predict.
Thank you. That eases the panic that was starting to build--I did food for 5 days of travel just this summer, so that is do-able. Not that being A/C-less would be fun, at all, but the food situation was my first concern (presuming no structural damage to our house.. man, hurricanes really weren't on my radar when we relocated and now I'm wondering why I didn't give this at least a little thought).
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#22 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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It's really hard to say. Since it doesn't look like it will be a 4 or 5, and unlikely even a strong 3, I would be shocked if you had more than 3 days without power in Sugarland. Outlying areas can expect longer without power, but it's hard to predict.

-Angela
Very true. It's very hard to predict power outtage. You should ask your neighbors what usually happens to your neighborhood and even regarding flooding; our particular neighborhood in KW is notorious for outtages because it's heavily wooded (trees break power lines) and not well positioned on the power grids- so we always assume it will go out, even during thunderstorms.

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#23 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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I was a tiny babe as well, so of course I don't remember it. I get all excited about Tropical storms but I think it's just masking the inner panic...I always get supplied anyways.

As much as I hate being without AC, it was kinda nice during the aftermath of Rita because for 3 days DH and I got to actually SPEAK to each other- no TV, internet, or other distractions available...it was kinda odd these days with how busy our lives are, kwim?
When Alicia hit, I seem to recall someone saying that Kingwood was without power for 2 weeks or something like that. I was almost 8 when Alicia hit and we lived in South Houston off of 45. Our power was only out for a day or two because I think we were on the grid with Hobby Airport. We lost a lot of trees and the wind knocked our house of its blocks and we had flooding. It was scary as hell.

My parents were without power for a week with Rita and we were only without power for a couple hours. People down the road from us were without it for a lot longer so it is really anybody's guess as to how long you will be without power.

Tropical storms bug me but that is because we lost everything in tropical storm Allison in 2001. We lived pretty far inland but that didn't matter. You never know what a storm is going to leave in its path no matter how far inland you are. FEMA has since bought out most of the neighborhood we lived in then.
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#24 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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When Alicia hit, I seem to recall someone saying that Kingwood was without power for 2 weeks or something like that.
Umm...does anyone have the number to the Ramada Inn Dallas?

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#25 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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You can find the #s easily on-line.

We will leave if it looks like it's going to actually hit here.

I have children who cannot be w/o access to a/c and medical care.

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#26 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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Right now we're just watching and waiting. When I go to the store this week I'll probably buy a few more canned goods and soups than I normally would and some batteries for the fans.

I already bought several extra propane canisters (our grill is a little Weber that takes the blowtorch-sized tanks) and candles, when Edouard was predicted to head our way (enough to cook for a week or two on). Because there is no way I could subsist on just room-temperature foods.

We have a big-ol freezer, so if it's still predicted for Houston late this week I will freeze a couple jugs of water. And probably clear out the garage so we can park in it.

We're not leaving, no way no how. Not after watching the Rita disaster, and not only did our power not go out, we did not get a single drop of rain! And the satellite cable that goes out when a cloud passes did not go out (was in Sugarland then). People died of heat exhaustion on the roads and it did not even rain.

Flooding can be a factor anywhere in Houston, but I'm less worried about it way out West like I am than I was downtown. If we ever got a serious one headed our way, we would get pretty serious about it though - fill the tub (and the washer!) and buy water bottles. Update first aid kit, block windows, etc, etc. It would have to be epic for us to attempt to leave. Considering that Allison was the worst damage I've seen in Houston (yes, I'm a baby - only 24) and it was only a tropical storm, I've just got the mindset that you never know what a storm's gonna do to ya.

I also believe we are way overdue. Doesn't look like Ike is gonna be it though (knock on wood).

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#27 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Just a reminder...Rita came in at Beaumont..so Houston was largely spared. So, Rita is no predictor for what Ike will bring. And, one lesson from Rita, just because you don't get the physical impact, doesn't mean you won't be impacted. Those of us not on the ERCOT grid had weeks of rolling blackouts during a heat wave...it wasn't life threatening but it sure posed some difficulties.

I worked for Entergy at the time and even our offices lost power (well not dispatch room) during the blackouts.

I think it is fair to say we should be in watch and wait mode...closer to the weekend should tell us more about where this storm will go.
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#28 of 421 Old 09-08-2008, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shwarma,
I agree with the PP that said ask your neighbors. I have been chatting mine up, to see what they remember and to see what their plans are...if anyone with a generator is staying, I wanna know!

We left for Rita (living in SE Houston at the time; got a reverse 911 call telling us to leave.) I really thought I'd be coming back to a bare slab, but we didn't have any damage.

FWIW, one of my neighbors said Bear Branch subdivision in KW was without power for a week, but another neighboring subdivision was only without for 3 days.

There's no guarantee of anything, even that Dallas will have power continuously for the next several days. In '96 a minor glitch in Muleshoe, TX took out like 3 states' worth of the grid for 7 hours on a gorgeous sunny day...hopefully they've improved the redundancies since then!

So, watching and waiting....Go Away Ike!
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#29 of 421 Old 09-09-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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Ugh. These hurricanes make me crazy. It's looking like it may be headed south/west of Houston right now though...of course always changing. If Ike's a really bad one we'll probably leave, but I'm not sure. We left for Rita but only because I was pregnant and I wasn't willing to rough it if we'd lost power/water/etc. Otherwise we'd have probably stayed.

Any chance it will just dissolve and no one will get hit?

For any hurricane geeks, I enjoy this guy; his live chats are pretty interesting:

http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/

This site is pretty cool too:

http://www.stormpulse.com/
Thanks for the links! I love the stormpulse site and I read over the blog at sciguy, too. I keep refreshing stormpulse for updates. I know this sounds silly, but that site is pretty.

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#30 of 421 Old 09-09-2008, 03:05 AM
 
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i am leaving on wednesday morning. i am in an evacuation area and i am not sticking around and waiting for a mandetory evac and waiting in rita like traffic. i would rather be wrong and ok in the long run
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