Hurricane IKE experience.

Share a survival experience with us and explain what you learned from it. You might help someone.

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Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by TXwaterdog » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:02 am ... e_in_Texas
The effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas were crippling and long-lasting. Ike's effects included deaths, widespread damage, and impacts to the price and availability of oil and gas. Hurricane Ike also had a long-term impact on the U.S. economy.[1] Making landfall over Galveston, at 2:10 a.m. CDT[2] on 13 September 2008, "giant" Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage in Texas, with sustained winds of 110 mph (175 km/h), a 22 ft (6.8 m) storm surge, and widespread coastal flooding.[2][3][4]
More than 140,000 people in the Texas Gulf Coast area in Ike's path had failed to evacuate,[5] partly due to fears of multi-hour traffic jams as during Hurricane Rita, but over 940 were rescued from rising waters,[2][6] and nearly 2,000 rescued afterward.[5][7]

As of December 27, 2008, 37 people are known to have lost their lives in Texas due to Ike while hundreds are still missing.[8]
The storm had come ashore hours before daybreak with 110-mph (175 km/h) winds and towering waves, pushing boats ashore, smashing many houses, flooding thousands of homes, knocking out windows in Houston's skyscrapers,[2] uprooting trees, and cutting electric power to more than millions of customers (estimates range from 2.8 million[9] to 4.5 million [10] customers) for weeks or months.[6]
Some people survived by punching holes in attics,[11] climbing to rooftops or trees,[12] using nearby boats, or floating on debris[12] until reaching solid ground.
Afterward, an estimated 100,000 homes had been flooded in Texas, and numerous boats washed ashore. Galveston was declared uninhabitable, and Houston imposed a week-long nighttime curfew due to limited electric power.



I've been cruising this board for a bit and wanted to tell you about my experience when IKE hit Houston. I apologize for grammar errors in advance.

I was living in the montrose/museum district of Houston. IKE came on the TV and people were asked to evacuate the city and surrounding area. I had a Jeep Cheorkee 4x4 and a full tank of gas but I decided to stay in my Apartment. The first thing I did was go online and looked at the flood map. I was well above the 100yr flood plain by 32 feet if I remember correctly. So there was little chance that I would be flooded out. The apartment was an old solid brick building with concrete floors upstairs and down. The units were separated by solid rock/cinderblock walls and the roof was a flat tar roof. It resembled an older hotel shaped like a box with a pool in the middle of it all.

I reviewed my provisions and I figured I had 3 weeks of dried goods, canned foods, and bottled water along with alcohol and what was in the fridge. So I checked my ammo and weapon. I had a case of 00 buckshot in the closet with only a few rounds missing. I figured I was set. I zipped to the grocery store less than a block away to find it overrun by mass hysteria. Snagging a bag of Charcoal and a few cans of chilli it was hard to not realize everything was basically gone from the night before. But, that wasn’t a concern I was simply passing time at this point and over-preparing.

My next step was to fill the tub at home with water and fill a few buckets of water to flush the toilet/drink water if my bottled supply went dry. There was a pool so I could use that to flush the toilet and wash-up, etc..

I turned on the TV to check the weather. I watched the sky and TV as the storm began to consume the area. I immediately realized my Jeep was sitting under a 100+yr old oak tree. The limbs were sure to snap. I rushed outside to move the Jeep to a safer area.

The sky grew dark and rain was heavy. It stormed for hours then the eye of IKE came right over my apartment. I stepped outside to view the surroundings because I figured I had 30mins of calm before it started back up. A limb had fallen right where my jeep had been. Nothing really happened to the apartment and I went back inside. As the rest of the hurricane flew over the place I lost power. My clock radio 9volt was nowhere to be found. I guess I had put it in my parents attic back in Austin.. no communication, no updates, no weather alerts.. the sound of high winds and rain buffeting the building in white noise was all that could be heard.


I was unprepared for this part and I felt like an idiot but in a few hours my cell phone worked but the internet was down. The storm had passed and I contacted my loved ones. There was a rescue party planned and firing up. I urged my brother and father to unhook the boat from the f150 and open a beer, I was just fine.

The next few hours were silent and simple. No gas, no water, no electricity. I pulled a 6pack out of the fridge and made quick work of it. Double checked the apartment gates and made one quick round then went to sleep after securing my dwelling.

When waking the on day 2 the water was on. I did not drink the water in fear of contaminates. The gas was on later that afternoon and I had a gas stove, gas hot water heater and a gas heater as well. I lighted the pilot back up for the complex and hot water started flowing. Although the temps were around 80F it was comforting to see that the gas was back on so quickly. hot showers were an unexpected comfort. I figured the electricity to be a few days and planned to bug in another few days.

As day 3 came about other neighbors who elected to stay for transportation reasons or a BOL in the same path of this hurricane started to appear. One fired up a charcoal BBQ pit and we began cooking meats and products that would easily spoil. His boyfriend had a power inverter and a small 13inch tv. As the 10 or so of us gathered around eating BBQ and watching regular TV programming it was a large comfort to have just a few things in life. We played guitar and enjoyed the company of each other (this happened often it was a small apartment complex and Sundays by the pool were common).

The following day I decided to drive around the neighborhood and scope out the surroundings. There were downed trees 3 foot around laying across streets, on cars, houses, etc.. I began to think how lucky I was that nothing fell on my dwelling. I noticed Radio Shack was open and I dropped in to look about a dark storeroom. The store was out of flashlights, and most standard batteries. I found a small am/fm radio that took a 9volt. Although I had cash I figured the CC was the way to go here, I snagged it and they took my credit card the old fashioned way.

I got home and sat down for dinner. The AM radio was reporting looting and crime in some of the local area. A cerfew had been set and the power was expected to be another 8 days.

Day 6, I woke to the sound of a chainsaw next door. The water was receding and road crews had began to get to work. People were not coming back home just yet but the streetlights were now flashing red.

The next few days were quiet and not really of any note. Around day 12 the power was back on in some areas and I got a tank of gas from the only gas station I found to be open that day. They wouldn’t let anyone inside but I was able to get some more 9volts for my AM radio at home.

The reason I stayed was I figured I’d just be in the way of people who really needed to move out of the city and to a safer location. People ran out of gas along the highway and got stranded in cars as a result of clogged roads and high traffic. I like to think my decision was the best one for me. After all I was a single male with provisions and skills to complete the mission. I even found a little work wielding a chainsaw at my girlfriends parents house (at the time) and cleaning up my grandmothers yard.

Eventually the power came back up and I went into work. There were generators running and the store was open. I worked overtime to cover for missing personnel and things began to get back to normal.

Overall the experience wasn’t bad at all. It was like a 2week long luxury camping trip except I was able to actually sleep in my bed. I felt very prepared with a few small hiccups… If the world as you know it is coming to end I suggest knowing your area, terrain and making a decision. I didn’t take my location on the flood map into consideration until I was thinking about riding it out. The building was solid and I was well prepared. Some weren’t that lucky. Looting and crime did happen. Lives were lost to some who were in high risk areas that were unable to evacuate. I was just as fortunate and lucky as ready for the disaster. To each their own.
Last edited by TXwaterdog on Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
"May the wind always be at your back and the sun always upon your face and may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars."
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Re: Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by Catshooter » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:18 pm

Excellent report. I think you did well also. The real point is that you survived well and didn't die!


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Re: Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by TXwaterdog » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:07 am

Thanks Cat. I just wanted to convey that I experienced one of the most deadly uncontrollable situations we have seen in the last 100 years (sure Ike was a smaller hurricane but make no mistake it was very deadly) and being prepared made my options much easier. Going through this ordeal has shed some light on the things I didn't really account for like batteries for an AM radio and no Communication/ CB, etc. Staying bugged in kept me out of danger/ looting, etc. 2weeks without power wasn't that big of a deal and I was able to survive off of very little effort even in a disaster zone.
"May the wind always be at your back and the sun always upon your face and may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars."
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Re: Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by g1zm0 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:49 am

This is very informative. Gonna have to look over this again when I get to NC as they are frequently hit with hurricanes.

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Re: Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by Omega DR » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:05 am

During IKE, I too lived in Houston, near the I-10/ Hwy-6 area. This is a copy of an email I,ve send to my friend over email and facebook, based on my experiences with Katrina, Rita and Ike. Hurricanes really got me into the whole preparedness thing:

For years before I developed my FB Addiction, I have sent out Hurricane Advisory to my Friends and Family in Hurricane effected areas. This year’s advisory come’s a little late for many who have already felt the horrific effects of record setting tornadoes that have ripped the Midwest and South, killing hundreds. In 2010, the US missed the Hurricane bullet, but experts agree 2011 will be a very busy Hurricane season, and potentially deadly. Why?

Record snow and rainfall has increased the available water in the atmosphere. Add record high temperature and Warm Ocean’s and you have the recipe for Severe Hurricane Seasons.

Again this year, my advice to anyone living in a Hurricane effected area, get out and get out early. Have an evacuation plan with alternate routes of escape. This year, we face additional challenges. The current Economic Crisis will affect many folks ability to properly prepare for any potential Hurricane. Start to prepare now, buy a little at a time. Here's my report:

In recent years, I have lived by a simple mantra, "Prepare for the worst case scenario, and you will never be surprised". Some may call this a particularly fatalistic view on life, but in has serviced my well over the years. As many of you know, I'm sort of a Hurricane preparedness freak. So much so, as IKE approached Texas, many of you emailed me or called asking for my "usual" update. Honestly, I really wasn't paying much attention to IKE; he was just the latest in a series of storm, which had threatened Texas, this season. Besides, I was ready!!!! I started buying Hurricane supplies in June. I had every high tech and low tech survival gadget knows to man, nothing could surprise me. Well, I was wrong as hell, but I've learned from my mistakes.

Next are essential items every family should have in event of an evacuation order or if you plan on surviving in plan. These items could mean the difference between life and death, so don’t take short cuts. I’m also updating the GADGETS THAT WORK section, based on feedback from reported in other disaster areas.


- Water: 1-gallon a day for each person, for 3 days

- Food: non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices, for 3 days

- First Aid Kit

- Blankets/Pillows/ Sleeping Bags

- Medications

- NOAA Portable Radio

- Flashlight/Batteries, each person

- Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

- Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

- Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods

- Keys

- Toys, Books and Games

- Duct Tape

- Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag

— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. (make copies)

- Tools - keep a set with you during the storm

- Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Most of these supplies should be stored in plastic bins that can easily and quickly be thrown in the car of your car. Every family member should know where its located and what’s in it.

First Aid Kits: Most commercially available First Aid Kits are useless in Disaster situations. After a Hurricane or Tornado, the most common injuries are fractures, deep lacerations with heavy bleeding and other crush injuries. You will need to supplement your commercial First Aid Kits with several addictional items and take a first aid class, readily available thru your local Red Cross. Remember, after a disaster, you may not be able to get an injured loved one to proper medical care for sometime, it’s up to you.

For deep lacerations with heavy bleeding, one of your best options are female sanitary napkins. Their designed to hold large volumes of fluid, secure them with duct tape. Supplement your kits regular bandages with NEXCARE waterproof bandages. They work on wet skin and hold tight. ... 7QodUDrfvg" onclick=";return false;

Another MUST HAVE item for your First Aid Kit is the QuikClot ACS TraumaPak. QuikClot was designed for the Military to instantly stop the most severe bleeding, saving thousands of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. QuikClot comes in civilian and military models, the civilian model will work for most families. The attached video is graphic, but shows QuikClots value. ... re=related" onclick=";return false;

Your Commercial First Aid Kits will also come with some basic medications also; aspirins, antiacids, acetaminophen, allergy meds, etc. Most of these meds are outdated and expired when you by the kit. Supplement these with either generic store brands or brands you like. Trust me, after a disaster you or your family member will get sick, have a headache or upset stomach. Make sure you have at least the following with you:

- Acetaminophen

- Aspirin

- Anti-Acids ( I prefer Pepcid Complete, because its chewable)

- Anti-histamines

TOOLS: You should keep a good set of heavy duty tools with you also. Including;



-Small Camp Axe

-Vise Grips

-Hack Saw

If you have never used a chainsaw, don’t mess with one. Period.


IPhones/ ATT Network: Unlike other cell networks, the ATT network remained up during Hurricane IKE. According the a CNET report, many IPhone apps remained fully functional during the storm.

Etón American Red Cross Weathertracker FR800 Emergency Radio:" onclick=";return false;

This is a MUST HAVE item. When severe weather is in your area, this radio gives you immediate warning. If you have an IPhone there are a number of apps that do the same this, but I haven’t tested them.

1. American Red Cross FR400 Emergency Radio with Charger by Eton, $29.99 - 59.99. The night IKE hit, I lost power around 8pm, roughly 3 hours before the hurricane force winds hit. My Emergency Radio was my lifeline to the outside world. Excellent reception all night, preset to all the National Weather service Channels, it runs off of 3 AA batteries, a built-in hand crank or AC power source. It also has a small LED light and will recharge your cell phone with the right adapter. Also check out Eton FR400 Hand Crank Radio and Power Generator; same radio, by a different company. ON SALE at Bed Bath and Beyond for 29.99, also check out

2. Energizer N/A Flashlights For Energizer Lantern, $ 29.99 Uses two small fluorescent tubes and one small LED diode, instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. Very long battery life uses 4 "D" battery. I have two, burned them all night long, never dimmer, and maintained constant light. Plan on getting several more. You can buy cheaper, but they will eat up batteries. Also check out lamps with LED lights, instead of traditional bulbs, ex; the Coleman 5326A700 Rugged 4D Battery-powered U-tube Lantern. LED and fluorescent lamps cost more, but they last longer and use less power. Available at Amazon, Lowe's, Wal-mart online.

3. Garrity Wind-n-Go Flashlight, $9.99 - $12.00. Needs no batteries!!! 1 minute of winding = 30 minutes on high or 1 hour on low. 3 minutes of winding will provide 1-2 minutes of cell phone power. That's right, it will charge your cell phone; with the right adaptors, not included. Perfect for families with small kids, give one to each one. They can play with them all night; wind them to death, never wasting battery life. Different models make sure you get the one with the lanyard attached. Then you can add a longer string and hang it round your neck. Available at Target, Lowe's, of Amazon.

4. Harborside Color Portable Camp Fan w/ Fluorescent light, $30.00 list, $19.00 on Amazon. I bought this fan 3 years ago, for my overnight camping, during the MS150 bike ride. Let me tell you, during that long hot night, waiting for IKE to pass, the refreshing little breeze that fan proved, was a lifesaver. Now, it's not going to replace your Trane, but it will provide some comfort for the kids or Grandma. This uses 6 "D" batteries, the same batteries from 3 years ago. There are many varieties to choose from, just depends on how much you wish to spend. AMAZON.COM, baby.

5. Black & Decker Electromate 400 Portable Power Station/Jump-Starter/Compressor, $94.00 @ Wal-Mart, higher at I'm normally not a big fan of combo devices. Normally works well for a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool (reviewed later) but not electronics, except my IPOD Touch. This gadget does several handy things:

When your car loses power, the Electromate 400 has enough power to both jump-start your vehicle and run emergency appliances such as portable lights, radios, cell phones, and small tools. There’s also a built-in air compressor that allows you to inflate bicycle tires, sports equipment, and pool toys, but this compressor is also powerful enough to pump up the tires on your vehicle. This unit recharges easily from any household AC outlet or DC automobile cigarette-plug style outlet, so that it will be ready the next time you need it.

While not meant to replace a generate, it is safer and will keep you cell phone, iPod, and other handheld games powered up. You can use your car to recharge it.

6. Auto AC/DC Power Invertor. From $29.99 to $200.00, any auto shop. Maybe you can't drive around, but you car can be a mini power station in an emergency. With the right Power Invertor, you can run virtually any household appliance for your car.

7. Batteries. Eveready, Duracell, or store brand. Customer studies show most alkaline batteries are about the same. Save you’re my, buy cheap batteries in bunk.

8. Water and water storage/ purification. Like everyone, I had several cases of bottled water. While water service has been restored in my part of town, many first weeks without. While you may have drinking water, what about water for bathing, washing clothes, etc. Personal hygiene is vital after a disaster, to stop the spread of disease. If you used your bottle water, you just deplete your total supply. Here some simple things I did. From Wal-Mart, I bought a cheap $16 35 gallon plastic trash can, with lid, filled it with water. That was my Emergency supply. Added to capfuls of bleach, to prevent algae growth. Also from Wal-Mart, camping section, bought two 3 gallon collapsed water jugs. When I lost water pressure, used they to brush my teeth and wash up.

9. Helmet/ Bicycle or Skateboard: I know, this sounds crazys, but most deaths in hurricanes and tornadoes are from head injuries. A cheap bike helmet may look crazy, but can save your life.

10. Work Boot with steel shank: After a storm, many suffer foot injuries from exposed nails and other sharp objects. It’s amazed me, after IKE, the number of folks walking around either barefoot or wearing flip flops. Put everyone in your family in work or hiking boots, with steel shanks (insteps). They maybe uncomfortable, but who care, its better than a nail thru the foot. The perfect boot is the military Jungle Boot, offers great protection and light weight. ... rid_pt_0_2" onclick=";return false;


1. Combination TV/ Radio/ CD player. Had two of these things, both gifts, neither worked. If you gadget does too many things, it's bound not to work. Don’t waste your money.

2. Candles. I know, candles have provided light to man for thousands of years. Their also responsible for burning down thousands of buildings. During any emergency, they should be a last, not first option. I did burn 2 candles, during the Hurricane. I begin to notice a marked change in the room temperature within a few hours. During my Army Days, in Germany, we would use small candles to heat ice shelters. Now, if you want to get your freak on, that's a different story.

3. Incandescent bulb flashlights and lamps. Yes, they are cheap, in cost and construction, but they also unreliable, eat up batteries, and burn up quickly. Many in Southeast Houston are ass-out, because they bought cheap flashlights, that broke on day one, and have ate up their limited battery supply.

4. High end, High Tech Flashlights. I'm talking about the ones from Surefire, Brinkman, etc., that use expensive 3 volt lithium battery. Trust me, they work and work well; the cops and military use them. They can product a beam of light intense enough to blind someone. The problem with these lights, the batteries cost over a dollar each. Additionally, they are power hogs, average battery life, with constant use; 60 minutes. Stick with flashlights that use AA batteries.

5. Generators. I bet ya, 50% of the folks that stay in Houston during IKE, will run out and buy generators. Generators are gas hogs and dangerous, in the wrong hands. Think about what you want your generator to power. Most home generators will not power your AC, Refrig, LCD TV and recharge the iPhone; at the same time. There are models that will; expect to pay between $2000.00 and $5000.00, for that type. Check out this site for more info" onclick=";return false;


1. Cash. Hit that ATM before it is too late.

2. 55 gallon plastic drum liners. I'm talking about those thick ass plastic bags. You can use them to cover broken windows, as an emergency rain poncho, pick up trash, etc.

3. 5 gallon buckets. Their cheap (about $7 to $10) can be used to store extra water, caught water from a leaky roof, and as an emergency toilet. That's right, emergency toilet; if you loss water pressure for several days, what do you do with your pooh-pooh. Take a 5 gallon bucket, put in two ordinary plastic trash bags, then add a layer of sawdust or better, kitten litter on the bottom. After each use, put more kitten litter on your "morning glory". Have a supply of hand sanitizer, Lysol spray and TP, nearby. You can even by a special toilet seat called "The Luggable Loo", designed to fit on any 5 gallon bucket.

4. Plastic Sheeting. The type you use when painting. If you have a roof leak, put it on your furniture or cover broken windows.

5. Duct Tape. A modern wonder. No house should be with a roll of duct tape. I'm not talking about that Tan 'masking' tape, I mean, the silver or black, cloth-based duct tape.

6. First-Aid Kit: and open it up, to see what's in it, for you need it.

7. Chlorine Bleach: 4 drops, per gallon will sterile dirty water.

Some Other Things to Consider.

1. Stay Awake, Stay Alert, Stay Alive: if you’re in the storm path, why are you going to sleep? I can't tell you, how many news reports, I heard some idiot say, "Well, I went to bed, next thing I knew, the roof ripped off". Keep at least one responsible person, awake during the storm.

2. if your area is told to evacuate, EVACUATE. If your area receives an evacuation notice, LEAVE.

Now is the time to prepare for the next big storm, folks!!!!!

Many of the Sporting Goods, Home Repair and Big Box Store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) are running specials on over stock storm supplies. Don't wait till the next one rolls up the coast, then start your preparations.

This is not an all-encompassing list. Not meant to be. I do hope it give some helpful hints, to keep you and your’s informed, enlightened, and gain some relief, during the next storm.

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Re: Hurricane IKE experience.

Post by g1zm0 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:13 am

Top notch addition to the original post Omega!

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