You might not have heard that Nashville got damaged by a wind event… mainly because we’re 45 miles south of Kentucky where nearly 80 people have died. I’m not complaining here mind you, just setting the stage. Thousands were without power for days, more than the Nashville Tornado of March of last year, slightly fewer than the Nashville Derecho of May of last year, and fewer communication issues than the Nashville bomber of Christmas of last year.
TL;DR – some about the latest Nashville weather event turning into a mild “be prepared” request
I managed to lose power twice, totally 61 seconds if my UPS is to be believed. I had it pretty easy and were you to look at my street a large limb fell and missed my neighbor’s car, and a shingle blew off my other neighbor’s roof, and there’s a piece of plastic that ripped that looks like cost $4. But yeah. I had it pretty good and as far as I know nobody in Nashville died due to the 78 mph winds (recorded about 4 miles from my house). I lost an inflatable gingerbread man and santa to water damage in the power adapters.
90,000+ electric customers were without power for days, chainsaws were going off in the distance nonstop, and once again people were caught scrambling for flashlights, batteries, chargers, anything to keep warm. You’d think after a pandemic and a year of disaster movie level disasters we’d be better prepared as a city. Evidently not.
Traffic lights were out throughout the city causing huge messes (treat it as a four way stop people.) I managed to miss that. Honestly other than that the internet slowed causing some problems with Plex during the storm I would have not had any idea anything much other than a windy night was going on. The wind managed to hit the two huge houses that were built right next to me and just… go around.
I got the news my step mother was in the hospital a little bit ago. Have a couple of things I was going to write on tech, especially with this Log4J vulnerability, some stuff I did with a solar camera, but that’s not happening today.
Overall, December’s shaping up to be a uniquely crappy month in Nashville…
Get a plan in place
Oh yeah, sorry, I’m missing the point I wanted to make – get a plan in place ok? I used to think having a bug out bag was kind of silly but now I’ve got kids and realize when you have to factor in that they might take a solid 3 minutes to get into a car having a bag ready might be the thing that saves your life.
Have a charger charged, have a solar panel handy to charge your charger if you want, have your credit cards stored somewhere somehow where you can access them (really, make up your own code if you want, just so you can remember them,) have phone numbers written down somewhere for when the internet fails or your phone is shot and someone with a Jitterbug offers you a phone call.
I can’t believe how many people don’t have any way to contact people when tech goes down. Seriously – invest in a pen and paper and keep some useful information in your wallet and if you’re really worried about it encrypt it with your own code… lordy, adding 1111 2222 3333 4444 to your hand-written credit card numbers will defeat anyone looking at it (use your own numbers obviously).
Memorize the phone number of that one relative who will actually pick up the phone for an unknown caller.
Your neighbor have a generator? Buy them a beer and ask if needed if you can run an extension cord over to power a fridge. Be neighborly before needed. Yes? Ask them if they want you to store some gas for their generator in case it’s needed. Bam bro.
Guys, I’m not trying to scare people but I’d really love it if more people were prepared for disaster so that when something does happen they can help their neighbors. You don’t have to be doomsday preppers, but having 5 gallons of gas, enough beans to feed people for a gassy week, potable and nonpotable water enough to bathe a family once or twice, these are things needed in a disaster. These $100 meal kits with 70 servings, no… it takes like 12 servings to feed a person. Invest in $0.58 cans of beans.
Make a plan with your kids with a password for someone who can pick them up in an emergency. Basically you’re in a crisis mode and have to have your kid picked up by a stranger, said stranger needs a password your kids will recognize as “this is an extreme event, police are too busy, your parents are at the hospital, I have been requested to get you. The password is ‘Stinky Banana Toots'”
Above may sound extreme, but for about two hours all of our alternate pickup people were blocks from suspected tornadoes. It can happen. I mean, kids were with us but I was texting at 4am asking if friends up north who were in the red zone were ok.
Also, if you can help Kentucky families and communities hurt by the 220 mile long path of destruction, please do. I have no recommendations on who can help but if you do please comment.