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Old 10-28-2012, 22:31   #1
AngryBassets
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Questions for Hurricane cops:

A few of us here have never been through a hurricane, and unless you have been under a rock, New Jersey is about to get hit, and we're doing it RIGHT. Last hurricane to make landfall in the state was in 1903 and there has never been a direct, perpendicular hit like this one will be. Add this cold front, and a bunch of other weather mumbo jumbo, and it adds up to me not having electric for God-knows how long and dealing with the aftermath...

Some questiosn:

How do you get to work??? I live maybe 4-5 miles from our hq, and I have my take home Charger loaded and ready to go. I'm supposed to be in at 1600; a bad time. Assuming there's no rivers overflowing running across the roads, can you drive in this?

I have three cans of Fix-A-Flat, plenty of water, food, ammo, change of clothes, chargers, etc.

Any other tips? Ever lose cell service? Your radio system stay intact/in-service? Other issues? War stories welcome.
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Old 10-28-2012, 22:41   #2
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Not a hurricane cop, but have been in this weather a time or two before LE.

Keep your vehicle stocked for on the way there and back, and have stuff at your office. Watch out for power lines being down; flooding; well you knew that much.

I have driven in hurricane like storms, including in the Midwest, as well as in some milder hurricane weather along the coast in places. It can be done, but watch for flooding, and very high winds, and I hope your squad is heavy. I will tell you that if you are going to work, you may want to get there before it hits, so you can settle in. Don't answer calls unless you just have to.

As to driving in it, big trucks under a full load have been swept off the roads by some higher winds, of course they are high profile vehicles. A patrol car is lower in profile, but can still be tossed around.

Keep in mind with hurricanes there are usually tornadoes that come with them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 22:46   #3
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No talk of tor-naders'; too cold I think.

I have a Charger. Sits low; I'll see how it is tomorrow. If it starts getting bad, I'm stuck with leaving my family in this before I have to vs. a tough ride in.
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Old 10-28-2012, 22:47   #4
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just try not to be this guy.

Cop Talk
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Old 10-28-2012, 22:52   #5
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http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/

Current location on the second url.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#SANDY
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Last edited by Hack; 10-28-2012 at 22:55..
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:07   #6
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I'm all over the weather and news sites. I worked shiftwork for 20 years, 1990-2010. Now, I stay up maybe 2-3 nights a year. I volunteered as the nightwatch commander for some unknown reason so I'm sitting here (it's 1am here) doing nothing but making myself anxious.

I need to find some pr0n or something.
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBassets View Post
I'm all over the weather and news sites. I worked shiftwork for 20 years, 1990-2010. Now, I stay up maybe 2-3 nights a year. I volunteered as the nightwatch commander for some unknown reason so I'm sitting here (it's 1am here) doing nothing but making myself anxious.

I need to find some pr0n or something.
You have Netflix there?
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:24   #8
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I'm not working now. I go in tomorrow at 4. I have a rooted 4g Verizon android phone with chargers, 4 spare batteries, that I can hotspot for my Xoom tablet.

As long as I have cell service and either a 120v (generator-fed) or 12v outlet, I'll be good tomorrow!
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBassets View Post
I'm not working now. I go in tomorrow at 4. I have a rooted 4g Verizon android phone with chargers, 4 spare batteries, that I can hotspot for my Xoom tablet.

As long as I have cell service and either a 120v (generator-fed) or 12v outlet, I'll be good tomorrow!
There you go. Maybe you will have a CDMA tower going somewhere close by.
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:41   #10
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Quote:
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There you go. Maybe you will have a CDMA tower going somewhere close by.
We are staffing an extra duty detail where we have to sit in front of a bank being seized by the FDIC in town 24/7 till probably Friday morning (this started this past Friday). My captain thinks we'll do this all through the storm, and I have the 2a-6a slot tues, wed and thurs morning. That will be the absolute height of the storm. I'll park of the wind-broken side of the little building and pray.

There *is* a Vzw site on one of our water towers about a half mile away (our broadcast site for our channel is on that tower too), and our station is about 500 feet down the road so that'll be interesting too.

It's one of those rare side jobs where I'll be able to nap. I'm in a tinted-our unmarked charger IN A HURRICANE. I'm pretty confident no one is going to walk up to my car and shoot me or try to get into the (locked/alarmed/now devoid of money) bank.
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:41   #11
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Be safe basset hound. I ain't workin in this crap thankfully. You might want to go in a little earlier and just relax for a bit to beat the water. Where I'm at the town put travel restrictions up as of midnight.
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Old 10-29-2012, 00:15   #12
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I fear no restrictions. The cause of said restrictions, yes.

I will be gone from 1600-0600 as is, and I doubt I'll be getting home at 6am...and I have be in at 1600 again tuesday. I'm not inclined to leave my already terrified wife and two boys (9 and 6) alone one second sooner than I have to.

Wind's picking up. Ugh...it's 500 miles away. I am not looking forward to living 1800's style for the next week.
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Old 10-29-2012, 00:38   #13
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I'd get my squad stuck in a ditch a block from home, call work, tell them what happened, that it's impassable. Then go home to the family. I mean this purely as a hypothetical.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:12   #14
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If your supervisor doesn't give special orders, go 10-8 as usual. If the streets are flooded, let dispatch know and stay at home until the water goes down or the dept. comes by in a deuce and a half. Don't put your life or your depts vehicle in harms way for any reason.
Also BE CAREFUl of walking the flooded streets. It may be a swift water situation. You could be walking along and step into a now uncovered manhole and be washed away in the pipe. If you have a life jacket, bring it. If your unit gets flooded, put it on. If not, get some line and you may have to try to throw it to a person on top of their car. Contact the FD for that if possible.
Watch out for downed power lines and falling tree limbs during the storm.
Its only a Cat 1. Lots of rain and moderate winds. Enjoy the feeling of the low pressure on your body and relax.

Good luck.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:30   #15
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Good Luck Bassett!!

I noticed you mentioned your car 3 or 4 times. I think you are right in track with that! Cars float like a brick, so stay out of the water!! Add a lifejacket that fits you, and a couple of the cheap uscg orange around the neck types for others to your gear. Also, more food than you think, as you may end up giving some away!


Above all, STAY SAFE!!!!! And remember that we (regular people) appreciate the hell out of your service every day, but especially on difficult days like i'm sure today and the rest of this week will be.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:27   #16
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I am not a cop.

Take a 3rd set of clothes and/or at least 2 extra pairs of socks and an additional undershirt. Throw a couple of towels in the bag too.

If we do get hit with hurricane force winds, I have lived thru...

Gilbert 1988 (#1, until Wilma surpassed it in 2005)
Dennis (#2 of all time, but not when it hit)
Ivan (#6 of all time, etc)
Andrew, and one more I can't remember the name.

Not sure how close to the coast you are, but the closer you are to the coast, the deadlier the storm surge can be, and the faster/easier it will be for your cruiser to be rendered immobile.

As Knox says, if you are close to the coast, have a real functioning life jacket for YOURSELF in the car, within reach. A lifejacket in your trunk is going to be useless if you realize you'll need it.

If you expect a need to write, have a couple of sharpies and big sharpie markers. Take a box (package) of 20-30 gallon garbage bags if you anticipate you're going to run into folks who should have evac'ed but did not. This will allow them to grab some crap and GTFO.

Put your wallet in something waterproof (ziplock etc), because if you are outside, you are going to get wet to the bone marrow.

Make sure you have a pair of wrap around shades that will stay on your face.

To add, I think your state agencies are doing lots of things right, by shutting down the state early.

For heavens sake DON'T leave your sense of humor or patience at home. You're gonna need these more than ever today. It goes without saying - stay safe. Expect lots of airborne crap and whipping, driving rains.

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:38   #17
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Extra underwear
Socks socks socks
Snacks
Water
Baby wipes

Find the high ground and hold what you got.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:07   #18
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As said extra clothes and some water and snacks/food.

Review what plans are if you loose your radio system; are there back ups on another system or mutual aids. Cell phone coverage may be reduced or gone; some sites may stop hours later as battery backups fail or days as generators go unfueled.

You should have a plan as to when you will stop responding to calls and probably publish it / do a press release. As comforting as returning everyone to the station may seem, it might also isolate and damage all your assets which could be avoided if you spread people and cruisers out to various safe locations.

Someone should have already ordered extra tires if you are going to be directly hit.

If you are out in the storm strongly think about putting the car into the wind before you open the door to avoid spending half the storm in something that looks like it should be driven on Fantasy Island.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:49   #19
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I went through Hurricane Isabel when it hit Virginia Beach back in 2003 as an EMT.

We pretty much lost our digital radios because the dishes got out of alignment and we had to go to our backup VHF (I think) system. Phones were spotty. The good part is there have been 9 years of advances since then.

Take extra food, clothing, etc. I second the life vest if you are going to be out during the storm. Your agency should CLOSE the streets for ALL emergency personnel when the main part of the storm hits. If not, they are stupid.

Virginia Beach closed the streets and put out a radio all call to hunker down somewhere when the main part of the hurricane hit. All 911 calls were held until the streets reopened. Nothing is worth driving out in a hurricane. You certainly won't get anywhere quickly if you get there at all. Once the streets reopened, we started handling the backlog of calls and figuring out the damage.

I would plan on not being at home from when you go in today until several days pass. If you get the chance to get home, great, but don't be surprised if you don't. I was there for 3 days.

Be careful of moving water. Just a couple inches of fast moving water can wash away your car and you'll be dead. Again, don't put your neck out there during a hurricane trying to be a hero. And to babysit a vacant building during a hurricane is idiotic. Most building alarms will go off. No power, so if you have high rises, be prepared to walk up and down a lot. You'll have elderly people die because their machines go out. I'd also double up on your manpower so you have 2 per car no matter what.

Hope some of this helps. Be safe.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:52   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OFCJIM40 View Post
I'd get my squad stuck in a ditch a block from home, call work, tell them what happened, that it's impassable. Then go home to the family. I mean this purely as a hypothetical.
I can't do that; I'm the nightwatch boss. On some level, I can understand guys doing that though. :(

Lots of good advice here. We had Irene last year which was surprisingly docile here. While it was good practice for us, it has led to what seems like a great degree of complacency on behalf of the public.

I plan on grounding guys once the conditions get to 'that' point.

It's disturbing not being home. My house is stout; my parents live in a 112 year old three story wood-frame Victorian house a half block away, so that concerns me too.
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