Author Topic: Have you survived a natural disaster?  (Read 2920 times)

Adventine

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Have you survived a natural disaster?
« on: November 15, 2020, 08:45:33 AM »
I've been thinking a lot lately about natural disasters: earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, etc.

Some people are resilient. They plan well, and have the resources (savings, insurance, skills) to recover quickly.

Others, through some combination of bad planning and bad luck, never do.

I want to hear stories about Mustachians surviving calamities. What happened, how did it personally affect you, and how did you recover? Did your life change significantly after the event, or did you shrug it off and continue life as usual?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 02:33:24 AM by Adventine »

NonprofitER

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2020, 07:49:13 AM »
Hi @Adventine!

My family and I have survived *two* natural disasters. They both occurred before we found Mustachianism though. Our experiences with them definitely pushed us towards an interest in financial freedom though.

Disaster 1: We lived overseas for about 5 years and experienced the Christchurch earthquakes (Sept 2010 - til we left the country in July 2011). We had a toddler at the time and I was finishing up my postgrad degree while my husband was finishing up his RN degree. The home we rented split open and was unlivable and we quickly found ourselves staying with friends for a few months before eventually renting a different place that was 1/4 size and 4x the rent (rent prices skyrocketed as such a large percentage of buildings were damaged/ unusable). We spent those 9 1/2 months experiencing multiple daily aftershocks, living on boil water notices, intermittent power outages, navigating broken roads, etc. while we waited for our respective universities to re-open so my husband could complete the last 6 weeks of his degree and take the licensing test (and attempting to exude normalcy for our almost-2 yo). Financially, we didn't have much to begin with since we were both students and on scholarships/stipends etc at the time, but costs went way up (namely our housing cost) which caused some unforeseen debt. We also left the country earlier than we would have had there been no quakes - and without my husband getting work experience first, which slowed his entry into the workforce by about 6 months.

Disaster 2: After we left Chch and returned to the US, we landed at my parents home outside Austin TX with the intention of saving costs/getting rid of the debt we accumulated during the earthquakes. About 6 weeks after we got back and moved in and started job hunting, their home burned up in a total-loss wildfire (Bastrop Fire 2011).  Worse still, it occurred while we were all out of town for Labor Day weekend, so we basically owned nothing but a suitcase of jean shorts and flip flops and whatever a person travels with to occupy a 2yo. We spent about a month in a hotel where filing my parents insurance claim became an almost full time job for while. We eventually got a furnished rental home we all shared (covered by insurance for 12 months) while my parents rebuilt and we continued with our plan to save/ pay off all earthquake related debt, become gainfully employed and buy our own home in July 2012. What was initially supposed to be a few months of my parents providing us with some security while we found our feet ended up being a shared grief and multi-generational living situation for 12 months.

What we learned, in no particular order of importance:
  • "Replacement Value" insurance policies are king. We know many people who lost homes in the fire that did NOT have replacement value, and their home/possessions were devalued so much by the insurance companies that they could not reasonable afford to rebuild what they had.
  • Regardless of good insurance, there will always be crap you have to replace that costs money and brings no joy. IE, while my parent's insurance paid for us all to live in a fully furnished rental, we still got nickel-and-dimed replacing misc. stuff that you need - like scissors, or masking tape, or a ladle, or whatever. And some needs are more immediate than others (like clothes that are not jean shorts) but it can take months to get reimbursed for all those misc. costs.
  • I'll never live without a liquid emergency fund. I know people are all about springy debt, etc. around here, but with my experiences, I sleep best at night with a 6 month emergency fund.
  • Some preparation is ideal. Despite our experiences, we're not really "prepper" types, but we do some basic things like keep some bottled water in the garage, as well as bleach and formulas for sterilizing drinking water. We also have a reasonable amount of pantry items at all times, and have all our important paperwork in a way that makes it easy to "grab and go" if we needed to. We've never packed official "go bags", but I think we're equipped to if we needed to on the spot. We also don't let both our cars run low on gas - one care is always over 50% full.
  • Relationships are the best insurance. Our situation would have been much, much worse had we not had friends who welcomed us in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, or parents who welcomed us as we tried to re-group moving back to the USA. It's not easy to host a young family for months while we looked for an affordable rental, or have my retired parents chasing a potty-training toddler when we all lived together for a year. But our trajectory was significantly mitigated by having those loving, generous relationships. Almost a decade later now, we try to remember the generosity we experienced and pay it forward when other people we know are having a hard time.
The good news is, we survived two natural disasters in a two year timespan, and while it definitely set our finances back at the time, it gave us the mindset to aim for FI/RE when we discovered MMM. We know what we can live without!


 

Just Joe

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2020, 02:27:35 PM »
No but stories like the one above have been part of our motivation to have savings and insurance. Bad stuff happens sometimes.

bbqbonelesswing

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2020, 02:48:33 PM »
Nothing too extreme, but growing up in New Jersey, I've been through my share of hurricanes. In recent years, Sandy and Irene both hit our area hard. My hometown sees massive flooding with every big storm, so many folk end up displaced. We will usually spend the next few days waiting for the power to come back on, drying out, and helping neighbors bail out their basements and salvage what they can.

Personally I haven't been massively affected, because my parents always told me to avoid living in areas of town know for flooding (some folks never learn, and these houses along the river are always in high demand). I have had close friends lose their homes or spend fortunes repairing them, so it's been really nice to know I've avoided all of that simply by not living in a known flood zone. I'll always keep this in mind when looking for a home.

I'm not a full-on "prepper" but it's always in the back of my mind to have some candles, dry goods, etc. in the pantry and take the news of a big storm seriously. An emergency fund isn't just cash- you can't eat cash. I think many folks learned this for the first time with the wave of lockdowns and scarcity this year. No need to panic over toilet paper in our house... we're already stocked up!

HenryDavid

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2020, 04:37:19 PM »
Yup,  big flood, devastated the city.
-friends are the most important insurance. Saved us 100 times over. Maybe 1000.
-insurance companies are businesses. First word they know is “no.” Also the 2nd, 3rd etc. High deductible is worth the saving since you’ll never see much of what you thought you’d be covered for. Self-insure with the diff in premiums. And read all the fine print, now.
-don’t assume that what looks safe, is. We thought a network of dams upstream from us controlled our river and would prevent bad floods. But their mandate was power generation, not flood control. Opening the dam wrecked our ‘hood. But a private company was in charge. We took too much for granted.
-a flood ain’t just water. It’s sewer backup, dead animals, oil slicks, big heavy floating logs, patio furniture, propane canisters . . . followed by mold. Avoid if at all possible!
-nature is powerful. Your house can be shifted off its foundation, banks erode and disappear, land is reshaped. It's amazing.
-be aware that friends and family may well have PTSD after the losses and anxiety and lack of control they go through. And they will be broke. For a long time, maybe. We weren’t because: frugality. But so many were ruined, divorced, damaged by this specific disaster. When you read about floods, hurricanes, fires, that's what people are experiencing. Help how you can.

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2020, 03:47:42 AM »
@NonprofitER you and your family have been through a LOT. Glad you've come out so much stronger! A lot of wisdom to gain from you.

-be aware that friends and family may well have PTSD after the losses and anxiety and lack of control they go through. And they will be broke. For a long time, maybe. We weren’t because: frugality. But so many were ruined, divorced, damaged by this specific disaster. When you read about floods, hurricanes, fires, that's what people are experiencing. Help how you can.

This is very good advice. I have an uncle whose house routinely flooded every time there was a big storm. It got to the point where the slightest sound of rain would keep him up all night. And since his house was in a known flood zone, they had trouble selling it. It took them 10+ years before they could move away.

Imagine 10+ years of insomnia because of rain...

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2020, 04:25:05 AM »
Not the same kind of story. I worked in a truck stop when I was in high school and there was a tornado that actually got close enough to break some windows and damage some cars. I locked up my register and helped to show customers down to the basement. I was 16 years old and thought I was being brave because I kept coming back to make sure nobody was left. Later the manager chewed me out for not standing and guarding that cash register, which was right in front of a plate glass window.  I could have been fucking killed if I had done that (that particular window didn't break, but still).
 That place was abusive in other ways too. There was a book by Barbara Ehrenreich about low wage jobs that really rung home for me.
 


« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 04:33:55 AM by Aunt Petunia »

Imma

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2020, 04:34:33 AM »
Not the same kind of story. I worked in a truck stop when I was in high school and there was a tornado that actually got close enough to break some windows and damage some cars. I locked up my register and helped to show customers down to the basement. I was 16 years old and thought I was being brave because I kept coming back to make sure nobody was left. Later the manager chewed me out for not standing and guarding that cash register, which was right in front of a plate glass window. That window wasn't one that got broken, but still.

Your manager expected you to put yourself in danger for a bit of money? A 16 year old? That's almost criminal.

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2020, 05:12:29 AM »
Not the same kind of story. I worked in a truck stop when I was in high school and there was a tornado that actually got close enough to break some windows and damage some cars. I locked up my register and helped to show customers down to the basement. I was 16 years old and thought I was being brave because I kept coming back to make sure nobody was left. Later the manager chewed me out for not standing and guarding that cash register, which was right in front of a plate glass window. That window wasn't one that got broken, but still.

Your manager expected you to put yourself in danger for a bit of money? A 16 year old? That's almost criminal.

The story actually deserves its own thread - something like "Worst Managers Ever" ;)

Dicey

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 05:03:17 AM »
There was a book by Barbara Ehrenreich about low wage jobs...
IIRC, it's called "Nickel and Dimed". It made a huge impression on me. I can never see a package of hot dog buns without remembering that book.

texxan1

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2020, 08:17:29 AM »
I have survived a few hurricanes, a volcano erupting and a few floods... They were cool when i was young and didnt have anything, but as we age.. They SUCK

So the true disaster that happened to US was sept 13th,2008....Hurricane IKE change my life forever and in a good way...
So now, the rest of the story..LONG WINDED

So we were on vacation fishing in the everglades and hurricane ike had just passed and was going to mexico... OR WAS HE..... anyways, we watch constantly as the target trajectoy changed daily... and BOOM.. .here he goes as a cat 2 wind/cat 4 water and basically went strait up the 145 cooridoor .. A direct hit to my area, home, work etc.

We lost EVERYTHING, except our boat and the wifes car... which are friends and family came home and took.... I cried when we got home and saw just one wall left standing on our waterfront home in galveston.... we saved a few tools and my wifes kayaks which were on the highway..... This would be the one thing, that totally changed the direction our life was going and for the better.

First thing we realized once we called insurance and my work etc, was that we were in financial ruin....   We had 2500 dollars to our name, the wife lost her job as her hospital was wiped out .... Then came THE CALL that changed it all... My company, called to ensure we were ok and ask us if we needed anything.... Now not epexting much from the company, as i was a new employee with 1 year at the company, i kinda wept as i talked to them , I had nothing, ,i felt lost, i felt depressed and honestly had no idea how my wife and i would survive..... The person on the other end of the line, asked me if was able to meet and i of course said yes... She came to ME at my home.. I was amazed

needless to say, i didnt expect much but man was i surprised. She arrives within the hour... She gave me a firm handshake and said.. On behalf of the company, i am here to help.... First thing you need is money, she handed me an envelope with 20k USD cash.... I was shocked, next she handed me another envelope with details of a hotel and keys to our room... She said the company has taken care of this for you for the next 3 months... She handed me  a card, and said. This is the company lawyer, he will represent you with all you need to fight the insurance companies and whatever else you need. His team will be available 24/7 for as long as you need them.... I balled like a little girl  SHOCKED and AMAZED at what my company of 1 year was doing for me

In the days ,weeks and months that followed.... we survived, we fought like hell against big insurance and i happily went to work and busted my ass... The company told me to take 3 months off and sort out my life, NOPE.. 3 weeks later i went back to work, as i owned nothing, and needed to keep my mind busy.. My boss told me no, I gave him no choice.  I needed to work, i needed overtime, i needed to pay my company back what they so graciously did to help my wife and I.

Now mind you, this was 2008 and 2009.. The economy was crashing, the housing bubbly burst.... It was not a pretty year to say the least... I had decided that NEVER again was i gonna be caught with my wallet empty like that... I studdied all i could about finance and listened to every dave ramsey thing i could find....

towards the end of 2008, the company called me and said .. Hey, come up to the main office we have sorted out a place to get you out of that hotel.. I go up there, and they hand me over the keys and information to a brand new fully furnished condo that they said was ours for 9months. Everything paid for except cable television... Again, i was shocked and so thankful.

During this time, i worked every amount of overtime i could get... saved saved and saved.... Finally after the lawsuits against big insurance, we couldnt do much more than settle with them and in settling, i basically came up with enough cash to pay the old house off....and the 20k to give the company back what they had loaned us.

Since we finally bulldozed the old house remains and had a design to build a new house, i went to the bank to get a loan to build a new house... Nope, no loans to give, sorry son.. said the banker.... it was 2009 by this point.... I was sunk again, but i knew something would happen to bring a new house to fruition... I had to meet with a company lawyer to sign some paperwork and he asked me how the new construction was going and i had to explain to him that no one was giving loans and that we were stuck... He looked at me suprised and said, well lets make a phone call.... within a day, he had me all set up to get a FEMA Disaster assistance loan for 200k USD.... The paperwork went through a few months and i was Amazed when they came back with a 1.9% interest rate.  Once again, this was all because of my company......

April 1, 2010 we moved into our new home...... the entire time i had worked my ass off, as much overtime as i could get, i did the general contracting on my house, designed it myself, engineered it myself and made sure i was there every morning at sunup and ever evening at sundown..... I picked the right subs, hustled in every way i could... WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL NEW HOME.....

Once we moved in, we looked out our finances and we had a 10k emergency fund, 20k to pay the company back they gave me and very little else... but i was making great money, as i had two promotions that year and my wifes hospital was about to open and she could return to making good money as well.... Life was ok.

I went to our company headquarters downtown to talk to the person in charge of the IKE assistance team.. I brought with me a check for the 20k we had been given and the nice lady said.. Sir, that was a gift..... You do not have to pay it back and even if you tried.. The company wouldnt take it.... I balled again...

This one thing led me to where i am today, although i went through a amicalable divorce since then, have several business that my ex and I started and am about to FIRE with a fiance, a PAID FOR HOUSE ( thanks ) and a shitload of money invested.... I could not have done this without the lords help, and the Best company a person could ever work for......

The name of that company... ( i took this out, lets just say its the 4th largest oil and gas company in the world()
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 08:27:41 AM by texxan1 »

GuitarStv

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2020, 01:36:45 PM »
I watched Batman and Robin.  In a theater.  With money I had earned.  And I didn't walk out, but instead stayed to the end in an attempt to help out with other survivors.  Only to find out that I was the only one in the theater when the lights came on.


Still suffering from trauma (Sweet Jesus, why were there moulded nipples on the costumes?  Why were there bat-skates?  Why was there a bat credit card?), and not sure if I'll ever recover.

ysette9

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 03:31:26 PM »
I have survived a few hurricanes, a volcano erupting and a few floods... They were cool when i was young and didnt have anything, but as we age.. They SUCK

So the true disaster that happened to US was sept 13th,2008....Hurricane IKE change my life forever and in a good way...
So now, the rest of the story..LONG WINDED

So we were on vacation fishing in the everglades and hurricane ike had just passed and was going to mexico... OR WAS HE..... anyways, we watch constantly as the target trajectoy changed daily... and BOOM.. .here he goes as a cat 2 wind/cat 4 water and basically went strait up the 145 cooridoor .. A direct hit to my area, home, work etc.

We lost EVERYTHING, except our boat and the wifes car... which are friends and family came home and took.... I cried when we got home and saw just one wall left standing on our waterfront home in galveston.... we saved a few tools and my wifes kayaks which were on the highway..... This would be the one thing, that totally changed the direction our life was going and for the better.

First thing we realized once we called insurance and my work etc, was that we were in financial ruin....   We had 2500 dollars to our name, the wife lost her job as her hospital was wiped out .... Then came THE CALL that changed it all... My company, called to ensure we were ok and ask us if we needed anything.... Now not epexting much from the company, as i was a new employee with 1 year at the company, i kinda wept as i talked to them , I had nothing, ,i felt lost, i felt depressed and honestly had no idea how my wife and i would survive..... The person on the other end of the line, asked me if was able to meet and i of course said yes... She came to ME at my home.. I was amazed

needless to say, i didnt expect much but man was i surprised. She arrives within the hour... She gave me a firm handshake and said.. On behalf of the company, i am here to help.... First thing you need is money, she handed me an envelope with 20k USD cash.... I was shocked, next she handed me another envelope with details of a hotel and keys to our room... She said the company has taken care of this for you for the next 3 months... She handed me  a card, and said. This is the company lawyer, he will represent you with all you need to fight the insurance companies and whatever else you need. His team will be available 24/7 for as long as you need them.... I balled like a little girl  SHOCKED and AMAZED at what my company of 1 year was doing for me

In the days ,weeks and months that followed.... we survived, we fought like hell against big insurance and i happily went to work and busted my ass... The company told me to take 3 months off and sort out my life, NOPE.. 3 weeks later i went back to work, as i owned nothing, and needed to keep my mind busy.. My boss told me no, I gave him no choice.  I needed to work, i needed overtime, i needed to pay my company back what they so graciously did to help my wife and I.

Now mind you, this was 2008 and 2009.. The economy was crashing, the housing bubbly burst.... It was not a pretty year to say the least... I had decided that NEVER again was i gonna be caught with my wallet empty like that... I studdied all i could about finance and listened to every dave ramsey thing i could find....

towards the end of 2008, the company called me and said .. Hey, come up to the main office we have sorted out a place to get you out of that hotel.. I go up there, and they hand me over the keys and information to a brand new fully furnished condo that they said was ours for 9months. Everything paid for except cable television... Again, i was shocked and so thankful.

During this time, i worked every amount of overtime i could get... saved saved and saved.... Finally after the lawsuits against big insurance, we couldnt do much more than settle with them and in settling, i basically came up with enough cash to pay the old house off....and the 20k to give the company back what they had loaned us.

Since we finally bulldozed the old house remains and had a design to build a new house, i went to the bank to get a loan to build a new house... Nope, no loans to give, sorry son.. said the banker.... it was 2009 by this point.... I was sunk again, but i knew something would happen to bring a new house to fruition... I had to meet with a company lawyer to sign some paperwork and he asked me how the new construction was going and i had to explain to him that no one was giving loans and that we were stuck... He looked at me suprised and said, well lets make a phone call.... within a day, he had me all set up to get a FEMA Disaster assistance loan for 200k USD.... The paperwork went through a few months and i was Amazed when they came back with a 1.9% interest rate.  Once again, this was all because of my company......

April 1, 2010 we moved into our new home...... the entire time i had worked my ass off, as much overtime as i could get, i did the general contracting on my house, designed it myself, engineered it myself and made sure i was there every morning at sunup and ever evening at sundown..... I picked the right subs, hustled in every way i could... WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL NEW HOME.....

Once we moved in, we looked out our finances and we had a 10k emergency fund, 20k to pay the company back they gave me and very little else... but i was making great money, as i had two promotions that year and my wifes hospital was about to open and she could return to making good money as well.... Life was ok.

I went to our company headquarters downtown to talk to the person in charge of the IKE assistance team.. I brought with me a check for the 20k we had been given and the nice lady said.. Sir, that was a gift..... You do not have to pay it back and even if you tried.. The company wouldnt take it.... I balled again...

This one thing led me to where i am today, although i went through a amicalable divorce since then, have several business that my ex and I started and am about to FIRE with a fiance, a PAID FOR HOUSE ( thanks ) and a shitload of money invested.... I could not have done this without the lords help, and the Best company a person could ever work for......

The name of that company... ( i took this out, lets just say its the 4th largest oil and gas company in the world()
That is an incredible story. It is wonderful to hear when companies do the right thing by their employees.
Good for you for using this as a lesson to get your financial house in order.

ysette9

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2020, 03:32:00 PM »
I watched Batman and Robin.  In a theater.  With money I had earned.  And I didn't walk out, but instead stayed to the end in an attempt to help out with other survivors.  Only to find out that I was the only one in the theater when the lights came on.


Still suffering from trauma (Sweet Jesus, why were there moulded nipples on the costumes?  Why were there bat-skates?  Why was there a bat credit card?), and not sure if I'll ever recover.
I have spent many a Batman movie wondering about moulded nipples in the costumes.

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2020, 05:55:20 AM »
@texxan1 so glad you got through all that. What an incredible employer!

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2020, 05:55:50 AM »
I watched Batman and Robin.  In a theater.  With money I had earned.  And I didn't walk out, but instead stayed to the end in an attempt to help out with other survivors.  Only to find out that I was the only one in the theater when the lights came on.


Still suffering from trauma (Sweet Jesus, why were there moulded nipples on the costumes?  Why were there bat-skates?  Why was there a bat credit card?), and not sure if I'll ever recover.
I have spent many a Batman movie wondering about moulded nipples in the costumes.

Oh no no no. That disaster was entirely manmade.

fishnfool

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2020, 10:45:00 PM »
October 17th 1989, 5pm and the start of game 3 of world series my house started shaking, my TV crashed onto the floor as I held onto a door jamb watching about half the items in my kitchen cabinets hit the floor. As soon as the shaking stopped I ran outside to shut of our natural gas supply. Electricity was already out and didn't get restored for 3 more days. I helped a couple of my neighbors get their gas shut off. Then I rode my bike around the neighborhood looking for my daughter who was with her friend.
I tried to call my mom and grandparents who lived about 5 miles away across town, all phone lines were dead (pre cell phone days). I drove across town to check on my family. Grandparents were okay, mom was out shopping. I later found out that mom was downtown and just escaped a building that was utterly in ruins after the earthquake.

For the next week grocery stores had lines around the block as they only let a few people in at a time and escorted you through the store. No electricity required them to throw out most all of their refrigerated items and a lot of meat, produce etc. Gas stations had long lines and low fuel supplies as highways into towns were also badly damaged.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed and lives were lost. Aftershocks continued for weeks after the initial quake. A lot of people camped on their front lawns afraid of their fireplaces collapsing after the quake left many homes damaged. Life changed for a lot of people. We were fortunate to escape any damage other than cleaning up the mess. I lost about 8qts of homemade jam. My TV still worked too. My family was safe.

The memories of the 1989 Loma Prieta eartherquake will live with me forever.

Thanks for sharing this thread. Just another thing to remember to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

ysette9

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2020, 08:36:17 PM »
October 17th 1989, 5pm and the start of game 3 of world series my house started shaking, my TV crashed onto the floor as I held onto a door jamb watching about half the items in my kitchen cabinets hit the floor. As soon as the shaking stopped I ran outside to shut of our natural gas supply. Electricity was already out and didn't get restored for 3 more days. I helped a couple of my neighbors get their gas shut off. Then I rode my bike around the neighborhood looking for my daughter who was with her friend.
I tried to call my mom and grandparents who lived about 5 miles away across town, all phone lines were dead (pre cell phone days). I drove across town to check on my family. Grandparents were okay, mom was out shopping. I later found out that mom was downtown and just escaped a building that was utterly in ruins after the earthquake.

For the next week grocery stores had lines around the block as they only let a few people in at a time and escorted you through the store. No electricity required them to throw out most all of their refrigerated items and a lot of meat, produce etc. Gas stations had long lines and low fuel supplies as highways into towns were also badly damaged.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed and lives were lost. Aftershocks continued for weeks after the initial quake. A lot of people camped on their front lawns afraid of their fireplaces collapsing after the quake left many homes damaged. Life changed for a lot of people. We were fortunate to escape any damage other than cleaning up the mess. I lost about 8qts of homemade jam. My TV still worked too. My family was safe.

The memories of the 1989 Loma Prieta eartherquake will live with me forever.

Thanks for sharing this thread. Just another thing to remember to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.

Have a great Thanksgiving!
You were clearly closer to the epicenter than I was for that one. Where abouts?

I grew up in the north bay and I remember that day clearly though I was only a kid. My sister and I had gone with a neighbor friend as her father checked out some friend’s fancy car. We were in a parking lot and watched as the car started to roll forward. The adults talked about forgetting to put on the parking brake when the car reversed course and started rolling backwards. It was then we realized it was an earthquake. I remember “surfing” the moving pavement under my feet. (I was a young, dumb kid).

Back at home there were some things that fell of the walls but that was all. My parents were always good st earthquake proofing by bolting furniture to the walls and all of that. It wasn’t until I was quite a bit older than I saw footage of the bay bridge deck collapsing and the embarcadero freeway and all of that. For all the bad that came that day the revitalized embarcadero was a real positive.

Oddly, I was also in LA for the north ridge quake, visiting a relative. I remember getting woken up suddenly as I was grabbed out of bed to stand in the doorway. I was too young to know better at the time but apparently the adults were afraid the tiny house we were in was going to roll down the large hill it was pitched upon.

SwordGuy

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2020, 01:55:33 PM »
I worked with a guy who was two cars away from the double-stacked freeway bridge that fell onto the lower lane.   If he had driven to work a few seconds faster he would have literally been flattened.    It was a decade later and he still had the emotional scar from it.   And no longer lived in CA or anywhere known for earthquakes.

We've lived in areas with tornados, floods, hurricanes and quakes.    Been thru all of them but so far, we've never been "personally disastered" by them.  The cities we've lived in have been.  Old home was 2 houses away from being flooded out.  It helps that we don't buy property that's more prone to flooding in general or more prone to it than the houses around us.   Top or sides of hills are better than lower areas!   They were at the bottom of several hills along a creek bed and we were much nearer the top of the hill.

Worst disaster (but not a natural disaster) I was in was being in DC on 911.   Even then I was a mile from the Pentagon.   So while it was scary, it wasn't life threatening.  I passed a otherwise pleasant morning in the cafe of the building I had been in a business meeting in.   Took one look at the traffic and decided staying in place for 4 or 6 hours was a better and less stressful plan.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2020, 02:46:31 PM »
Ice storm of January 1998.  3 ice storms came up the St. Laurence over 5 days, there was thick ice over everything, it took out power lines and pylons, brought down trees .  We were away, came home an hour after they opened the Champlain Bridge.  We had no power for 3 weeks, when daytime temps were in the -20sC and nights were down to -30C.  We were on a well, got drinking water from a neighbour with a generator. Heated the house with a wood stove in the basement, we were able to keep the basement between 13 and 15 C, and main floor between 2 and 6C.  I will always own a manual can opener.  Some of our friends were 4 weeks without power.  I know people who lived it and made sure every house they owned after that had an emergency generator installed.  Since then I've always made sure I had lots of supplies going into winter, there was nothing in the stores because deliveries were so difficult.

Montreal Island had 6 power lines coming from James Bay,  5 were down.  We were one power line away from no water and no emergency power for hospitals for a big city. 

Very few people died, the army and RCMP did emergency services, people pulled together.

fishnfool

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2020, 09:47:24 PM »
October 17th 1989, 5pm and the start of game 3 of world series my house started shaking, my TV crashed onto the floor as I held onto a door jamb watching about half the items in my kitchen cabinets hit the floor. As soon as the shaking stopped I ran outside to shut of our natural gas supply. Electricity was already out and didn't get restored for 3 more days. I helped a couple of my neighbors get their gas shut off. Then I rode my bike around the neighborhood looking for my daughter who was with her friend.
I tried to call my mom and grandparents who lived about 5 miles away across town, all phone lines were dead (pre cell phone days). I drove across town to check on my family. Grandparents were okay, mom was out shopping. I later found out that mom was downtown and just escaped a building that was utterly in ruins after the earthquake.

For the next week grocery stores had lines around the block as they only let a few people in at a time and escorted you through the store. No electricity required them to throw out most all of their refrigerated items and a lot of meat, produce etc. Gas stations had long lines and low fuel supplies as highways into towns were also badly damaged.

Many homes and businesses were destroyed and lives were lost. Aftershocks continued for weeks after the initial quake. A lot of people camped on their front lawns afraid of their fireplaces collapsing after the quake left many homes damaged. Life changed for a lot of people. We were fortunate to escape any damage other than cleaning up the mess. I lost about 8qts of homemade jam. My TV still worked too. My family was safe.

The memories of the 1989 Loma Prieta eartherquake will live with me forever.

Thanks for sharing this thread. Just another thing to remember to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.

Have a great Thanksgiving!
You were clearly closer to the epicenter than I was for that one. Where abouts?

I grew up in the north bay and I remember that day clearly though I was only a kid. My sister and I had gone with a neighbor friend as her father checked out some friend’s fancy car. We were in a parking lot and watched as the car started to roll forward. The adults talked about forgetting to put on the parking brake when the car reversed course and started rolling backwards. It was then we realized it was an earthquake. I remember “surfing” the moving pavement under my feet. (I was a young, dumb kid).

Back at home there were some things that fell of the walls but that was all. My parents were always good st earthquake proofing by bolting furniture to the walls and all of that. It wasn’t until I was quite a bit older than I saw footage of the bay bridge deck collapsing and the embarcadero freeway and all of that. For all the bad that came that day the revitalized embarcadero was a real positive.

Oddly, I was also in LA for the north ridge quake, visiting a relative. I remember getting woken up suddenly as I was grabbed out of bed to stand in the doorway. I was too young to know better at the time but apparently the adults were afraid the tiny house we were in was going to roll down the large hill it was pitched upon.

Yes, I was about 10 miles from the epicenter in the live oak area of Santa Cruz. It was quite a shake and its funny how thinking about it when i posted to this thread brought back a lot of old memories of the experience.

Aloha

Missy B

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2020, 11:44:36 PM »
Well, this thread is reminding me to get my prep on.

I wish my SO would listen to me about doing basic stuff. He easily spends all the energy he would need to do basic prep resisting me and insisting that his 2 litres of fizzy water in the fridge is all he needs to put by for emergencies.

Morning Glory

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2020, 05:47:36 AM »
Not the same kind of story. I worked in a truck stop when I was in high school and there was a tornado that actually got close enough to break some windows and damage some cars. I locked up my register and helped to show customers down to the basement. I was 16 years old and thought I was being brave because I kept coming back to make sure nobody was left. Later the manager chewed me out for not standing and guarding that cash register, which was right in front of a plate glass window. That window wasn't one that got broken, but still.

Your manager expected you to put yourself in danger for a bit of money? A 16 year old? That's almost criminal.

That's only about the third most traumatic thing that happened to me while working there. : ) It definitely deserves its own thread.

My evil stepmother used to talk about that 1989 earthquake in San Francisco.  She was near the Berkeley campus at the time and a building collapsed about a block from where she was.

rockstache

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2020, 06:35:52 AM »
Well it isn't exactly a natural disaster, but my childhood home burned to the ground when I was 19. It was the middle of the night, and everyone happened to be out of the house (sleep overs, overnight work shifts), except for the dog, who we sadly lost. We basically lost everything we owned, family photos being the most disappointing.

I think I came out of it with a better sense of what matters in life. I backup my photos now (wasn't a thing then!), and am less concerned with my material possessions, knowing that I can survive and move on without them. I also keep a good sized emergency fund because insurance can be slow, and it's good to be able to go buy underwear and book a hotel room right when you need it.

Great thread Adventine.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2020, 10:00:37 AM »
I've been thinking a lot lately about natural disasters: earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, etc.

Some people are resilient. They plan well, and have the resources (savings, insurance, skills) to recover quickly.

Others, through some combination of bad planning and bad luck, never do.

I want to hear stories about Mustachians surviving calamities. What happened, how did it personally affect you, and how did you recover? Did your life change significantly after the event, or did you shrug it off and continue life as usual?

I and my house survived a wildfire.

It took ~2 hours for the fire to reach my house so there was plenty of time for the firefighters to come to my house with an engine.

As  the fire came VERY close the firefighters pressurized the hose which was rubber enclosed in a canvas sheath to prevent the rubber hose from ballooning when pressurized.


Unbeknownst to the firefighters the canvas sheath was lacerated so when they pressurized the hose it failed.

As the firefighters went to the engine to replace the failed hose part of the fascia at the rear of my house caught fire.

The firefighters did not see this but I did and immediately directed their attention to the burning fascia.

They extinguished it.

A few weeks later I installed  special fascia coverings made of metal.

Metal fascia coverings + metal roof + fire-resistant siding + plenty of clearing + insurance + FI + easy, multiple access to my property gives me peace of mind but not to an extent  that I'm never a bit nervous during wildfire season.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 10:05:09 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2020, 10:30:51 AM »
I think I came out of it with a better sense of what matters in life. I backup my photos now (wasn't a thing then!), and am less concerned with my material possessions, knowing that I can survive and move on without them. I also keep a good sized emergency fund because insurance can be slow, and it's good to be able to go buy underwear and book a hotel room right when you need it.

I completely agree with you. Fighting an insurance company would be the last thing I would have wanted in your situation.

Metal fascia coverings + metal roof + fire-resistant siding + plenty of clearing + insurance + FI + easy, multiple access to my property gives me peace of mind but not to an extent  that I'm never a bit nervous during wildfire season.

Yeah. I would be too. One can prepare well, but not everything is under our control.

We've lived in areas with tornados, floods, hurricanes and quakes. Been thru all of them but so far, we've never been "personally disastered" by them.  The cities we've lived in have been. 

Same, my city is prone to floods and hurricanes, and is (relatively) close to a volcano, but I've never been personally "disastered". Close family and friends have.

I'm grateful for my luck, and acknowledge that good planning and deliberate lifestyle design contribute to that good luck. But sometimes I wonder when my time will come, and how I will deal with a natural disaster when I find myself confronted with it.

texxan1

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2020, 08:22:47 AM »
Adventine,

Your country is so very close to having natural disasters weekly lol.... My Fiance works in Makati and we just happen to be in Batangas when TAAL blew off last year.. Luckily we were able to get out of there and head to Palawan that day..... One thing i know, once we finally build a place there it will be away from most volcanos and in an area of the country that doesnt get as much Typhoons lol..... I think Palawan or southern Leyte....



I think I came out of it with a better sense of what matters in life. I backup my photos now (wasn't a thing then!), and am less concerned with my material possessions, knowing that I can survive and move on without them. I also keep a good sized emergency fund because insurance can be slow, and it's good to be able to go buy underwear and book a hotel room right when you need it.

I completely agree with you. Fighting an insurance company would be the last thing I would have wanted in your situation.

Metal fascia coverings + metal roof + fire-resistant siding + plenty of clearing + insurance + FI + easy, multiple access to my property gives me peace of mind but not to an extent  that I'm never a bit nervous during wildfire season.

Yeah. I would be too. One can prepare well, but not everything is under our control.

We've lived in areas with tornados, floods, hurricanes and quakes. Been thru all of them but so far, we've never been "personally disastered" by them.  The cities we've lived in have been. 

Same, my city is prone to floods and hurricanes, and is (relatively) close to a volcano, but I've never been personally "disastered". Close family and friends have.

I'm grateful for my luck, and acknowledge that good planning and deliberate lifestyle design contribute to that good luck. But sometimes I wonder when my time will come, and how I will deal with a natural disaster when I find myself confronted with it.

Adventine

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2020, 08:49:40 AM »
@texxan1 Small world!

I agree, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to natural disasters.

Taal Volcano started spewing ash over Manila just this year, right before the COVID lockdown started. I was really worried the volcano was going to explode, Mt. Pinatubo-style. But apart from a thick layer of dust on everything and my fiancé getting a nosebleed, nothing happened to us. And the bright side was, a few weeks later when face masks became mandatory because of COVID, practically everyone in Manila was already mentally primed to mask up. It didn't turn into an ugly political fight like it did in the States.

Palawan and Leyte are nice. Just avoid the Tacloban City area, devastated by Typhoon Haiyan some years back.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 08:56:22 AM by Adventine »

meadow lark

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Re: Have you survived a natural disaster?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2020, 11:38:47 AM »
  Just finished with Hurricane Laura then Hurricane Delta.  For Laura I had just started a new job so I wasn’t required to  stay at the hospital during.  We evacuated to Baton Rouge with the dogs in a ridiculously seedy hotel.  Thankfully, by the time I came back to work they had the air conditioning and the water back on.  The idea of working and sleeping on the top floor of a hospital in 90+ degrees, without the ability to take a shower is horrific.  My house was okay, but it took 3 weeks and 5 days to get back in our house because  of the lack of electricity. 
  Then, a few weeks later Stingray and the dogs had to evacuate again for Delta.  I had to work/stay in the hospital through it.  Once again we were lucky, and our house received very minimal damage.  The anxiety of it was so intense I vomited driving home after both Laura and Delta.  (I’m a bit of an emotional sort).
   Things are getting back to normal...  never thought in June when I was desperate to get out of my house and go anywhere! That I would be so desperate to get back in my house in September!