Scenario run-through – Hurricane Ida, let’s learn from each other

The Earth has been doing some out of character (but not unexpected by climatologists) behavior in the last few years and is likely to continue. I that vein, I think it is a good idea to “test run” our preps for scenarios both likely to hit us and unlikely to occur in our area. My suggestion is to use a real and developing storm to learn from each other, both from the members that will possibly be impacted by this storm, from others that have experienced previous storms, and those that want to test their preps against a storm of this magnitude hitting them.

For anyone that is actually threatened by this storm, I hope you will chime in if time allows. I truly would like to learn from this and I hope the storm does change course and lose intensity.

Hurricane Ida’s current forecast puts it hitting the Louisiana Gulf coast near New Orleans as a category 3 on Sunday. However, they are saying there’s still plenty of time for this forecast to change. 

Scenario: You and your family have all of your current preps in place, but this storm is predicted to hit you in approx. 48 hours. For the sake of the scenario, this storm will cause a surge of water (waves, flash flood, dam break or something along those lines) at your location and for 200 miles around. However, it’s still not a certainty at this point and it could brush to the left or right of your location, they just don’t know yet. What is your plan of action? Remember, you only have your current preps to draw from. Oh, and hotels are already filling up outside the 200 mile area. 


  • Comments (22)

    • 4

      I’m in north Mississippi, so we are only expecting some heavy rain.  We had over 7″ last week, so no big deal.  If I lived down near the coast, I would be living on high ground, like I am here, so flooding would not be a concern.  I’ll never live in an area that stands any chance whatsoever of flooding.  I wouldn’t be close enough to the coast to worry about storm surge either.  With all my animals, I would ride out the storm.  I would take the time to fill all water containers prior to the storm hitting. I have the tools needed to access my well water if needed.  I have enough food in storage to last years.  I can run my generators for about a week plus I have two solar generators for when the storm passes.  I keep a months worth of dog food on site and the same amount of horse food.  I already have a years supply of hay in the barn plus plenty of grass in the pastures.

      So my plan of action would just be to sit tight until services are restored.

    • 3

      my daughter is on the MS Gulf – home survived Katrina so I figure she’ll be OK – doubt they even evac …..

    • 4

      Good morning Brekke,

      Head Note the first: Don’t use current tense re hotels “filling up”. They are already filled and as rooms become vacant, these rooms are reserved for enroute emergency responders and critical infrastructure personnel. We’ve had help arriving from eg Duke Power and Alabama Power and Light. This is territory of Dominion Energy.

      I live in the Atlantic section of Hurricane Alley.

      Gloves, gloves, gloves

      Tweezers, tweezers, tweezers

      Batteries ,batteries, ……

      ALL waters are infected.  Presumptions not necessary.

      Note that winds make the sand and dirt into sandpaper rubbing against one’s face. That helmet w/ face shield does wonders for one’s complexion.

      And there still could be a wildfire even with rains.  That 1,000 gallon gas tank someone stored on their land … a D-I-Y job really does need professional installation.  

      Preppers are OK. Others have the problems.

      • 2


        Speaking of hotel rooms ……

        Rest assured, more than 40 folks left Virginia Beach for coffee breaks with Ida.

        Article mentions it’s now a Cat 4 – although this is less important than flooding matters. A Cat 3 and Cat 4  have gthe same common denominator. A tree or telephone pole arriving at one’s house wall at 40 – 50 MPH means the same thing: the tent and mosquito netting. 

      • 2

        We were sitting here making a list of what we don’t have yet.  Your post was so practical, I want to send you your favorite candy.  Gloves!! Yes, we always have them, but not always in the best shape.  Work gloves, gloves that keep you warm, and surgical gloves (I used the surgical to pick up dog poop), are must haves.  Tweezers – grabbing wood for the fire, you don’t want to live with a big splinter for days.    

        I’ve written down the items in your post.  Great information!

    • 4

      Learn from Katrina as well and dont end up in the Stadium surrounded by thugs and criminals, 1st choice GET OUT, 2nd choice get above the water, If bugged in waterproof your valuables and get your furnature upstairs if you have an upstairs, turn off the power and gas, be ready for looters, dont trust any water supply, filter everything, go hygiene crazy,  prepare for looters OR forced evacuation. The water is a greater risk than the wind, then criminals and looters.

      Extended BOBs and PDWs for everyone and keep the vehicle fully fueled plus extra food.

      Disaster FlodHouston 17 2 (Large)

      • 4

        what bill said. 

        get out if possible. check google maps, news reports, traffic cams, and as many sources as you can before you leave though. you do not want to be stranded and in a worst position while stuck in traffic than you would be at home. 

        get all valuables as high up as possible, throw things in garbage bags and other plastic bags to keep dry. 

        only drink water that has been treated, even if coming through the tap. 

        be on edge the next couple days for looters and other criminals

    • 5

      I’m not in a hurricane prone area at all (west coast).

      With current preps, bug out inland sooner rather than later, to get ahead of traffic.  If the new NOLA levee is still intact after this I’ll be impressed.

      I always have more than one bug out direction I can go in and avoid the main highway. Not prepped to put valuables in waterproof place, so use all the garbage bags, etc that I have. Move furniture upstairs when possible.

      Travel Trailer(TT) is in our driveway and always prepped with enough to keep us comfortable for a while, a place to potty and waaaay more food than I ever have needed when camping. Truck full of gas. Added extra propane tank to the TT and have a spare always in the truck.  Pets have BOB in the TT already. Many folks on the camping forums will empty their water storage tanks before driving home due to weight, but NOPE that’s 35gallons stored and ready for an emergency. Family sized lifestraw water filter in the trailer, lifestraw individual water bottles and extra cheaper lifestraw for each person in BOB, and chlorine tabs for sanitizing any water we find when the stored water runs out. Would hook up, pull out of driveway and park on street at the first sign of storm, ready to go. Generator for recharging battery and running heat/AC can be grabbed from backyard, and extra propane can be added from backyard if time. Many parks and fairgrounds will allow evacuees to park trailers in a crisis, but there is limited electricity hookups.

      Second choice is the big truck with full fist aid kit well stocked BOB, kids and pets.  Would grab what the pets need and any extra supplies (like the tent, food, sleeping bags, warm clothes) that are kept in the TT.  This is if we had to leave the TT at home, or had to leave it behind on the road somewhere for some reason. Between the tent and the truck, we would have shelter if we couldn’t find a place to sleep. (2 adults, 2 teens, 3 small dogs, 2 cats). 

      It’s wildfire season here in the PNW, and this works for that as well.  We have a 3 stage evacuation process (get ready, get set. go) and I would get out at the “get ready” stage to beat traffic jams. This setup is because I was very close to the evacuated areas last year, and so my being ready “someday” got too real.

      • 1

        Is the family lifestraw filter different than the personal lifestraw that is …well… a straw? 🥤

        I’m wondering what you are doing with your dog/cat’s 🐶 🐱 water supply, because they can’t suck out of a straw. 

        Sounds like you have thought of everything and probably have a solution planned out for the pets.

        I love 😍 your attitude and ability to leave at the “get ready” stage.

      • 2

        The “family sized” lifestraw is a large container to hold water, and is gravity fed through the filter to the bottom and filtered water comes out the bottom. Would work for the pets too.


        Dogs and cats have better immune systems and drink out of puddles all the time. But I also have a couple of sawyer filters that are attached to a flexible bottle you can squeeze to filter the water. And I have a Berkey at home for “bug in”

      • 2

        Your question reminded me of a friend of mine who has trained her dog to catch water she spits from her mouth without their mouths touching. Mainly it’s just a cute stunt that is useful when she forgets a dog water bowl on hikes, but if you squint, I guess it’s a prep: Deploy LifeStraw >> suck >> spit >> hydrated dog. 😀

      • 2

        That must be a sight to see. My dog wouldn’t know what to do, just get a squirt of water in the face, get all squinty, and then look like I corrected it for doing something wrong. 

    • 3

      In 1987, we survived a very large earthquake in Southern California.  All of a sudden, we didn’t have use of our toilets.  Thankfully, my husband knew how to make one for us.  It was a Home Depot bucket, lined with a strong trash bag, some water in it, a bit of bleach, and we were good to go (so to speak).   

      I don’t know if you have other options to suggest, but that one worked well in the city, and for me, a fussy person.

      • 2

        We consider a portable camping toilet as an essential part of our preps, Self contained units with flushing tank and waste holding tank, ours even holds the TP 🙂  and in the UK we have twin packs of toilet chems, Pink for the flushing (its deodorised) and blue for the waste tank ( it breaks down and sterilises the waste) .

        Tool Portaloo Thetford 565

      • 2

        An emergency toilet source is still something I need to add to my preps

    • 1

      Based on the news reports coming in the morning after – keep an axe in your attic so you can break out if trapped there by deep flood waters.  Especially important for single story homes. 

      Regarding the hotels filling up – leave anyway!  There are shelters available and you will be in a better position to find something in an area with functioning civilization (cell service, passable roads, emergency services).  Local businesses in surrounding areas will often allow you to stay in their parking lots, or indoors in some cases (check out Gallery Furniture in Houston for example)

      Realize your at home preps won’t matter when your roof is blown off and there is 8 ft of water in your house.  If you live within 20-30 miles of the coast, you have to accept that your house may simply be GONE if it’s a direct hit.  Look on reddit and twitter to see what this level of devastation looks like.  Leave if at all possible! 

      (if you don’t leave, be prepared for a water evacuation by boat)

      • 2

        Oh, forgot my plan of action.  Board up the windows, pack up the cars and head to family members home 300 miles away.  Goal is to leave well before the mandatory evacuations start.  We usually get 8-10 hours notice before they start here in Texas, not sure about other states.

      • 1

        Good mornig Christine, (I’m up and was in prep to help on Gulf Coast. Plans changed [FN1])

        Also, or perhaps instead of, a hatchet (small handle).  If already roof damage, might not be enough room to swing an axe (long handle).

        To add to the confusion; the terms are not standardized. An aircraft has a :crash axe”. It’s actually a hatchey with light head.

        Re shelters; It depends on one’s area. With COVID-19 and the variants, the Feds encourange the states to use non-congragant sheltering.  “Congragent” = shelter registerants congrated on school basketball court on cots. Non-congragant is suggested as motel rooms rented by public authorities, dorms with similiar arrangements, .. Red Cross suggested for maritime areas: vessels. LOL.  This area has no funds for this- even if Fed-provided.  Much goes to public sector payroll.

        Yes, we’re ready to work boat evacs. To where ?!?!

        COnsider leaving earlier than the mentioned 8-10 hours.  Even in Texas, just like Virginia, some evuacees will have an extra shot of bourbon ora six pak to help with the stress.

        Foot Note; It is so busy here. Without the volunteers, this place would revert to pre-colonial times.

      • 1

        That would be scary to be trapped in the attic of a flooded house. If I lived in an area where that was prone to happen, I might install an escape hatch. 

        A hatchet is a good idea Bob.

      • 1

        I was seeing many news channels reporting on grid locked traffic out of major cities over the past few days. That’s got to be miserable to be stuck when danger is coming your way, let alone just being stuck in traffic is miserable on a good day.

    • 2

      My partner is in Baton Rouge and she was well prepared for this one. Lost power for a bit over 24 hours and her big lesson learned was having a better fan — she had a hand fan but her whole apartment building had to open doors + windows for the breeze, it was way stickier than she expected once the winds died down. 

      She says that most of the towns in LA have 72-hour plans for hurricane preparations, but many areas didn’t have a 72 hour warning this time since it went from category 1 to cat 4 so quickly, and according to a local meteorologist, as the world warms that will happen more. They are used to hurricanes hitting at a lower category than expected, but not a rapid escalation like Ida was. So another lesson is to be ready for the storm to escalate at the last minute, and to not rely on evacuation warnings coming a few days ahead. 

      • 1

        Good morning Ride,

        This is excellent material.  Thank you.

        Partner was well prepared in accord with FEMA’s “Prepare for worst case scenarios”.

        If preparing for a foot evacuation from dwelling to place authorities mentioned on radio station – about a day’s walk, take the 3 extra coffee envelopes in anticipation of “problems”. 

        An alert for a Cat 1 hurricane has preppers preparing for Cat 5.

        Of course a field jacket and work gloves even during the humidity of coastal Virginia.

        Of course the infantry mode evac of 1 day really means extra socks and “Wet Ones” brand or simiar to wash back paws.

        Foot Note: An Army-issued canteen of about 20 years ago had a decent cup fitting over the canteen and porperly fitting into the holder for belt. A couple of the catalogs – not making recommendations; just mentioning – Bridage Quartermasters sold a “stove” that fit over the canteen cup. 

        Carry a tube of trioxane fuel tablets and flame … similiar coffee like that nice place ……………….