Author Topic: A test from above...  (Read 4196 times)

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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A test from above...
« on: December 04, 2010, 10:42:09 AM »
Me and Tracy have most of our preps in our walk in closet. We do not have a huge apt, so this is the only real place we can keep them. We have both out BOB and an additional BOB2 (if we have time to grab it), plus our pantry is on one wall of the closet, as well as the rest of our food storage and stocks of general merchandise.

Yesterday at approx 4pm as I was napping from both of us being ill with the flu, I was awoken by Tracy telling me there was a problem in our laundry room. Water was leaking through the ceiling in our laundry room and soaked the floor and our clothes. Since we have an apt about us, it seemed like a good place to start. Turns out the idiots has somehow managed to overflow their washing machine for over an hour, hundreds of gallons of water.

As we attempt to clean the mess up Tracy opens the closet door to get more towels and discovers over an inch of standing water and more is coming. Everything is soaked, top to bottom. We immediately began pulling out bags and preps, then pulling the stocks, then the food. Everything going into the bath tub. We soon had over half our bathroom piled full of wet stuff and a lake in our bedroom. Calls made to the landlord ended with SuperiorKY (think Servpro) with huge vacuum vans and fans and carpet ripped up and a real nightmare.

POINT OF THE STORY. You can not only prepare for a disaster by having stuff, your stuff has to also be prepared for that disaster. We were very lucky and did not lose much, an ipod nano and some commercially packaged food was lost, but everything else was dried out and repacked. The bags sucked, but eventually were dried and repacked. Everything else is on the landlords, who are paying for everything including steam cleaning. After everything calmed down me and Tracy went to Wal-mart and purchased $28 worth of Rubbermaid tubs to hold the loose stuff. 4 huge bins now protect our loose preps. It was that easy. A little forethought and we could have went out to dinner and let superior handle it, instead of blow drying all night. Learn from our experience.

This situation also made it painfully clear why every prep household should have a wet/dry vac. We had to wait for a friend to bring one over and that extra 25mins could have saved a lot of damage, and we were lucky to have a friend with one who was at home. Some thick sheet plastic that was not buried away would have been nice as well. The carpet was soaked mainly by us trying to get other stuff out of the water.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 10:59:32 AM »
I'm sorry that it happened to you, but it's a great reminder and help to anyone who will listen. Thanks for sharing your story.

OldManSchmidt

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 12:03:15 PM »
+1 and great and useful post.

I work with a restoration company as their electrician.  I often see this sort of situation, though more often it is the aftermath of a fire that I see.  BTW, more often than not, the fire dept. does more damage than the fire.  This is not a slight on them.  They have to fight the fire and water is the best way to do it.  They have to get to the fire to fight it.  Axes and such tools are the best and often only way to get to the fire.  When fighting a fire, they are trying as best as they can to save your home and as much of your possessions as they can.  They have to make some hard choices under stress about how to go about that, and they make those choices.

With that in mind, there is something to be said for decentralizing your prep resources.  Put some in your car, at a friend or relative's, in a storage locker, at work, etc.  You don't have to have a lot at any one place, just enough to sustain you while you get to the next place plus a little more.  In that way, you gain a little more cushion each time you pick up a cache.

A shop vac and some plastic (or a tarp that is dual use as shelter in a pinch too) is a great idea.  The little 1 gal. shop vacs don't take up much space and are useful in everyday life.  You make more trips to the toilet to dump the little ones, but they are a viable choice.

Glad you two made it through with little loss.  I am very sorry that you had to suffer it at all.  Good thoughts on what to do to avoid a repeat.  Now, take her out to dinner to celebrate a minor fail as opposed to a major one.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 12:10:16 PM »
I'm glad it wasn't worse and sorry to hear you guys have been down with the flu. I've stored everything in plastic totes for years after a few narrow calls. I agree with OldManSchmidt about the fire dept causing more damage than the fire. The only house fire we ever had was under the floor and inside one wall so no noticable fire damage but they had to tear up the wall and the floor to get to it and of course the water damage was a mess but I was so gratefull to them. I called them and said I smelled burning wood and one wall was hot afraid they would think I was a nutcase but they didn't.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 01:07:41 PM »
OKG, what caused that?  crazy place for a fire....

OldManSchmidt

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 04:45:34 PM »
Not speaking for OKG, but my bet would be an electrical short circuit.  A loose joint or possibly mice chewing on the power cables.  For some reason, they like to do that.

Offline Oregun89

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 06:42:12 PM »
Don't throw away the nano, it may not be lost. Dry it out and put in a new battery and hopefully it'll be up and running.

I've had several run through the washing machine and survive. If you're not tech savvy, take it to a mac/ipod tech. $20-$40.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 06:50:36 PM by Oregun89 »

Offline mommas arms

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 07:29:53 PM »
S&T in K,
Sorry aboout your lost and having to deal with it on top of having the flu.
I have resently learned a sad lesson in disaster food storage as well. I did the Costco stock up and put everything in a closet because I had 3 twelve hour work shifts and thougth, oh, I thought, "I'll put it in 5 gallon buckets this week on my day off." Well, I had a field mouse get into the house and boy that little *hit made a heck of mess. He tore into about 200lbs of my food storgage and ripped holes in everything! I think I actually cried throwing that food out and reboxing what was safe to eat. I spent days getting everything into 5 gallon buckets and killed the rotten little mouse.
PS,
I have mouse traps in the pantry closet.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2010, 09:18:03 PM »
OKG, what caused that?  crazy place for a fire....

Actually it was a gas line that ran under the house to the furnace. It broke or came loose or something, close enough to the pilot light on the furnace to start a fire. The firemen told me exactly what happened but I was a bit stressed by then and it didn't penetrate the brain all that well.

OldManSchmidt

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 10:08:02 PM »
I am surprised and very glad that you are still alive and your house still standing.  That could have been several dozen kinds of bad.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2010, 12:41:01 AM »
I am surprised and very glad that you are still alive and your house still standing.  That could have been several dozen kinds of bad.


I have a "thing" about fire, it scares me witless. Up until I was in my 30's I regularly had nightmares about burning to death. Every house we lived in I forced the kids to participate in fire drills, how to get out if the way to the doors were blocked, etc. The day of the fire my DH thought I was way over reacting to the smell of burning wood, he kept saying it was probably a neighbor burning stuff so he went on to work and I got the kids up and started hunting, checked all the rooms, went outside looking for smoke, came back in and started feeling all the walls, which felt really dumb but I couldn't think what else to do. My Dad owned a sawmill most of my life and burned his scraps and we almost always had a fireplace so I knew I was smelling wood that was charring very close. We were incredibly lucky and I have boundless admiration for a group of guys that were willing to take my word that I had a 'hot' wall and a burning smell.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2010, 11:17:54 AM »
Firemen, from my experience, are a "better safe than sorry" lot. They usually take you at your word unless you're the type of person to call them frequently with false alarms and then they still show up, but might start charging you for the calls if they don't do so already. It's a good thing you called them.

On an embarrassing side note, my sister and I kept catching a whiff of what smelled like an electrical fire. It wasn't constant and we couldn't get a good lock on where it was coming from. We knew it was near the kitchen, but that was about it. I checked everything, lighting fixtures, electrical sockets, appliance connections, turned off the breakers to the kitchen, checked the lines running through the attic and under the floor and so on. We could not identify the source of the problem. It's an old house that the original owner did a lot of work on himself and I got quite nervous that he might have wired something up at the panel wrong or labeled it incorrectly and decided to cut all the breakers to the entire house for a while. At first we smelled nothing, then my sister caught the scent again, and then I did. It was maddening. So, we thought we'd do one last check of the house before calling out the cavalry. I went around the room inch by inch.

Suddenly, there it was! Right above the kitchen counter where the flour, sugar and other canisters are kept. My mother used the space for all kinds of cooking preparations. It is where she chopped herbs, ground spices and such. Attached to the wall was a branch of kariveppilai - curry leaves. The drying leaves were producing the smell. It's odd how good these leaves taste when added to a curry, because the smell of drying leaves is somewhat acrid.

Luckily we found the source before calling electricians or the fire department.

Sorry for going OT. 


Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2010, 12:32:33 PM »
Fire scares me to death. I used to be a firefighter and understand pretty well the process of fire and still I worry. My wife thought I was nuts at first for some of the things that I do, but she has eventually learned why *Lectures*.

We broke a LOT of stuff when fighting and investigating. We had one lady in particular that always locked herself out and would say she left the iron on or something to get us to open the door to check it out, the she would whip around the corner and be there with the "key".  One night we rolled up and supposedly the stove was on. (classic right). We noticed a NG tank behind the structure and captain looked at us and said, "That makes this more dangerous, get us in a little quicker this time *wink*". She about freaked out when she pulled up to see her beautiful oak door split in half...lol I don't think we ever got called back out there.

Nicodemus- good job on turning off the breakers, so many fires could be prevented if the people would turn off the master breaker as they leave the house when the call the FD for smoke or "hot smells". However, 911 dispatchers protocol is only to get them out of the house as quick as possible, and that would allow for delays.

Offline mamabear

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Re: A test from above...
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2010, 07:39:01 PM »
Steven and Tracy in KY, I am glad that you didn't lose any more than a little bit. The tubs are a fabulous idea. They can also help keep rodents out I would think. Not that you have any, but with neighbors like that, you never know what will happen. Hope you are feeling better.


My fire story is similar to the calling and not having a problem after all. I was sitting in my living room in the summer and it was pretty warm. I had a box fan running and I was watching a movie. I smelled something burning, and since the tv was super old and had been left behind I started with that. Then I started checking the outlets. It was like the smell kept moving around. I went upstairs and didn't smell it at all. I could definitely smell it when I came back downstairs. Finally I called my mom who was like "get out of the house and call the 911". I actually started to argue with her for a moment, then snapped back into reality and realized the million year old wiring in my house could be the cause so I went out side and called 911. They showed up and it turned out the motor in the box fan was the culprit. Which of course explains why the smell kept "moving around". I felt dumb but not because of the fire dept. They assured me that calling them was the best thing to do. They were very polite about the whole thing.

I hope you are feeling better Steve and Tracy. Take care of yourselves.