Advice needed for preparing for a hurricane

Discussion in 'Ian's Corner' started by Ian Gills, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Ian, I wouldn't spend alot of money or time on things for stuff like this. Once in a decade you would use it. Just take care of your neighbor if they need help, check on your neighbor if they are old, and always, have things on hand as you should anyway, like flashlights, those batteries, some food, extra water, and meds if you need them. And, loads of common sense not to panic. Just do what you need to do, leave your home to safety. Whatever, needs fixed when you come back, that is nothing. Things can be fixed.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  2. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    If the water gets into your basement, what will be its path? If the water level outside is above your basement window, pumping it outside will be futile (or FYOOtile), like bailing out your boat while it is submerged
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    good advice Cookie. Come on Ian, come up here and help me out. I am old, and I need help too.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I think I am older, so I come first. Plus, Ian said, he would cut my grass. I am still waiting.

    There is no mercy here, in this weather, I am showing a house. ;) Hey, I will drive up in a boat to make a buck. lol.

    One addt thing that is helpful is in having a waterproof fireproof box, with a lock. In it, I would put things like important homeowners insurance paperwork, important phone number to call the people, and, other things you don't wet ruined. Storing it in a built-it-closet is the best place to put it. I put small pics of my family in it as well. Things you can't replace. Throw in a few shekels cause you won't be driving far to an ATM.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  5. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I am almost 69 now Cookie, but you are a lady anyway, so you come first. My wife asked me to cut the grass yesterday, but I was too busy putting stuff away and tying things down. Tomorrow I'll mow it all up if my shed with my mower doesn't blow away

    How high's the water mama? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91OIaPRrDts soon to be
  6. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    If we all paid a bit more in taxes and utility bills (to bury those pesky lines) I wouldn't have to make the 9 hour drive through hurricane force winds to help Bob.

    The Red Cross is doing Government's work.

    Thanks for all the tips though guys. They are well taken. It has started to rain here now.
  7. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Bob, you're a baby! 69 is yet too young!
    I am like 57 going on 157. ;) going to work now. I got my rain hat on and bricks in my stilettos. That'll work...
  8. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I mentioned in another post that I pay about 8K a year in real Estate Taxes, and my last electric bill was over 800 bucks. I can't afford to pay anymore than that, so I think I pay my share. Now, my power company is a government power authority, and the real estate goes to the local, county and NY State governments. What do I get for all that money I give to the government: bubkas, nada. give more: absurd. The Red Cross does a fine job, and I contribute to them as best I can.

    It started raining here about 9am, while I was dismantling my bird feeding station ( I even give free food to the birdies, and what do they do but crap all over my cars) giving everybody everything for free is not a good idea, Ian. It kills all incentives to do anything on your own and makes you think the world owes you a living.
    Personally I don't think you practice as you preach.
  9. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I probably pay about half as much as you in taxes because my house is smaller/cheaper. On income tax we write a big check to the Treasury every year because non-citizens don't get all the rebates my American friends here get so it's always underestimated. That might be why I live in a smaller/cheaper house.

    What bugs me the most is that most Americans don' want Government in their lives even though they pay this money to them.

    I expect services for my taxes and if that means a big Government to provide them so be it.

    Effective infrastructure that won't go out in the wind and hurricane preparedness is a good example.

    "Self-responsibility" is an idiotic notion. The poor and the elderly get left behind.

    Government should be responsible for saving the day. Not people. Leaving each to fend for themselves is for the animal kingdom, not the human race.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  10. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    Ian's winds shifted back to normal speeds

    You should be down in your basement manning your pumping station instead of stirring your venomous cauldron down there. Ptooey!:p
  11. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Thanks Bob. That's exactly what I am doing!

    It's going to be a long night.

    There is a lot of persistent (hours) medium-heavy rain with this sucker. We're now under a flash flood warning until 11.30pm.

    I am in stage 2 of a 4 stage defence.

    Stage 1: basement stairwell drain illegally plumbed to sewer (in the 1950s when it was legal) is working quite hard.

    Stage 2: sump pit is filling every 5 minutes and is being pumped by Zoeller on electric power. Unlike an American car, it started first time.

    If we reach stage 3 and lose power, I'll be on the batteries and the 507 (I hope I'll get at least 10 hours but who knows?)

    Stage 4: If the batteries go, empty the sump pit by hand.

    If a tree falls on the house, all bets are off.

    Bury the lines.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  12. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    lol lol lol
  13. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    It's coming your way Bob.
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Been working... son will be leaving soon to Georgia, downtown Atlanta, anybody hear anything in that vicinity?
  15. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    It should be long past there.

    We're in the worst of it now until 3am.

    There are lots of bands of rain. Some of them heavy. The wind is up.

    Power is still on. But my small sump pit is filling every 2 minutes.
  16. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    how hi IS the water mama?
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Well, the winds aren't good here. He has to drive through PA here, I'm not far from NY. He will connect onto, Interstate 75, and go to Atlanta. What a time to start a new job. He is a great kid, I don't know why I am so lucky to have someone like my kids. He said, mom I will call you every couple hours, and I said, i will be awake, and he said, " i know you will be." It doesn't matter how old or how big your kids get, they are still your babies. I still meticiously packed him stuff, like he was going to camp. He even said that. I was outside at midnight checking under the hood of a the car, like... I knew... what I was looking for. I filled up the wiper stuff, checked the oil yesterday, checked the tires yesterday, had the brakes checked yesterday, the mechanics are good, they put up with me, lol. They know, when I bring that car in, my kid is going somewhere. For if it was me, I could care less. I really like being a mom.
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    You must live in a frigging palace. My taxes are less than $2K.
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Actually, here the general real estate tax, or (ad valorem tax), is made up of the taxes levied on real estate by various govn bodies and municipalities. These taxes are known as ad valorem it is Latin for "according to value" taxes because the amount is based on the value of the property being taxed. General real estate taxes are levied for the general operation of the govn body or agency authorized to levy the tax. These taxing bodies include:

    counties, cities, boroughs and townships
    school districts or boards
    drainage, water and sanitary districts, and
    municipal authorites operating parks, forest preserves and recreational districts.

    Historically, real estate taxes have been the principal source of revenue for local govn in most states, including mine. Real estate taxes are one of those certainties in life that property owners just cannot escape. Ian, rising costs of govn coupled with increasing costs to operate and maintain real estate , however, have raised debate over the fairness of real estate taxes. Homeowners argue, that the ownership of a basic necessity does not connote affluenece or wealth. Furthermore, real estate tax bills are not tied to the owner's income or ability to pay. This is especially problematic for people living on fixed incomes. Property owners also often argue that they are paying for services such as public schools, they do not personally use, which is something to which I do agree to.

    Some states, such as mine, legislature has attempted to alleviate the dependence on real estate tax by permitting local govn bodies to collect sales or income tax in lieu of real estate tax. However, few taxing bodies have embraced these alternatives. Recently, legislators made yet another attempt at tax reform when they passed Act 72 in 2004, which some of you might remember; the slot-machine gambling legislation. This would funnel money generated from the newly legalized gambling to local school districts. They, in turn, would reduce property tax bills to homeowners. The Act also requires school districts to increase local income taxes and to place on ballot for voter approval certain proposed property tax increases.

    Now, here there are certain exemptions from taxation in most states. Common exemptions are granted for property owned by

    city, state and federal govn
    munipal authorities
    education institutions
    hospitals
    religious institutions and
    public charities

    As simple as this sounds, it is not, the laws as usual are fairly complex. I actually know someone who tried to be exempted by stating their home was actually, a religious institution because they prayed at meal time. Some states will allow special exemptions to reduce real estate tax bills for certain property owners or land users. For instance, senior citizens, ( yes Ian the elderly) are granted reductions or limited increases in assessed values on their homes, known as Homestead Exemptions. These exemptions are especially important for longtime residents in neighborhoods where significant increases in property values would otherwise make the taxes unaffordable. Other temporary reductions in real estate taxes are frequently used to attract industries, stimulate economic growth and development, or encourage rehab of properties.

    The assessment, or assessed value, is the official value of real estate that is used for tax purposes. Real estate is valued, or assessed, for tax purposes by county assessors, evalutors, or appraisers. This is what I do. Assessments are normally a percentage of the property's fair market value. Depending on the type of property and the taxing jurisdiction within which it is located, one value may be assigned to the total property or separate values may be assigned to the land and the building.

    A property owner who feels that the county made an error in determining the assessed value of the property may appeal the assessment. In some jurisidictions, when it is necessary to correct general inequalities in statewide tax assessments, an equalization factor is used to achieve uniformity. This factor may be applied to raise or lower assessments in a particular county. The assessed value of each property in the area is mutliplied by the equalization factor; the tax rate is then applied to the equalized assessment. For instance, if the assessments in one county are determined to be 20 percent lower than the average assessments throughout the rest of the state, the underassessment can be corrected by applying an equalization factor of 120 percent to each assessment in that county. A parcel of real estate assessed at 98,000, for example, would be taxed on an eqalized value of 117,600 (98,000x1.20=$117,600)

    The process of determing a real estate tax rate begins with the adoption of a budget by each taxing body. The next step is appropriation. This is the way a taxing body authorizies the expenditure and the acquisition of funding. The tax rate may be expressed in mills. A mill is 1/1,000 of a dollar, or $0.001.

    A property owner's tax bill is computed by applying the tax rate to the assessed valuation of the property. For example, on a property assessed for tax purposes at 90,000 in a taxing district with a tax rate of 30 mills, the tax bill would be $2,700,($90,000x0.03=$2,700).

    The bottom line is, in desiring to pay lower property taxes is to find the district with a lower millage; which is why my property taxes are low. I pay 1,200 a year.

    Bob, you could appeal.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  20. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Son is now in NC, 8 hours later, and he said, the weather isn't too bad right now.
    Hoping he is telling the truth and not just trying to not make me worry.

    Ian, Bob, hope all is well and you got power.
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