As hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, it is being proceeded by flurry of activity. People are battening up the hatches so to speak and getting their homes and families ready for the possibility of flooding, high winds, power outages, and whatever else might be in store. Here we spent the day harvesting, checking on the animals, and getting some last minute work and play outside before the rain sets in.
All it it takes to remind us of what can happen is the memory of past storms. Just mention a name, and we are all reminded of the paths of devastation: Irene, Hugo, Katrina. At the same time, we all know that often times, all the hype and doomsday prophesies only amount to a bit of rain and maybe a fallen tree. No matter what hurricane Sandy (or Frankenstorm) does in your area, being prepared gives you piece of mind.
- Make an emergency contact list
- Check your property to determine which shelter is safest for animals – have a back up if something happens and you need a new place to house animals. Consider power lines, trees, flood regions, etcIf you have dead tree overhanging your house, barn or shed, try to cut it down before the storm arrives.
- After the storm inspect your fencing, housing and pastures, for damage and fallen trees (especially poisonous ones)
- Make sure livestock has plenty of food and water with a good back up supply in case you can’t get to them right away, or you can’t get to the feed store.
- Keep a livestock kit near at hand with emergency info and basic first aid supplies (know where your human first aid supplies are!)
- Decide at what point to lock your animals inside their shelter.
- Have evacuation supplies nearby: If you need to leave know where everything is: cages, leashes, food etc.
- Have access to emergency gear such as shovels, chainsaws, hammers, nails, wood, etc. Think through what might happen and have your gear ready to go.
- Put stuff away – anything that could blow around, or be damaged with serious precipitation or flooding.
- In places that are expecting high winds, cover your window and secure things like screens.
- Harvest anything from your garden that could be damaged in the storm.
- Stake plants that may be damaged by heavy winds.
- Have food prepared that you can cook without electricity.
- Have access to clean water (enough to last 7 days)
- Be prepared for power outages and consider the food in your fridge in freezer. If you know you will experience a long power outage, eat the food that will go bad.
- Have flashlight, matches, candles, and other emergency equipment ready for your home.
- Charge cell phone batteries or other batteries.
- Move any large equipment to high ground to avoid flooding problems.
- If you have one, check your generator.
You can never be prepared for every potential, but this list is a good place to start.