Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: The Long List of Things Done and Yet to Do

Virginia in Autumn

 In the interest of jogging your own memories as to what you might need to do before a hurricane or major storm, I am going to share what we did yesterday, here on the farm.

1.  The dogs who reside primarily in the main kennel have been upset as they sense barometric pressure changes and wind.  I visited each of them, checked them and made sure everyone was ok. I tried to be reassuring.
2. Then, I visited the two dogs which will be on patrol through the farm throughout the storm itself. (They have safe houses and a way to get into a secure building if they choose.)  Ben, a large golden retriever, and Skye, a Collie, are on duty in the early part of this week, before they rotate back to the kennel for two others to patrol and "go out to work."
3. All the alpacas have been visited and assessed.  We keep a large separate water tank for them which is pumped using a marine battery with a tiny pump house. This was filled to the brim should there be any interruptions in electricity which could complicate water for animals.
4. Duck homes were rebuilt about eight weeks ago.  They should weather this storm well, and they tend to love storms anyway.
5. Yesterday, my husband removed the camouflage tops to each of the five chicken enclosures.  Our thinking is that the tops tend to catch the wind and topple even the heavier chicken structures during severe storms.
6. All tractors, riding lawn mowers, ladders, and other structures have been placed in the equipment barn.
7. The windows on the second story of the alpaca barn which are normally kept open because they have screens were closed to prevent water from entering.
8.  Adequate feed for nine dogs, 100 chickens, 10 ducks, 8 alpacas, 2 cats, and 7 people was obtained and put away here yesterday. We also have fresh hay for the animals who use it.
9. We spent some time with and spoiled our pretty barn cat. She does not like storms.  Our indoor cat is semi-consciously sleeping.
10. Secured outdoor white iron furniture on back deck, along with gas grill. (These were already covered for winter)   Secured all outdoor iron furniture on front porch.  Removed house flag from front.  Removed light furniture from porch including outdoor cushions.
11. Removed large number of porch hanging plants. Will relocate them to garden shed with big windows. (Like a greenhouse with fewer windows.)  We watered them before putting them away because I may not get down there all that quickly if the storm is large and the power is out for awhile.
12. Husband completed survey of alpaca outpost roof,  Reinforced a couple of areas.
13. Filled all cars with diesel or gasoline as appropriate.  Collected diesel fuel in containers for generator. Collected gasoline for reserve generator and lawnmowers.
14. Husband started  all generators, just to make sure all is well.  He also located oil for their oil changes, and new oil filters for maintenance which must be done after use.  I put out another piece of older wood to go on top of the canopy over the generator.
15. Newest car will be garaged through worst part of the storm.
16. Bought extra bottled water in the event that the power goes out and the weather is so bad we don't feel like going outside to pump any.  This will be the first major outage where we can actually pump our well water and pressurize our houses water system using the Simple Pump.   (www,
17. This week I ran a quick check on prescription medications making sure there is enough for at least the next two weeks. There is enough of all items for at least a month.
18. I went to Lowes this morning to get extra buckets.  Not sure why, but I can't find mine.
19. Our daughter pulled everything out of her refrigerator and freezer and placed it in ours. We have a generator and will continue to keep food cold or frozen.  She could be without power for 7-10 days.

 This is all I believe I have done and recall.  I hope something here reminds you of something you could do.

This is the Hurricane Sandy Situation Page:

Stay safe !


Gorges Smythe said...

Good job!

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Gorges. I hope you and your family and safe and warm. It's cooling down here and a little foggy. I think it's the calm before the storm.

Matt said...


Did you or anyone you know have any physical issues with the barometric pressure changes? I was ill almost all day Saturday and felt marginal all day Sunday due to this. Normally I get bad headaches, but thankfully (and knock on wood)that didn't happen. However, I felt pretty rough all over and was completely exhausted.

JaneofVirginia said...

Matt, No, this time we were ok. However, it is well documented and neurologists know that changes in barometric pressure can cause everything from migraine headaches, cluster headaches, nausea, and mild dizziness to vertigo in susceptible individuals. Our animals are never pleased with broad and rapid barometric pressure changes. Our cat, for example, is completely wiped out now, but yesterday was a nervous as......well, a cat.