Hurricane Irene is on the way for the Eastern Seaboard, problably hitting sometime close to Sunday or Sunday night into Monday. The Hurricane is fluctuating somewhat between a hurricane and a cyclone/tropical storm. Either way, it will bring lots of rain and high winds with it. Are you prepared? Is your cottage prepared?
Here is a list of ten things that I consider as we prepare for an impending storm of hurricane /tropical storm proportions.
1) Is your boat out of the water and secured? High winds can take a toll on a boat tied to a wharf or moored off shore. The best approach is to get your boat up on shore and tied down with the canvas top removed. I pull mine up and tie them down.
2) Put some extra ropes on your wharf, tie it to shore from as many angles as possible to lessen the impact of high waves and wind. If all else fails and the wave tear it apart, at least it will still be floating and tied to your shoreline.
3) Hurricanes and tropical storms bring lots of water with them. Your lake will likely see an increase in the water level, something that won’t be obvious until a day or two after the storm as runoff raises the water level. Not much you can do about rising water, except move or tie up anything that might float away.
4) Now is the time to walk around the yard and pick up anything that might be blown around in high winds, damaging whatever it blows into, which can include cars and windows, Lawn furniture should be taken inside.
5) If you have shutters on your cottage windows, I’d close them. If you are located somewhere that the hurricane is supposed to hit full on, plywood screwed over the windows would be good too.
6) Although they can be amazing in terms of resiliancy in wind storms, I bet you are looking at some of the those big trees growing close to the camp and thinking it may have been a mistake to leave them. I love trees. Unless you have one that is very big and threating in terms of size and proximity to the camp, I would leave them alone and take my chances. If they fall down, well….If you cut them down now, you will never know if they could have withstood the storm.
7) Make sure you have lots of water, enough for several days. At least 5 litres per person per day. I’ve been through some hurricane /power outages before, you cannot have enough water.
8) Speaking of enough stuff, you cannot have enough flashlights and flashlight batteries. One flashlight for every member of the family and spare batteries. Solar patio lights can come in handy too. Last year when we lost power at the cottage we used the garden solar lights in the camp in the evening. The gave us enough light to be comfortable without using up our batteries.
9) Personal stuff you might need and will suffer without. Remember, if a hurricane knocks out the power, stores may not be open. Now is a good time to stock up on things like, food, (especially food you can eat cold or warm up on a propane stove, milk, pain relief products like Asprin, Tyenol etc, feminine products, cigarettes if you smoke, gas for the car and gas for the generator, propane for the barbecue and propane stove. Check your prescription medications and make sure you have enough for a couple of weeks, if not order refills now. Refill the first aid kit too. Emergencies and natural disasters often become lessons in self-sufficiency, don’t learn your lessons the hard way.
10) If you have a gas generator, make sure you have lots of gas and oil for it, and start it up to ensure it is working. New spark plugs might be necessary, check the plugs and replace them if necessary.
One final note, charge your cell phones and your kids cell phones, but remember that during an emergency, cell phones may not work, either because of the storm or because of something called ‘priority cell phone usuage’ which enables the authorities to provide cell phone service to emergency providers, government officials and other authorities only.
That’s all for now. I have to go tie down stuff, take the cover off our pontoon boat and pull it up on shore, take the adirondack chairs inside.
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