The weather forecast has a post tropical storm headed our way for tonight. It was a hurricane but has since downgraded to a little less than a tropical storm. However it still promises high winds and lots of rain.
The first thing that crosses my mind, before I even think about my house, is the cottage. Is it ready for a storm? Did I put everything away? I hope so. Living in the northeast, I have learned to be prepared for bad weather, and not to be lulled into a false sense of security no matter how nice the weather is.
Cottages are particularly vunerable to storm damage. Usually located beside water, lakes, or oceans, or worse, rivers that can flood, trees that can fall, boats that can blow around. All kinds of hazards.
From experience, I have learned that come fall, the place needs to be secured from the ravages of winter storms as much as possible.
I make sure my aluminum boats are upside down on the lawn, chained to a tree, and out of the wind as much as possible. Lawn chairs and patio furniture is put away in the shed. I also try to ensure that there are no trees dangerously close to the cottage, although I do have a couple that could reach it if they blew down. Those have been limbed to reduce their abiltiy to catch the wind.
Tree limbs should be inspected and removed if they pose any risk to overhead wires. This isn’t something you should do yourself, at least in most situations. It’s much safer to contact your local power company, in most cases they will remove any trees or branches that pose a risk to their power wires.
My wharves are pulled up on shore, and tied. Anything that could float away is put away, back from the water. Anything that can blow has been put away. Nothing is parked under trees. (nothing being speed boats etc) and although I haven’t done it yet, the veranda will be boarded in with plywood, protecting the picture window from wind, rain and vandals.
Otherwise, there isn’t much I can do other than hope for the best. But knowing that that everything is a secure as it can be is a relief, or at least a small measure fo peace of mind. In the event of a major storm, such as the hurricane we had a few years ago, and the big snow storm that completely shut down traffic that same year, I know that getting to the cottage following a storm can be a challenge.
When the storm clouds clear, and it’s over, it is always a good idea to try and get to your cottage if possible to make sure that it did survive the storm in good shape. It’s not a great to find out a window got broken, but it is worse to discover it broken weeks later.
I am fortunate to have a cottage on a lane with a group who will check each other’s place whenever we are down. That gives me some peace of mind knowing that in all probability someone will have walked around the place and will let me know if anything has gone wrong. I do the same for them.
Otherwise, there isn’t much I can do. Hope for the best and make sure my insurance is paid up.
Maybe with any luck the storm will be downgraded to heavy rain by the time it hits or even better, it will blow out to sea.
I kind of got away from the original intention of this post, which was to remind you to get your cottage storm proofed while the weather is good and before a storm happens. Don’t wait for the weather forecast to say a storm is imminent, plan on one happening…if it doesn’t so much the better