Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Preparations

As much as the media has reported on Hurricane Sandy, I just need to add my two cents. Sandy was not just a category one hurricane, it was a category one hurricane combined with several other weather systems to create a super storm. Some in the media were calling Sandy, Frankenstorm, because of the timing near Halloween. (In my mind Frankenstein's monster was manmade. Is it a conscience or sub-conscience tying of this storm to man's influence on earth's weather?) Mind you, meteorologists did not call this the storm of the century. We suffered through one of them just twenty years ago. With this century just started, I think the meteorologists are waiting until later in this century to use that term again. I am somehow comforted by the fact that I will not see another storm of the century.

In any event, I spent most of Monday raising everything off the floor of my basement. (Note to self - bring a large trash can down to the basement.) My house is built on what appears to be solid rock. Rain water or melted snow runs down hill, finds the hole that is my basement and begins to fill that hole. I have a sump pump that runs with the slightest rain. When the sump pump is working correctly, I do not have a problem with water in the basement. However, twice in the last nineteen years, I have walked through the basement with water up to my ankles.

The first time, most of the family was out visiting my eldest daughter at University of Pittsburgh. My son stayed behind to mind the dog. There was rain at home, the sump pump did not work and water quickly accumulated in the basement. The next time the sump pump was working fine. The check valve, however, was not. With the super storm approaching, both the sump pump and the check valve were in good working order. However, there were predictions of power outages. Without power water will rise in the basement. That is why I spent most of Monday in the basement.

During the three days before the arrival of Sandy, I found two battery operated radios, three flashlights, both a propane camping lantern and camp stove, a dozen large candles and several boxes of matches. Friday I purchased, bread, milk, eggs, two cases of bottled water, propane cylinders and food that could be eaten without heating.

I collected all items outdoors that might become missiles in high winds and brought them into the garage. I tied down the large swing on the patio. I was fairly confident all the gutters were clear because of the gutter guards installed on them. My biggest concerns were the twenty year old shingle roof, my large windows on the ground floor and the sump pump and loss of power.

Once everything was complete, I went into the garage to build a bedside table for my youngest daughter, currently at Millersville University. It was either that or watch TV and media coverage of the advancing storm. I opted for the garage. I was prepared as I was going to get.

The power was interrupted at 21:37 on Monday.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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