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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy



The phone rang and for once the automated message was not from a politician. Public Service Company of New Hampshire (electric company) called about the approaching storm. They gave out some basic prep info and contact numbers for outages. This is the first time that has ever happened.

For me, the grid serves the same function as a back up generator. Most of our day to day power usage is from solar. In fact, I’m going to use the grid to top off my battery bank before the storm. After that about my only other storm prep will be going around the house looking for anything that can blow or wash away. Being a prepper, this is the sort of thing I’m always prepared for. Of course, that doesn’t mean the wind couldn’t blow a tree through my living room, so I’m not taking this one likely.

I think back to Hurricane Irene. After the big cities weathered it pretty well, the news people were saying how much of a non-event it was. Then the remains of the storm blew into Vermont causing horrific flooding damage. They still haven’t fully recovered.

Hurricane Sandy is exactly the sort of storm that causes the computer models to fall apart. The conditions that cause such a storm don’t happen often. The models are based on what’s happened in the past. With little data to draw on, they are really just making informed guesses. The weather people do well with tropical weather storms. They do a pretty good job with northern storms. When the two meet, they aren’t quite sure how to handle it.

That being said, power outage maps show that I’m in a high risk for power outage area. If my area does go down, it will most likely be out for a long time. Those of us in the far flung rural areas get power restored last. That’s just a fact of life out here.

If my blog disappears for a bit, it’s probably because my Internet is down. My lovely wife and I will most likely be fine. The biggest danger in our area would be flooding and wind damage. Fortunately, the leaves have already dropped out of the tress, so they are less likely to get toppled. My home is on the side of a mountain 1300 feel above sea level, so flooding is not a major issue. What sometimes happens is that the rains flood all the roads out, but as long as we stay put we’ll be fine.

When Hurricane Irene hit our area, is appeared to be just another moderately rainy day. We suffered no damage at all. Areas just forty miles to the south and 40 miles to the west had roads, bridges and power poles washed away. We were lucky then and I hope we are lucky again.

If you live in a low lying coastal area or anyplace prone to flooding, I hope you are reading this from your bug out location.

-Sixbears

20 comments:

  1. Good luck. I may loose internet due to the storm but I will do ok here.They are forecasting snow and power outages here also. I may get to try out a new gassifier with the genny if it happens. We'll see.
    Watch out for the widow makers, that's what we call debris stuck up in the trees.

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  2. I hope all will be well and you're all safe and sound. Good luck.

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  3. Good luck, I'm sure you're preparing for and expecting the unexpected. It's a good thing you have your new woodburner installed, it might have the opportunity to prove its worth...

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    1. It already has in normal day to day life but might be essential real soon.

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  4. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 28, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    Our biggest worry will be the high winds. Last year Irene took down a few really big trees here and this storm is supposed to be worse. Our property won't flood but the areas around us will. We are prepared as well as we can be.
    Keep safe Sixbears.

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    1. You keep safe too.

      Tree damage here would not surprise me. At least I can turn them into cookstove fuel.

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  5. Hold on to yer hats! Good luck, stay safe, and we'll see ya on the other side.

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  6. Best of luck to you both, and yes, stay safe!

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    1. Thank you.

      We prepare as best we can. After that, a little luck is a good thing.

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  7. Since you are a prepper, you should be all set and will weatherwhat ever blows your way. Right?

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    1. Right -but that doesn't mean something weird and unforseen couldn't happen, but that's what a flexible mindset is for.

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  8. Best of luck to you, my friend. Keeping positive thoughts headed your way!

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    1. Thank you! positive thoughts are always welcome.

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  9. In a way Im jealous , nothing much happens in my neck of the desert. I do enjoy a good storm.I wish all you easties a safe warm storm.

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    1. Well . . . it is the desert.

      Hope we all do well.

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  10. Trees here shouldn't' be much of an issue. All of the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. Even high winds are like blowing on a fork. (Try it, the fork may move, but you aren't knocking it over.) The pine trees on the other hand, are probably more likely to come down. Thinner profile, but they have the same profile year round, and some are pretty bushy, like spruces.

    There are ancient oaks in the neighbor's yard that are about 100 years old, and should one of them come down, we're all dead. Not likely to though, as the roots are deep and strong.

    More likely a pine tree or three would come down. That would mean much lesser damage, though the car could be taken out.

    Dead wood in a tree is another story though. That'll come down in a storm lickety-split, and go through your window, roof, or car equally fast.

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    1. I expect my wood lot to get a good trim.

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