15 September 2003 - 3:09 PM
The Viking, being Calontir bred, has never had to ride out a hurricane and was a little bug-eyed yesterday morning when he realised that Isabel might be coming to call. I started this list for his benefit, and thought I'd share for the benefit of others.
Find out if you are in a flood zone, or in an area from which you might have to evacuate. Then check the evacuation routes and figure out where you can (or will have to) go. Decide what needs to come with you (financial records, insurance paperwork, computers, pets, clothing, etc) and have it packed.
If you are not going to have to evacuate, the things you are likely to face are fallen trees, broken windows, and loss of electrical power and water. Boarding up windows is a popular technique, but taping them in a cross-hatch pattern with packing tape or duct tape (masking tape also works) will prevent the glass from doing damage to people or possessions should the window shatter. Be careful about downed power lines, especially with children and pets.
Living without electricity is not the hard part. Living without running water is. Here is a short checklist of supplies; add or subtract as it suits you:
* batteries for flashlights and radios.
* candles and/or lamp oil. If you have oil lamps, get them out, check the wicks, and fill them before the storm hits. Know where the matches or lighters are. And be careful -- according to the Red Cross, more people die in candle-related fires after a storm than die as a result of the storm itself.
* fuel for your camp stove, if you have one. I have an Origo 3000 marine alcohol stove, and can buy fuel by the gallon from boating supply stores.
* fuel for your generator, if you have one.
* Water, for drinking and household needs. If you have water bottles, fill them, or buy bottled water. Fill up your bathtub so that you will have a stock from which to flush the toilet. If you have a rain barrel, the water caught in that can be used for household purposes. Be prepared for sponge baths.
* Nonperishable foods. With the power off, things in the refrigerator and freezer will not last long. Parmalat milk is a good thing.
* People with young children and babies should check their stocks of diapers, etc.
* If you have pets, check your stock of pet food and supplies (e.g. cat litter). Make sure you have a week's supply.
* Make sure all your vehicles have full fuel tanks.
In truth, I'm more worried about the weather disrupting Grandpapa's funeral (scheduled for Saturday) than anything else. We're not in one of the places that's likely to take terrible storm damage, unless Isabel decides to come roaring straight up the Chesapeake. The folk down in the Carolinas, especially the Outer Banks, are the ones who are more likely to suffer than we are. I heard this morning that Wilmington, NC, was entirely sold out of plywood.