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Sandy Comes To Town. October 29, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
Tags: , , ,

As Hurricane Sandy blows in, I’ve taken precautions; we’re expecting less flooding than with last year’s Irene, but several days without power are expected.

I have candles and matches set up around the house as well as flashlights, battery-powered wall lights, and a headlamp with new power cells. I have a bathtub full of water for flushing the toilet, and five gallons of potable water in jugs. I cooked a big pot of pasta and have several jars of sauce on hand, as well as bread, hummus and cooked shrimp.

Our little generator is in place, with five gallons of gas at the ready; extension cords are in place to power the cellar freezer and sump pumps (flooding two years ago was an expensive disaster) and the fridge and microwave upstairs.

There’s wood on the porch for the kitchen wood stove, as without power, the oil furnace is inoperable.

And the yard has been tidied up, with all of the summer niceties hustled into the barn.

That left only the radio to attend to; it takes six D-cells when it isn’t plugged into a working outlet. And don’tcha know, I only had two.

So this mid-day, I set out to get D-cells. I hit the local hardware store – nope. I drove the half hour into Greenfield and tried several supermarkets, Radio Shack and Home Depot. Nope.

“We’ve been outta thoseΒ  since Saturday!” was a common response to my queries.

I drove another half hour to Northampton, hit hardware stores, another Home Depot and *gag* Wal-Mart. Nope, nope, nope.

Finally, across the river in Hadley, I checked at Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters…

Yup!Β Β  πŸ™‚Β  Gotta love those outdoor stores – their smaller clientele means the wider public doesn’t go there for their basic needs.

So now I have food, light, heat and a way of knowing what’s happening in the World Out There.

On the way home I saw the first of the damage; a huge white pine had fallen on the Olde Willow Motor Court just down the road from our house:

They’d trimmed up a lot of the damage by the time I got this shot; the roof has more holes than Albert Hall, if you know what I mean.

This was heart breaking to see – their restaurant was inundated by Irene just a year ago, and these little Mom and Pop businesses really hurt when bad things happen.

At home, I took advantage of a lull in the rain to bring the compost out to the garden, and was rewarded with the sight of a big tree just uphill of the house exploding in the wind and crashing to earth.

I’m going to hunker down by the wood stove and process photos as long as the internet works. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, it quit, but don’t worry, I’m most likely good.

You take care as well, and be safe.


UPDATE: I’m fine here, no real problems after all that preparation! Thanks to all who expressed their concern.Β 


1. lisahgolden - October 29, 2012

Thinking about you. Let us know when it’s over.

littlebangtheory - October 29, 2012

That I will, Lisa. Thanks for the thoughts, I’m always grateful for them.

2. jomegat - October 29, 2012

It’s not too bad here yet. I oughta get a generator one of these days, but it seems that a couple of days before a major hurricane is the wrong time to try.

littlebangtheory - October 29, 2012

Yeah, like me and the D-cells. πŸ™‚

We got our generator on a Saturday evening, five minutes before the-next-town-over tractor store closed, and Irene came in that night. It saved our butts. I totally recommend having a generator of one lives in the country, where individual service might not get restored before everything in the freezer thaws and rots.

3. susancrow - October 29, 2012

You’re so well prepared anybody would think you’re a genuine country lad. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you and the neighbors.

littlebangtheory - October 29, 2012

Thanks, Susan. I grew up in a tree, quite literally – that’s what I did after school , every day, climbed trees out in the endless woods of Belchertown MA.

But it was my teen/young adult years as a climber and mountaineer which really taught me the value of evaluating hazards, anticipating problems and preempting disasters.

That, plus the occasional lapse, which spanked me hard… πŸ˜‰

4. Al Hunter - October 29, 2012

Losing the internet connection will probably hurt the most.

littlebangtheory - October 29, 2012

That it might, Al. But then, dealing with the Real World rather than the virtual might be a nice reason to get out of this damned chair! πŸ˜†

5. Mauigirl - October 29, 2012

Hope you stay safe, warm and dry. Sandy is still howling around our house in NJ but so far the worst thing that has happened is a large branch falling off a tree in front of our house.

littlebangtheory - October 29, 2012

That sounds like reason enough to stay indoors for the night. Be safe, and stay warm. πŸ˜‰

6. Fran Rossi Szpylczyn - October 30, 2012

I have been thinking of you over there, in the high wind zone of the Berkshires. Hope all is well.

littlebangtheory - October 30, 2012

Fran, great to hear from you! We survived just fine. I guess being fully prepared is one’s best guarantee that nothing will happen! πŸ˜† Hope you’re equally unscathed over yonder.

7. BeerBat - October 30, 2012

Similar experience out here on the coast. Was going through my usual preps – Food, water, batteries, flashlights, candles, etc. Then realized we were out of lamp oil. Not critical, but no point having the things if you can’t feed ’em.

Home Depot, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, all had the same response you got. Then remembered there was a Michael’s Crafts nearby. Don’t they usually have fancy lamps and lamp oil? And who would think to shop at an arts and crafts store for their preps?

Sure enough – tons of lamp oil! More frou-frou and expensive than absolutely necessary, but any port in a storm, so to speak πŸ˜‰

Hope everyone stays safe out there!

littlebangtheory - October 30, 2012

BeerBat, welcome, and thanks for commenting.

OK, batteries at outdoor shops, lamp oil at craft stores, and dry ice (apparently popular in power outages) at Halloween costume shops – it’s used to make cauldrons steam! πŸ™‚

By “on the coast,” do you mean the West Coast? I Googled “Riverbed Technologies” and got a San Francisco location…

BeerBat - October 30, 2012

Nope! East Coast – I’m out of Riverbed’s Cambridge office, and living in Somerville πŸ™‚ Everything out here by Boston seems to have come through more or less okay – still some folks without power, but no major damage. Didn’t even lose power where I was, so the fancy lamp oil will get to wait for the next big snowstorm.

Actually been reading for quite a while. Grew up on the Amherst/Belchertown border, then lived in the midwest for 15 years or so, recently came back. Found your stuff, and have been loving the photography from out in central/western Mass. So many memories πŸ™‚

8. notakidding - October 30, 2012

Stay safe and warm Ralph. Thinking of all my friends on the right coast. πŸ™‚

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