Hurricane Grace is comin’!
Stuff we’ve done to prepare: (applies to Buffalo blizzards, too) —
Charged all devices: computers, phones, Kindles, portable drill, mosquito racquets (matar mosquitos).
Topped up the rooftop water tank, tinaco, to the brim. (Just lift the cord inside the tank which tethers the float valve, lowering it when full.) Also, wise to tie the lid of the tank with strong cord or woven cable, tethering it so it doesn’t sail off like a Frisbee.
Fueled car, adding some fuel treatment (ethanol, not methanol) to mitigate moisture.
Shut off propane tank.
Shut off outdoor circuit breakers to well pump and pool pump.
Cleared yard of chairs, and any possessions that might become airborne trash.
Put some sheltered louvered-windows open at 45º to allow for pressure differential, in the event of tornadoes.
Turned off solar panel system, covering some panels with precut plywood to shield them from flying trash, clamping edges tightly.
Added algicide and chloro tabs to swimming pool, drawing pool level down a bit (six inches) to prevent excessive dilution. (Hey, it’s smart to put your raincoat on before getting drenched!)
Removed art work and soft goods from our patio room, which has only screens and bars, protectores, as a fourth wall.
Added a few clamps to downspouts, cleaning out scuppers, and replacing rusted wire mesh to prevent clogging of drains.
Park your car in a parking ramp at a hotel, shopping center, or hospital — but not below ground! (Thanks, Hammockman Paul!)
If leaving car on street, fold back car mirrors on both sides, to reduce their risk to flying trash.
Put heavy barrier against upstairs backdoor to prevent it blowing open, as it faces direction of oncoming storm.
Shopped mostly for canned and dry goods — stuff that doesn’t require chilling. Grains, such as rolled oats, rice, beans keep well, but need to be stored well to prevent ants and rats from dining. (Shout-out to Jim at BackyardNature.net
Store some firewood or charcoal in a dry space. If in the tropics, be sure it is wood which termites won’t eat, such as zapote, or other hardwood. (Jim)
Buy fresh batteries of various sizes.
Lay in extra bottled water — six 20-liter garrafones (five-gallon jugs).
Eat your ice cream after the power goes out. We waited for four hours; it was still hard, but just starting to soften. (Don’t open the fridge unless absolutely necessary!) But we were ready for bed, so we had a double portion of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, and retired for the evening. Hurricane Grace took down some trees around town, and knocked our power out for 13 hours, here. (Friend Jeff lost power for 20 minutes.)
If power goes out for long, call around to friends (assuming there is a cell signal) to learn who has electricity. Then invite yourself over, bringing pot luck, and any melting fridge-stuff. Maybe empty the fridge before departing, leaving fridge door open. Bring a hammock, a change-of-clothes, sleeping bag, go-bag, book, deck-of-cards, umbrella, raincoat, money, passport, hand-crank radio, solar lantern, back-up disk, etc. (Thanks again, Hammockman