So we survived the storm that was Sandy, and were very lucky. We live far enough away from the shore, which got the worst of it. We also are about 20 miles from the Delaware River, so we didn’t have to worry about it either.
I spent the bulk of the weekend before preparing as everyone in the area was. I bought my water, I got my canned goods, I tried to pack my freezers as best as I could. I also had to clean up my yard. I pulled in almost all of Halloween on Saturday, but stored it in my spare bedroom on the first floor. I just didn’t have the time to get the boxes out and properly pack it away. Then of course Sunday comes along, the winds start picking up a bit, and I realized I ignored the back yard entirely . . . where all my gardening and grilling supplies were scattered. So I quickly rushed out to clean it as best as I could. Of course I also ended up making about 5 runs to the store all weekend cause I constantly was forgetting something!
Then it was preparing the house. Getting out candles, both real ones and the fake battery powered ones. Scattering flashlights and making sure they had batteries. Of course making sure the basement was prepared too. Moving things away from the walls in case of flooding and the like. That basement STILL needs to be properly cleaned, and half of what is down there hauled to the dump. Fortunately we got new gutters this year, and that has almost completely resolved any basement flooding we normally had at the slightest above average rainstorm. We only really have to worry when hurricanes or blizzards occur. We were lucky because of how the wind was blowing that we got minimal flooding down there.
Monday and the storm hit, and of course what little of Halloween I left on my porch thinking it would be okay . . . wasn’t. So I got a bit wet bringing stuff in or tying it down. Let me also say getting the dogs out and walked that day was NOT fun.
Last Christmas John bought me a small portable battery/generator after our power went out during Irene. It has a USB port, an AC port, a flashlight in it, and a hand crank to charge it. There is also some other inputs for charging like an AC adapter (not included) and solar input. However I never bothered to read the actual manual, or if I did I forgot what it said . . . . Like “to charge it once a month to keep the battery life optimal” and “before major use charge for 14 hours via an AC adapter.” Oops! I did find an adapter among the many we had and charged it. Fortunately it’s never really been used, so I don’t think the battery life was affected.
Monday we did lose power. A tree down the street took out some power lines earlier in the day. However that didn’t seem to affect us. Later thought something exploded, probably a transformer, and that did us in. Fortunately my little generator worked to charge our phones. I didn’t try it on my laptops. I have one 6 year old laptop that has a battery that only lasts 45 minutes if I’m lucky, so there was no point using it. My netbook can last a good 4 hours, but runs some applications slooooowwwwww. It might be time to get a real laptop again. Fortunately I printed off a lot of stuff to work on in anticipation of having no power.
Also having no power on Tuesday, made the house very uncomfortable. It was not only FREEZING, but with no air circulation the smells of the basement were wafting upstairs. Normally there are exhaust fans sucking that smell out of the house! We do have 5 cats for example . . . . Halloween that was in the first floor bedroom was also smelling a little musty. Since the winds and rain had calmed down, I just put it all back up. It didn’t take long, and it took less time than trying to pack it away in the dark stinky basement. Plus I had no power! I was quickly running out of things to do, and didn’t want to yet use the laptops because I didn’t know how long things would be out. Oh yeah, that generator I forgot the instructions for . . . it takes 6 hours of hand cranking to fully recharge it from 0. Oy!
We now have power, Halloween is back up, and all is good here again. We were very lucky with the storm. We had a lot of limbs come down, some fairly large, but they all missed the house. Actually something thumped on our roof Monday night, but it didn’t do damage. After 2 hurricanes we really need to look into having some of the trees around our house taken down. Two are dead or dying, one needs to be pruned, and another is just way to big to be so close to our small house in these cases. Other places all around us, even down the street from us, are still without power. One of John’s employees family had to leave their home in the middle of the night when a tree fell onto it. They are still not able to get into their house because of it and the power lines the tree also took down.
Last night was Halloween, but we had no creatures come to our door. Halloween was officially put off till Friday, but now our Governor has delayed it until Monday. Noooooo! I don’t get home till 9pm on Mondays, and John probably won’t be here till 7:30 or 8pm. If anyone comes to our house, nobody will be here 🙁 I was really hoping that I’d get some lawbreakers last night. I even bought a bunch of candy to give out too after we got a record 9 or 10 kids last year 🙂 I figured we might get more this year, especially since I’ve had so many people driving by to see the house or bringing their kids to see it. Anyway, here is my yearly video showing what I did this year.