You bet we did. With Hurricane Sandy, the Midwest winter storm and Canadian Arctic air mass all bearing down on the East Coast, we are quietly preparing. Green Mountain Power (the largest electric utility in the state after its purchase this year of Central Vermont Public Service) announced that it has already arranged and contracted for 137 two-man crews from surrounding states and Canada to assist in the case of power outages that may result from the expected high winds.
Homeowners are clearing any yard debris they may have, putting away the lawn furniture, cleaning off the porches and generally battening down the hatches. Folks that rely on electricity to pump well water are stockpiling containers to see them through 2-3 days. Residents in isolated areas that may see road closures due to downed trees are putting in extra food and are being encouraged to make sure they have enough of their prescription drugs to last through the week.
We are also remembering that what we were warned about with Irene was the wind; we are preparing for flooding, too.
Important phone numbers we learned last year:
• 911 for immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance.
• 511 for information about road closures.
• 211 for non-emergency resource assistance.
• 1-800-621-FEMA to report damage to homes or barns.
• 1-802-658-2803 (USDA Farm Service Agency) to report farm losses.
Yesterday the Vermont Agency of Agriculture issued a warning to farmers, urging them to prepare for flooding and power outages early next week. “Although it is still too early to determine Sandy’s precise long-term track, computer models are now trending to show impacts on the northeastern portion of the United States,” the VAA wrote in a news release.
The latest report seen today has bumped the probability of that impact up to 90%.
Our farmers got hit bad last year. No one is taking the threat from Sandy lightly.
Farmers have been advised to quickly attend to the following preparations:
• Harvest standing crops if they are not in yet (corn).
• Harvest vegetable crops that are still in the field.
• Producers growing greenhouse crops should prepare for loss of water/power.
• Anticipate power outages. Check generators. Consider purchasing a generator if you don’t have one. Purchase enough fuel to get you through.
• Charge batteries on cell phones and cameras (photos to document damages).
• Pump and store adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals.
• Check feed inventory and order extra if needed. Move feed, including bales to higher ground, or to a more accessible place
• Find the best places for livestock on your property, and move them to where they have the best chance of being free from flying debris, heavy winds, rain and flooding
• Secure or remove items or equipment that could become blowing debris.
• Move equipment to the highest, open ground possible away from trees or buildings.
• Make a list of important phone numbers ahead of time in order to make calls following a storm. Numbers to include are your town Emergency Management District, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.
Bring it on, Sandy.
If Vermont gets hit hard, LezGetReal will do its best to keep you informed in a timely manner. We were here for Irene; we’ll be here for Sandy.