Originally posted on September 6, 2011.
Hurricane Irene turned Vermont into a war zone look-a-like that will have financial and personal ramifications for years to come. Other states, of course, got clobbered as well. I cite Vermont in chapter one of my Disaster/Survival guide because I know Vermont better than any of the other hard-hit states and because the disaster in Vermont offers lessons far beyond those normally learned by even a well-prepared citizen. Who would have expected that key Vermont routes (7, 9, 30, 4 and 100) would literally get washed away, cutting off and totally isolating many Vermont towns and villages?
For two decades, Debbie and I have crisscrossed Vermont on all of these key roads and know each like the back of a hand. I have posted videos for you to view the damage. You tell me how long it is going to be before any sort of normalcy returns. In coastal Newport, where we spend the summer, damage was far less, but the same cannot be said for some prior hurricanes we have ridden out here and certainly at our home base in Key West.
Woodstock Inn -Woodstock is our favorite town in Vermont, and we are at the Woodstock Inn on every visit. The Inn came through Irene in working order, but needs a little time to get fully back to speed. Check the site daily, and plan to visit on the re-opening.
The Dorset Inn -The Dorset Inn has been our home away from home for decades. Dorset Green is one of the most beautiful places in America. To see Vermont at its best, book a room at The Dorset Inn.
The Four Columns Inn -Deb and I frequently ride our Harleys to The Four Columns Inn and can recommend the inn heartily to you. Excellent food in a perfect Vermont Village setting. Bruce’s directions appear on the money, and you should sail right in.
Vermont Public Radio September 5th, 2011 –Plymouth Asks Residents In Low-Lying Areas To Relocate
Because of the continuing rainfall, the town of Plymouth has requested that residents in low-lying areas relocate to safe areas.
What comes to mind first is how poorly people are prepared for disaster, how little they know about the downside of a disaster, and how fast a natural disaster can turn a community into a nightmare scenario. Bingo, electricity is lost, municipal water supplies can go down, gas stations and banks close, supermarkets are emptied at light speed, and generators and pumps are not to be found. I was at our local Home Depot at 6:00 a.m. to check out supplies and found not a match in sight and darn few flashlights. At the one gas station in town that was open for a few hours, thanks to a generator, it was cash and carry. I had a number of five-gallon gas cans to fill. The cost was $95. I had the cash because I am prepared for such an occasion, but how many others were turned away? My guess is the percentage was high. And even with cash on hand, gas cans were in short supply. If you’ve run a gas generator, you know how fast you can go through gas. You simply cannot own enough five-gallon plastic containers. In a disaster, it can be an extended period until gas deliveries are made or electric service is returned.
Speaking of generators, it’s a good idea to own a sizable portable generator hardwired in advance into an electric box. The generator can be moved to another location by simply unplugging. If you plan to run a couple of refrigerators, a well pump, a TV and DVD for the kids and grandkids, and a few circuits for computer/cell phone charging and non-halogen lights, you will want an 8000/9000-watt generator. A great choice is a triple-fuel source generator, which runs on piped-in natural gas (best bet), propane, or gasoline. You just cannot have enough fuel options, and refueling two or three times a day and night with gasoline is a pain you can do without. If you can, go the piped-in natural gas route. Check out the Honda 8,700-watt, triple-fuel-source, 13HP and electric start portable. I believe the model is #03369 and costs on the order of $1,600. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the need for a generator.
If you can, have a well. But you must have a manual pump attachment and a solar/battery-powered hookup to do the pumping. Take it from me, you do not want to tackle the 50-pump effort that is required to get back to pressure after a single toilet flushing. Now you may not have a 500-foot well, as we do, and your manual pumping may be a lot easier. But do you really want to be out in the dark in your slippers pumping away? I would work hard to eschew such an exercise.
Without electricity, you will need light. NRA.com offers a gang of Surefire tactical lights. I have ordered a bushel load for the fam, including one monster that can take the hair off a deer from 300 yards. I also like my NPower solar light, which lights up the whole prep area around our Aga Cooker. Much more Disaster/Survival info for you coming up in chapter two.