Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparing Your Homestead for a Hurricane

As hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, it is being proceeded by flurry of activity.  People are battening up the hatches so to speak and getting their homes and families ready for the possibility of flooding, high winds, power outages, and whatever else might be in store.  Here we spent the day harvesting, checking on the animals, and getting some last minute work and play outside before the rain sets in.

All it it takes to remind us of what can happen is the memory of past storms.  Just mention a name, and we  are all reminded of the paths of devastation: Irene, Hugo, Katrina.  At the same time, we all know that often  times, all the hype and doomsday prophesies only amount to a bit of rain and maybe a fallen tree.  No matter what hurricane Sandy (or Frankenstorm) does in your area, being prepared gives you piece of mind.

Here is a list of things to do in preparing your homestead for a hurricane:
  • Make an emergency contact list
  • Check your property to determine which shelter is safest for animals - have a back up if something happens and you need a new place to house animals.  Consider power lines, trees, flood regions, etc
    • After the storm inspect your fencing, housing and pastures, for damage and fallen trees (especially poisonous ones)
  • If you have dead tree overhanging your house, barn or shed, try to cut it down before the storm arrives.
  • Make sure livestock has plenty of food and water with a good back up supply in case you can't get to them right away, or you can't get to the feed store.
  • Keep a livestock kit near at hand with emergency info and basic first aid supplies (know where your human first aid supplies are!)
  • Decide at what point to lock your animals inside their shelter.
  • Have evacuation supplies nearby: If you need to leave know where everything is: cages, leashes, food etc.
  • Have access to emergency gear such as shovels, chainsaws, hammers, nails, wood, etc.  Think through what might happen and have your gear ready to go.
  • Put stuff away - anything that could blow around, or be damaged with serious precipitation or flooding.
  • In places that are expecting high winds, cover your window and secure things like screens.
  • Harvest anything from your garden that could be damaged in the storm.
  • Stake plants that may be damaged by heavy winds.
  • Have food prepared that you can cook without electricity.
  • Have access to clean water (enough to last 7 days)
  • Be prepared for power outages and consider the food in your fridge in freezer.  If you know you will experience a long power outage, eat the food that will go bad.
  • Have flashlight, matches, candles, and other emergency equipment ready for your home. 
  • Charge cell phone batteries or other batteries.
  • Move any large equipment to high ground to avoid flooding problems.
  • If you have one, check your generator.
You can never be prepared for every potential, but this list is a good place to start. 

Do you have other ideas for preparing your homestead for a hurricane?  Leave a comment below!

I shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop and the Barn Hop


  1. Great tips. Luckily we don't have to worry about hurricanes here in MO, but many of these ideas would also be great in preparation of tornado season.

  2. For someone that has experienced devastation in there home not once, not twice, but three times. I over prepare.
    The big one fill your car up with gas. If there are outages most likely you cant get gas.
    Have a safe place to go in a event of a emergency whether it be family, friends, or a shelter.
    Another tip if you have young children have a "Camp Out Night" during the storms. The kids think its a blast to sleep with mom and dad together. It puts ease to the mind that your all together in one room and can gather up everyone quick in the middle of the night if an emergency springs up. This has helped us twice doing this.
    Gretchen, I hope things go smoothly today and tomorrow and that the only clean up is a few scattered branches.

    1. Same to you Jen - I'm in favor for over preparing! Great thought about filling up your car with gas - I'm doing that this morning!

  3. Great tips. We are near the coast in CT so aren't sure what to expect from this storm. Firewood is all split and stacked and I have plenty of reading to catch up on if we are without power for an extended period of time. The ducks will be camping out in the garage for the next day or so but at least they will be safe.

  4. the animals all have shelter, food and water and the propane tank is full so if we lose power, the generator will turn on. I'm as ready as possible although I'd like to make bread...not sure if I want to chance the electricity and the oven won't work, just the stove top, in case of power failure.

    1. Did you bake bread? It's no fun to get caught with an uncooked loaf of bread with the power out!

  5. Some great reminders here for everyone. We live in tornado alley and we often have heavy winds and storms in the we try to stay prepared on a daily basis.