Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hurricane Preperations

This year Hawaii has seen a number of hurricanes heading it's way. So far, they have just brought rain, plenty of it. Areas have been flooded and roadways closed here in Ka'u. And it looks like more big storms heading our way may possibly past over or near at least some of the islands. This many storms have made my mainland friends nervous....for me! Being prepared makes sense and takes some of the danger out of the storms. One giant prep issue is not living on the coast. As much as I love the coast, living there is a tad insane since floods, storms, and significant tsunamis are historically normal for here. 

Having the homestead ready for a hurricane is of course important to us. Not that we can protect everything and not that we go overly crazy about it but we do indeed take steps. Some of what would be storm prep for others is simply routine homestead life for me ........back up water & food supplies for humans and livestock, dry firewood, tools in working order, etc. 

Certain preparation jobs are things that I do routinely anyway. They are part of living on a homestead and living at a location that is about two hours away from major supply Kona and Hilo. They include : 

1- Water. I'll top off our normal day-to-day drinking water containers. We also always store 25 gallons of emergency drinking water. This I'll freshen up with new water, if it hasn't already been done recently. While I'm thinking about water, I'll check that the tarps covering the catchment tanks are well lashed down. Plus I'll divert the rain from the roof to drain away from the house rather than flow into the catchment tanks. But this is something that we do anytime the tanks are full. 

2- People food. A bad storm could destroy some, if all, of the gardens. So I keep a supply of emergency food on hand that doesn't require lots of prep : peanut butter, jelly, crackers, canned tuna, mayo, assorted canned veggies & fruits & soups, quinoa (hubby will eat this but not rice). 

3- Livestock food. Finding grazing for the livestock after a big storm shouldn't be all that of a problem in my location. And since I already keep a couple of sacks of various feed ahead of my needs (basically cob and brown rice for mom's famous slop & glop, plus a bag of hay cubes for the rabbits so that I don't have to be out in a storm cutting fodder), I don't need to bring in extra. And I routinely keep a few bags of dog and cat food on hand. 

4- Medical. I keep well stocked with medical supplies anyway, so no need to do extra. And since we a distance from our pharmacy, we already never let hubby's prescription meds run low. 

5- Fuel. I'll make sure that the extra propane tanks (for the range and paloma) are full. We will fill the gas tanks on the vehicles and fill all the gas cans. And I'll check the tarp over the firewood shed to see that it is in good condition and well lashed down. I could always heat water and cook food on my woodstoves if need be. 

Other prep jobs are outside of my normal weekly routines. They include:

1- Remove or batten down items that could be blown away. Move outdoor chairs into the barn. Take down the shade tents. Stack the water hauling trashcans and then tie them to the fence. 

2- Check the roofing for vulnerable spots. While the house roofing is very secure, those over livestock pens are less so. And iffy spots are reinforced with another screw or two. 

3- Harvest any banana bunches that look ready. Those banana trees take a beating in a storm. 

4- Make sure we have enough small tarps in the tool shed plus nails, screws, or rope to secure them in case a tree limb takes out a window or two. 

5- Park the vehicles in a spot that hopefully will be safe. Boy, that's a whopping big guess. 

6- Move the hoofed livestock, except the pigs, into the most secure inner pasture just in case a fallen tree takes out some fencing. Move the pigs to a spot that doesn't flood. 

Maybe I'm missing somethings, but this seems to be it. We've had heavy, twisting winds here before......errr, like last January. So trees coming down is nothing new. And we've had heavy rains...2 inches an hour....13 inches overnight. 

As for electricity, we're already off grid. So I don't need to worry about losing to grid. 


  1. Thanks! I can't imagine what 13 inches of rain could be like. Yikes. I can imagine having to nail all the roofs down as we have wind here and big wind from time to time. Good luck and I hope it doesn't hit too hard.

  2. You sound like you are quite prepared! When we had such big weather, including tsunami warnings/alerts, the Foodland near us was cleaned out of bottled water and toilet paper - completely empty shelves. Even the beer and such were still in stock by the time those items above were already long gone.

  3. Looks like we won't be getting big winds from the next hurricane. It's made a turn toward the north. But rain is still a strong possibility, plus high surf.

    Barry, it's so funny that people stock up on bottled water and toilet paper. That's an indication of what's most important in their daily lives, eh? And don't forget the Spam! On Big Island, spam sells out just as fast as toilet paper.