Preparing For Sandy

The heart of Hurricane Sandy is going to pass well south of here, in New Jersey, but it looks as if we’ll have trouble enough from this storm. Predictions are for three days of rain and high winds. The trees are heavy with dying leaves and strong gusts will bring down a tangle of branches. Power outages are expected. Flooding is expected. We’re not too worried here, inland from the coast. We’ve seen worse. But it’s best to be prepared.

When the power goes out, the well can’t pump water, and so we’ve filled the animal’s waterers to the brims and have also filled the big tub.

The goats hate getting wet and so will be in their stall. I’ve cleaned it and bedded it deeply with shavings. I’ll keep them busy with hay. They’ll likely look quite round by the time Sandy leaves the neighborhood mid-week.

Candy has been given a flake of fresh hay to burrow in and we’ll cover her hutch with a tarp to keep out the blowing rain.

The hens will be inside. I’ve cleaned the coops and put down fresh shavings. I don’t think there will be any dry dirt outside for quite some time and so I’ve filled the purple tubs with sand and DE for dust baths. I’ve also given them a new pumpkin to keep them amused.

Now, with the barn chores done, I have a few things to do inside of the house while we still have power. I’ll do laundry. I’m going to fill up zip bags with water and put them in the freezer. Freezers stay colder during power outages when full. Also, the bags can be defrosted and the water used if necessary. I’m going to get the flashlights and candles out. Hopefully, they won’t be needed.

Steve is busy doing IT stuff. I’m not exactly sure what, but it includes backing up the computers and other important things.

Then we’ll settle in and watch the rain come down. Stay safe and dry, everyone!


  1. I am in Fort Hunter, NY 45 mins west of Albany, Hopeull this storm will be nothing like Irene, when she cam through we had water from the river with in 100 feet of out house in every direction, we live on a hamlet. aall of my girls were safe we were evacuated, so I put my hens in the garage and stacked things so if need be they were able to get to the rafters….

  2. Looks like you are ready for anything. Hatches battened, animals cozified and the IT backed up (LOL). Now about those pumpkins. My hens are completely indifferent to pumpkins. Raw ones they ignore completely, cooked ones they nibble on but mostly leave untouched — ??????? Same with sprouted mung beans, which I read about on another chicken blog. My hens don’t just refuse to eat them, them leave them on the ground in their pen and trample them into the earth. Am I missing something here, or is it just different strokes for different folks, er chooks?

  3. The Dutch media said the hurricane will enter the country between Boston and New York, so I consulted Google Earth to find out where you live. It is a relieve that this hurricane is passing south of you, but I can imagine that it still can bring many problems. Are you nervous about this storm and do the animals react to the change of the atmospheric pressure? I wish you and your loved ones will be safe!

  4. I hope everyone stays safe! Here in Nevada, I’ve never had to worry about a big storm like that. Actually, we’ve had days we hope and hope for rain, just nothing too big. Well, It’s good to see the animals and you guys will be okay!

  5. Just happened upon a place called Earthcam. Saw live weather in Boston and New Jersey areas where it is very WET! Nothing worse than no electricity, how spoiled we are! Stay safe and dry!

  6. Great idea of freezing water in bags!! Keeping fingers and paws crossed here it’s not as bad as they say it is suppose to be. Hopefully you won’t lose your electric.

  7. With Sandy approaching this likely means our third bout of an extended power outage; twice before in the past three years we’ve lost power for a week. With chickens, goats, dogs, cats, and people who all need water, we’re fortunate on our little farm in western Mass to have a gravity fed spring that was piped years ago to a faucet that empties into our kitchen sink. Suddenly this faucet, which is usually trumped by the larger faucet supplied by our well, becomes a practical testimonial to the family who farmed before us. In 1841 fresh, easy-to-get-to running water wasn’t taken for granted and the reason they built this house at the bottom of a hill alongside the spring. And so tomorrow when the power goes out and we fill pots and pails and buckets to cook with, water the animals and flush toilets with, I will once again thank these folks for their gift of water. I hope everyone rides the storm out safely!

  8. Glad you are so well prepared. It makes me realise how lucky we are here in England. We have had a few light frosts in the morning and plenty of rain but nothing as drastic as you guys get. It has suddenly got cold here but no extreme weather to worry about. I hope you all stay safe and ride out the storm, it seems like you have it all under control. Good luck, we are all mentally with you and wishing you well and waiting for your further reports. Stay dry and safe to you and all your family and critters.

  9. Stay safe! Glad to see you and all of the animals are hunkered down and ready. We’re in central Ohio and watching that pincher narrow and narrow. *crosses fingers* We’ll see you on the other side of Sandy, I guess!

  10. We had to ship our beef cows back to the home farm on Saturday. If it got bad, we’d run out of pasture for them before they could be moved. Sad to see them go sooner than planned, but they will be safe and fed during the storm.

    The hens have the coop, so they will be fine. We don’t have to worry about water here.

    We took down the farm stand and stored it. It would go over in high wind. I’ve been washing windows and putting in storm windows. Should finish today. We got lots of gas for generators, chainsaws and the tractor, plus essential oils. We got milk in case our milk farm lost power.

    We are mostly prepared and set-up so power out doesn’t affect us much. The generator is for the freezers and fridges. We will be able to cook, have hot showers, plenty of heat and light. So we are as prepared as we can be. On into the storm…

  11. Thanks for the idea of filling plastic bags with water and placing in the freezer. As you might remember I am in Hershey, PA and from the looks of the projected path, Sandy should pass almost directly over central PA. We are set for water; will be using our rain barrels for toilet water if need be. Tied down the tops of the bee hives, made a hoop house for the hens attached to their coop, which is fairly protected from winds. Now we just need to sit and wait which I find so hard to do. Hope all are safe.

  12. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts coming my way. I’m sending equal thoughts to everyone in Sandy’s path. What a mess this is! I’m not on the coast or on a flooding river, so am better off than many.