Irene has come and gone, and though she had been downgraded as she moved north and many in the major metropolitan areas (I'm looking at you, NYC!) were spared she still managed to leave her mark.
Here in Vermont we had widespread flooding. They are calling this the worst natural disaster the state has seen since the flood of 1927. Numerous roads and bridges were washed out, homes have been flooded and at least one person lost her life. The President has declared a federal emergency for the state.
Here on the shore of Lake Champlain we had the power flickering on and off throughout much of the afternoon yesterday and into the evening until it finally went off for good just after sundown. I awoke to find one sailboat had been ripped from its mooring and washed up on shore.
I've heard of a few of our state's beloved and historic covered bridges being washed away by the flooding. At least one town is on water boil notice. It's going to be a while before things are back to normal, I'm afraid.
Among those major metropolitan areas in Irene's path are Charleston, S.C., Wilmington, N.C., Norfolk, Va., Washington, D.C., New York City as well as a few more.
NPR was advising us in Vermont to stock up on water and food for the weekend. It's been a while since a hurricane has forced such action on us landlocked Green Mountaineers. We're more accustomed to raiding the food shelves in preparation for a January Nor'easter.
But it's better to be safe than sorry. So on my list of items to get today/tomorrow will be:
And that's about all I have right now. The essentials.
Anyone have any other suggestions? Board games, perhaps?
Craftsman has just launched a search for the next breakout reality show star to be part of their new online series, SCREW*D: Where Survival Comes Down to the Right Tools. Applications are being accepted through July 7 at craftsmanscrewd.com. The chosen applicant can earn up to $50,000 and will have free room and board for the duration of the show.
Here's the rub: Craftsman are actually looking for unskilled DIYers. Specifically "anyone with swagger and a sense of humor but hapless with a hammer." Sound like you? Get that app in!
Apparently DIY jobs gone wrong makes for good TV. Or web-streamed video. Throw some high-powered Craftsman tools into the hands of a novice and hilarity will surely ensue.
The devastation wreaked upon the nation of Japan by the 9.0 earthquake on March 11 and the tsunami that followed have left wide swaths of the coast in ruins. Thousands upon thousands have been displaced as homes were rocked to the ground and/or swept away by the massive waves that surged across the land.
Clean up efforts are already underway, but the nation looks -- and will continue to look -- for as much help as the world can give.
Front and center on the relief effort side of things is Habitat for Humanity, which has mobilized volunteers to help with the clean-up process. While a long-term plan is being plotted, Habit for Humanity foresees its response to last for as long as two years.
The Institute for Business & Home Safety administers safety tests on real homes in specially designed chambers that can buffet the structures with hurricane-force winds to see how they stand up. It's a way to vet new materials and building methods, and, judging from the video below, it looks like it would be a pretty cool job.
I came across this Fox News story that documented such a test on two seemingly identical homes. As the test winds exceeded 90 mph, the home that wasn't built to hurricane-resistant specifications was torn from its very foundation and soon reduced to rubble. It's worth watching, especially for anyone looking to build or buy in Hurricane-prone areas of the country.
The Institute's website is a good resource for home preparedness against all sorts of natural disasters. Their hurricane preparedness page is particularly informative. This is suggested reading, folks! We're not quite out of hurricane season, yet.