A Vermont practical guide to Hurricane Sandy preparations

Most guides I've seen say the same things about Hurricane Sandy preparations: Water, batteries, medicines, etc.This is my checklist for getting ready for Sandy when she blows through Vermont.

1. Run the dishwasher. DUH. If we aren't going to have power for a while, run the dishwasher so you don't have a bunch of dirty dishes while we wait for power to come back. While you are at it - buy some paper plates. Easier to throw plates in the wood stove than wash them in cold water.

2. Tidy up the house. Hard to vacuum rugs and clean up with now power.

3. Forget medicine and water - buy BEER! In fact, buy some good scotch as well.Beer isn't as good luke warm, so if we really are without power for a while, a shot of good scotch while keeping warm by the wood stove doesn't sound too bad.

4. If you don't have a wood stove - make sure you know a neighbor who does. Then, when you go over to visit, see #3 above for a nice house warming gift...

5. Rent some DVD's for the kids. You probably already have a battery powered DVD player - rent some DVD's now so you have something to do while the TV is out.

6. Check on your elderly neighbors. If they are too old to run their own chainsaw - make sure they can get out of their driveways after the storm.

7. Re #6, make sure your own chainsaw starts and runs. Got chain oil? Mixed gas? There will probably be lots to clear soon.

8. Charge your cell phones. Even after the power fails, cell phones will probably work for a while. Nice to have a fully charged cell phone.

9. Reinforce your wood pile. Nothing worse than having to re-stack the darn thing. While you are at it - check to be sure you don't have any loose tarps around - these things blow away and are a pain to replace.

10. Make sure you have propane for your gas grill. It won't be too cold this week - so cooking out will be pretty easy if your grill has propane.

11. Make sure you have ice in the freezer. With ice and a cooler you can keep all sorts of food cool - including beer...

12. Buy a drill powered pump. These are a couple of bucks from any hardware store and can be powered with a cordless drill. You can use this to pump water out of your basement if the power is out for a while. Just be sure to charge your drill today!

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