James told me tonight that Brattleboro, Vermont was hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene. The New York Times reports that downtown Brattleboro has been under several feet of water.
Twenty miles south of Brattleboro is Greenfield, Massachusetts, where we used to live.
Greenfield was also hit hard by the storm.
The AP reports that a wastewater treatment plant had to be closed down and untreated human sewage is flowing into the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers.
There are pictures in the local paper, The Greenfield Recorder, of buses overturned in the water.
The small red farmhouse where my son was born and where my daughters shared a small slope-ceilinged room is in a low-lying area. I wonder how much of the house is underwater. I worry about the current occupants, a couple with a young son, and hope they’re okay.
My first response to the news about the downgraded hurricane was a selfish one. I’m glad we’ve moved to a city nestled in the mountains at an elevation of 2000 feet altitude.
I’m glad we live on a steep hill.
I’m glad we weren’t on the East Coast during Tropical Storm Irene. I’m glad we’re not among the thousands of stranded travelers trying to get home.
My second response was to worry about our friends and family on the East Coast. Many are without power. Some are clearing downed tree limbs.
But everyone we know, thankfully, seems to be okay.
My third response is, holy expletive deleted! It’s time, really time, to get a disaster preparedness kit together, have a plan in place, and buy a fire-proof safe (that would presumably be waterproof as well).
James and I have been talking about this for years now, but somehow we’ve never put it all together.
Frugal Kiwi, who has weathered two earthquakes in New Zealand, has been urging her loyal readers (myself among them) to be prepared with food, water, shelter, clothing, a first aid kit, a hand-cranked radio, and the like before disaster strikes. A disaster preparedness kit should contain all those items and be stored someplace safe and easily accessible.
Since we live in an arid region, it’s more likely we’d be caught in a forest fire than a flood.
Frugal Kiwi (aka Melanie McMinn), I’m listening this time.
Disaster action plan, disaster preparedness kit, we’re on it.
Making it happen right now.