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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Preparedness Tested Part 2

On Tuesday morning we woke up to no power. The rain had eased and so had the wind. Jean went to let out the chickens and I went about setting up the generator with extension cords to the house - it takes about 20 minutes at most. She came back to let me know a number of Eucalypt trees in The Nuttery had toppled over the fox exclusion fence.

Rather than do a full evaluation of the property I had some coffee and set about clearing the Nuttery fence to make sure the chickens were protected. It only took a few hours to cut away the foliage and trunks and re-erect the fence.

The following day and just by chance we found the chickens were not secure at all. Down in the gulley of The Nuttery there had been a wash out through the boundary. Come on in predators. Another couple of hours work to repair.

Rule: Make a complete inspection of the property before you start.

How fortunate that on the previous Friday we succumbed to a special on chainsaws at the produce store and purchased a light weight quality saw to use beside our big boy saw. We would need the big boy for the large trunks but wielding it at shoulder height to trim foliage is a real muscle killer.

Rule: Always have the appropriate sized tools.

Now with the chickens secure I wandered on down our driveway to inspect the damage. Of the four trees down over the driveway only one presented a serious problem. It was the second largest tree on the property with a metre thick trunk dead centre across the driveway. The huge canopy would have to be trimmed gradually to prevent the trunk from swivelling. It took two days to cut a path for a vehicle.

We had an alternative route out but it was 4WD access only and had more than 6 trees across it. There was also another 4WD access point through next door's property but it was impassable with 4 massive trees blocking the gateway.

Rule: Have multiple points of access to the property but don't assume they won't all fail. There needs to be a backup plan for that failure.

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