Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not Prepared

Monday the wind blew up to 60 mph and the rain pelted down taking out electricity to many parts of Washington.  I admit I went to bed early expecting the power to go out at my home.  The wind blew so hard it was scary.  We did not loose power on my street and were really lucky.  I heard from some of my friends that lost power and was surprised how unprepared they found themselves.  Can you imagine friends of mine being unprepared???

First one could not even find a flashlight that worked.  She had given away her store of candles and an Aladdin Lamp with fuel a while back while trying to lighten her load of encumbrances (sorry for the pun!).  She did have a kerosene lamp but did not have much fuel.  Her house has a wood stove that had not been used in a long time and there was cut wood on the property.  Today she admitted she wished she had not given some things away.  It was a wake up call for her.

This year the news media is warning up of a very cold and snowy winter.  This part of Washington does not generally have a lot of snow so it is time to evaluate and prepare for a winter challenge.

*  Do you have a heat alternative to electric heat?
*  Do you have plenty of blankets to keep the beds warm?
*  Do you have  light alternative and fuel to keep it going a few days?
*  Do you have a cooking alternative to cook with?
*  Do you have foods easy to prepare so you would not have to go to a store?

These are just a few questions to be thinking about. 

My Mother was secretly disappointed we did not loose power.  She was sitting in her home with a new led flashlight in her lap.  She has a good size generator which has been hooked up so that it only has to be started, a few switches switched and her lights and refrigerator will we safe.  She has a wood stove insert with a cord or so of dry wood some of which is dry in the garage.  There is a sweet little stove that runs on a can of butane to cook her dinner and make a hot drink.  She has been storing prepared foods.  I would say her weak point would be the number of blankets she owns, however, last year I got her a sleeping bag so that would keep her warm.

Are you ready for a power outage of a few days to a week?  Make a list and think of the holiday time as a good time to prepare the family and friends.


Anne said...

And don't forget... do you have enough water?!

(or a means of collecting water so you don't have to blow drinking water on things like flushing a toilet)

Scarlett said...

I have to admit I don't mind it at all when the power goes out! Of course we have always enjoyed camping so always have camping supplies. A grill, a camp stove, a smoker that runs on propane, so we always have propane. A kerosene heater, and a nice stockpile of food. Flashlights, wind up radios, plenty of blankets and hand made quilts! I do wish we had a generator just for our fridge and freezers, but we don't so we just get by the best we can there and try not to open them. I also really need to find a way to store water. We don't have good water storage and we have very little space. I wish I could think of a way around that.

Anne said...

Maybe look into water filters used for hiking, or there are collapsible water storage containers that you can pull out and fill up when you know a big storm is coming. Rain barrels are also an idea... unless you live in a state like mine (CO) where they have made collecting rain illegal. (No joke.. the rain that falls on your roof here.. isn't yours to collect.)

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Dunappy said...

Our electric company is quite bad about having power outages so we have quite a good supply of things.

1. Flashlights hanging by the back door serve a dual purpose first to be used when we make our last rounds to check the critters at night and second to be available for power outages.

2. Oil lamps we have several of them placed through out the house for long term power outages.

3. Candles are also placed through out the house but I don't like the candles as much as the oil lamps for light.

4. We have a flat topped wood stove that provides us with heat. The glass door helps light up the room in the dark and finally the flat top can also be used as a cooking surface.

5. One thing many people don't think about is the bigger chest freezers. We keep Several gallon jugs of water in the bottom of the freezer. This helps keep the food cold during short term power outages and then provides drinking water if the power is out for a long time. We have a well and are currently saving up to invest in either a wind or solar powered pump for the well so we won't be out of water when the power goes out.

GlassAbattoir said...

We had snow and wind around that time that knocked out our power for three days. What Dunappy said!

Between the wood stove, oil lamps, candles, solar/crank radio, generator, food storage, camping gear, and rain barrels, we were pretty cozy.

What I really want next is a good-sized propane burner primarily for brewing beer, but also for heating bath water in just such an emergency. By the time the power came on I was ready to hit the tub!