After the Storm--Surviving Without Power
I was reading the blog post of a new friend who lives in Massachusetts. You may have heard about the huge snowstorm that blasted the East Coast recently. Many trees still covered in leaves crashed to the ground taking out power lines and damaging homes. Linda’s blog talked about the aftermath of the storm at her home. They were without power for four days! I was very impressed and asked her if I could share some of her account.
Linda wrote, “We live in a small town and many people, especially those away from the downtown area have things such as chainsaws, generators, wood stoves or fireplaces. We don’t have any of that. What we did have that helped us out was our camping gear. Our camp stove with coffee maker was a lifesaver…
“The power company was good about getting emergency buildings reconnected quickly. The police station and the middle school which was used as a shelter, serving meals, offering shower facilities and heat were up by early Monday. The crews from across the country have now headed home and the local crews are finishing up wherever necessary.
“I found it interesting that during the power outage my son, Ryan, was most bothered by the lack of light. I was most bothered by the lack of information available; while my husband was most concerned about staying warm. It really affects everyone differently. My dad, though cold at their house, just looked at it as a minor inconvenience. That’s my dad! But I think it’s the right attitude. If everyone is safe and you have food and a source of heat, then just sit tight and wait. It is possible to live without electricity if you are prepared.
“You know I said my son was most bothered by the lack of light. Well, a couple of nights ago he asked if we could turn off the dining room lights and play a board game by lantern light…I guess he may be able to remember this past week as mostly a good time. I’m glad he can get past the night of the storm when he stayed awake listening to the trees and branches crack and crash all around our house. He must have been so scared.
“I had said my prayers, asking God to keep us safe, and went to sleep, knowing that it was out of my hands. I was glad to find the next morning that my husband had gotten up very early and kept watch with Ryan.”
I asked Linda what advice she would give you to help you prepare. She said that her husband and son were writing up a list of what they would need should this happen again. Luckily, she had thought about preparing for an emergency and knew that they had most everything they would need for at least a couple of days. She said, “Two things we needed were cash and more gasoline (for generators). These were not available for the first couple of days. And many stores and gas stations that opened on generator power were accepting only cash payments. Remember, those ATM machines require electricity. Please remind them about being safe during a power outage. Most all the deaths associated with this storm were caused when people misused generators and cooking or heating elements such as gas grills and propane heaters. These things are not meant to be used indoors.”
Linda also spoke about how much hard work it was just to prepare meals and keep warm during those four days. She said it is so much easier if you are prepared. I really appreciate that Linda was willing to share her experience with us. Now I know to have plenty of cash and gasoline on hand for the generator.
- A three month supply of food. This is the food your family eats every day and is apart from your long term storage.
- 72 hour kits for each member of your family.
- Emergency water storage.
- Emergency cash savings accounts. This is usually enough money to tide you over for 6 months to a year. Right now, the goal is 1 to 6 months.
- They are a great way to add extra warmth (simply put on under your pants) without adding bulk or weight to your 72 hour kit.
- Need an extra-large rubber band to help you carry items in an emergency? Cut around the elastic top of an old pair of pantyhose. Two of these, crisscrossed, work fine when bundling newspapers or magazines. Use one to hold a bag in place in a garbage container, too.
- In an emergency they can be tied together and used for rope.
- To make the soap in your 72 hour kit more efficient place some soap in an old nylon and tie it around faucets or near your water supply.
- You can also use nylons as a very basic filter for your water. Bet you never knew nylons could be so handy-now you do!
- Brushing Teeth 1 gallon
- Washing Hands 1 quart
- Taking a Bath 35-40 gallons
- Taking a Shower 5 gallons per minute
- Laundry 19-45 gallons
- Washing Dishes 10-15 gallons
After completing this challenge you may want to take some time to evaluate what occurred and re-evaluate you family's preparedness plans. Were the proper tools available to cope with limited water use? Would one gallon of water per person per day be sufficient for your family? Most recommendations are for 2-5 gallons of water per person per day in an emergency. Discuss the results with your family and adjust your plans accordingly.
August 16, 2011 Newsletter
Provident Living Q & A
10-17 lavender sprigs
1 pint white vinegar (boil for 2-5 minutes)
Cut lavender sprigs to fit inside a glass bottle or jar. (Sterilize jar if using lavender vinegar for cooking.) Rinse flowers in cold water to remove dirt. Put lavender (flowers down, stems up) into jar and pour vinegar to the top of the bottle. Seal and let sit for 2-6 weeks before using. (I let it sit 2 days)