Believe me, I am not tooting my own horn but hoping some of you will look at the things we do with a different view now. I have been a “prepper” ever since most of you have known me. It started growing up in southwest Louisiana with hurricane preparedness. Reality hit hard in January, 1997 when the temps dropped below freezing briefly one rainy night and within hours, it sounded somewhat similar to what I would expect a war zone to sound like. Limbs breaking and hitting the roof. Trees splitting and falling. Power went out and stayed out for 7 days at our house, longer for some.
I lived in an all electric house with not a single backup plan. No way to cook. No way to stay warm and no way to entertain an 8 year old who loved his video games. I said “never again”.
It’s through times like these that we find our weak spots and there are some.
Vince’s power went off this morning just before 2:00 a.m. It’s 7 degrees there now, was zero til daylight.
I had about talked myself out of a gas stove here but Vince used it in Texas to make coffee, cook breakfast, was opening a jar of jambalaya and cooking it for his lunch. He said “We’re definitely getting a gas stove”. We have two propane fireplaces in MO but Vince said he doesn’t want to rely on those for our only heat so he’ll have a line run to the downstairs garage and we can use the ventless “safe for indoor use” heater down there that we used for the greenhouse. We will add more carbon monoxide detectors. You know I’m a paranoid person when it comes to that.
What Vince is going through could happen to any of us and it doesn’t even have to be weather related. Most of the Texas is at least partially without power; roads are not cleared. It’s time to have what he needs there and stay home.
Please look around your house. Think of things you would need if you had no power. Things that come to mind
- Food for your family for at least a week.
- Backups of everything you need – toothpaste, toilet paper, first aid supplies, pet food, etc.
- A way to heat food.
- Batteries in the size you use most.
- Solar powered chargers are great for phones, tablets and hand held games.
- Water for your family for several days.
- Backup external batteries that can be used for phones, tablets, etc.
- Paper plates, cups and disposable utensils.
- A way to heat food. Here, without a gas stove, I have the Camp Chef stove set up in the downstairs garage.
- Entertainment for all ages. Especially for kids, it’s nice to have a box of new things that will hold their attention a bit better than the things they’re used to playing with – coloring books, beads and jewelry making kits, hand held games, board games, puzzles. Portable DVD players can be charged with the solar charger so if you have one of those, have DVDs that the kids haven’t seen lately or ones they like to watch. Adults need entertainment too – Kindle, especially if you have a solar charger; adult coloring pages, sketchpads, games.
- A bucket of some kind that can be used for sponge baths if you’re having to heat your water and don’t want to heat enough for a full bath.
Obviously that’s not everything you need but it’s what comes to mind.
I say this every time we talk about generators but during the hurricanes in Rita, there were so many whole house generators that failed and the homeowners were told that they’re intended for short spans of use . . not days and days of use. So, be aware that if your power is out for weeks, that whole house generator may not do all you think it’s going to do. Also, getting gas and even getting propane delivered during emergency situations is a pain. My friend with through a 250 gallon tank of propane every three days during the hurricane. They ran their central a/c mainly because they had water leaking into the house and were trying their best to prevent mold from taking over. We never count on generators except for the well and freezers and with both, we only run them an hour or so each day.
A solar panel or two and a few batteries can power some lights and fans.
Please don’t think municipal utilities and government provided “perks” and I know that isn’t the right word . . will always be there for you.