In case of emergency……Dealing with a power outage

Yesterday we had high winds.  We live on a hill to begin with so when we have a “wind advisory” look out because we are going to get a lot more wind.  All of the limbs and branches I picked up on Sunday had mysteriously found their way out of the box in the garage for kindling wood and back into the yard…..hmm. At 4:30 my husband texted me at work and said “The power is out…no joke.  It is not coming on.”  I was waiting for it.  Tree blew over somewhere.  We had a thawing event and the ground had turned muddy.  Wind could easily uproot trees. 

When I got home we unplugged the TVs, game system, dvd players, microwave, etc. When it started to get dark I went to my emergency stockpile of jar candles and put them out to light.  We ate cold leftovers. Got batteries out to put in our LED Lantern.  Oil lamps were readied.  I cut coupons in the dark and my hubby built a fire in the woodstove. 

Here are some things to think about having on hand “just in case.”

-Batteries. A “duh” thing I know.  But I mean batteries for flashlights and lanterns.

-Candles.  I have two piles of candles.  My smelly good candles I got and use anytime I feel froggy and the emergency candles which are votives and jar candles that I have in case of long hours without power.  I keep these in a hall closet and in the garage. I have an amazing supply of them. Everytime I get some in an auction box I keep them.

-Oil lamps and lamp oil.  Back when Snowmageddon hit in 2010 and we had no oil lamps, no lamp oil and was unprepared, we ran to the store.  Of course most of the county was without electric and my parents requested lamp oil…Good luck finding it.  They were OUT.  We had to call everywhere to find any and most stores were out.  You can get new oil lamps anywhere but they do not have the same quality of the older ones. We were lucky enough to get some from auctions and lamp oil (which I need to get more of now)

-Alternate heat source.  Whether it be a kerosene heater (if you want to get one, get a flat top one) or wood stove or pellet stove have an alternate heat source for wintertime outages.  We have a wood stove that we alternate using anyhow to save on kerosene costs.  A flat top kerosene heater I recommend because you can actually heat stuff on it.  Ask my dad.  He did all the time during 2010.

-Canned soup and other easy heat stuff.  If you have a wood stove like ours you can heat water, soup (which I have) hot dogs, whatever on.  I don’t recommend trying to cook pasta like I tried.  It does take a while for the stuff to heat up. 

-Coolers.  If you are out of power in the winter and for a long while grab a cooler, put snow in it, put your frozen, fridge stuff in it and bury that thing in the snow outside. 

-Water.  In case you don’t have heat and your pipes freeze.

– Flashlights (another “duh”).  We also have emergency lights that charge. LED battery operated lanterns.  I also have battery operated candles.

-Games.  We are spoiled, let’s face it.  Get some boardgames, cards, something. My husband has some hand held games and a PSP.  We also have a portable DVD player.  ALl great but you have to keep them charged and of course they will only last so long.  Though if we were out, I would take them to work and recharge them.

– Grill.  Sounds dumb, but trust me in 2010 I would have gave a kidney (joke) for a grill to cook on.  I wouldn’t have lost meat that way and we would have had something more appetizing than turkey sandwiches for a week.  I could have used this to cook so much. Still frustrates me to think of it.

– Corded phone.  Think about it.  If you have a landline, make sure you have a corded phone.  even one you can get out and plug in in case of emergencies.  We have one in a spare room we keep plugged in.  Obviously the cell phone isn’t going to stay charged forever.

Hope this helps.  We survived our experience.  Electric was only out for about 4 hours, came on for 45 minutes and out for another 20. 


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