At some point before 6 this morning, Dh woke up to find that the electricity was out. As it approached 6 and the it had not been restored, we agreed that it would be a good idea to get the boys up and take them out for breakfast. I suggested that W use a flashlight while be took a shower, but Dh pointed out that since we are on a well that needs electricity to pump the water, there would be no shower.
Fortunately, the electricity came back on shortly afterwards so all of this was moot. But it got me thinking about getting ready for winter. We were fortunate to be out of town last Christmas when most everyone I know lost power. Ours was out for several days. We have bought a big pile of wood for our fireplace and had the tank refilled with oil for our heater. But if we lost power for more than a few hours, we would not be prepared. And if we had any warning, we’d be running around town like those fools who fill up their shopping carts with milk and bread at the mention of snow.
When we lived in Louisiana, I always did a little basic hurricane preparedness at the beginning of the season – at a minimum, a stash of bottled water, batteries and flashlights, and a battery-powered radio. Fortunately, I never needed it since we left town whenever a storm of any significance headed our way. Everyone here claims that last winter was the worst in several decades; the prediction for this winter is above-average temperatures and below-average snowfall. I’m not taking any chances.
I always have a well-stocked pantry, so that is not an issue. We could live for a week on grits (about 5 pounds) and brownies (7 boxes of mix, as well as plenty of ingredients to make them from scratch). We keep a back-up gallon of milk on hand, and our bread box is perpetually overflowing, currently with hotdog and hamburger buns, two kinds of sliced wheat bread, a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, white and wheat tortillas, pita bread, and sub rolls. English muffins are in the fridge. There is a stash of diet coke in the garage. What we need: wine, water and meat for the freezer.
We are lucky to have lots of long underwear, a gas stove and wood-burning fire place. But, I doubt there are more than one or two flashlights that work in the house. We have a number of old kerosene lanterns, as well as a nice new one for camping, but no kerosene. Add that to the list.
We have a generator, a post-Katrina gift from FEMA . It is not super powerful, but we can use it to keep the fridge running or charge our cell phones. If we had gas… Add that to the list.
What am I forgetting?