"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Winter Preparedness

There was a big windstorm yesterday. We didn't lose power here (there are few trees up here to interfere with the power lines) but my sister lost hers for most of the day. She is better set up to weather a storm than we are: she has a woodstove to provide heat and cooking facilities. I've been meaning for years to get a woodburning insert for our fireplace so that we can have heat in an emergency, but of course an insert won't address the cooking issue. Unless perhaps I can find one that sticks out a ways from the fireplace. We do have a wide stone shelf in front of the fireplace that would work. Or maybe I need to get a freestanding woodstove and put it somewhere else. I haven't got it figured out yet. There's also the second fireplace in the playroom we could cook on if need be.

But yesterday's storm did prompt me to go down to the sporting goods store and get supplies for a power-outage kit, which I will put into a plastic tub and slide under the bed. It includes several things that we wouldn't need in your basic power outage, but which might be useful in certain circumstances. I got:

1 dynamo (hand cranked) flashlight/radio/cell phone charger combo
1 dynamo 16 LED lantern/DC adapter (if I can figure it out, we should be able to use this to power our battery recharger and recharge all our
5 emergency rain ponchos
5 emergency space blankets
60 feet of light nylon rope
1 box strike anywhere matches
1 can opener
100 tea light candles
2 small propane canisters
1 burner that screws onto a propane canister for cooking
1 set of camping cooking gear (small pots and pans)
1 swiss army knife
1 10x12 lightweight blue tarp
several pairs "magic" gloves and warm socks in various sizes

I am probably missing something. Well for sure we need to store a few days worth of water. I have a six gallon carboy with an airlock - if I put a drop or two of bleach into it and fill it with tap water we will at least have drinking water for a couple of days.

That's actually my next big homesteading project: some water tanks to catch rainwater.

There's so much to do. Ahhhhhhhh.


~Tonia said...

I could Not be with out my woodstove!! It keep me and 17 other people warm and fed in an ice storm a couple of years ago.. It was worth every penny we paid for it. Fuel is cheap and it does its job well!
I SOOO want water tanks to collect rain water! This would have been an excellent year to collect alot of water!

Olive said...

It sounds as if you have it sorted Aimee. We have a slow combustion stove for our winter warmth, it will boil some soup if you put it on early enough, certainly it will keep food hot for as long as needed.
Then as for water...the only water we have is the water we catch from the roof run off.
I hope you never have to use all the emergency gear you've stored under the bed ( :-) but at least you are prepared for it.

Kelsie said...

Yep...we had a HUGE ice storm here last year, and our power was out for 2 weeks. We were SO HAPPY to have a hand-cranked/solar powered radio. The local news station was broadcasting on the radio, and it was our lifeline to the outside world--they kept us up to date on the power restoration efforts and the news from the outside world, AND we got to listen to Jay Leno at night. :)

In addition to the radio, the thing that kept us comfortable, fed, and generally happy was our gas stove. I know...I know...I wish it could have been a wood burning stove, but we moved our mattress into the kitchen, blocked both doors with blankets, and used the gas stove to heat our water, cook our food, and keep the kitchen warm. It worked extremely well, and I'm very grateful to live in an area where gas is the main source of heat, and can be accessed no matter what the circumstances.

But yes--the hand-cranked radio is more essential than you could ever imagine! Also, we burned through TONS of candles. I've been stocking up on soy candles whenever I see them on sale. I suggest you do the same!!