Thursday, January 12, 2017

Emergency Preparedness



As I'm sure you have heard we here in Idaho have had some record breaking snowfall and temperatures.  With snow and freezing rain, plus a warming trend that is expecting to lead to flooding it is quite possible we could be in for some power outages and blocked roadways.

To prepare for any event that may occur I did the following:


Topped off our gas tanks in both vehicles

I took both vehicles to the gas station and filled them up.  I've also been making sure to keep them cleared off as much as possible and put the wiper blades straight up to keep them from freezing to the window.  Our truck is chained up and ready for snow.


Made a quick trip to the store to get the things we are low on

After fueling our vehicles I drove to the grocery store to pick up extra kitty litter, toilet paper, fresh fruits and veggies, milk, a couple loaves of bread and a big package of toilet paper.  I also picked up a three pack of propane cylinders for our camp stove - just in case.


Filled up water containers (in case the pipes freeze)

I keep extra containers of water on hand, but in case the power goes out and our pipes were to freeze I've been filling up our tea kettle and some other containers.  Our hot water heater holds 50 gallons of water as well to use for flushing toilets and washing dishes.


Cleaned the house and got all the laundry caught up

We spent a couple hours going through the house from top to bottom giving it a good once over and cleaning it up.  We vacuumed and dusted everything and mopped the floors.  We also made sure all of our laundry was washed too.


Cleared more snow and made sure the storm drain wasn't blocked

We shoveled a lot of snow clearing our sidewalks, driveway and into the street as well.  I also cleared out the gutter and dug the snow out around the storm drain, the water main cover and sewer manhole cover.  I cleared snow and ice from around the gutters and downspout on the house and made a nice path around the porch so we didn't have a lot of snow resting against it making places for water to drain off.


Charged up the electronics

We are making sure to charge our cell phones, laptops and tablets each night.  In the event of a prolonged power outage those devices would be our only communication to the outside world.  Used sparingly they would be usable for several days.


Talked to my kids

Without scaring them I talked to my kids and we came up with a contingency plan.  We will all keep our cell phones on us and check regularly for messages.  They know what their roles will be and how we will handle whatever situation comes our way.


Food

I keep a well stocked pantry and freezer.  Nonetheless a lot of this food might not be easy and efficient to prepare on a camp stove.  In order to be better prepared I made up two large pots of soup and cooked up a pot roast which was divided into meal sizes and put in the freezer.  Then I hard boiled half a dozen eggs.  I also made a plan for other easy to prepare meals like quesadillas, sandwiches, breakfast cereal, etc. that wouldn't consume a lot of fuel or require the use of a lot of dishes and pots and pans.

By planning and preparing ahead we are ready.  The likelihood of needing to do much, if anything, is slim but I'd much prefer to be ready and not need to be than not and need to be.



16 comments:

  1. This is what I was doing yesterday and will continue doing today - STL is supposed to get 3 straight days of ice this weekend. I'm also grinding coffee because the last time the power went out, we discovered we had everything to make coffee except the grinder needs electricity!

    - Molly

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    1. Oh yeah! U really have to think about all of those things don't you? Good luck this weekend Molly.

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  2. Sounds like you are as ready as possible. We also leave our faucets dripping to help ward off freezing pipes. It isn't foolproof but it does help.
    Do you have an alternate source for heat?

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    1. You know, we don't and that is a worry. I'm actually looking into getting a Heater Buddy and propane tank.

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  3. Oh and I know that a lot of frugal folks don't like paper products but paper plates and such come in handy during times like this. We have hurricanes in NC and once without power for 8 days. Paper products are such a help during those times.

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    1. I do keep a stash of paper plates in my pantry. I would do that rather than let dirty dishes pile up, I think.

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  4. Isn't this crazy? We just went through Boise on Monday. Lived there 30 years ago and we had snow like this. My driveway is an ice rink!

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    1. It is nuts! And I remember that big snow storm back in the mid 80s. 1984 I believe. This storm totally reminded me of that time. We also had an earth quake that year. Hope we don't do that too.

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  5. We had one winter that kept our power on (mostly), but had storm after storm after STORM. And that meant that milk and eggs disappeared off the shelves fast. (Right during Christmas baking time, too.) You should keep a box of instant milk and powdered eggs on your emergency shelf, as well -- just in case.
    I didn't see candles, flashlights, batteries and lamp oil on this list -- but you'll need those, too. Amazon has a flashlight that charges by hand power -- also an excellent idea. (I gave these at Christmas, and a quick whirrr by hand charged it for least an hour - and I think two.)

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    1. I have powdered and canned milk in the pantry and extra eggs in the freezer. We have oil for the lamps as well as lots of flashlights and batteries. I always keep those on hand. I also have loads of candles. I love candles.

      Every day the weather report changes so we shall see.

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  6. I live in the deep South, so can't relate to all you are going through, but it seems to me that you are as ready as you can be. Will be praying for everyone's safety

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  7. Sounds like you are quite well prepared. An alternate source of heat would be a good thing to have, if possible. If not, one can make do with plenty of quilts, sleeping bags, etc.

    I live in "earthquake country" (southern California), so try to be as prepared as I can! I try to fill up the car with gas before it gets down to quarter tank (ideally when it goes down to half tank, but don't do that all the time); keep a well stocked pantry; extra bottles of drinking water; cat food and litter, etc. I have a 3-day supply emergency kit at the office, too, but I don't know how well prepared any one of us is for the "Big One".

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    1. Power failures aren't anything new for us and we've had long stretches up to 14 hours before, which is a long time for city folk. So we are always prepared for that possibility. But when the concern about days of power outages was announced that was a whole different thing. We do have lots of sleeping bags and several of our neighbors have wood heat and we know we can go there if need be. I'm optimistic it won't come to that. :)

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  8. I think we are prepared for emergencies. I got together a backpack for each of us that are loaded with supplies such as windup transistor radios that double as flashlights, food, water, documents such as copies of i.d's , small bills for cash, sanitizer, first aid supplies, shoes and so on. The backpacks are in our closet by the front door ready to grab in a moments notice.

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