Hello, my hopefully warm and electricity-having little chickens. I’d say winter was here, no? We were so lucky here at our place. Out for a few hours here and there, always during daylight hours and the house never dropped more than a few degrees. Reading the outage updates saying that some folks won’t have power back up until Jan. 1 is just awful to think about, especially as a parent.
I lived out of state during the ice storm of ’98 but remember conversations with my sister who lived in Orland on Rt. 15 at the time with two small boys and a husband who was out to sea 6 months of the year. If it hadn’t been for her wood stove, I don’t even want to think about what could have happened to them. She tacked blankets up over the doorways to her dining room where the stove was and they lived in that one room for almost two weeks. Luckily she had some food staples in the house and no one starved, but it made an impression on me.
When the warnings for the upcoming ice storm started filtering in last week, I took a good long look around my house at the stockpiles I have built up since I started using coupons this summer. Lots of deodorant, lots of Palmolive, lots of air freshener…great things to have on a day to day basis…not so hot to feed your kids.
Luckily my pantry shelves are also stocked with canned goods, cereals, crackers and snackie type foods as well. I’d like to tell you that I stocked up on non-perishables because I’m all cautious and responsible and the type of girl who thinks ahead, but that’s would be a lie of epic proportions. I stocked up on them because Shaw’s had some awesome sales and I had literally hundreds of coupons and used every single one of them.
So we were prepared if worse came to worst, but I decided some tweaking needed to be done. No more shampoo for awhile, no more shaving cream or conditioner. With another big storm looming this coming weekend, and winter looking to be long and drawn out..what steps do I take to better protect my family?
Batteries. You can never have too many. Dollar stores, if nothing else.
More gallons of water. Dirt cheap and available everywhere. I only had 4 gallons ready for this past storm and we ended up having Mark’s parents stay with us for a bit as their power was out in Ellsworth for days. If we hadn’t had power here, 4 gallons wouldn’t have been enough for 4 adults and two kids for more than a day or so. Get more water stored. The rule is one gallon per person, per day.
Glow sticks, the good ones, not dollar store. When the power goes out I leave one in each bathroom at night and on the landing to our staircase so no one (me) takes a header in the dark. The kids get one in their rooms as well. They light up brightly for about 12 hours.
More non-perishables. Ravioli. Soy peanut butter & jelly. (Hallee’s allergic to nuts) Spam, (Shut up, I love it) canned fruit, refried beans. Stuff we’ll all eat and has a good shelf life. Something I only had a few of this storm was protein bars. Almost always on sale at Shaw’s..good shelf life, lots of choices (watch for nuts). Canned goods are on sale often enough, that even without coupons you can buy a few extra each week. I will be looking for more tuna as well. Packed with protein and both kids will eat it right out of the can, cold.
Chemical heat packs to put in mittens or pockets. Again, super cheap and sold everywhere from grocery stores to dollar stores.
Big a** bag of potatoes. Seriously, we live in Maine. Everyone should have these at home. My sister fed her kids on potatoes during the storm of ’98. Fried, boiled, mashed, a little onion and some salt and pepper and you’ve got a warm, full belly. I had one 5 pound bag in the house last week. There are now 20 pounds in the house. They last darn near forever in a cool, dark place.
Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade that will give you back some electrolytes. They also sell these in powdered form in nifty little tubes that you add to water.
Here’s something else I didn’t put much thought into before. Medications. Hallee has a daily med that she needs. I had 5 pills left as of last Saturday when the power went out. If God forbid we were down for more than that..what would I have done? I refilled it earlier this week and left a message with her pediatrician to have an extra prescription sent in to keep in case of emergencies.
An alternative cooking source, especially if you don’t have a wood stove. Luckily, we had just filled our propane tank on the grill a few weeks before bringing it in for the winter. We could grill just about everything and boil water (outside) on that.
Keeping the car full of gas. Mark will tell you that I suck at this. I’m cool with driving around on E until the warning light flashes. Makes him crazy.
Make sure you have a car charger for your cell phone. I know a lot of people lost their land lines during this storm and didn’t have car chargers for their cells, so were without a phone in case of emergency.
Pet food. Brunhilde down there bites when her bowl is empty. She’s a jerk.
If you have enough warning about a possible power outage, charge devices fully before you lose power.
There..that’s what I’ve got so far to work on. I’ve got some shopping to do tomorrow in light of what could be coming our way on Sunday night. Or for when the zombie apocalypse happens…because it totally will. And when Daryl and Rick show up all raggedy and looking for food, I’ll be damned if I’m the one that turns them away because I don’t have enough, ammiright ladies?