Here are some things I have read from different articles that people learned from Hurricane Sandy.
The first two paragraphs are from my niece, Maralee who I have mentioned before about how she invited friends, neighbors, Church members and strangers to her home because her heat was restored during Hurricane Sandys wrath. She invited people over for Hot Chocolate and movies. She told me she was totally prepared (I am one proud Aunt!) as far as food and water. Please read her thoughts so we can all learn from each other.
Hi Aunt Linda. I would have to say that lack of food and water was not our biggest issue. Warmth was. The temperatures at the time were even in the 50s and we felt miserable in the cold house. Luckily for us, our power was restored before temperatures really dropped. Having a way to warm up even one room was a big deal and we have paid a lot of attention to that for future emergencies. Plus, we saved our generator at first because we didn’t have any “real” emergencies, but eventually put it on for internet and to power some entertainment devices because boredom and being cold really set us on edge. Some people have suggested having “no power weekends” as a way to practice for long-term power outages. We are getting our fireplace fixed and investing a lot in practical indoor propane heaters that won’t output a bunch of carbon monoxide and endanger us. We are too used to being warm inside our houses!
For us, dealing with the cold was our biggest issue. We were very silly in the fact that while we had adequate food storage, we had not yet fixed the lining of the chimney (we just bought our house in April) because it was expensive and we didn’t think it was very necessary. We would have loved to use that fireplace during the cold days without power (and its light and warmth would have been a huge morale boost at night, too). It’s amazing how much heat even a small living space requires (more than our seeming adequate propane heater could put out). Our house these days are built for pretty, not for heat retention (a giant foyer looks great, but my friend with a large, beautiful house will tell you, she hated her “beautiful” foyer after only a few days without power, knowing that it was wicking away all the heat her fireplace was putting out).
Here are some more thoughts about living through a disaster or unexpected emergency:
1. Yes, this can happen to you, me or us
2. We are never really prepared to go longer than a day or two without power, water, air or heat
3. You will need lots of propane, gasoline, kerosene, firewood
4. Better have a fire-starter, flint or matches
5. 3 or 4 cases of bottled water is not water storage
6. If you don’t have enough water stored-you are in trouble
7. Cash is one of the most important things to have (money at the bank, credit union or stocks-means nothing in a disaster)
8. Store as much fuel as water
9. Around day 3 the stress creeps in…temperments start changing for the worst
10. Stored water can taste nasty-I personally store “True Lemon”, they are inexpensive and come in different flavors: lemon, lime, orange, etc. for the nasty tasting water!
11. You eat more food when your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
12. What if you have enough food and supplies for your own family and then the neighborhood kids show up at your door?
13. Your 1972 Honda Civic can get you to the store just as well as a 2012 Escalade…but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, a generator, etc.
14. Some of your neighbors shut down in an emergency…and there is nothing you can do about that
15. Some things take a ton of power: refrigerators, toasters, microwaves, freezers, etc.
16. Most things do not take much power to run: computers, phones, radios, TV’s, etc.
17. Some things you can’t have enough of: matches, paper plates, paper cups, plastic silverware, toilet paper,
18. Stock up on Medicines (Advil, Tylenol, cold medicines,, etc.)
19. Small solar charging devices are a necessity not a want
20. When it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon the nights get really long without power
21. All the expensive clothes in your closets are worth nothing if they won’t keep you warm
22. You need a lot of firewood to keep your home warm day after day
23. Someone in your family needs to learn to play the guitar
24. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water
25. The electrical grid is more fragile than most people realize
26. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t taste it, let alone eat it
27. Neighbors can be a great resource, they can also become a huge drain on your food storage. Be prepared to handle this situation, it is easy to share on day 3, not so easy on day 11. It’s reality.
28. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not available anymore
29. Mom, Dad everything you have done for your kids is forgotten very quickly if your kids are hungry
30. Normal social behavior quickly goes out the window. People become like animals when hunger is involved. It’s worse when it’s your kids that are hungry and crying……..
31. Heat, get one or two sources of heat to warm just one room….until power can be restored. If your fireplace needs repair don’t wait to fix it. Do it now and start storing fuel safely for your area/community. We never know when we might need it.
These are only a few of the statements I have read…..it only reinforces why Kendra and I want to teach the world how to be prepared for the unexpected emergency or disaster. I would totally recommend some sort of solar or temporary power system that works for your area. I would also say get one or two ways to warm your family. I have electric blankets or I can layer LOTS of blankets at night but the days can be brutal if we are too cold. The red buckets above is how I store my Ozark Oak Lump Charcoal. I sure wish I had a fireplace……….Let’s be prepared together.