Preparing for a storm

Rarely do I make plans in advance. I go with the flow, so to speak, but I have made plans for today.  The reason is I need to get prepared. I am in the path of Hurricane Sandy, while inland and not affected by the predicted storm surges, we are already getting high winds and are expecting power outages.

So how do you prepare for the possibility of no power?  If you are me these are the things you do:

  • Prepare plenty of food that can be eaten without heating them
  • When planning meals check any that can’t wait till the power comes back on to eat
  • With the cold temperatures I have prepared a spot outdoors to store my food if I don’t have a working refrigerator (more on that later)
  • Even though I’m not on a well for water I will still filter and save extra water in case there is a problem with the municipal services.
  • Check that all my winter clothes are ready, and clean, to be layered on if the heat is out
  • Pull out and wash the heavy blankets that usually only come out in the dead of winter.
  • Clean extensively. Because if I am locked up in a cold house the last thing I want to do is look at something that needs cleaned yet can’t be done at the moment.
  • Lastly, but most important, I will at some point today check with my neighbors to see if they need anything and let them know I expect to be here throughout the duration if they need me.

So what do my food preparations look like?

  • I am cooking beans today to have ready
  • I will hard boil the eggs, there is no way I will eat raw eggs
  • prepare pasta and rice the last of the potatoes and cook a couple of squashes I have here.
  • cook up vegetables. I love cold cooked carrots.  I have a bag so they will be cooked up with onions and set aside to add to a meal or have as a snack.
  • I also have bread and peanut butter for sandwiches as well as some fruit.
  • For breakfast I can soak oats overnight to eat, not as good as hot oatmeal but healthy
  • The candles have been set in strategic locations along with the oil lamps and lighters are nearby and ready to use.
  • I will make sure my phone has a strong charge on the battery so as not to be out of touch with my family or in case of an emergency.  The phone will not be used for any other reason to conserve the battery (which isn’t a problem as I hate to be on the phone) as I don’t have a land line.
  • If the power is out for more than 24 hours I will turn off the phone, after setting certain times of the day to check in with my daughter-in-law, especially if she is alone, and turn it back off.

Return of the car

My son made sure I still had a car in case of emergencies.  Since I have an extensive number and variety of wildlife here, setting food outside to keep it cold will feed them, not me.  With the car here, I will store food in the trunk of the car if it comes to that.

If we lose power the only thing that will bother me is the lack of heat, but my place is well insulated so it won’t be dangerous for me to stay.  I have plenty of things to keep myself busy.  I have projects I am working on such as the finishing of two more chairs (they have been taken apart, sanded and reglued. One has the primer coat already finished) so that will keep me busy. I have books I can read and needlework I can do.  While I am a night owl by nature I will wake earlier and go to bed earlier.

Knowing family may need you

My son works in corrections and is on a special team that goes in to any prison in the state if there are problems. He already received his notice to be rested and ready in case the power goes down to any fences and the like to keep or restore order.  This could take him to the other side of the state for as long as that area is without power.  While it may seem strange, he doesn’t want his wife driving in these winds (she’s only had her license for just over a year and has never driven in something like this), so I am on call for her if he has to go.

Anyone in the path, stay safe and I will be thinking of you. 

For everyone else, should I go missing from the blog world for a couple of days, you know where I am.  I will be safe and am prepared.

37 thoughts on “Preparing for a storm

    • Thank you. The storm has moved though and their predictions for our area thankfully didn’t come to pass, a few trees are down, but no damage was reported. Our power stayed on and my son wasn’t called out on work. We were very lucky to live where we do.

  1. Water Water Water…as you know you can live without food much longer than fresh water. Fill your bathtub…have more than you think you will EVER need. Fill every receptacle you have, and then laugh when you went “overboard” later.

    • Isn’t that the truth. I have enough water put up for 4 days for myself and advised my son to do the same. Luckily my youngest son is on vacation in AZ as his city is getting hit worse than mine from the storm. I was happy he got to take a vacation, but now I’m thrilled at his timing so I don’t worry about him. Now all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed my eldest son doesn’t get called to respond to a prison without power.

  2. Stay safe, dry and as warm as possible…and keep thinking about all the GREAT blog post ideas that will come from this adventure! You and the entire east coast are in the thoughts and prayers of all the rest of us!

    • True. I’ve been on wells most of my life, this is a relatively new thing for me to be on public water. The last time we had a power outage, I forgot I wasn’t on a well until after the power came back on then laughed at how dumb I was to have been so careful not to turn on the water. Luckily it was only for a day.

    • Thank you Katerine. Unless family needs something I am staying indoors and not venturing out. The building has a common interior hallway that can access all the apartments so to check on neighbors I don’t have to go outside at all.

  3. We too have been spending most of the last couple of days preparing for the storm. We have a well so water is one of our main concerns, but I think that we’re ready in that area. Just let me mention, because I have to. Candles are the major cause of fires in times like this, so please use them carefully. I want you to be safe.

    • Thank you for the reminder about candles. I have one large candle in a hurricane glass and two oil lamps. I keep them high enough that should the kids be here they can’t get to them without climbing and they are good enough to know the dangers of fire.

      I’m so sorry you too are in the path. Are you along the coast line or more inland? Be safe.

  4. You really have me thinking. We will usually get a good winter storm or two that will knock power out of areas for days. It has never happened to me, which gives me a false sense of security. I ought to have a plan!

    Stay safe and warm!

    • How lucky you are. We’ve had power knocked out in the winter plenty of times. If you have alternative heat and enough food and water you are good. In the winter, at least you don’t have to worry so much about food spoiling as you can put it in a container and if you have enough snow bury it, if not just keep it sealed enough with a weight on it to keep animals out and you will be fine. I’ve got the blankets and winter sweaters out so I should be fine even if we do lose our power.

  5. The hurricane is even making big news here in the UK today – I must say, if anything like that happened here, most people would have absolutely no idea what to do or how to prepare – how lucky we are not to have to face such dangerous weather. Good luck, our thoughts are with you all.

  6. You sound as though you have a thorough and well-thought out plan to cover most situations. Keeping in touch with the neighbours is very important at these times.

    I am thinking of you and all of those in the path of the storm. After having travelled through much of the area a couple of months ago makes it seem much more ‘real’.

    Take care and stay safe.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Yes,one neighbor has severe diabetes and needs to eat regularly. My daughter-in-law and I have a plan to turn off our phones and only turn them on every 4 hours to check in if my son gets called out. I’ve been through plenty of tornadoes and even a few earthquakes both here in PA and CA but this will be the first time a hurricane has affected an area I lived in.

    • Why thank you. I’m hoping for the best as we are quite a bit in land. Yesterday the prediction was we would be just outside of the area for possible damage, today we are right in it, tomorrow who knows. My biggest concern is for my son who will more than likely be called to control a prison without power. We won’t be able to have any contact with him until his job is done, which from how they are talking could be 7-10 days.

  7. Great information. We lived in the country for 25 years. Our power was almost always interupted during a storm. I had a box for lots of batteries and flash lights in one place. Since we were on a well, we wouldn’t have water either (electric pump) if power went out, so we always had a spare Cooler Jug ready. We also had a generator ready with gas for extended outage. We had a gas fireplace which was handy even if the fan couldn’t work.

    • Thank you. That’s one of the downfalls of renting. I have a lease which doesn’t allow me to have any supplemental forms of heating here. We’ve lived in a semi-rural area for more than 20 years so we are used to having to be ready due to a winter storm, but nothing that lasts more than a few hours to a day usually, but we kept extra water, stocks of batteries as well.

  8. Hope you don’t lose power. Is your water heated with gas or electricity? I decided against an on-demand hot water heater specifically because of power outages. The gas powered boiler will still work even if the power is out… and while it’s not exactly the most efficient way to heat a space, in a pinch you can always fill the tub and the kitchen sink and let the water sit until the heat transfers into the air. You can do the same with containers full of hot water placed throughout the house. That strategy has gotten me through a few blizzards and kept the pipes from freezing. Plus, if I get really cold I can still take a nice hot bath to warm up!

    Great ideas about food – I hadn’t thought to boil eggs but that’s an excellent suggestion.

    • Thanks. No my entire apartment building is run off of electric. Our hot and even our heat are supplied by a boiler. This is the one time I am wishing for a gas oven :-) In the past if the heat went out we would close off all the rooms but the small living room and kitchen and turn on the oven to stay warm. The kids and I would even sleep in the living room. Although doing that made the bathroom at the other end of the house really really cold. I envied the boys who could stand up to do their business.

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