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Monday, May 30, 2011

Think you're ready? Think again!

Just this weekend, a neighbor had lost her power for the weekend for reasons I won't go into.  Although this was a temporary situation, she still needed help getting her genset out of the truck and hooked up.  After lots of fumbling around in the dark garage, the plug was found and the genset was hooked up and running.  One comment rang loud and clear in my head..."I can't go a whole weekend without power!"

I sat and pondered that comment for quite a while that evening...true, even though she had a generator which had just been picked up from a regular maintenance, she was totally unprepared.  There were perhaps a dozen 5 gallon cans of gas stored away for the generator, but the hook up plug in the garage was very tough to find as it was tangled in a ratsnest of extension cords and other wires.  To make matters worse, there was no flashlight on hand to help find it in the dark.  From what I could tell, the food in the fridge had gone bad already and there was little in the way of prep food in the pantry.  If she had a way to cook without her electric range, I have no idea.

This really got me thinking about my self and my preps.  No, I don't yet have a generator although it is high on the priority list.  But to not be able to survive a weekend without power?  We have already stored 2 days worth of drinking water for the family of 6 and are working to get more put away.  If we did run out of water, there is always the old surface well ready to go and plenty of bleach on hand to purify with. As for cooking, we can use an outdoor fireplace, propane BBQ, or even a 2 burner camp stove.  As for food, we are probably stocked for about a month in the pantry.  Lighting is covered by crank flashlight which also have a built in radio, oil lamps, and more pillar candles than I could count.  If I really needed electricity, there is always the car inverter and extension cords to work with.

You see, this neighbor thought that if she had a generator to run the well pump and a couple of plugs, as well as some stored fuel that she would be set.  Then reality smacked her square in the face and she realized at the worst possible moment that she was totally unprepared.  We extended an open invitation to her to just ask us if there was anything she needed, but she never came to the door again the entire weekend.  She did however love the crank radio/flashlight we had and thought that maybe she could get one of those.  Well at least we were able to show her something about being prepared. 

In the end, I took some time to think about our situation should we lose power for a weekend.  Would we be hard done by?  Would we starve or live off cold beans?  Would we have to go to bed at sundown because we couldn't see?  In short...heck no!  Now the question is "how do I approach my neighbor about being prepared?"  Well, looks like the door to that topic opened itself.  Sometimes people have to go through an actual experience of their own to realize that prepping for the unknown just makes sense.

1 comment:

Canadian Doomer said...

Could we survive a weekend without electricity?

It wouldn't be entirely comfortable, depending on the time of year, but I see no reason why we could not. This time of year? Not a problem.

We're in an apartment, so things like a generator aren't feasible for us. I don't think I'd want to rely on something like that anyway.

I can cook small amounts of food in my fondue pot, and I've practised doing so, at least with oatmeal. Certainly, I could warm up a jar of stew. Most of our food is stored in the pantry, whether dried goods or home-canned meat and vegetables. I know we definitely have a weekend's worth of food, and probably three to six months' worth, although not a year's worth yet.

We use a crank clock radio/flashlight, too, and live a pretty low tech life with the exception of the computer. We have plenty of candles and the matches are stored right beside them. Our children are already used to playing with simple toys and reading, as well as our minimizing lights except when absolutely necessary, so I'm not sure they'd notice!

Are there gaps? Sure. I haven't ironed out exactly how to deal with water shortages - there's only so much I can store in the apartment. Actual cooking would be a problem, although like I said, I can heat up small amounts. But, for the most part, we'd survive a weekend without power.