Hurricane Sandy Report: I am very grateful that this storm passed through our area with as little damage as it did this week. Here at the farm we were without power for 12 hours and half of those were at night so it was just a minor inconvenience rather than a major problem - no lugging buckets of water for the sump pump this time as we had rain but not enough to overwhelm the basement.
The outdoor damage was minimal - one tree lost in the donkey and sheep paddock to clean up and I should be able to manage it myself since the tree wasn't huge. Repairs to the cedar rail fence should be simple and it looks like the electric fence is stretched but still functioning.
This storm was a good test of the emergency preps. I can never pass up a good deal on unscented candles but if we really want good lighting to read or work by kerosene lanterns are more efficient. We use them in the winter just for fun so they are always on display in the living room. Several of them are the cheap hardware store versions and one of those has a malfunctioning wick turner so I'll have to take it apart this week and see if I can fix it. The one below is an upgrade from the ones I own but conveniently available from your local hardware store - and pretty too! I've seen many of these at antique/junk shops and they can get expensive fast. Be sure to check for cracks in the glass base when buying second hand.
It's always good to remind yourself that kerosene lamps are useful but with pets and children around to be extra cautious about placing them somewhere they can't get knocked over. I put them in a glass bowl in the centre of the table when in use and put them away up high when not in use. I would NOT recommend using coloured or scented kerosene - instant headache for me - buy non-scented or low odour lamp oil.
The best lantern one we have is a Dietz.. It wasn't expensive - under $20 - but it lights up a room! Canadian Tire and Home Hardware sell the Worlds Famous brand that is similar but doesn't look as well constructed.
Here are some things to do to prepare for a storm:
Put juice containers filled with water in the freezer and keep them there at all times. This makes the freezer more efficient by keeping it full - remove bottles when you need room for food of course! The jugs also serve to keep the freezer frozen when the power does go out, can be used to turn your refrigerator into a giant icebox if the power failure is prolonged and provide you with clean drinking water. Covering the freezer with comforters or old blankets also helps to maintain the temperature.
Fill the kitchen sink with soapy water. It's a simple way to wash your hands and you won't waste bottled water.
Have bottled water! I have large 15L water jugs that I keep in the basement along with a few cases of water bottles and as many juice jugs as I can find filled with water and a few drops of bleach.
Have hand sanitizer available in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Consolidate your kitchen freezer with your large freezer if you have one - one less place to have to keep cold. Don't open the fridge or freezer without a plan. Put a sign on the fridge door that says - DO NOT OPEN - to remind yourself.
|Mom will yell at you!!|
Keep matches, flash lights, candles, batteries and lanterns in a specific spot so you don't have to go looking for them in the dark. Keep slippers beside your bed for the same reason. Hang mini flash lights on the basement door and bathroom doorknobs.
Keep a good supply of simple to prepare foods. Figure out the most efficient way to heat food and water. Sterno? Camp stove? BBQ? Fondue set? Kerosene stove! Have a supply of fuel too.
If it's cold or the kids are a little nervous have a camp out in the living room. Drag down sleeping bags and pillows and stay together. A room that can be closed off from the rest of the house is a good idea because you can attempt to keep a smaller area warm. If you have no way of heating the room you could pop up a small tent and sleep inside. The tent will hold in your body heat and keep you warmer.
Wash the dishes and clean the house before the storm arrives - a clean house to begin with makes sense.
Bake some muffins or pull together some easy to eat snacks before the storm hits. Start a soup or stew you can keep warm with the sterno or use your crock pot and wrap it in towels after the power goes out and put in in the cold oven to keep it warm.
Boil water and fill a large thermos so you don't have to heat the water all over again for another cup of tea! You can do that before the storm or after boiling water on your stove of choice - something you don't want to repeat too many times!
Keep your cell phones charged. Get a charger for the car and don't forget you can charge them in a charged up laptop as well.
Have at least one phone in the house that is a regular plug in - not a cordless - so you will still be able to use it if the power is off.
Play some games. Pull out a puzzle. Spend time with your loved ones and enjoy life without electricity for awhile while hoping and praying the power comes back on soon. Be safe and PREPARED!
Any additions to my list? Share your thoughts!