Monday, June 16, 2008

When the Lights Go Out!

Today we spent over half the day without power. You never really think about the electric unless it's not working properly or it's time to pay the bill. Although we are trying to conserve energy we saw today how dependent are on it, a dependency that was a little on the scary side!

Without electricity, I am unable to cook meals, wash clothes, make phone calls, and a whole list of other things including blogging and checking my email. Last night when the power was off for a short time, we were unable to see except by candle or flashlight that and we only had a little wind up radio that my hubby bought for emergencies. It worked ok but we sure were tired of winding it up! LOL!

It makes me wonder just how prepared for emergencies our family really is and gives me ideas for some things we need to add to our household to prepare. Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and many times, we never know how long they will last. When the power goes out you never know how long it will last!

I can get by without checking my email and if I really need to do that, I can always take the laptop to the local truck-stop where they have free wireless but what about eating? We've become quite accustomed to eating every day but what happens if I can't cook? Oh, we have a camping stove and we could set that up so we do have something but it is not an ideal situation and it probably is not would considered safe inside the house.

Anyway, after our little emergency, I've made a list of things around our home that we want to change or add to make life easier during those emergencies. I hope the list helps you as much as I know it will help our family.

1. Alternate ways of cooking: camping stove, barbeque grill, sterno cans, etc.

2. Emergency lighting: lamps with battery backups, emergency lighting, solar powered/battery backup lighting.

3. Communications: battery powered radio with rechargeable batteries; batteries stay in charger until needed.

4. Alternate heat source: Fireplace, vent-less gas stove,

5. Canned foods that do not require cooking. On this note, one last thing I want to change...we have a very large freezer where we keep frozen foods and meats. I could not imagine trying to deal with all of that thawing at one time. I am rethinking the whole idea of keeping that much meat and other foods frozen. I have decided to start canning a good portion of our meats and things. This will have a two-fold benefit. First, thee meat is canned and cannot spoil if the electricity goes out. Second, the children could make any type of meal they wanted by simply opening a jar. They would not need to cook any meat and I would not worry if they burned themselves trying to drain grease off or anything like that. I have a friend who does this and her children have been able to cook meals by themselves at very young ages.

Are there things you can think of that might help prepare for emergencies? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.


Joan J said...

First time at your blog, and I'm enjoying it! I plan on trying several of your recipes. For me, my cell phone is an essential emergency item (first, I can call the elec. company to tell them our power is out!). I don't normally use my cell phone much, but it's a God send when the power goes out.

Mavis D. said...

Yes, our cell phone is helpful but we live way out in the country and it's hard to get reception here. We do have a regular phone to plug in when the cordless phones are dead because of the power outage. :)

Glad you like the blog. Tell your friends! :)

Anonymous said...

Mavis...about time you blogged again! I enjoy reading them all.
I bought a cheap corded phone the other day just for that reason.
Maybe we could try a solar oven. Remember those ? LOL

Anonymous said...

Don't forget some jugs of water -- they need to be rotated occassionally. You need these especially if you live rurally and have a pump for water -- no electricity -- no water. Also emergency situations often bring public water problems.
Love your blog, Mavis. :)