Emergencies Happen, Even In November

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Well, remember back a few posts when I talked about being ready for an emergency?  You never know what might come your way.  We got an unexpected nor’easter here  a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily, it came to us when it wasn’t too cold, it was chilly but not unbearable. However, we did find we were lacking in some things for emergency relief.

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First of all, we figured out we need much, much more water stored up.  We had some to get us through for a while, but we lost our power for 5 days, and we ran out of water on the third day.  I had to rely on my friend for water, luckily she only lost her power for a couple of hours in her part of town.  Yes, nothing makes you more annoyed then when the power is back on for the rest of town long before it comes back for you and your neighbors.  The power company thought we had power restored, even though I called every day to be sure they realized that we didn’t have power.   Now, on the point of water.  We also figured out that we need to get a more powerful generator, too.  One that will run the well pump and the furnace if need be, at the same time.

Being pretty chilly here, we figured out that we want to get the woodstove we were planning on getting next year bumped up on the priority list.  We invested in a larger propane heater that kept some of the living areas toasty, but it certainly won’t heat the whole house.  And the woodstove would also be a nice way to keep the kettle boiling, too!  We do have a propane stove now, which is wonderful to have again, so we could still cook our meals.  We ran the generator to power the fridge and large chest freezer we have in the garage.  Without water, it was mostly annoying not to have power then urgent, since we had a friend who’s water was working fine. In the last night in the dark, our friends brought us a 5 gallon jug of water to flush the toilet and have some drinking water.  My husband was resourceful and went through the pucker bushes to get water for the chickens from the stream that runs beside our property.

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We had plenty of food, so that wasn’t a concern. I spent a lot of time over the summer and fall preserving food that went into the larder for just such occasions.  I also shop a lot on sales, and the one thing that we have found in this house that is desperately lacking is storage.  Having things stacked on top of the canning jars is not the best way to store things, but for now, that is what I’ve had to do.  Making the food storage work better will be on the list for any future renovations.

We also had to get gas for the generator, which we don’t like having to do.  We much rather have everything ready before its needed.  However, this was an unusual time for us to need to be this ready for a nor’easter.  That being said, it’s always good to be prepared for any emergency that may come down the way.  We weren’t as prepared for this one as we would have liked to be and will be working on that to be better prepared.  One of the down falls of having spent so much time and energy on the house, is that we just aren’t as ready for things as we usually would be this time of year.

Part of our house doesn’t have any heat right now, and that has been a project that my husband has been consumed with lately.  You’ll remember from a previous post, old homes and their charms, crawl spaces not being one of them!! He managed to pop a cartilage in his rib cage today, so he’s not able to finish the job he was working on right now which is running duct work in the crawlspace that has less then two feet of clearance for him to maneuver in. We’ll get by with the space heaters for now, but the cold is coming and it’s foremost in our minds that this repair needs to happen soon.  We think that the duct work must have been installed under that space prior to the newer floor being put in, because in some places the duct that touches the floor of the house also touches the dirt under it.  Needless to say, this has not been a fun time for my claustrophobic husband.

So, being ready for emergencies is incredibly important.  Having water, food and heat top the list here in New Hampshire, followed by lights, the ability to cook food and sleeping bags if its cold in the house.  Other creature comforts like tv, internet, the washing machine, etc fall down the list but in order to keep the peace in our family, we prefer they aren’t gone for too long.  We have identified some weak areas for our family for emergency preparedness, those being needing more stored water (everyone should have 1 gallon per person, per day for a 1 month supply stored up), needing more gas for the generators and we’d like to get a few solar items as well.  We have one lantern that is awesome, it is solar with led lights, inflates so that it stores flat, and we will be getting one or two more of those for the emergency kit.  We also have regular battery powered lanterns as well, but this one lasts for a long time on a single charge, no batteries required.  I would also like to have a way to charge our cell phones that is quick.  We have a wind up radio that has a place to charge cell phones on it, but you could wind for an hour and not be able to fully charge the phone, so hopefully we’ll find a solar alternative that doesn’t break the bank.  We also have a well stocked first aid kit that is also essential for us as well as the knowledge of how to use all the items in the kit.

I know, fellow homesteaders, you have been sure to get ready for emergencies, too, right?  What are some of your favorite things to have in place for power outages, or being snowed in, or other such things?  What works best for your families in challenging times?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what are your go to’s for emergency preparedness.

Until next time, be well, be kind to each other and blessings to you all.

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