Thursday, October 6, 2011

What I learned from Hurricane Irene

So what did I get out of all this?

1. When they tell you to prepare for X amount of days double it. It's more realistic.

2. You loose weight when you don't have much food - even when you eat out.

3. It gets really really dark at night with no power. Like the you can't see your hand an inch in front of your face kind of dark.

4. These kinds of things effect your pets more than you would ever imagine. The dog didn't eat for the first two days, didn't want to go outside, he peed right by the house instead of going all the way out to the back yard, he was always under foot and wouldn't sleep alone. He had to be in bed with us at night. The cats were just as bad.

5. You know and understand on a normal day that friends and family are important but when something like this happens it reinforces it an inexplicable amount. They are the greatest people on this earth and you realize even more how much you love them.

I'm almost going to miss some of this...the quiet, the non-rush of things and the slow pace of life. You learn to appreciate the simple things more. I missed having running water and flush toilets more than any other thing. And the dork that I am missed my on-line friends, people that I've played games with and chatted with, some I've talked with for more than two years.

It amazed me how much we are bound to routine, 5 days with no power and I still found myself stepping into a room flipping on the light switch and expecting something to happen.

Looking Ahead
There is another hurricane on the way. It's still to far out to predict where it's going just yet, but we will be better prepared next time.
Here is a list of necessities of what we would have ready for next time based on what we went though this time.

Preparation List:
1. $200-500 in power means that stores on back up power or doing things manually will not be able to take debit/credit cards.

2. Making sure to fill way more buckets with water and make sure you know where to get water if you run out. Don't be afraid to fill up every pot and pan, bucket and pail, you will need both toilet flushing water and drinking water if you have a well.

3. Entertainment - Have entertainment that doesn't require, playing cards, books.

4. Small generator - so needed to save the food in the fridge and freezer, to run a lamp or charge rechargeable. If not expect to throw everything in the fridge and freezers out.

5. Gas - Fill all your gas cans for generators, tractors, and cars. No power means that the gas pumps won't be running and there might be another gas shortage.

6. Batteries - Lots of stock in them as I say, and do it well in advance of the storm...4 days before the storm hit and we were struggling to find them.

7. Flashlights/Lanterns - 4-5 of them if not more. You will need one for basically every person in the house. If you can't find flashlights or lanterns (we used the battery operated lanterns), book lights make good alternatives.

8. Eco friendly bulbs - This is so you can run more than one light on the small generator.

9. A need to find some way to make coffee with no power. :S

10. Canned food - bread - peanut butter - jelly - grillables (hotdogs/hamburgers that you can throw in a cooler after you loose power or to use if you have a generator)

11. Propane for grill

12. Tape for windows and cardboard. The way I look at it is I'd rather loose a window than put holes in the window frames from ply wood. Tape an X on each section of window then place cardboard over the inside of the window and tape that up. The cardboard will help minimize broken glass in the house.

13. Bathroom spray + Eco friendly toilet bowl cleaner (we use seventh generation). Not flushing the toilets all the time makes the bathroom stink - spray after using the bathroom and squirt a little cleaner in the toilet after flushing to keep the toilet smelling fresh. (Remember to close the lid to keep animals out.)

14. Paper/plastic Products - Cups, plates, knives, forks and spoons - remember there's no real way to wash dishes, water is priceless so you don't want to waste it.

15. Foil for grilling on.

16. Food for animals - Don't forget about them, make sure you have enough food stock piled for them as well, and remember to figure them into the water usage too.

17. Glow bracelets/sticks - Packages of these are cheap, buy them at the dollar store or in the dollar section of Target or Wal-mart. They are great for the kids at night who use nightlights so they are not afraid of the dark...Just remember you will need one - two of these per child per night.

We will definitely be more prepared next time around.

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