Saturday, January 31, 2009

Power-ful!

After a little more than 48 hours without power, it came back. Literally *just* as my husband was plugging in a space heater to our new generator. LOL

The house temp was down to 47 on the first day after we left, and down to 38 by the time we broke down and got a generator so that the pipes wouldn't freeze. It took hours for the house to warm up to a modest 66 degrees that we were aiming for.


Power was spotty for awhile but stayed on through the night, and today we got moved back into our home. There was plenty of cleanup to be done from the water in our downstairs, and a mighty pile up of laundry in process. I had boxes of products being delivered and needing to be put away as well. And then there was all of our backpacks and baskets and bags full of the clothes and items we took with us when we left the house. Plenty of work for all of us to do. By now I'm wiped out, so what's left waiting to get done will have to wait until tomorrow.

From the time we left the house on Tuesday until we got back here, I have been constantly reminded about emergency preparedness and all of the things I learned back in 1999 and haven't kept up on since:

-pick up a gallon of bottled water each time I go to the grocery store so that we have plenty in case the water goes out (thankfully, ours didn't go out even though the water dept. said they were going to have to close it down, but we're still on a boil water advisory)

-have plenty of foods on hand that can feed us even without electricity

-I've gotten out of the habit of canning a lot, and have recently preferred freezing both for ease of putting food away for later, and because freezing preserves more of the nutritional value of the foods. This year I plan to can more--maybe half of the stuff I'm putting up. I can tell you that I felt very sad at the thought of losing all of the homemade apple sauce I made this year from our back yard trees!

-I would like to get some emergency backpacks put together so that we could leave the house in 5-10 minutes if needed. I didn't have the house as well organized as would have been ideal, and it took us a pretty long time to get out of here. It was fine this time, but if some other sort of disaster was happening, it took a whole lot longer than it should have. Things I would like to keep in emergency evacuation backpacks include socks, underwear, and a change of clothes for each person, some toothbrushes, individual bottles of water for each person, and some emergency cash. I ran into a situation where bottled water was available at just one store and they could only take cash or check, no debit cards. I only had $5 on hand so wasn't able to get as much bottled water as I would have liked. It turned out ok this time, but I don't want to get caught with only $5 in cash again.

I would love to hear your ideas about other good things to have ready in case of emergency.

We're all enjoying being in our own home, though our wonderful friends and family made it very comfortable to be displaced for a couple of days.

My 16 year old son said that although it's not exactly fun to have this sort of thing happen, he feels like it helps people to slow down, care for one another, and remember what to be thankful for. I agree.

Our street was among the first to get power back in our county, apparently because an important water pump station is on our power line. Most others in our area continue to be without electricity, and apparently it could be many more days or even weeks before it is all fixed. The trees are still icy, we had a little more snow today, and more snow is expected Monday and Tuesday.

Here are some photos of trees in our yard at the time when we were first leaving the house, and then a video taken while I was driving around town the next day.


During this video you just get to see a little of the trees down and snow falling. Also you are treated to me repeating myself because I was having a hard time driving safely and thinking about what I was saying at the same time. :) (Also, I think I may have a tendency to repeat myself anyhow. Might have something to do with having many young children with selective hearing....)

4 comments:

Anne said...

I'm glad you're all back home safe & warm! Isn't a little reminder about why you don't live in NY?

We got our generator 'cause of the wind storm that hit Syracuse in 98 when I was 8 months pregnant & suffering from a pregnancy rash - no oatmeal baths, no hot water for 9 days! We've needed it maybe 7 times in 10 years, but I sure love knowing we'd be fed, warm & clean in a crisis!

AM

Marilyn said...

Just watching this gave me flashbacks and not good ones either! I remember the anxiety driving in those type of conditions-always worrying about the weather. I'll take a hurricane every couple of years.

Kat said...

Glad you and your family are ok!

SiouxsieQ said...

Nice post with the photos! You inspire me. Glad you are back home.