Monday, December 04, 2006

Winter Survival
My house was hit again by a power outage. In July, it lasted 4 days. This time it was 39 hours.
I've found out that what you need to survive a power outage is really different in the winter than in the summer. In July, we worried about melting frozen food, so ice and freezer space in someone else's freezer were critical. We dealt with 100 degree temps, so staying cool was a problem. That load of laundry that hadn't made it to the dryer yet was a problem.

This time there was no shortage of ice. There was plenty of snow we could put in the coolers for our food. The worry this time was whether the pipes would freeze and how our cats would stand up to the cold. We found places to put them in case we had to abandon the house.
Since we are all-season campers, we are more prepared than most people. We have a catalytic converter that heats with propane and another propane heater than can run for short spells, though carbon monoxide poisoning is a problem with that type of heater. We have a propane cooking stove so we could get some hot food. We have thick sleeping bags that let us sleep comfortably.
We keep plenty of flashlights and candles on hand in a place where we know where they all are.
We put foam over the windows and kept the drapes shut to keep the heat inside. We shut off two rooms and farmed out the kids to friends who had power. We visited friends when it got dark until bed time. Luckily, the temperature got above freezing in the day time. It would have been much worse if it had been bitter cold.

We learned quite a bit about survival this weekend. We need to be even more prepared for all seasons until our utility company finally decides to spend the money to trim the trees that keep knocking down power lines. Grrrrrr!

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