I hesitate to write this in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; it is one among millions, I am sure. This was a storm to be remembered for a long time! I am saddened at the devastation in New York, New Jersey, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other areas hammered by the hurricane.
We here in Northeast PA have been hit several times recently by nasty storms. Some of us grow weary of the “hype” put out by the media, sometimes playing up a storm so much that it becomes cartoonish, unreal, unbelievable. Sometimes the schools close a day in advance due to ominous weather forecasts…and then when the forecasts do not come to fruition, we scorn the school officials for being “jumpy” and then lament over how “back in our day, we didn’t have snow days for every little thing…” No, I suppose not. I do like to think we are a little wiser now than then.
I will admit, the threat of a fearsome storm energizes me. Part of me looks forward to a power outage, when we can just “be” because there is nothing else to do. I don’t look forward to carnage and devastation of course, but something charms me about the living room flickering by candlelight, and playing SORRY or Monopoly by flashlight…coffee brewing on the woodstove in my old-fashioned camping percolator…
Anyone who spends any amount of time in Northeast PA & the Poconos knows that sometimes, extreme weather causes the power to go out, and it can be off for several days at a time…any time of year. It has happened over Memorial Day weekend, thanks to a freak tornado leaving several folks without power for days on end…it can happen in September or October – the tail end of tropical hurricane seasons…it can happen in the dead of winter after a huge ice/snow storm or a blizzard. Extreme weather does occur, in spite of being “sheltered” by the Pocono Mountains!
I strongly suggest investing in a generator. It may or may not be needed; some are blessed to have only minimal power interruptions, but believe me, a few days without power and you’ll curse the $600+ you spent on a flat screen TV in lieu of a generator! While your food won’t go bad if the power fails in January when it’s 20 degrees outside, you will freeze yourself if you don’t have an alternative heat source or a generator…or imagine in the summer how quickly that food in the fridge/freezer spoils!
It is also a good idea to have “old fashioned” things laying around, like a manual can opener, some canned goods, powdered milk, and several gallons of water on hand.
I did go to the store before the storm hit and bought some essentials – yes, I did buy bread and milk, mainly because one of my kids is a baby calf and making sandwiches for the 5 of us decimates a loaf of bread pretty quickly. I also bought canned beans, fruit, & soup for non-perishable nourishment. Everyone laughs at people rushing to the store to buy “French toast supplies.” I do not understand why people buy so much milk and eggs, as they will spoil if the power fails for long, when canned goods are much more practical. But hey…French toast is a comfort food! 🙂
Alas, though we were prepared for the “long haul” without power, we actually only “suffered” for about 12 hours sans electricity. Many of our friends were not as blessed. But regardless of whether we were out of electricity for 12 hours or 12 days, we were prepared, and that gave me such peace of mind.
Here is a link to a great article about emergency preparedness, not just in your home but in your car and for your pet, too. I never thought to pack an emergency kit like that for my car OR my pet- what a great idea!