Category Archives for Survival

The Opportunity to Live #Survival #1 – Prepared

This is a series of posts to chronicle our 5 day power outage experience.

Let me preface this with my gratitude to the hardworking Lineman of the electric/power industry.

A massive storm blew through here last Tuesday night and inflicted staggering damage across the region. In upwards of 380,000 people were without power.

As of this morning, there is still a significant number who are bearing without it. The following pictures are to show just how bad some of it was. These pictures are from the Kootenai Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page. They worked tirelessly – men and women – and I wish I could hug them for all their hard work.

And it’s cold. I mean really cold. It’s so cold, the other morning we woke up and could see our breath INSIDE our house.

Let’s talk about how we were #PREPARED for this incident.

First off, we live in the Inland Northwest and inclement weather isn’t strange around here. We’ve had 60 degrees in February and snow in July. I kid you not. So up here, we can have all four seasons in one day. Mother Nature has a PMSy attitude and I like her sass.

But sometimes she throws fits, and it’s those times you want to be ready for.

Here’s how we worked all summer to get prepared for something like this.

We bought our house and land in June which already cuts out the first three and a half months of late spring and early summer to get ready for winter. If you have snow in your area, you know that preparing for winter is pretty much what you do when it’s not winter. Like ants. So what did we do?

We gathered wood because we have a wood stove (more later on what makes this a necessity up here). We cleared brush to help prevent forest fires in the area for late summer. We stocked up on our food storage – I’d been dwindling this because we’d moved so many times in the course of a few months and moving food is EXHAUSTING.

An aside:

Thing about it. When you buy the food you bring it home and pack it inside. Then you get ready to move so you pack it again and move it. To unpack cause, hello you gotta eat. We then had to pack it again and move it and unpack it again.

Oy. I’m not kidding, I was growling at that food. But it took the brunt of having to shop all the time off my shoulders and I’m super grateful for it.

Okay, so we restocked our food storage. This took all summer to do because let’s be honest, food storage isn’t cheap and sales don’t come when you want them to. So I kept an eye out all summer and fall for sales to stock up.

We also had to get ready by making sure we had the right clothes and blankets, enough candles, enough tin foil (more on this later), items to play with or for entertainment.

We bought a generator and my hubs set up a transfer switch (more details on this in a later post).

I got rid of most of my non-stick cooking pans and pulled out my stainless steel pans – which I adore and haven’t had out because… reasons.

And the chickens. We got the chickens ready for winter, even though, let’s be honest, those flippin’ freeloaders… ugh. No eggs still and they crow every time I walk outside. There’s nothing more humiliating than getting catcalled by your own roosters. Sigh.

So we got prepared for a power outage, or a surge in storm weather or snow or a fire or anything that we thought might happen.

This is important to note: We got as prepared as we could think of. We aren’t perfect and not everything was able to be accounted for because we hadn’t been in this situation before in this house. Everything would be new and would be a test run on the fly.

With 6 small children.

Oh boy.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series #2 The Incident.

#1 Prepared

#2 The Incident

#3 Taking Stock

#4 Entertainment

#5 Recipes

#6 Ways to Improvise

#7 Adjusting

#8 Preparing for next time