Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Power Outage Preparedness

We lost our power this morning at about 4 am and it didn't come back on till almost 5 pm.  A tree fell on some power lines on my road and 18 families (per the Power company) were out of power.

It hasn't been terribly windy, nor has it snowed more than an inch or two.  I think the big old tree was just ready to go.  It made a huge mess when it fell, taking out a ton of lines and creating grueling work in this bitterly cold weather for about 8 or more guys the whole day.  

We have gotten more than a few power outages during our lives and are generally prepared (ish).  I have a drawer in our entry way cabinet dedicated to flashlights, lanterns and candle lighting lighters.  

We are really lucky in our new house to have propane heat.  We were able to stay warm today and even fire up the stove-top to heat up some soup and easy foods.  When the power came back on this evening we had a sink-full of dishes to take care of, thankfully the outage was only so long!

And, lucky for me, I just purchased some disposable diapers and wipes yesterday for an upcoming trip.  Boy was I glad to put one on my daughter when we woke up this morning and knew her 'scheduled' 'number two' was coming.  Not having water would have made it tricky to deal with such dirty cloth diaper, I was thankful to be able to wrap up the offending package and not mess with it one bit.

I made a little mental list today on what I will keep in our Power Outage Drawer for the future.  Being as anti-disposable that I am, I will have to purchase, sign up for free, and, or, scrounge up many of the following items;

Flashlights (the battery/lightbulb drawer is above it)
Matches/ lighters (candles are in a separate closet)
Paper eating products (plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils)
Disposable Diapers ( I have signed up for all different size freebies, this will be a perfect place for them!)
Baby Wipes (for everything!!)
Portable Radio/ CD player taking batteries

I will keep a gallon or two of water in the storage pantry as usual.

Anyone have any other suggestions??  Does anyone else do this??


Anonymous said...

I love your ideas and especially like using the drawer idea. If you have the extra space it sounds like it would be so much easier to access & keep up to date.
I have been looking for safe non-leaching polycarbonate containers to store water and have not been successful yet. I did find a good tip to reuse large glass cider containers, etc. which I am going to use! Certainly will be cheaper! And non-toxic. :) I can't seem to stomach the thought of water that has been sitting around in a plastic bottle for months on end!
Thanks again for your wonderful ideas! I look for them every day! :)

PollyS ( marypauline at stankus dot com) said...

In re to Anonymous: Bottles to store water can be found at They aren't cheap, but they're safe.
We have a lot of oil burning lamps in our house. We use them for decoration, usually. But when a power outage occurs they come down off the tops of the cabinets. We keep an eye out for oil at places like walgreens, cvs, etc on the clearance rack. We can usually pick up a bottle for around 50 cents. I won't pay more than $1.50.
We keep a supply of "cup o soup" type items. I bought a ton of Safeway's organic cup of soup last year. Not only are they tasty and easy (just add water), but there is no clean up involved. If you want to add a little more nutrition, add some canned or thawed frozen veggies. The heat of the water will cook them through while the soup rehydrates.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Polly S. Can't wait to check out the bottles. I also like your cup o soup ideas - and also adding to it! I am also vegan, so you just got me thinking about adding cubes of tofu to it, extra beans, etc. I am not always prepared other than what I have in the pantry, so now ai am feeling a little motivated & may be less bummed if the power goes out because we may have something easy, new and fun to try!
Does anyone else have any great food ideas for power outages?
Thanks :) Laurie

The Keevy Family said...

Getting prepared for this kind of stuff is new to me, thanks for your ideas!