Have we learned nothing from the past year? If Irene, the Halloween snowstorm of 2011 and Superstorm Sandy of 2012 did not teach us in the North East that we are not immune to the effects of severe weather, I guess nothing will.
It is time that we stop relying on public services and prepare our homes and our families for an increased level of self-reliance. In our current economic climate towns cannot provide us immediate relief no matter what your mill rate is. Our infrastructure is aging. Now a power outage is not a matter of hours, but a matter of days or even weeks.
I don’t want to lose my “power” when we lose electricity. I don’t want to be captive to town officials to “save” me from Mother Nature. We used to be a nation of self-reliant people. Why did we allow ourselves to become so weak? It is time to reclaim our power and prepare ourselves for self-sufficiency for at least a month.
We have been doing this slowly.
We are using our wood stove insert more efficiently. This was a great investment in our home. We choose a wood burning stove rather than a pellet stove because should the power go out, a wood stove still radiates heat even without a blower. We purchased a heat induction fan which circulates the air into our dining room and we attached a small fan to our railing banister to help move the warm air up the stairs to the second floor. We have wood stacked in the driveway and we moved some into the garage to keep it dry, although we have had an issue with termites in our garage so we will not keep the wood there long term.
We have been freezing food. Not too much because if the electricity is cut, our deep freezer will only last so long, but we have fresh frozen corn and tomatoes. I used of one of few packages of tomatoes left to make black bean soup this weekend after we spent hours and hours outside shoveling and snow blowing. It was a little touch of summer in the dead of winter.
We are learning to can food. Right now we have have canned tomato and salsa. I bought Greg a pressure canner last year but it is not recommended for use on a glass top stove so we have added an outdoor cooker to our wish list for this summer.
Now and then when water is on sale, we pick up a few gallons and store them in our basement. The recommendation is two gallons per person per day, plus more for pets. Trying to stock up on water the day before a storm when the shelves are empty is stressful and worry some. We have city water so when we lose electricity we do not lose the ability to flush toilets and wash dishes but should the water treatment facility shut down or become contaminated, I would not want to search for water. It is a good feeling knowing that we have what we need at any time.
All was quiet this weekend. The roads were unplowed and we were forced to stay home. Neighbors were seen outside, talking, laughing, sharing, assisting. The feeling was positive and jovial. It was really a great weekend. It was a tremendous amount of work and my body is feeling the effects of all that work but I don’t think of this storm as a hardship. It taught me many lessons.
Be grateful for your health.
Be generous with your time.
Don’t take your resources for granted.
Storms like we have seen over the course of the last few months can bring out the best and the worst of humanity.
It us up to you to choose.