I found this while going over some ancient posts from a previous blog. It’s still pertinent to the weather challenges we’ve all been facing.
“I don’t wanna go nowhere. Let the river flow, I don’t care. Can’t go to work and the boss can’t call, But me and my baby don’t mind at all – Stuck out here in paradise.”
(copyright ’95 Ranger Bob Music, ASCAP/Polygram Int. ASCAP/Murrah Music BMI)
Ice Storm 2007, as the local news has termed it, is about over. It started out with rain on Friday morning as the temperature started to plummet. Dave made a quick trip to town for a few last-minute things, but all in all we were prepared. We brought 6 5-gallon buckets of water in the house plus the 5-gallon drinking water jug along with filling both 20-quart canners and the 12-gallon Amish made canner for hot water. Our house isn’t plumbed for running water so carrying water isn’t an unusual thing, but we brought in extra since we knew the freeze proof faucets outside would be iced over. We brought firewood up on the porch to keep it out of the ice and gave the goats and pigs extra straw bedding. We had plenty of kerosene and wicks on hand for the lanterns and took time to make sure they were topped off and the wicks trimmed properly. When we moved to Tabletop Homestead in 1999 we spent the first 15 months without electricity, so all this was just a matter of reviving old habits.
I just heard on the news about people in the eastern part of the state who had thought ahead by purchasing generators, then were surprised that they couldn’t get fuel to run them once the power went out and the gas pumps no longer worked. Preparation is as much about thinking through processes as it is about stockpiling stuff. You have to think about the things you absolutely have to do and then plan how you’re going to do them in the absence of electricity, transportation, running water, etc. What’s necessary in your house might not be the same as what’s necessary in mine. Basically, our family must:
- Keep warm
- Drink water
- Cook and eat
- Provide for minimal necessary washing and hygiene
- Take necessary medications
- Handle human waste
- Light common areas
- Consider activities to avoid “cabin fever”
- Care for livestock and pets
No one can tell you “If you store x-number of days’ worth of these foods and buy a generator you’ll be prepared.” Each family must consider it’s own situation and needs, while being objective about what’s absolutely necessary (keeping warm) and what’s nice to have (daily showers and video games.) Start by making a list of your family’s vital activities then sit down together and discuss how you might get these things done in less than ideal circumstances. From there you can decide what kinds of things you need to keep on hand.
I have to say, as crazy as it sounds I love things like ice storms, flooding rains, etc. It gives us a chance to fine-tune our preparedness, but more than that I enjoy being separated from the world for a day or two. I love the family closeness it fosters and how it focuses all our thoughts and activities on the homestead. We’ll be de-iced enough in a day or two that we can’t use it for an excuse, and we’ll go back to the things we have to do in the world. We look forward to the day when it doesn’t take an ice storm to keep us home.
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” Ezekial 38:7