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Top Ten Ways to Prepare for Loss of Power

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With this final?? snow storm?? of the 2012-2013 winter upon us, we use our previous experience to get ready. Generally, when we prepare for it, then we don’t lose power. But, being prepared is still better. Particularly since our UPS units with surge protection keep beeping periodically as the winds pick up. While most of the county east of us isn’t getting snow, we have had quite a crazy mix so far today. Looking like this.

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This past year we had the derecho with no warning. Two years in a row, hurricanes. Here’s my top ten ways to be sure you are OK during a storm. Most of these we did the past two days, and we shall see how well we fare. It is snowing now here. The rain seems to have gone. We have four inches on the patio table, as you can see from my pictures of the birds feeding in their covered area. And, yes, the piggy little squirrel, who has been hoovering up anything he can.

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1. Water, Water Everywhere! Yep, out here where we live on wells, water is really important. More important than anything else for me. I can work around much, but not the lack of water. Bathtub full. Two drywall buckets in the powder room. Containers on the counter, and extra in the small fridge in the laundry room.

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2. Food that is simple to make and eat. Like the ingredients for my tuna, onion, canellini bean salad. All it takes is a can of beans, a can of tuna, diced onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Instant meal. Over greens if you have them.

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3. Extra propane for the gas grill. We have a spare tank in the shed. After the hurricane in 2011, we cooked on the grill. We have also cooked on it in the winter, as long as it stops snowing.

4. All electronics charged to capacity. Cell phone, iPad, one of the large light sources is battery charged. All are ready.

5. Extra batteries. And the flashlights handy. One on each side of the bed. And, in bathrooms and basement in case that is where we are, if the lights go out.

6. Dry wood for the stove in the winter. We don’t usually need to do this, but the wood stove in the basement will really warm up the entire first floor if we leave the basement door open.

7. Gasoline for the snow thrower and other power equipment useful in clean up. The snow thrower is always positioned to be taken out of the garage easily. We make sure that we have easy access to the manual garage door opener, aka the rope system.

8. Cook the biggest and most vulnerable meat from the freezer. I am doing a chicken in the crock pot now. Can be eaten hot or cold this evening.

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9. Prepare the coolers and the freezer. Check temps on refigerator. I drop them back a few degrees to make it colder in there, and then don’t open them if we lose power. And, yes, I know I need to change the filter on the fridge. Although it goes red after purple and it isn’t red yet.

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10. Warm or cool the house more than normal. Today I cranked up the heat a few degrees. With a brick house, nicely insulated, we retain a fair amount of heat upstairs even with the power gone.

Hopefully, we will do OK tonight. The wind has started gusting, and every time the UPS units chirp a warning, we brace ourselves. If I don’t get this post up soon, I could end up losing most of it. Stay warm and dry in the rest of Howard County. Just remember some of us west of you all, and at higher elevations, have some really wet heavy snow out here. Hoping the temps rise a bit more and it changes to rain. Otherwise, hope it stops soon. Bailing the sump pump is our least favorite activity when we lose power.

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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